What draws people to a site?

I have no idea, really… I know some factors that are of imporance, like:

  • using good search words;
  • having your page indexed by a search engine;
  • optimize your page for search engines (SEO);
  • getting your page linked on other sites;
  • promote products that promise wealth withouth effort, make money sites and such

Maybe I can come up with some more, or if I google for relevant articles, I probably can make a longer list. The cause of my pondering is a simple one, I do get visitors for this blog (a limited amount tho, but hey I do not advertise this site anywhere, and I did not do any of the above). I also receive comments, where most are obviously fully automated, non-contributing ones. Even tho these may be seem as spam, as long as the comment does relate somewhat to the post I wrote and I do not get a comment a day from the same IP address, I let them get away with it. I received a bunch of spam too, clearly spam all from silly generated e-mail addresses, non-contributing remarks, and all from a few IP addresses. Of course those were deleted… I am not that forgiving.

So how do people end up on this page? Articles that received comments are ones with certain buzzwords (even tho they were probably not in the context that the commentator expected), and I assume that has a lot to do with it. I decided to repeat the words in this article and see what happens with the comments. Also note that in the above list a few buzzwords were introduced, so that may help too :D. The words I suspect of drawing a crowd are:

  • CMS
  • Umbraco
  • gadgets
  • update
  • WordPress
  • chances

So now post and wait. Update will follow.

Burst of energy

Sometimes I open this window and close it, as I have no idea what to write about. It must be like that for a lot of personal blogs, especially if a week has been without disturbances. I am waiting for a few things to happen:

  • Positive replies to the jobs I applied for;
  • The new release for InkScape;
  • Inspiration;
  • Motivation.

Of course the last two are a bit in a jest, but it is really hard to get started. Every morning I do the same few things, read my e-mail, read and browse the forums I frequent, check for jobs that might be to my liking, and the everyday stuff we all do. It is alright to do that I guess, but sometimes I feel bored. It took a year or so, but now I am allowed to work and I really want to work again. So I find it hard to do other stuff at the moment. But today I seem to have found a new bubble of energy.

Accidental Gardener

The weather here is AWESOME, we just escaped winter but we have already 30 degC sunny afternoons and I picked up a bit of gardening too. We have a nice veggie patch (about 25 sqm) and we try to grow our own produce as organically as possible. Now I am not a natural greenthumb, I am more an accidental gardener. We do have a great compost heap tho, and it does a better job in sprouting seeds than our carefully prepared seedtrays :D. Looks like this year we grow our own tomatoes, peas, beetroot, lettuce, radice, spinach, chillies, capsicum, cabbage and so on. It is all doing quite well, tho some other creatures seem to feast on our potential dinners too. We had a real snail pest and some cabbage whites seem to visit our cabages and some caterpillars had to be removed.

We learn quickly about all stuff that we are growing and the internet provides a great source of information and help. Today I discussed the option of setting up another website where we can show the progress our garden makes, and how we solve some common problems. A bit like a garden diary, with do’s and dont’s we picked up along the way. There are many sites like that around but I figured it would be totally cool to have our own. So I have started on a design and I will post some previews soon.

Continued design

Today is one of those days that I want to work on all things at the same time. Impossible of course, so I have to pick something.

WordPress Theme

The work on the WordPress theme is progressing nicely. I was thinking to create an ’empty framework’, every template must adhere to basic rules and any theme has a pre-defined minimum set of files. So basically I am rethinking my workflow for creating templates. And as a developer I of course figured that someone else probably did this work already. There are many frameworks for WordPress readily available (just do a search in Google), but most of them are more than empty and not so lightweight anymore. I stumbled upon the WordPress Starter Theme project and have decided to give that a go.

Graphics

I did install the new version of Blender and everything I did before is still working 🙂 now to experiment with the new stuff. Today I will experiment a little bit with conforming clothing for Poser. I start modeling the clothing in Blender, and I have a design for a 50’s dress planned to ease into it. I have done similar work before, but not with Blender nor with a version of Poser that allows dynamic clothing. So hopefully it won’t take too much time to make something decent. I eventually hope to be able to create complex models that would fit in a steampunk environment. I love the victorian style in combination with extravagant designs of common things. Also the typical materials that are used in these designs – woods, brass, leather, lace – appeals to me. Just planning ahead, but I already have an idea for a bustle dress.

Sneak preview

I have done some further doodling with RealDraw today. I have created a few hand-draw elements and will use those for a 2 column WordPress template. Sneak preview:

Sneak preview of elements for WordPress template
Sneak preview of elements for WordPress template

New week, new chances, new updates?

And another weekend is over.. time flies… really!

Blender 2.49

Blender 2.49 Release image (artist: weilynnCG)
Blender 2.49 Release image (artist: weilynnCG)

About 2 weeks ago version 2.49 of Blender was released. And practice makes perfect, as there were some imperfections in the release, an update was promised in 1-2 weeks. I have been checking Blender.org daily, but so far no update in sight. Now I am sorta stuck in a dilemma… as everything really itches to do some further 3D work… so do I continue in 2.48 or will I update to 2.49 and do the same thing again probably tomorrow… *sigh*…

WordPress 2.8

Same goes for WordPress… I update normally within a week of a new release, first I wait to see if there are emergency reports of people finding their site no longer works and there is obviously something wrong with the release. If that does not happen, I make a copy of the site, install the new version and check if I see quirks on my setup. And then I install the real thing. That normally works out fine, but I am still waiting for that one day that I just cannot make things work again.

That is why I do not like updates. My site runs fine. I don’t use much fancy features, not sure if I need them. I do not seem to miss them now. Why would I want them? Mmhm.. maybe I am onto something there…

Updates

Of course I am acting a bit silly. As a developer I am fully aware of software features that were originally planned but did not make a freeze date for a release, and security related items need to be fixed as soon as identified. And I love to have new shiny features for free. But what about software that is not available for free? Or updates that are not offered for free? What motives are there to update or upgrade?

I am still a happy user of older versions of software, I do not run Vista (and as a matter of fact, I guess I will skip that OS totally), one of my PC’s was assembled in 2001 and I only increased storage space on it. How much more features can you add to a wordprocessing application that the average user will not ever need? And why would one change the locations of all menus so no currently experienced user feels comfortable with it? Somehow I feel I have to keep up with all the changes as I make a living as ‘ICT professional’, and somewhere in the back of my mind is an image of the ‘IT dinosaur’ at a former company, professional in the time when computers took up a ballroom, and you had to send your ‘input’ through a ‘terminal’ to a ‘calculation centre’ overseas. That expert became obsolete when the PC reached the desktop. I feel I have to keep up as it would be horrible to be obsolete so soon.

Fashionable

It seems that changing software / hardware / personal electronics as often as you change underwear has become fashionable. And maybe that is just it. We live in a consumer age. We are pushed to buy and consume and keep our economy going. I decided long time ago that I do not understand ‘fashion’ (but hey.. I am a geek.. a girl geek.. but still a geek). So I wear last years colors, and those of the year before that, and before that.. and gosh.. 10 years back even. I do not care if it is ‘hip’, ‘trendy’ or whatever fashionable word is used nowadays. I am not a consumer, I do not spend heaps of money on trendy things. When I finally got a mobile phone (my boss said I needed one) it was already 2001. It did exactly what I expected it to do, I could receive and make calls, had voicemail and texting. It died on me about 8 months ago. It was replaced by a handed down phone which belonged to my brother earlier. It still does all the things I require from a phone and has an mp3 player and 2 megapixels camera as added bonus. I have no idea why my brother replaced it, it seems to be working fine and I bet it will last me a few years.

Consumers

I must say I really do not understand where we are heading to. We buy and replace stuff faster than ever. We throw out perfectly good stuff, and pour hard earned money into shiny gadgets, sometimes only because the gadget the neighbour has is shinier than ours. I hate spending time and money on buying stuff I do not really need. Just as much as I hate wasting time on installing stuff I do not really need. But how to determine what is needed and what if I miss out on something really neat? Bleh.. reading release notes I guess… Oh and have a look at storyofstuff.com