Four years and a much-needed tweak

It’s now been four years since this exercise in randomness began, and several months since I tweaked the template for the blog. So, you know, I thought it would make sense to freshen things up and maybe move to a really contemporary typeface, one loved by web designers and form creators of all stripes.

Hope you like it! (If you’re reading this via aggregator, please do click through–today, if possible!) What? You thought I was going to stick with right-aligned Comic Sans MS? Not in this lifetime…

The stats

As of March 30, this blog had 994 posts and 3,022 comments. That’s 265 posts and 542 comments in the past year, unfortunately well below the long-term 3:1 ratio of comments to posts.

Technically, that’s more posts than in the previous year–but since five posts each month are automatic (four PLN Highlights reposts, one Cites & Insights) and given the amount of grumping and book-related stuff I’ve done, there may actually be fewer substantive posts.

There were server changes in mid-March, so instead of 4/1/08-3/31/09, the following numbers are for 3/11/08-3/10/09, but shouldn’t be much different:

  • Sessions: 489,463, or 1,340 per day. Down about 10% from last year.
  • Pageviews: 1,144,817 pageviews (3,136/day). Up about 26% from last year.
  • IP Addresses: 47,991, down about 18% from last year.

Make of those numbers what you will. In March-May 2008, this blog was the 58th most prolific, 24th most verbose and 56th most commented-on of my vast liblog survey–falling into a “more posts, about the same length, less conversational” category.

Most-requested posts

As meaningless as most of the stats above are (given aggregators), this one’s even more meaningless, since the feeds from this blog provide full posts. Until recently, I couldn’t tell which posts were requested most often–but now I can (after changing WordPress options so the permanent URLs have post names rather than page numbers).

Slightly more than 200 pages have been requested at least 500 times, including a bunch of monthly archives. Some of those were almost certainly requests designed to facilitate spamming, but never mind. Here’s the list of posts and pages with more than 1,400 page requests over that same one-year period, expressed as actual pagenames, leaving out category and archive pages:

new-libr-blogs-a-one-week-limited-time-request 2,497
post-ala-post-oclc-whats-next 1,729
bloggers-salon-palisades-not-avila/feed 1,690
when-did-creative-work-become-worthless 1,680
createspaceamazon-another-experiment 1,622
tri-tip-a-food-question 1,490
blogs-in-the-liblog-landscape-2007-2008 1,467
mondegreens-as-ads 1,197
open-access-a-quick-post 1,130
comment-policy 1,114
i-still-dont-understand 1,112
a-really-big-look-at-liblogs-good-idea-or-waste-of-time 1,082
public-library-blogs-comments-on-posts 1,073
why-do-you-blog 1,026
hoping-for-inspiration-in-anaheim 1,019


Thanks to Dave Pattern’s evil inventiveness, you can now track your liblog’s “heat”–and what can I say? Over the last few weeks, this blog has been hot, hot, hot–also ice-cold and everywhere in between.

Here’s the chart:

Note the logarithmic scale, and that the “hottest” days are nearest the top. And, of course, note the total lack of any real significance in any of this…

That’s about it

Still blogging, still random, still with more readers than I’d expect.

Don’t be surprised if the design goes through additional minor tweaks in the near future. Truly contemporary templates require error and error…or is that trial and error?

10 Responses to “Four years and a much-needed tweak”

  1. Hi Walt,

    Your template is not doing to well under the latest Firefox.

  2. Blake says:

    Needs more Comic Sans.

  3. Diane says:

    Congratulations & Happy Anniversary!

    This is one of the first blogs I subscribed to with my brand new Bloglines account a couple of years ago. I found it ‘googling’ you after reading “First Have Something to Say.”

    I like the fun font, but everything is aligned to the right in IE (similar to the Mozilla screen shot provided by Steven).

  4. walt says:

    Diane, Steven: Everything seems to be working exactly the way my design team planned it. Of course, further tweaks may be possible…

  5. Ok, it was a bit subtle.

    Usually you’d expect to see something like this:

    But I guess you got me.

  6. Leigh Anne says:

    Hee. Congrats, and here’s to many more musings. Now, if you’ll pardon me, I have to go scrub my eyes! Font abuse!

  7. Diane says:

    Sigh, some days I am a bit slower than others … like today when reading the elevator is out of order sign posted on the inside of the elevator and later followd a facebook link announcing my favorite football team was trading their quarterback.

  8. walt says:

    Leigh Anne: Hope you avoided permanent eyestrain. Meanwhile, things are back to what passes for normal around these parts. (If not, you need to clear your cache…)

  9. Dave Pattern says:

    I sincerely hope you’re not trying to suggest that I’ve hooked the “hot or not” code into a random number generator! ;-D

    (goes back to rolling the dice)

  10. walt says:

    Not at all. I think you have a clearly-stated algorithm that tends to yield highly volatile results for some blogs. (And, to some extent, “gamable” results, as in the days when I added a sentence “This post is not about x, y, and z” where “x, y, and z” were popular current liblog terms, adding that sentence to each of three posts. Shot me up into the top ten the next day.)

    I think Hotornot? is great–taken for what it is. Thanks for doing it.