Tag Archives: stats

Achievement: Schrödinger’s New Year’s Resolution

schrodingersI like to be different so I came up with a new way of making my New Year’s resolutions. It’s what I do.

My idea? Giving the resolutions a Schrödinger’s twist. (Also one of my favorite cocktails but that’s another story.)

What is a Schrödinger’s Resolution, you ask? Easy.

A Schrödinger’s Resolution is a resolution you can’t know you’ve achieved until you’ve either done or not done it.

I came up with the idea during my imaginary free time.

The resolution was this: Blog less and/or blog more.

Some of you (and I’m speaking exclusively to my other personalities here) noticed that shortly after January 1st something went amiss. You had a little more spring in your step. The world was a little brighter and, dare I say it, seemed a little friendlier. Your ring-around-the-collar was gone.

What happened? It turns out I had achieved my resolution. Victory! The sweet smell of success.

I went with the less is more approach. Trust me on this, it was my gift to you. No thanks are necessary. In fact, you’re so gone you’re probably not even reading this.

Back in The Beginning, everything I read about blogging was pretty straightforward. Blog about what you love. Pick a niche and stick with it. Maintain a regular schedule. Treat your readers with respect.


I gleefully ignored all of those rules except one. Somehow I found the temerity of will to post on a daily basis for several long, tedious years. Yes, it’s true, I backdated a post or two to keep up the illusion. But I stuck with it. And what did it get me? Did my stats slowly grow over time? Did I earn a single penny? Did I get a press pass to the Mitt Romney for President bus? Did I even get a simple bucket of dead hair?

No. My stats plateaued then cratered. And I thought I was doing something different by volunteering for the one-way mission to Mars. I’m already a Pathfinder. It was about as successful as a fart in a hurricane. Then I went screaming naked down a beach but that’s another story.

So now I blog less than I did before. It’s amazing how quickly I adjusted to that new reality. The Streak is done. Gone. Zip. Nada. Bupkis. And you know what? I’m okay with it.

Don’t worry. Stay tuned. I’m sure I’ll be back here pounding the keys again the next time a bit of undigested beef brings me visions. When that happens, be ready. I may have a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, or even a fragment of underdone potato with your name on it.

From here on out it’s nothing but gravy.

Fall Into Foul Blogs

Perchance I shall hawk Chevy Trucks anon, because my blog is steady as a rock.

Nay! That is not a good thing. Forsooth, a curse lies upon this keyboard, methinks.

There are, perhaps, more blog posts about how to blog effectively than there are American dollars comprising the U.S. deficit. I had come across several of these way back in the beginning and learned that if one wanted to grow a blog, a recommended tactic was updating your blog on a regular schedule.
Continue reading →

I’m on a Blogroll

I got boogie fever. Let's do the blogroll dance.

Oh shit. I just noticed my humble blog was on someone’s blogroll under the category heading, “Hilarious.” Come on!!! There has been some kind of serious mistake.

God, no. Now the pressure is really on. Time to crack. But it’s true. Negativity in just the right amounts can be funny. Why is that? I don’t know. Perhaps it is the secret part inside each of us that gets off on seeing the pathetic in others. That might also explain my love/hate relationship with mirrors.

If you happen to have me blogrolled under the “Hilarious” heading, please don’t be offended. Of course I’m not talking about you. I’m talking about the other people who have done it. And I don’t mean this as an insult. Truly, I take it as a compliment. And a sign that you may have licked a few too many lead-paint walls.
Continue reading →

Hit that milestone

Bump ahead

Just a short FYI. Someone walked along yesterday and noticed my humble little blog. I thought their reaction was interesting.

“Boil that dust speck, boil that dust speck!”


So, yeah. Yesterday the blog hit 30,000 “views” as reported by WordPress stats. Whatever a “view” means.

Unfortunately WordPress stats are still not advanced enough to report the number of times my blog has induced vomit.

Maybe I should celebrate with one of those fancy poll things. Which is worse? Visiting the Shouts from the Abyss blog or stepping in poop? Show your work.

Either way, those of you who bravely grab your barf bags and come visit have my thanks. Without you I’d be one damn lonely negativity expert.

Speaking of which, who would have ever suspected my blog was so “luxurious.” Yep,  you read that right. I just saw a book (on my damn bookshelf as it turns out) entitled, “You Can’t Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought.” In other words, negativity is a luxury item! Woot! I knew I was on the right track. I have to say it is rather nice when the universe gives you that kind of positive feedback.

No doubt things are looking up for me! 🙂

Crazy Google ride

Sunday was a crazy day for this humble blog. It was briefly noticed by the outside world.

I woke up and turned on my computer. The top story was one about a horrific accident at an off-road race where a truck went off-course and killed eight people. It was one of those stories where one piece of coverage just isn’t enough. I read several different news sources.

As I did this, I noticed that none of the stories had a word to say about the driver of the truck involved. The driver wasn’t identified, but even beyond that, the journalists didn’t mention a driver at all.

Finally I found a story that said the driver’s name wasn’t being released yet.

This puzzled me. Not that fact that the name wasn’t being released; that seemed routine. No, what puzzled me was the fact that so many journalists seemed to forget that one of the most basic components of any news story is supposed to be “who.” If they didn’t know the name yet they should have included a line saying something along the lines of: “The name of the driver has not been released.”

Good journalism will cover the 5W1H: Who, What, Where, Why, When, and How.

I figured that the omission of “who” by some journalists was probably a combination of a hectic breaking new story and the desire to get the story out in a timely fashion, i.e., to get the “scoop.”

I remembered seeing a picture of the truck in coverage by the Los Angeles Times. I went back and found that photo. The truck was upside down. I loaded the image in Photoshop and rotated it 180 degrees. I was now able to clearly read the words “Misery Motorsports” on the side of the truck.

From there it was an easy trail. First I Googled the MySpace page of Misery Motorsports and got the name Brett Sloppy, age 28. I then determined that the California 200 race was governed by an organization known as MDR Racing. I went to the official MDR web site which was functioning intermittently, no doubt because it was being overloaded by curious visitors like me. On that web site I found a PDF file of race participants and saw that Brett Sloppy was listed. I was now reasonably sure I had the name of the driver.

Now, I’m not claiming this was any Sherlock Holmes caliber of investigation. But it did get me the probable name of the driver. It was still early Sunday morning and I wanted to publish what I had learned. So I monkey-pounded my keyboard and attempted to put my typical Abyss-spin on it. I was careful, however, that when I published the name I noted how I had come by the information and that it was not information that was confirmed.

When I checked on the blog a little while later I realized that my blog traffic was at an unprecedented level. I did some checking and found that I was #2 in Google for the phrase “misery motorsports” (without the quotation marks). For a breaking news story this was huge search engine position. I’m still amazed at how quickly my WordPress postings can get into the Google index. Phrases like “mdr crash” and “brett sloppy” were #2 and #3 for my incoming traffic but very small compared to “misery motorsports.”

Today my search position for these phrases has slipped considerably as big-time web sites like The Huffington Post have now covered them.

Sunday is now officially in the books. Due to this traffic spike my blog set a new single day record. The traffic was 13 times my normal average and I’m still seeing the effects. So far today my blog is already 3 times higher than normal traffic levels.

I have to say I don’t normally go after breaking news stories with traffic in mind, and I was very surprised by this result. It was decidedly not a goal of mine when I decided to add my two cents about the tragic accident. I’m still not sure if the extra traffic is a good thing or not. I suspect that very few, if any, of the people who read yesterday’s post will be intrigued enough to stick around and become regular readers.

Still, I found the experience interesting and thought I’d share a little about how it all went down.

Great Google-y moogly

What are you searching for?

I’m just sitting around today killing some time by putting WordPress through its paces. I’ve been digging through my blog stats.

My #1 post of all-time, by far, is My list of top five angry songs. It is second only to the home page.

Curious, I went and messed around in Google a bit. I finally found that my blog is result #10 for the phrase: angry songs

Wow. If you think about it, that’s pretty good. And it must certainly explain why that particular piece of tripe is my #1 post ever.

Making the top ten results in Google means you are on the first page of results. That is huge.

I’m no SEO (Search Engine Optimization) specialist, but I have learned a thing or two in my travels.

Consider the phrase “angry songs” that I mentioned above. What is so special about it?

First, it is rather generic. In search engine terms, generic means something broad rather than something specific. If you have high placement for a specific phrase, that’s nice, but nothing to get too excited about. If you have high placement for a generic phrase, however, then it might be party time.

For example, right now, my little blog is the #1 result in Google for the search term: tweeturbation. One reason for that might be because I invented that word. (Sadly, though, that same Google search shows someone else invented it, too. And a bit earlier than I did. Is there no such thing as an original idea any more?) Unfortunately, that search term is extremely specific, so my #1 placement isn’t much to get excited about.

Another consideration is the popularity of the search term or phrase. It is no good being #1 for a search term if no one ever looks for it. Obviously “angry songs” must have at least some popularity or else my placement for that phrase wouldn’t make my post the most popular one I’ve ever written. This was, of course, entirely by chance and certainly nothing I ever planned.

Going back to WordPress stats I then displayed my my popular search terms. The phrase “angry songs” has been #1 six out of the last seven days. On the other day the #1 term was “angry songd.” (Most likely because “s” and “d” are neighbors on the keyboard. This shows the importance of misspellings, too.)

If I look at “all time” search terms “angry songs” is again #1 and about four times as high as it’s next closest competition “whatever happened to joaquin phoenix.”

From all this I surmise that two things are very important to my traffic. The first is having regular readers who visit my blog multiple times. To me, that is my bread and butter and is also the most meaningful traffic. That is the traffic that I really care about. But also, getting good placement in Google (and other search engines) for popular search times can really impact the amount of traffic my blog receives. Maybe one out of every couple of hundred random visitors will decide to subscribe or make a comment. Then I have a chance to convert them into a regular reader. If that happens often enough then the sky is the limit. 🙂

I also think posting every day is important, like it somehow keeps that snowball growing and growing. My stats have leveled out a bit of late so I’m hoping persistence will pay off.

New weekly record set in the Abyss

This is just a quickie FYI, cause I don’t want to do too many posts like this. I don’t really like to toot my own horn this much.

Last week this blog achieved a new weekly record in “views.” (As reported by my WordPress stats.) Woot. This beats the previous weekly record by over 30 percent. The previous record was set during some sort of traffic anomaly in November 2009, only two months after this blog had launched.

Thanks to y’all for stoppin’ by. Mighty neighborly of ya.

I may not like to toot my own horn but I do like to text myself. More on that later. 🙂