Thursday, January 13, 2005
We've heard first hand accounts from the A-List bloggers themselves about the ins and outs, and ups and downs - the emotional life of blogs. But given that there are now over 4 million weblogs, the accounts of a handful of celebrity bloggers can hardly be considered representative. What is blogging really like ? What is it like for the little guy ? The hardy, obscure blogger who, starved of the oxygen of a regular readership, ploughs on joylessly year after year, posting pictures of his/her cat, rambling musings on everyday life or snippets of Emacs Lisp source code, oblivious to the yawning chasm between his deathless prose and any interested readers.
I've been meaning to get a cat...
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Every blogger with a Sitemeter looks at how many hits they get every day and hopes for the number to be higher.
But not all hits are the same. Some are better than others.
The best type of hit is one with an unknown referrer. This usually happens if someone has bookmarked your blog, or is typing the domain name into his browser. This is a reader who actually wants to read what you have to say. This is the best type of traffic.
Check out Instapundit's Sitemeter referrals report. The vast majority of his hits come from people intentionally going to his blog. Not only does he have the highest traffic volume of any blog, but it's also the highest quality traffic.
The worst type of blog traffic is Google (and other search engine) traffic. People who find your blog through Google are probably looking for something else. They will glance at your page and think "oops, nothing I want here" and move on. They create a hit, but they are not a real reader.
For example the guy who recently found my blog using the search term Britney Spears getting fat is not going to become a regular reader. It's a wasted hit.
There really is a post on my blog about Britney Spears and whether or not she's fat. It was shameless of me. Britney Spears is one of the most heavily searched for people on the internet. Writing some posts about her is a surefire way of boosting your Google traffic. I imagine that if you started a Britney Spears Blog, you could rack up some huge Sitemeter stats. But I'm giving away the secret because I don't want to be the Britney Spears blogger.
In between Google referrals and unknown referrals there are referrals from other blogs. These are much better than Google referrals because the person coming from another blog is probably someone who reads blogs, possibly someone who has a blog himself. This type of traffic, unlike the guy searcing for world fattest booty (my Britney Spears post comes up #3 for that search, ugh!), has a chance of becoming a future reader or linking to you from his blog.
Monday, January 10, 2005
Out on news stands sometime this week, there are three whole paragraphs and allegedly a photo of me (I haven't seen the print version yet), in the article "Power to the People" by Andy Serwer.
Andy Warhol would be so proud of me.
(If you found my blog by Googling me after you read the article in Fortune, and you want to get in touch with me in order to offer me a high paying job as a money manager, then please contact me by email using the email address on the side pane. Thank you.)
The old me might have linked to a blog about politics. But since I'm focusing on the irreverant side of the blogosphere, I direct you to the amazing story of a woman's bad date. Read part 1 and part 2 over at a group blog by the appropriate name of The Bad Date Club.
The author of the linked to story says she is a tall blonde attorney. Just my type! Most of the best blogs are written by lawyers (or just law school graduates like myself). Law school may suck, but it does train you how to write.
Sunday, January 09, 2005
In the past, I attempted to show the world how brilliant I was by writing long detailed posts about law, economics, and politics, each post full of amazing insight never seen before. Alas, no one was reading.
And talking about hot female bloggers, check out the rant about the very same hot female blogger at why.i.hate.dc, a blog that has been on my blogroll for a long time because of the blogger's vicious sense of humor.
Yesterday I noted that Sitemeter was down and some bloggers would find it extremely annoying.
Last night, the blogger at Alarming News expressed her great pain over the fact that he bagged a link from Instapundit, but couldn't look at the awesome traffic on his Sitemeter statistics.
Luckily for me, Instapundit has never graced me with a link.
The attempt by Olympus to create a new digital camera standard, which it calls the 4:3 system, has created a huge controversy in digital camera forums. For some, it's as if Olympus is as evil as Satan himself for daring to create a new standard.
The controversy revolves around the size of the imaging chip. A typical Canon DSLR like the 20D has an imaging sensor with a height of 15mm. The new Olympus 4:3 DSLRs, like the E-1 and Evolt E-300 have a sensor height of 13.5mm.
Now if you compare these sizes to traditional 35mm film which has a height of 24mm, or to a typical small non-DSLR digital camera which sports a miniscule sensor of only 5.32mm height, the Canon 20D and the new Olympus E-300 are practically identical to each other.
So why are people outraged at Olympus for a pretty small difference? Well, for many high end digital guys, the Holy Grail of digital cameras is the ultimate creation of digital camers that have imaging sensors the same size as 35mm film. Canon and Nikon have been slapping somewhat smaller than 35mm film sensors into 35mm sized bodies, giving the impression that the ultimate goal was to move back to full 35mm film sized sensors as soon as the technology becomes affordable.
Well Olympus said "no, that's a bad idea," and they created the 4:3 standard with an imaging sensor that has approximately a quarter the surface area of 35mm film. Olympus' marketing material has a much more sophisticated explanation of why their system is superior, and I actually believe most of it. They claim that by designing a sensor exclusively for digital lenses, and digital lenses especially for the digital sensor, this increases system performance. Furthermore, their sensors incorporate an electronic dust remover, which sounds to me like a tremendous convenience.
The history of photography has seen a steady decrease in film size. As film became better, the film got smaller and so did the cameras. When 35mm first came out, people said the quality was too bad for serious use. And probably they were right at the time, but film improved, and today hardly anyone uses camera formats larger than 35mm, although professional photographers are still using medium format. Smaller imaging areas mean smaller cameras and smaller lenses, which means the lenses cost a lot less money and weigh a lot less.
Digital sensors significantly outperform film on a square millimeter basis. I've carefully compared the output of my Sony F707 with a 6.6mm high sensor to 35mm film, and although the film has slightly more resolution, there's no way that it has thirteen times more resolution, which is what it should have if film performed as well as a digital imaging sensor. Maybe it has twice as much resolution.
May people already think that the sensor in the new Olympus E-300 matches or even surpasses the quality of 35mm film, and it will only get better as future techonological advances enable the same sized sensor to get even better performance.
The way I see it, the Olympus 4:3 standard is the way of the future, especially given that it's an open standard and any camera manufacturer is allowed to manufacture compliant cameras and lenses. This is in contrast to Nikon and Canon who try to lock you into their proprietary formats (which will become obsolete when they inevitably create a new digital format just like Olympus did).
So when I finally buy a digital SLR camera, the Olympus E-300 is going to be my number one choice.
Note: information on digital camera imaging sensor sizes came from this informative web page.