Just a short time out to recharge my batteries and write some posts.
I would like to wish all my readers a fabulous, happy, productive, awesome and wonderful New Year. Thank you so much for reading, for commenting, for writing your own blogs which I greatly enjoy. I am so glad I met each and every one of you. :)
If you read this blog and you’re not sure if I read your blog, please leave a comment with a link – or contact me privately – because I want to read all the blogs of my readers
I usually reply to comments left here on the blog but the past couple of weeks I have been feeling Not Great. I think a combination of losing Red Comb, plus hay fever allergies have kicked in big time. I have also been absent from the comment sections of other blogs. It is not you, it is me.
I’m starting to get my go back and spent some time yesterday going back through the comments, leaving replies. I hope to get back to your comment sections more regularly in the new year. ;)
And now, a quick look back at 2015 here on my blog.
Here is the top ten list of countries people who view my blog originate from –
The scam posts got a lot of views this year, so I’ve put them in their own category. All together, over 50,000 people viewed those posts – thousands of people found out these jobs were scams thanks to these posts.
4. Scam Advice
millers old ladies cardigans – Leads you to this post – Millers Knits.
snoscred – Nope, you’re doing it wrong. And yet, you still end up here! Though I can’t seem to replicate this on search engines at all. Also found – snoksred – snoskret – sonskred – nosskred – onskreds.
females in thigh boots swordfighting with men videos – This will lead you to The Pirate Movie post.
oprah most comfortable shoes – This search leads you here – Shoe Sunday – Oprah Said So.
sheeps butt – sheep testicles – These searches will give you this post – Concrete Sheep
can spiders live in your septic tank – Yes but why would they want to? There is not a lot of spider food to be found there. They prefer other kinds of environments, in general. Like my ceiling cornices!
what are the “regular movies” with the most graphic male frontal nudity in them? – And this search results in Abu Dhabi Doo – don’t worry, there are no nude images there. :)
what does morten harket really look like nude? – I’m going with almost identical to how he looks in his bathing suit, except with added dangly bits. Just a guess, but I think I’d be right..
how to entertain a lion – With great care, I would suggest.
how to bait and kill a red belly black snake – This search term always gets a lot of people arriving here on my blog. Don’t bait or kill a snake, read this instead. People get killed trying to kill snakes. If you value your life, don’t try it!
To finish this post off, every year some of my old posts get almost as many views as the new posts. Here are the top 10 viewed posts which were not written in 2015.
6. Fake Lasagne
If you have dropped by the blog lately, you might have noticed a couple of new things in the sidebar. A while back, someone asked me if I could put together a list of my favourite blogs. I finally got around to doing that, but then I thought.. I should not stop there. So I have created 4 bundles.
– Favourites – The 100 blogs in my Faves folders.
– Main Blogroll – 152 of the blogs listed on my main blogroll.
– Updated Often – the remaining 16 feeds from my main blogroll who sometimes post more than 2 posts a day.
– Test Drives – All the 315 blogs I am test driving (current as at 30/11)
The reason for the Updated Often bundle is because if I put those blogs in with the other blogs, sometimes you’d see anywhere between 3-16 posts in a row for the same blog which works ok in the bundle but does *not* work ok when I’ve put all these bundles as RSS feeds in the blog sidebar, showing 20 posts at a time for each bundle. So I just pulled those blogs out and put them in their own bundle.
So, if you are looking for new blogs to read, you can check out the bundles. If you click on the links above it will take you to the bundle page where you can scroll through and see if a photo or title catches your eye. This is one reason many people recommend putting a photo with each post. If your feed is partial, people will probably not see any of your images, they might only get a title and some text.
While I was doing the mammoth task above, I also went through the blogroll, updating it to the most current list yet. I added * to the blogs which are in the favourites folders purely to make it easier for me to keep track of them when I update the blogroll in future as the process is a bit of a nightmare.
What is the difference between Main Blogroll and Snoskred Favourites? It is pretty simple. In my feed reader I have many folders. I organise it this way for two reasons – so that I can keep track of the monthly new feeds and so that the blogs can be read in bite size chunks. That is important when you are reading nearly 600 of them. It looks like this –
Blogs in my favourites folders are simply the ones I want to read first. They are the blogs that I sit down with my morning coffee to read and enjoy enormously – both the coffee, and the blog posts.. They originally would have started out in other folders.
It might have been one post – like this one from rusty duck – I remember reading that post and moving that blog to favourites simply because I was intrigued and thinking I want to watch this garden journey.
It might have been a feeling that developed over several posts. It might be once I read the favourites folders, I found myself heading to their folder wondering “Did X post something today?” – that is when I know they have to make a folder move.
It might be that they comment on my blog regularly. It might be that I love the subjects they are writing about. It might be that they own chickens or have gorgeous pets. It might be that I feel a kinship to them. It might be many, many other things.
They are from all kinds of places – Australia, Canada, the UK, Europe, the USA – Hawaii has an unfair share of people in the favourites folder. There are many different kinds of people. They write about many different subjects, food, family, fashion, travel, gardening, chooks, photography, astronomy, living frugally, living life, television and more.
I might not love every post they write. There might be some posts I scroll past quickly. In general though, 99% of their posts I do enjoy.
I usually try to leave test drive blogs in their original folders until their 6 months is up, but there are times I know a blog has become a favourite and I move it ahead of time. October already has 3 blogs which have moved into favourites.
Blogs not in my favourites folders are not less interesting to me, nor does it mean their posts are not read by me. There is every chance tomorrow they will be yanked out of their present folder and into “faves11” which does exist and is waiting for blogs to appear in it.
Blogs in my favourites folder rarely move out of there, and they are rarely unsubscribed from. I will tolerate some things from my favourites which I might not tolerate from a main blogroll blog, and I certainly would not tolerate at all from a test drive blog. Like what, you ask?
There I am, on a peaceful Friday, scrolling through my feed reader.. and all of a sudden, a massive Huntsman photo appears as a surprise to me. Seriously? That is Not Cool, people. I hit unsubscribe within moments, then removed that blog from my blogroll and my Inoreader bundle. My skin was crawling for several hours. Ugh!
As a blogger, I am well aware that people are reading what I write and viewing what I post. I know there are people out there who fear these particular creatures. I would never, ever, post a photo of a snake or a spider on my blog without using a Read More tag. I’d write a little thing at the end of the post that said “Hey, I’m about to post a photo of a spider (snake) so if you are ok with seeing that, you can click here to see it”.
However if a favourite posted a spider pic, I’d be annoyed, sure! I’d still have the skin crawling thing, but I’d get over it and keep reading the blog. This is not an invitation to my favourites to start posting that kind of thing, please don’t do that. ;)
I’m going to try and only touch the blogroll and bundles once a month when I do the new feeds post. Right now, I unsubscribe somewhat willy nilly but whenever I do it, I go in and remove the blog from the blogroll if it was there, and I remove it from the bundles. This has resulted in occasional chaos, so it must stop. :) I might make a new folder and call it unsubscribes, to try and keep track of them.
Recently I went back through all the posts I’d written here on the blog. While looking back I learned some lessons which might be useful to other people, so I thought I would share them with you. :)
I wrote a little about this in an earlier post – Sephyroth Is A Genius – I think the most important lesson I learned was to come up with a decent plan for categories and then stick to it.
Before I learned anything about blogging, my post titles were in general pretty terrible. Sometimes they did not relate in any way to the text of the post. Here are a few examples of crappy titles I once used – Quick Blog – Yeah I know – Eek! – W00t! –
How To Fix This –
Write better titles. Read some articles about writing better titles. In general my titles now tend to give people an idea of what the post itself is about, but I still think I could do better. :)
Sometimes images that I had posted were no longer available. Many of these were my *own* images which Blogger had deleted as a surprise to me. They actually do that fairly regularly. I did not delete any Picasa albums, so I have no idea why my images vanished, and I can’t be bothered trying to figure it out. If a post relied heavily on pictures that were now missing, I had to make the difficult decision to delete those posts and move on.
Also, with some images I had done a bit of a bad thing – back in the days before I knew better – I had “hot linked” to images on other sites. I had no idea that was not the done thing. I know better now. :)
How To Fix This –
Now I keep all my blog images on my own blog, plus I put them into a folder called “posted” when I have posted them, so I could easily find them again if I needed to. Plus, Absolutely No Hotlinking – eg posting an image that resides on another site here on my site.
Blogs disappear. They move without leaving a forwarding address. News articles disappear, too. I had based several blog posts on a post from another blogger or a news article without including enough information – and when the post or news article disappeared, my post no longer made any sense. Those posts had to be deleted.
Take this post – I want to work here – as an example. If the post I had linked to no longer existed, how much sense would that post make? Zero.
How To Fix This –
When I write posts in the future, I need to make sure my posts can stand alone – if I am linking to another post or a news article, it might be an idea to take a screenshot of the article and include that in the post or save a copy of the article somewhere, in case the original disappears. Links should play a supporting role, not be the star of a post I write.
I had to delete about 40 posts where I had posted just a title and a youtube video. In almost all of these cases, the title was something like “I Love This Video” or “This Video Is Awesome” and nowhere in the post did I happen to mention the NAME of the video or the artist. When I went to play the video, I got the youtube message “This video has been removed due to X, Y or Z reason”.
Without a name or an artist or any idea what video I might have posted, it was impossible to fix these posts to resemble the original post. They had to be deleted.
How To Fix This –
Going forward, I will always make sure to include the video name and artist when posting videos.
I mentioned here on the blog a while ago that I was going through my old posts – updating links, making sure videos still worked, and removing some overly negative posts about an old workplace and about one particular family member.
As a part of this process, I realised that my categories were.. not brilliant. Not at all optimal. They really needed someone with a pedantic flair to take a look at them and completely re-do them. Hmm. Who do I know with a pedantic flair? This seemed like a job for only one person on earth – my excellent friend Sephyroth.
So I sent off an email on February 28th..
And on March 23rd, I received me a reply! Parent categories with child categories. This seemed like a good plan.
For some reason I thought I would wait until I finished going through all the posts in order to make the suggested changes. That was a bit of a mistake to be honest. But on the 1st of June I finally finished reviewing all the posts and so I sat down today to begin making the changes.. half an hour later, I sent off another email..
The Other Half helped out by adding the little + and – so that all you will see to begin with is the parent categories. Like this –
If you click on the parent category, you will see all posts for that parent category. I may still do some tweaking in the weeks to follow, but for now I’m happy with the results. YAY! ;)
I made some changes to the right hand sidebar, adding more articles and putting them in different categories.
Sephyroth helped me out once again with the padding on the posts because we had to do a theme update and lost a lot of our changes to the theme as a surprise. This will not happen again as we are now using a child theme, long story and way too technical, but it means things like link colour, text size, and teeny little settings on the blog that readers are not even aware of, like 10 pixels of padding around paragraphs, headings and photos, are in a separate file so future updates to the theme will not cause those changes to be lost.
On the right hand sidebar, The Other Half coded a thing, which means my comments no longer appear in the most recent comments stream. This is great because I often go through and reply to comments in one sitting, so you tend to see a lot of comments from me suddenly.
Wow, what a huge day here on the blog yesterday! Just 3 minutes after the scam warning post went live, on average there were 120 visitors every hour. Interestingly, there was a very Australian skew to the people who were sent this email. Here’s a screenshot taken at midnight AEST..
People from 22 more countries than you can see here dropped by, which makes 32 countries in total. Many of the people who arrived were good enough to take the time to leave a comment with the name and email address and in some cases the email they were sent. Plus, a lot of people sent me emails via my contact page with that info.
I’ve sent an email off to outlook.com to let them know what has been going on, because every email address used was an outlook.com one. Most troubling, they seem to be bot generated.
Let me know in the comments! :)
I love it when bloggers I read and enjoy post about blogs *they* read and enjoy. It happens regularly and I often end up adding the blog(s) they wrote about to my feed reader..
I always mean to write a post about my favourite blogs but never quite manage to get around to it. So today I will like to thank Sammie from The Annoyed Thyroid for writing this post which has pushed me to finally start a new series here on the blog – it will be called –
This will be a series of posts, not just one post. There are so many blogs I love and want to highlight, if I put them all into one post it would be incredibly long.
I’m not really sure yet. I might post about one blog at a time. I might do a post with 3-5 blogs. I might send a little interview request to some of my favourite bloggers and see who replies. It might be a once a week thing, or I might post one when the mood strikes me. We Will See. :)
I actually enjoy *all* the blogs listed on my blogroll.
There are 206 blogs presently listed on my blogroll. That is a lot of blogs! Within that 206, there are some blogs that stand out from the crowd.
These stand outs are blogs that I am super excited to read another post from, blogs and bloggers that I think about when not near my computer, bloggers who say things that stick in my head and pop up in my conversations away from the web, blogs that I look forward to reading and mentally know approximately when the next post should come to me as a surprise.. these blogs end up in..
These blogs eventually get picked out of their folders and placed into what I like to call “Faves” folders – there are now multiple faves folders so I can break up their goodness into small and tasty snacks.
Sometimes new feeds blogs get moved to a Faves folder long before the 6 month test out new blogs time ends. They still get added to the blogroll at the usual time – that is, when I do the new feeds review at the end of 6 months.
Some of the blogs I love make contacting them a little bit difficult – please, bloggers, if you are reading this, make sure you have either a contact form or an email address somewhere that people can easily find it. :) If I can’t reach you via email or a contact form, I’ll leave a comment asking you to email me.
If you are not on my blogroll but I have left a comment on your blog, chances are you are one of the new feeds I am trying out.
In just an hour, I will post the very first Snoskred Faves!
In the meantime, if you want to suggest blogs to me that I should be reading, please do. I value the opinions of my regular readers and commentators and some of your favourite blogs have become my faves, too.
Wills and Kate have a new daughter! YAY! My two favourite Kate-watching sites have excellent posts up about this.
Many more pics on the Daily Mail story – including many pics of a somewhat baffled George when Wills brought him along to meet his new sister, perfectly color coordinated with each other in navy blue. I love how Kate has made blue one of the signature colours of their family.
The new daughter is unnamed as yet. My guess for the name is Charlotte, but it may be a few days before it is announced. The family has already departed the hospital for home..
Here on the blog, tomorrow we start a new blog series. You will see two posts – the first telling you a little about the series and the second will contain the first post in the series.
On Wednesday you will see a couple of photos and videos from my candle burning area.
Also later this week I have a couple of how-to posts planned. One is for those on Blogger which will tell you how to add a subscribe to comments tick box, and the other is for WordPress which will tell you how to add a follow button to a self hosted wordpress site – and I might add in how to do it for a regular wordpress.com site as well, though that is a lot simpler.
Happy moments all round!