2010 in review

This post is from an email I got from WordPress and I thought I’d share it.

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 42,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 5 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 33 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 546 posts. There were 66 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 15mb. That’s about 1 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was October 28th with 445 views. The most popular post that day was Simple Halloween Costumes.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, reddit.com, search.aol.com, fivestarfriday.com, and holidailies.org.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for halloween yards, simple halloween costumes, punks, grillz, and jared leto.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Simple Halloween Costumes October 2008
14 comments

2

Tricked Out Halloween Yards October 2006
13 comments

3

Crazy Pranks And Other Things Kids Do While Parents Are Away August 2007
16 comments

4

“Teenagers (Scare the Living Shit out of Me)” November 2006
50 comments

5

When is food too old to eat? January 2009
27 comments

crank crank sputter

Let’s see if I can get this thing started up again, Holidailies starts tomorrow and I’m going to do it again. This is my fifth year.

That means 30 days of blogging. Things I hope to blog about: concert we went to last night, travels over the summer, writer’s block, Greek yogurt, friends and family, concerts we will go to, funny things my dogs do, photography, things that are strange to me, the holidays and how I can’t wait until they are over.

God help you all.

Now go sign up and do this with me. Or ELSE!

Romancing the Blog

Here I am dragging my ass to the finish line of my fourth year of Holidailies, the thing where we promise to blog every day for 31 days straight. This year was very different than the others in that I didn’t feel as pressured to blog.

Over the last four years, I’ve learned there are no Holidailies police, and it is okay to play catch up with posting, for example, post twice in one day because you missed yesterday.

I’ve also learned being behind on posting does not make one ineligible from having a post of theirs selected for “Best of Holidailies.

Someone asked me once if I knew any of the judges. I have no idea who judges the posts or how many of them there are. I do know they read a ton of posts every day, probably about a hundred. I don’t have a sitemeter to stalk down who reads what or how long they stay here, but I do have the WordPress admin panel that tells me I’ve got hits coming from “reader’s pick.” Without fail for every single post, even if it’s a crappy one.

So I’d like to thank you nameless, faceless Holidailies Judges out there, whoever you are. Just for coming here and reading.

I’d also like to thank Jette and Chip for organizing and hosting Holidailies. This project is not only an amazing way to meet new bloggers and get back to reading some old favs, it also keeps my mind on writing. I’ve been really slack about that in the last year and although I never intended to give up blogging, I’ve been so neglectful toward something that has given me so much joy and gotten me through some very rough days.

With Holidailies2009, I fell in love with my blog again.

Thanks to everyone who participated in Holidailies and those who watched from the sidelines. Maybe next year you will join us?

Thanks also to Jennifer at Whispers of Fairydust for creating the above Holidailies badge.

Whatifwhatifwhatif???

Someone asked me a couple of days ago if it’s been hard to come up with something to write every day for the month of Holidailies. I told them has not been hard for me this year. In fact, I have several ideas per day. There just aren’t enough days for them or the time to give them the treatment they deserve.

The subject of writing for instance, that is one of the biggest and most important things in my life right now, but I never write about it or what I write about.

Oh well, anyway, ideas. There are opportunities everywhere. Take my inbox for instance. I don’t usually open junk mail, but just as I was about to hit delete on one from “Federal Bureau of Investigations” I just sat there and stared at it. I knew it couldn’t be from the real FBI, but what if it was?

I couldn’t believe someone had the audacity to impersonate the FBI.

The FBI!

Did I open it?

Hell yeah. It looked like a real letter with an FBI seal on it, street address, all that. The letter claimed I was under investigation for making transactions with a fraudulent Nigerian entity and they were going to help me get my money back. All they needed ws my ATM card number. Talk about kick a dog when he’s down, huh?

Now imagine for a moment that I had actually done such a thing, lost money to one of those internet scams?

What if?

Imagine if I’d sent my ATM card number to this FBI scam artist and lost even more? What if I had an endless amount of money to lose but was running low on pride and patience and thought it was high time I get even with these sonsabitches?

Dammit I love a revenge story. There is no glue that holds a story together better than vengeance.

Would I hire my own investigator and hit man because I’m obviously too stupid to know a con when I see it, therefore couldn’t possibly be smart enough to do that job myself?

I’d have to.

Of course, this main character wouldn’t be “me” per se, I’m being empathic, you know, putting myself in the shoes of someone who’s been screwed twice for being gullible and greedy.

Then the real work begins. How do I get you to like a gullible and greedy person? You have to like them to root for them to win. So, who has never had a moment of weakness, wanted something for nothing and got totally pwned in the end? We’ve all been had at one time or another.

There are endless stories out there waiting to be found, to be told. “What if” is a skeleton key to open the chamber and let them out. That’s one method to the madness.

Blog Mob

Okay, Spanky is sick today so I haven’t had much time to think about what to post.

I have been wondering what those of you who are new to Holidailies this year are thinking about your experience with it so far. Especially if you heard all about it or learned of its existence from my big mouth.

Somehow I imagine this angry blog mob after me for getting them to crack open the blog and write every day during the busiest season of the year. Let me know if should be runnin’ scared or not.

Spill your guts, people. That’s what today is all about.

Off Road Guide to Holidailies

This is my favorite time of year to blog. It’s not that I enjoy the holidays, it’s because of the community writing project, Holidailies. Today is Day One and hopefully there will be a new post here every day until January 6th.

I find I write better during this time, not sure if it is because I’m writing every day or if it’s because I know more people are reading and the participation level is high. Probably both.

Holidailies is a great tool for new bloggers to build a blog. That is how mine took off. The bump in traffic is amazing. The first year I averaged thirty hits per day from there. I don’t know how the other blog platforms operate, but with WordPress, it seems once they see all this action going on, your blog post ends up being one of their top posts, so you get tons more traffic from there.

Even if you have an established blog, it is a wonderful way to keep your readership levels up due to blogger attrition.

It’s always extra special to have a post make it to the “Best of Holidailies” list. I have no idea who judges those and how they do it, but I had two make it on there last year.

What I know about those two posts is the titles were catchy and the summaries were screaming, “you have to read this.” Example: “You’re Standing in Quicksand – But Wait, Let Me Get a Picture of This.”

To make the most of your Holidailies experience, here’s my advice:

Go visit other blogs and leave comments.

Answer people who take the time to leave comments on your blog. A lot of times people keep coming back to see if you’ve answered. Ignore them, and they may never read you again.

Here are things people like to read: conflict, anything about kitchen gadgets, travel tales, how to do something well (recipes- dude, those are hot), How to screw something up (make it funny), and anything artistic.

Posts that go up in the evening when everyone is blogging is a great time to put yours up there. Over a hundred people are fighting for attention. If you post at 3AM like I usually do, your post will end up at the bottom of the stack.

If you have a camera, post some photos of what you’re writing about. For instance, if you got in a wreck, show the damage. I love that sort of stuff when I’m reading other blogs. Photos evidence. If your words don’t match the photo, no big deal, it only means you have a great imagination. I’ll be back to your blog.

Speaking of imagination. If you have a daydream or fantasy? Share that. Those are the best posts, ever.

Wishing you all a happy and successful Holidailies. I look forward to “meeting” every one of you.

It’s That Time of Year Again

Holidailies!

Jette and Chip have amped up the site and signup is underway, go now if you want to participate. Last year there was a limit on number of participants, not sure if it will be that way this year, so hurry if you want to get in.

This is a blog ring in which participants agree to blog every day for a month. It’s a great way to find new blogs and be found. I find it helps me get through a stressful holiday season.

This year it begins on December 5th and ends January 6th, but time for signup is right now at Holidailies.

Why you looking at me like that? Go sign up now!

Accusé

Have you ever left a comment on a blog and just seconds after hitting “submit” regretted it and wanted to take it back because you felt like you might have made a complete fool of yourself?

I have.

Now I’ve been accused of a lot of things in my life, but today was the first day anyone ever accused me of not being a Cajun.

And they did it here on this blog.

Here’s the comment someone left on my “About Me” page:

I’m sorry but i have grown up Cajun AKA coonass and I believe you’ve grown up somewhere in Shreveport LA, Which is not Cajun . Your video of the Cajun viral video of the guy that sounds more like a Mexican is freaking stupid. Please before you call your self Cajun please make sure you really are one.

Thanks
Dustin Bordeaux

While I found that completely hilarious, I got all fired up and responded:

You must be talking about Poo Poo Broussard who is just about the hottest thing in Cajun Country right now.

I did not grow up in Shreveport, I grew up near Lafayette. And a little down Bayou Lafourche. I can cook gumbo, catch and boil crawfish, fish oysters (and eat them raw), let’s see… skin a nutria, you better watch out boy, I can give you a good ass whuppin too.

Now behave on this blog, I know yo mamma didn’t raise you to talk like that.

Later I got to thinking that maybe someone was pulling my leg to get a reaction from me. OhmyGod, have I made a fool of myself? Come to think of it, someone had left a comment very recently over at Clair’s blog, something about her not being a Cajun (she is).

Then I thought, maybe it is the same person going all around the internet targeting Cajuns and questioning their roots to start some kind of flame war?

And that just totally cracked me up. If you want to start a riot, go try that. See if you come out of that with your skin intact.

Turns out it wasn’t the same person. The video he’s referring to is probably the one in the post “My Sorry Ass Cajun Christmas.” My sleuthing skills tell me the commenter landed on my blog by looking up “how to debone a turkey.”

Been dere, done dat.

Be First

I noticed WordPress has a new template especially for photoblogs, so I started a new blog where I will post photos. So far I have six hits!

But no comments yet. So haul it over there and be first. Or else! The Cuckoo’s Nest

Let me know what you think of the title. It’s early, so I can change it to something else if that one is not good.

With this photoblog I am looking for constructive criticism to help me take better photos. There won’t be much writing over there, just working on photo skills.

 

I Promise Not To Bore You With This One

Michele tagged me with the infamous page 123 meme. You grab the nearest book and jot down three sentences after the fifth. Maybe including the fifth.

I grab the nearest book which is not mine, it’s Blane’s. Nikola Tesla’s My Inventions. (Click on the photo for link)

It does not have a page 123.

Next book.

Nikola Tesla Colorado Springs Notes 1899-1900.

Oh my. Does a mathematical formula count as a sentence?

I’d lose most of you if I wrote those three sentences, I know, because I got lost, myself.

So lost I want to give up and ditch this post. Thing is, it’s not my nature to give up on anything. I’m the rescue freak. The angel of lost causes. There is also this strong desire to turn this around and make this entertaining.

Tesla? The electricity geek? Entertaining?

Hell yeah. Let’s go back to the first book, the one without 123 pages. Tesla’s autobio. Where is it? I think Blane took it with him and he will not be back until tomorrow (I started this post yesterday)

To Myself: Finish this, Kitty.

Okay. I’ll paraphrase. There was something in there around page seven where Tesla wrote that his mother, at the age of sixty had fingers that were so nimble she could tie three knots in an eyelash.

I am changing this meme. This time around, those tagged have to tie just one knot in an eyelash. No books. No looking for quotes. No excuses.

I dare: Dailytri, Ginny, TigerWillow, Michele, and Max (today is her birthday, go get some cake).

This is not a stunt to get you to link me. In fact, you are forbidden to link back this post. Wait. This could turn into some famous thing. This could be groundbreaking.

Link me baby, one more time.

No, seriously, don’t link. This is not groundbreaking. Just tie a knot in an eyelash. If you do, your fingers are more nimble than mine or you have camel lashes.

That is one thing I can’t do.

Double Dog Dare Ya

Blogging every day for a month was a little difficult but fun. I can’t keep up with that pace, however, and I do think people need a break from my blog so they can go read and comment on other things out there.

For those of you from Holidailies who would like to continue to blog every day, I double dog dare you to sign up for a year-long blogathon at   Blog 365.

Last time I checked, about 800 people had signed up for the deed.

Max over at Celluloid Blonde blogged every day last year. Go Max! She did it on her own, though, without a group. I hope she continues to blog every day. Reading Max is sort of like my morning paper. She usually posts about the same time every day which is about 2 AM for me. Sometimes I find myself at the computer waiting for her next post to come out.

Hope you all have a great 2008.

Presents For Everyone!

Merry Christmas!

While I am cooking the big Christmas feast I’m thinking, what could I give you for Christmas? I would like to thank you for reading, what can I do? Hmmm…

Okay, I have a few things.

Look under my blog tree.

Choose one present and click on it. What did you get? [edited note: the presents were all taken home, so the photo links are no longer active, come back next year.]

If you are reading this in a feed, you have to click on my blog so you can see the snow. The cool dude at WordPress made a snow widget. Come see.

Now have yourself a Merry Christmas and thanks for stopping by.

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The Search Term That Broke My Heart

About once a week I get bored and look into my WordPress admin panel to see what search terms people are using to find my blog. Some of them can be hilarious, others a little sickening, and then some I get frustrated about because I actually want to answer this someone out there.

Around this time last year, someone found my blog by typing into Google, “Is Santa Ture [true]?” I imagined some little kid with the power of the world wide web at his fingertips. A kid maybe afraid of not getting presents if he dared ask in “real life.” A kid who thinks he knows where to go to find the answer to everything.

So I just did a Google search on that question with the word spelled correctly and it looks like everything on that first page is going to leave that kid right where he started.

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How The Grinch Stole Holidailies!

I know, it sounds lame, Holidailies. That’s what I thought when I first heard it about a couple of years ago. Bloggers promise to post once a day for the month of December. Probably a bunch of cookie-baking stay-at-home moms who think of nothing all year long but food, decorating and rosy cheeked children.

Oh, and who despises that Season more than me? And how can it be of any value if a couple of days ago, on this very blog, there was only a brief post about it?

You know that hole in the wall restaurant you love? That is what Holidailies is like. You’ll see.

I was new to blogging last year, had just lost my brother, and was getting ready to face the darkest holiday season of my life. I needed to force myself to do or witness one positive thing every single day. Then write about it. If I didn’t show up one day to write about it, all my blog friends who knew about this “challenge” of mine could ridicule me. That couldn’t happen. (Okay they threatened, but they would never have done that to me).

So I set up these posts before going to bed and the next morning, there were comments from complete strangers. Every day was like waking up to presents under a (cough) tree. So I clicked on these commenters’ links and read their blogs. Wow. These people weren’t cooking-baking ladies. These were people from all backgrounds writing profound things such as, “Fuck Me, I’m Finished!” (That was a post by a girl in London who had just typed the last word on her novel.)

I made it, 31 days of posting. I realized at the end of the project that Holidailies was the biggest thing that helped me pull through that season.

Now who is this Holidailies Grinch? I won’t tell you her name, but she was “with” me through the big challenge last year. Cheering me on to the finish. This year, however, just after I’d posted that I committed to the challenge again, she had something on her blog about Holidailies, that it has writing prompts and if someone needs ideas on what to blog about, they shouldn’t be blogging. (not those words exactly, if I used her words, I’d have to rat out her name. No.)

KABOOM! (that’s my bubble bursting)

She didn’t mention my name, but wow, did she think I used crib sheets last year and was not really blogging?

I didn’t. Not once, not that there is anything wrong with it. Most posters only use them only when stuck. We want to be original, we want our posts to be in “The Best of Holidailies.”

I believe Holidailies is for people just like Grinch. So I challenge her to sign up and just TRY it for 10 days. No posting quizzes, either. Real posts, new ones, not something from a previous blog or website. It is not too late to sign up.

This post was highlighted today in The Best of Holidailies!

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Holidailies!

What is Holidailies? It is a community writing project. You don’t have to be a writer, you just have to write. It is free, and anyone can join.

Last year I did the “portal participant” thing where I had to update my blog every day and send in a summary of my posts. You don’t have to join that part of the project, you can join a lighter version of it.

Click on the logo below for more info.

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Cinemagypsy Must Be Destroyed

Eventually, I suppose, that is what’s going to happen. Bloggers drop out like flies after just a few posts, some last a year, some a little longer. Few go on for years.

I never thought mine would last this long. At first, it was an uncomfortable thing, putting up things about my personal life for anyone to find. I knew people would judge me, my family. My writing. That’s what people do.

These days, I don’t even think about that anymore.

So many people out there say, “My life is not interesting enough to blog about,” when I encourage them to start one. I don’t believe this. Everyone’s life is interesting. Not every second of it, certainly not mine. Cut to the good part and share. Or the bad part. You don’t have to write just about your life, you could write about something you saw. The lives of people you know. Teach somebody out there something.

I try to stick to my own life here because friends and relatives read to keep in touch. Most of them have never left a comment, perhaps they are afraid they, too, will be judged. I get a lot of emails from them, and that’s cool. (Keep them coming)

Now for something interesting.

Tonight, Tonight. We are taking the girls to see a Smashing Pumpkins concert. It’s a show that was supposed to take place on Nov. 3rd but was rescheduled. It’s their last concert on this tour and I’ve read the Pumpkins do some special things at their final shows. We’re excited about it, have had the tickets for months. Either Spanky or I will tell you all about it in the next few days.

If I outgrow and decide to destroy this blog one day, there will be plenty of notice. It won’t be any time soon.

Visiting Hour

At least once per day I check all my peeps’ WordPress blogs. I used to just go to my own blogroll and click each one individually. I like looking at a blog on the writer’s homepage.

I knew about WordPress’ blog surfer (RSS reader for WordPress only blogs) on my admin page, but never used it until a few weeks ago. So if you are one of my WordPress pals and don’t see the usual click a day from me on your blog stats page, it doesn’t mean I’m not reading you. I am, in fact, with blog surfer, I don’t miss any posts unless you post more than once per day. I’m also using “My Comments” in the admin panel to keep up with comments I’ve left on your WordPress blogs.

Using blog surfer and my comments does not show up as any statistic on WordPress, btw, not since they put an end to feed stats.

Keep blogging people, it’s a nice break for me while I’m bricking it here, writing in my dark cave.

Blane’s Got a Brand New Blog

I’m always talking people into starting a blog. It’s a great place to exercise the brain cells, to keep in touch with friends and family, to vent, to inform, to show off photos of things you’re proud of…

Or just to have a place to talk about some things. I don’t think I would have survived the past year had I not started blogging.

There is something I need to say right now. To all of my friends, family, and strangers who have come here week after week through all those bad times, I thank you for giving me so much strength and sticking around for the good times.

Finally, my husband, Blane has decided to enter the blogosphere. His blog is a little differerent, it is about martial arts, something he has studied with our son Blane Jr. for some years now. He hasn’t given me the okay to link him just yet as he’s still working on it. Sorry about that.

I’m sure since he is competitive he’ll be hounding me for my blog stats. No doubt his will pass mine in no time, but that is not such a big deal with me. I’m not a competitive person. He is, though. I found that out the first time I beat him at cards. He accused me of cheating!
It’s not about winning or losing, it’s about how much fun you have doing it. How much you learn from it. How much others learn from it. Sharing.

That is me, a long long long time ago.