Blogging metapost

Google Analytics - Number NerdImage by LollyKnit via FlickrI’ve had this blog for… …holy crap, for four years. In the beginning it was pretty bare, just single-line posts about things I wanted to buy or things I had already used and thought were cool.

In the last few months I’ve tried to flesh my posts out a bit more and post more often, with mixed success.

I’ve come to see it as a sort of game. There’s no opponent (I refuse to compete with the entire rest of the Internet) so it’s a bit of a solitary game. You start the game with a PageRank of 0 and the goal is to get a PageRank of 10. I refuse to resort to any kind of SEO, so it’s all about whether I can produce good enough content to get the attention of the world. So far the answer is “not really”. I have got a PageRank of 3, which is better than I ever thought I’d do, but there’s a long way to go. I don’t really have any really good backlinks, and no RSS subscriptions.

For me, the most fun part of the game is checking how well I’m doing every day. PageRank changes slowly, so that’s no fun, but between Google Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics and Google AdSense, I get some interesting feedback.

When something happens like my Amazon pre-order of GTA IV shipping unexpectedly early, rather than telling someone, my first thought is to blog it. Not because I’m so short of real-life friends or I think there’s anyone out there that cares, but because it gives me some content and I want to see what that’ll do to my standing in the game.

I had an interesting experience a few weeks ago, when the Call of Duty 4 map pack came out and I couldn’t download it because of an Xbox Live error. I blogged about it, and had the biggest spike in my visitor stats because of everyone else having the same error and googling it. Of course my post wouldn’t help any of those people because I don’t know what the error means or what to do about it, so I wouldn’t hold it up as an example of good content. But it did get me a spike.

Another interesting thing is how many visitors I’ve had because of my posts about having invites to private betas (Twine, Xobni, socialthing, EverNote). Again, not the best content, but visit magnets.

It’s interesting that pretty much nobody has ever clicked on the AdSense ads on my blog. I wonder whether that’s because the ads weren’t appropriate (Google’s fault) or whether my readers all run AdBlock (nobody’s fault) or whether ads appropriate to my posts weren’t interesting (my fault)…



GTA IV Pre-Order shipped late

Advertisement for the computer game Grand Theft Auto IV, painted on a wall in New York City's Chinatown District.Image via WikipediaIt seems my previous optimism was unfounded, and Amazon have burned me again. Not quite as badly as previous times – when I didn’t receive the game until a week after the release date – but still…

Let me just state my expectations here – when I pre-order a game, I want it to arrive on the release date. Not ship on the release date.

Come on, GTA IV is the biggest release in a long time – they must have anticipated the rush and shipped copies of the game to retailers in advance. This isn’t an obscure product.

The current shipping status shows it arriving tomorrow. Good enough, I guess.