Data Mining

One of, if not THE main reason I moved to wordpress from livejournal was that livejournal didn’t offer the ability to see statistics. And the best part about those statistics are seeing what searches on google are leading to hits on my blog.

These statistics are not at all what you would expect, but they are fascinating. For example, the most frequent search item that people use to find this blog is ‘clock’. Searches that involve that word have landed on this blog more than 1,070 times. I just can’t fathom that! I’m sure there are entire blogs devoted just to clocks. As far as I know, I have only really mentioned clocks two times, and in passing at that. How far down the list must my blog be that people are finding me?

After clocks, my next two most searched for items are running neck and neck at just over 200 hits each. Kate Micucci is narrowly beating out searches related to the Mario ? box. The first I feel okay about since I actually took time and energy to write up an informative post. The second I feel a little bad about, since my post is really just a summary and link-through to another post. Still, at least in those cases I’m fairly sure that the searchers got what they were looking for, as opposed to all those clock people.

Sometimes when I look at the search results, I know exactly which post of mine the person found. For example, when someone for some reason searches for ‘smell my gas’, well, I know I happen to have a post with that name. Same goes for ‘phantom pig‘, though I’m not sure why anybody is searching for either of those things. Or when I see one for ‘job hunting secretly’, I chuckle to myself thinking, “Oh ho buddy, have I got a post for you.” I’m always glad when I feel like I have satisfied a request. Another example, I know the person who searched for ‘awesomest man ever’ definitely found what they were looking for.

Sometimes I know which post they found, but I’m not really sure if I have satisfied their request. For example, requests like ‘larp babes’ or ‘hot larpers’ obviously led them to this post, but it doesn’t look like they found what they were looking for. Or ‘what do hipsters eat’ obviously led them here, but were they wanting to learn how to be a hipster or were they just generally curious? Like, “What the heck DO they eat?”

Some posts I really, really hope they DIDN’T find what they were looking for, or else I would get a little self conscious, like the person who found me by searching for ‘fat man at baseball game’. I don’t *think* I’ve been to any baseball games lately, but hey they found my blog didn’t they? The same goes for 15 or so hits I’ve received on ‘odd looking people’. I mean, I’m not so attractive, but I hope nobody would describe me as “odd”. But here they are on my blog! (j/k by the way, I know those hits go here)

Some search terms are very specific to where I have no idea what they were searching for at all, much less how in the world they ended up on my blog. Take, for example, the search for ‘picture of 6 rings march 14,2009’. 

Then there are the very odd searches, like ‘zombie solution stuck in a building‘ or ‘how to explain a picture to a dead rabbi’. Aside from having no clue which post on my blog could have possibly fulfilled the search criteria, do you think someone communes with the spirit of a rabbi who died before the invention of the camera? And this person thought maybe he’d find someone in a similar situation on the Internet whose advice he might ask?

I think one of my favorite search items was ‘pickle pops and cancer’. I am SO vindicated on that one! Unfortunately, I haven’t had any hits on ‘nun skin‘ yet.

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The new Me

So…the new me!

I mentioned a while ago that I was getting pretty frustrated with LiveJournal.  Everybody knows time has sort of passed them by, but in particular it is ridiculous that they don’t have an integrated search feature!  I also was annoyed with the lack of support for Google Analytics or any sort of page tracking at all.  Those were probably the two biggest problems.

So I got a Blogger account and spent some time getting that all set up the way I wanted it.  I really like how Blogger lets you adjust the style sheet manually if you want to, something that WordPress charges you extra for.  With Blogger I could integrate Google Analytics (you better be able to since they are both Google products!) and of course there is a search feature (again, Google) so I was happy enough about that.  I went back and forth for a long time, but eventually it was clear the only reason I was staying with LiveJournal was loyalty. 

 So I was all ready to make the switch when I discovered that you can’t easily import into Blogger!  I certainly wasn’t going to let all of my old posts disappear!  There were clients you could download to do it, but it essentially amounted to adding all of your old entries and then backdating them.  Kind of annoying. 

Of course WordPress is sort of the hmm hmm hmm of blogging and I kind of always felt deep down inside that a computer programmer aught to be using something a little more complex than LiveJournal.  Really though, the ease of importing is what caused me to make a 90 degree turn at the last minute and set up a WordPress account instead.

So I like the integrated page tracking / analytics from WordPress, the search capability, and I already mentioned the built in import (and export should I change my mind) functionality.  I like the ability to customize the sidebar that I didn’t have with LiveJournal.  I like having the comments on same page as the entry so you can look up and reread it, as opposed to the Blogger style where the comments are on a separate page.  And LiveJournal had the stupid idea to ignore my nice style I spent all that time setting up when you clicked on the post or went to look at the comments!  I also like the idea that with WordPress I can always host my blog in my own domain in the future if I so choose, not just redirect there.

So anyway, here I am!  I don’t have a mood or music setting with each post, but frankly I won’t miss them!  Sometimes it was annoying to try to think of my mood and the whole thing seemed kind of myspacy (although pre-myspace).  I have a lot of options to explore (a lot more than I had with LiveJournal) so I will probably still be tweaking things for a while.

So tell me loyal readers…what do you think?

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year?

Better late than never, right?

Hey, I’ve been busy.  Did the usual 3 state trip (IN, MI, WI) over the break.  It was exhausting!  I couldn’t believe how much stuff we had to bring for Evie.  We couldn’t have fit very much else in the car.  How do you do it with more than 1 kid?  It’s still not over with yet, we still have more traveling for the next two weekends (IN and WI respectively).  I was really worn out by vacation. 😦  I’m sure it has something to do with the fact that Evie has apparently stopped sleeping.

Okay, check this out.  Yeah, I read that book…saw the movie too.  Were they Rita Hayworth pictures by any chance?  You’d think they’d at least make prison escape movies that were up for best picture required watching for all prison guards.

So I get frustrated with LiveJournal from time to time.  (BTW did you notice all those annoying “link preview” things are gone now when you hover over hyperlinks on here?)  I found a program the other day that downloaded all of the content and comments from this blog and saved it on my computer.  So I have it now, which opens up the option to switching to another service (probably blogger because Sara won’t let me pay for my own domain).  But should I?  Loyal readers what say you?

On one hand I think I would have better features since I won’t pay for an account on LiveJournal.  On the other hand would I be disloyal to LiveJournal and to Stacy if I switched?  Although it seems like a long time ago, I really started this with her in mind and it kind of feels disloyal to her memory to switch to something else.

Myspace videos

Sorry, problem fixed with the videos.  You should be able to see them now.  Thank to Jen for pointing out the problem!

Speaking of technical issues, what’s the deal with the pop-up window things when you hover over the links on my blog??  I guess in time I could come to like it, but my first instinct is nuh-uh!  I don’t know if you can turn it off or not.  I’m also annoyed there is a search box at the top that doesn’t search my journal!  And while I’m complaining about things, I wonder if I’m allowed to use Google analytics yet?

::sigh::

I just have to keep posting this until I figure out something else!

   

Weekend Update

First off, I’m reposting the search box now that my last one has moved off the page:

   

Hopefully I won’t have to do that forever.  Yet another LJ annoyance!

Okay, so now to what has actually been going on in our lives lately!

Two weekends ago we went to Purdue for the Alpha Phi Omega 75th anniversary.  We had a good time, it was a good weekend.  Unfortunately not many people turned up from our “era.”  Most of the people who came were recent graduates or from a really long time ago.  I was hoping to see some of the people I was friends with while I was there.  The weather was a little crappy…okay it was a lot crappy!  So we didn’t go around Bug Bowl very much.  We did a couple of service projects and went to a dedication ceremony for Professor Teaford.  That was one of my favorite parts, it was really good to see him again.  I would have trouble believing there could be any individual that could be more devoted to an organization or be a better adviser, not to mention the most entertaining professor that could possibly exist.  The highlight of the weekend was the banquet at the renovated stadium.  Some of the highlights included a past national president speaking, a presentation about our chapter (Alpha Gamma) through the decades including research on some of our traditions and how they started, and a short speech by a guy who pledged in the ’40s and talked about keeping the chapter alive through WWII.  So anyway, it was a good time and too bad for all you guys who didn’t show up because you missed out!

During the week after that I was supposed to go to a conference in Detroit, but that fell through.  So Sara had invited her sister to come and stay here in the meantime.  It was a pretty low key visit, we didn’t really do much.  It was nice to have her here, but unfortunately she got sick towards the end.  That weekend we visited a friend of Sara’s from grad school who recently moved to Chicago.  The highlight of that trip was playing with the parachute!  Remember like when you were in grade school and you played with the parachute?  Well, they have one to play with their son and it was good time. 

We also spent money like it was going out of style!  Behr paint was on sale, so we spent $400 on paint and paint supplies!  On Sunday we went to a store to look at chairs and we ended up buying a chair AND a crib!  We had been looking for a crib for a long time and hadn’t found anything, so we just stumbled onto the perfect one.  For the chair, we were looking for a rocker/glider for the baby’s room, but we ended up buying a little more substantial one that we can use in the living room one day.

Sunday night my mom and brother showed up.  Nathan was just there to borrow the car to continue on to WI for job interviews.  Mom got her passport fixed on Monday (after many trials and tribulations) and then left for Japan on Tuesday!  She’s there now.  Unfortunately I had to wake up at 5 a.m. to take her!

So this weekend, we had the final walk-through on the condo today.  There was nothing really to report about that, it went pretty smoothly.  Tuesday is the big day!  After that we will be a couple of homeowners.  Today I watched the NFL draft for about 8 hours and tomorrow we will go visit Dabu and play games.

Aaaaaand I think that actually brings us up to the present!  I expect that updates are going to start being few and far between since we are going to be this busy for the foreseeable future.

More stuff

Okay, I came across this and it is hilarious:

I assumed it was a photoshop or something, but I still got a chuckle out of it.  Obviously we go to Snopes and check it out.  Turns out that it is real…sort of.  It really was in the newspaper, but the person who wrote it is a lawyer and obviously wrote it to be humorous.  There are some pretty good responses to the newspaper listed on the snopes page.  The best part is at the bottom:

Evidently Mr. Meskimen has been receiving a number of direct inquiries about his bit of satire, as the voicemail at his office phone presents callers with the following message:  “If you are calling about the Daylight Savings Time letter and wish to explain global warming or daylight savings time to me, I would urge you to get a sense of humor and/or a life, in that order.  Unless, of course, you want to pay me for an interview; if so, please leave your telephone number and I will expediently return your call.”

Now this is sort of interesting, have you checked out Alexa?  It’s been around for a while obviously, but it is still an interesting site to check out.  Basically it tracks the popularity of all the websites on the Internet.  So it is interesting to see which sites are popular or moving up or dropping.  You can also search for any site and receive a ranking of how popular that site is.  Unfortunately it doesn’t rank LiveJournal pages individually, so I can’t see where I am at.  It just shows the statistics for www.livejournal.com.  If only livejournal didn’t block me from using google analytics…