tinygeek

In lieu of actu­al con­tent for the month of Feb­ru­ary, allow me to present to you some junk I just threw togeth­er.

I cre­at­ed a lit­tle ‘me’ fav­i­con for writegeek a good while ago, but it nev­er real­ly occurred to me until this evening that it was in black and white, and not for any good rea­son, at that. I guess it match­es my cur­rent theme, but that wasn’t my intent — or my theme — at the time I cre­at­ed it.

So I added some col­or.


Here is the orig­i­nal ver­sion.


Here is a new ver­sion I was con­sid­er­ing. While it bet­ter rep­re­sents the shape of the, um, pointy thing my hair does, it makes my hair as a whole look thin­ner than it actu­al­ly is.


Here is what I ulti­mate­ly went with: the orig­i­nal ver­sion with col­or. I think it’s a pret­ty good rep­re­sen­ta­tion of my hair, and reminds me why I didn’t try to get too real­is­tic in the first place.

Cre­at­ing a fav­i­con is a pret­ty cool chal­lenge… at 16x16 pix­els, talk about a lim­it­ing medi­um! Its lim­i­ta­tions help, though; I’m not real­ly visu­al­ly tal­ent­ed, so there isn’t any expec­ta­tion of any­thing com­plex. It seems like, for the most part, there’s real­ly only one way to do things.

It’s also pret­ty amaz­ing what a cou­ple of pix­els’ dif­fer­ence can make.

Thoughts? Feel­ings? …Improve­ments?

The plugins behind the blog

I appre­ci­ate the slick pub­lish­ing plat­form that Word­Press pro­vides for my writ­ing. Per­haps even bet­ter is its plu­g­in sys­tem, which lets me make it do just about any­thing I like.

Since you wont find me churn­ing out PHP code of my own any­time soon (I ‘ve actu­al­ly been mean­ing to take anoth­er stab at to wrap­ping my brain around Python now that ver­sion 3 is out), I rely on the Word­Press com­mu­ni­ty to do so for me. For­tu­nate­ly, with near­ly 10,000 plu­g­ins avail­able, they seem up to the task!

When I set up my Word­Press instal­la­tion ear­li­er this year, I promised myself that I wouldn’t go over­board the way I usu­al­ly end up cus­tomiz­ing and extend­ing most of the oth­er tech tools/toys in my life. Even while show­ing restraint, I’ve man­aged to accu­mu­late just over 20 plu­g­ins at this point… whoops! 1 That said, every plu­g­in I’m using has helped make this blog what it is today… from one that mir­rors com­ments that peo­ple post on Google Buzz, to one that gives me a per‐post space to brain­storm as I com­pose.

Thus, I’ve cre­at­ed an ‘About Plu­g­ins’ page that prop­er­ly rec­og­nizes each one.

  1. The plu­g­ins actu­al­ly seem to be impact­ing the blog’s per­for­mance; I need to take a clos­er look into just where the inef­fi­cien­cies lie.

Why I don’t worry about blog stats, not even a little bit

I don’t obsess over this blog’s traf­fic stats. Doing so would be an exam­ple of kick­ing my own ass.

This graph is unim­por­tant.

So while I use both Google Ana­lyt­ics and the Word­Press Stats plu­g­in, I don’t care a whit about the num­bers. I don’t even have to check them to know that they are mean­ing­less; they’re close enough to zero that they might as well be. (Words I’ve nev­er spo­ken: “I had 12 pageviews today, up from 10. High and to the right, baby!”)

I can’t sep­a­rate bot traf­fic from human traf­fic, and for all I know, I’m prob­a­bly respon­si­ble for some inci­den­tal pageviews… at least if I hap­pen to load pages when not signed in to Word­Press. And why should I care about pageviews, any­way? It’s not like I’m look­ing to sell ads.

So why do I con­tin­ue to use not one, but two solu­tions to not give me num­bers? For the qual­i­ta­tive data. I can’t get enough of those.

My two favorites are as fol­lows: refer­rers and search terms (which are, them­selves, refer­rers, any­way). Both of these give me infor­ma­tion that is actu­al­ly use­ful, right now. Search terms tell me about a case where some­one was look­ing for some­thing and found my post’s title and/or sum­ma­ry promis­ing enough to actu­al­ly click through. And refer­rers, clear­ly, show me who (if any­one) is dri­ving peo­ple my way.

(Even in my past life on Mul­ti­ply, I hooked my account up with Site Meter’s free ser­vice to see if they could show me any insight­ful stats. I took a look through what they offered and found that all I real­ly cared about were the refer­rers… which were, more often than not, hilar­i­ous. Web brows­er, OS and screen res­o­lu­tion can be inter­est­ing for see­ing how my vis­i­tors stack up against Web users as a whole, but what am I going to do with that sort of insight? Fix IE6 CSS issues? Ha.)

The qual­i­ta­tive data that these ser­vices col­lect from my blog have shown me that peo­ple have found my post about the crap­py Viv­i­tar Clip­shot, some even won­der­ing if it’s OS X‐compatible. (Hint: it isn’t.) A bunch of dif­fer­ent search terms brought peo­ple to my logo/visual puns post. And one search that didn’t even log­i­cal­ly match up with con­tent I’ve post­ed, recent­ly learned words reap­pear­ing, gives me a great idea for a future post!

Should I be wor­ry­ing more about appeal­ing to the mass­es, or about cre­at­ing the sort of con­tent that peo­ple who actu­al­ly do vis­it are inter­est­ed in? That’s easy. The search­es and refer­rers have shown me that (please cue the schmaltzy music) I’ve touched people’s lives… even if I didn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly give them any­thing of val­ue, and per­haps even wast­ed their time with con­tent that wasn’t rel­e­vant to their inter­ests. I made a dif­fer­ence!

Happy Valentine’s Day

To my small in size, but large in stature, read­er­ship, I would like to take this oppor­tu­ni­ty to remind you that I love all of you. <3

(n.b. This offer of one (1) unit of pla­ton­ic love applies to cur­rent read­er­ship only, as of the moment of pub­lish­ing. Whether this offer will be extend­ed to future read­ers remains to be seen, and is express­ly not guar­an­teed. While exten­sion to future read­ers is decid­ed on a reader‐by‐reader basis, sub­scrib­ing to my RSS feed would not hurt your chances, and almost cer­tain­ly puts you on the fast track to my heart. Offer not avail­able where pro­hib­it­ed. Your mileage may vary.)

An introduction

Hel­lo, Inter­net. It’s Everett, and I’m blog­ging. I’m sort of new at this.

And at the same time, I’m not.

See, it was 2001 when I first became aware of the fact that peo­ple on the Web were writ­ing reg­u­lar­ly updat­ed, reverse‐chronological con­tent about what they had for break­fast. I was a col­lege fresh­man. I took up my key­board and start­ed a blog1 that no longer exists, on a ser­vice that I didn’t like very much (but is still around today).

After a few months there, I start­ed a Live­Jour­nal that exists to this day, but hasn’t been reg­u­lar­ly updat­ed in a num­ber of years. I was once a paid user of Live­Jour­nal, an acknowl­edged con­trib­u­tor to the project and, sim­ply, a humon­gous fan.

Some­thing changed in my life, a few years lat­er, around the time I fin­ished col­lege. Per­haps I no longer felt the need to tell the world what I was hav­ing for break­fast (of course, today that’s Twitter’s job), or maybe my life got a lot less note­wor­thy (if it had ever been). Maybe LiveJournal’s mul­ti­ple changes in own­er­ship tar­nished its image. Or maybe all the cool kids moved on to pure social net­work­ing ser­vices, which were com­ing of age at that point.

It was prob­a­bly a com­bi­na­tion of these things, plus anoth­er big one: I was hired to work in a public‐facing role at blogging/social networking/photo sharing/etc. ser­vice extra­or­di­naire Multiply.com. To be clear, Mul­ti­ply didn’t silence me; I made sure I was allowed to con­tin­ue blog­ging else­where before tak­ing the posi­tion. But hav­ing a real job, one that had me among oth­er things, blog­ging, sim­ply wasn’t con­ducive to after‐hours blog­ging.

With all of this in the past, I think it’s time I start blog­ging again. Everyone’s cat has a blog, in which they dis­cuss what they ate for break­fast, so why don’t I?

Okay, now I do.

  1. Though I was at the time unaware of the term “blog,” which was by no means in com­mon use in 2001