Interesting Links Archived

Clearing out the dead wood.

Just a quick note to let readers know that I’ve cleared out a lot of the Interesting Links posts that are automatically generated here when I bookmark pages on Delicious. This site included posts with links dating all the way back to 2006 — I’m sure a good portion of them are broken or irrelevant at this point.

With over 2500 total posts on this blog, the 400+ Interesting Links posts made up a good portion of the WordPress MySQL database that powers this site. I’m betting that removing the very old posts — more than one year — will speed up site response time, especially after I optimize the database to fully clear them out.

The downside is that anyone attempting to access these old posts — most likely from search engine results — will get an error message. Oh, well.

If you are interested in seeing my bookmarked pages, they can always be found (and searched) on my Delicious account.

Still Alive and Kicking!

Very, very busy!

Just a quick note to let regular readers know that I’m still among the living.

I’ve been incredibly busy since that last post with a trip to AZ for more divorce bullshit, a week-long vacation in the San Juan Islands with a friend, some earth work at my building site, and a lot of electrical and plumbing work in my building and shed. I hope to blog about a bunch of this stuff very soon.

Until then, stay tuned. And remember, you can always use the form in the sidebar to subscribe to new posts as they are published so you don’t miss a thing.

Viddler Content Being Pulled

I guess I deserve that for putting so many eggs in one questionable basket.

Back in 2008, I discovered Viddler, a site for sharing videos. For some reason I’ve long since forgotten, I decided that it was a better way to host my blog’s video content. I embraced it and uploaded dozens of videos to Viddler, embedding them in blog posts. I even went a step farther and wrote articles explaining to other WordPress uses how they could embed their Viddler videos in their blog posts.

Silly me.

Earlier this year, Viddler pulled the plug on all of its free accounts. Because I hadn’t used the service for so long, they did not have an up-to-date email address for me and I did not get notification of the change. As a result, I was unable to retrieve copies of my videos from their service. Now, if I want them, I have to pay a fee.

Yes, I have to pay a fee to get copies of my own videos from their service.

Needless to say, I’m not paying.

Understand that I don’t make a penny on this blog. I removed all the advertising years ago and don’t even ask for donations anymore. My hosting fees are low enough that I don’t mind footing the bill for that, but I simply can’t pay for additional services — like those offered for a fee now by Viddler. I need to stick to low-cost or free alternatives for anything related to my blog.

No More ViddlerA total of 65 of my blog posts contain references to Viddler and/or embedded Viddler content — including “video blog posts” I was creating back in 2009. I’ll be spending some time today editing these posts to remove the bad embedding code. I suspect I’ll wind up simply deleting a lot of these posts in their entirety.

There are two valuable lessons to be learned here:

  • Keep copies of all of your content. I know I have copies of the “lost videos” somewhere, but they’re likely packed with the rest of my office stuff. Or maybe they aren’t. Who knows? The point is, uploading them to a service isn’t necessarily any way to assure that they’ll always be available.
  • Stick to services that aren’t likely to change payment policies. YouTube has become the go-to service for sharing video for a reason: it’s free and it will remain free forever. In addition, being a part of a big company like Google makes it unlikely that it’ll shut down or be sold anytime soon. New services spring up all the time and they often seem like good alternatives for one reason or another. But will they stick around forever? And maintain their current cost policies?

At this point, anyone who has been involved in technology for at least 10 years can likely list several online services that have disappeared or changed policies. Viddler is one of the latest. It’s unfortunate that I relied on them the way I did.

Construction Posts a Big Hit

A quick note about site stats.

I just wanted to share a quick note about this blog and the new home construction posts I’ve been sharing for about a month now.

Traffic Stats
The weekly stats for this blog clearly show a consistent overall rise in hits since May 20.

I can only assume that the huge bump in popularity of this blog is due to the construction posts — the timing of the bump roughly corresponds to the timing of the first few construction posts. Site stats show about a 100% increase in total blog hits beginning around that time. The fact that these posts are on the radar (so to speak) is confirmed by a recent request by an advertiser to place a banner ad for construction materials on the site. (I don’t do advertising so you won’t see the ad here.)

What’s odd, however, is that none of the construction posts have ever appeared as the most popular post on any given day. For the past few years, the post with the most hits is “The Real Cost of Helicopter Ownership,” which gets about 60 hits almost every day. The construction posts fall at various points below that and sometimes don’t even appear on the list of the 10 ten posts for the day. Instead, older posts about flying and my divorce remain very popular every day.

So why the bump? I suspect it’s an overall increase in “Google Juice” — the mysterious calculation that makes sites appear high in Google’s search results. Somehow the construction posts have caused a rise in my site’s page rank, which had taken a hit when GoDaddy and Bluehost Hosting caused numerous slowdowns and errors. When a site’s response time is slow, Google page rank suffers. About half of each day’s hits come from Google searches with a handful of others from other search engines.

Is this boring? Probably. But I’m a stats person and this information fascinates me.

And I’m thrilled about the new attention this blog is getting.

Yes, I’m Still Around

But busy having a life and dealing with it.

I know I’ve been neglecting this blog when my sister mentions that I haven’t posted anything new in a while. Oops.

Truth is, I’ve been busy. House guest, cell phone lost on mountain top, two days of aerial survey work, rush to finish a writing job, plan a last minute vacation, search for a lost dog, cancel last-minute vacation, find lost dog, etc.

Life. Sometimes it interrupts blogging.

But wouldn’t you want it that way? I’m not complaining.

(Although I could have done without that lost dog episode.)