Archive for category Uncategorized
Ugh. I get so frustrated sometimes with this internet business. I have worked very hard on the new look for InDepthInfo. My objective was to eventually shift all of the site over to the new look. However, the two folios that I have turned over to the new look have dropped in traffic by nearly a half. This does not augur well for the new look. Also, I can’t seem to figure out why it is happening.
The structure of the code in the new look is substantially the same as the old, although the look is somewhat different. I was very careful to keep the same titles, descriptions and keywords. I did update the text somewhat, but this is always going on at InDepthInfo and never has such a drastically negative effect. The only major differences I can pinpoint are the fact that I now use style sheets. Which I did not before. Also, I had a navigation bar at the bottom of the page as well as the top, and do not now.
All of this seems very minor. I can hardly believe the smack down in traffic as a result. My next experiment is going to be to add an additional navbar to the bottom of the page. I am not one of those people who obsesses over Search Engine O****zation. But when my websites take this kind of hit after a structural and user friendly improvement I have to be concerned.
If you have any suggestions, let me know.
I have been recently upgrading folios on InDepthInfo to the “new” format. Anything over nine years old has been getting a facelift. One of the folios that I have been working on is Weekdays, which describes the days of the week, telling how they came about and any holidays that are associated with them.
In order to make sure that the new format does not effect traffic, I have had occasion to monitor the folio pretty closely. What I found was that Saturday gets the least traffic of all the individual day pages. Believe it or not Wednesday is the most popular. Now, all things being relatively equal, why would this be?
This is my theory, Saturday is also the day of the week that InDepthInfo gets the least number of hits. It is the day that many people are busy mowing their yards, going on dates, eating BBQ, or relaxing with a good book. (Not me, of course. I am always working.) People are too busy on Saturdays to click a Saturday link. Also being the last day of the week, anyone doing research on the days of the week, will be most likely to give that day short shrift. Another strange thing about Saturday is that it was the only day of the week to retain its Roman name after the Barbarian invasions of England. Even the Norsemen paid less attention to it!
Finally, I think Saturday has a certain mystique about it that most people don’t want to destroy by having too much knowledge. But then again, in my mind you can never know too much!
I have been researching gluten for an article on InDepthInfo. In the course of work on it, I was surprised to find that I manifest many of the symptoms of Celiac Disease. It is interesting how often, when I write or read of something, that I apply the information directly to my own case.
This, of course, is natural. But I try not to be too effected by it. However, in this case there were too many ahaa’s going off in my brain. I wrote the article yesterday and decided to try to go gluten free this morning, at least for a few days to see how it makes me feel. So far, I have a frontal lobe headache, but that may simply be due to not having had enough caffein for the day.
I try to put all the essentials about Gluten and Celiac Sprue in my article, but it is impossible to cover everything. I found a great resource for links dealing with gluten free issues.
I am also toying with the notion of adding a whole gluten free section at the BreadInfo site.
I make periodic sweeps of my previous writing, webpages, etcetera. The oject is to improve the site structure or update some of the ideas or facts. For the last week I have been taking an hour per day out to work on my “best selling” Real Man’s Cookbook.
I hit one particular article about bean soup. It is loaded with thinly, very thinly, veiled references to a particular scatological subject variously known as tooting, beeking, and cutting the cheese. At the time I thought it quite comic. Now, I still find it mildly funny. But that is human nature.
I remember a long time ago, while I was in college. I received a letter (yes, it was that long ago) from my brother. The whole thing was about fishing and the various words and expressions available for “dropping a load”, “taking a dump”, “pinching a loaf” or what have you. At the time, I laughed until water came to my eyes. I laughed some more, until water spilled over. I laughed so much that my stomach hurt. I thought this missive such a classic bit of humor that I tucked it away the way and preserved it the way a monastery preserves the bones of a Saint.
About a year ago, I had leisure to dig up this epistle from my hallowed files. I reread it expecting the laughter to come again. Yet looking it over left me rather flat. Perhaps my expectations were too high. Perhaps my juvenile sense of humor has been left behind. I don’t know. I do know that my sensibilities have changed somewhat.
On rereading the article I had written for the Real Man’s Cookbook, I debated on whether I should remove it from the website. (I can’t remove it from the book, it is published.) Then I decided that even though the harsh winds of change may blow, that something should remain behind, a mere whiff of vital essence to remind us of those days gone by, ephemeral as the passing of gas.
I have some very old websites. Some were designed in the late 90′s. That seems like ancient history now. Most of them still do pretty well traffic-wise. Yet they seem to be drifting lower and lower in the search engines. To discover why this might be, I recently took a hard look at a couple of my sites. My, oh, my, what a mess!
When I first started out, I used a WYSIWYG editor from M-Soft that was an add-on to Word. “Holy Mixed Up Code Batman!” For some reason there are no header tags. Lots of center tags. All the code is in caps. No tags were closed unless absolutely necessary. AAAAAAghggh!
I decided to try to manually clean some of it up. I spent a day and a half on one site The Real Man’s Cookbook. Which is the online version of my best selling (for me) published work. I’m not sure if it’s worth slogging through. As it is the changes are not even cosmetic. That would take weeks.
What it really needs is a thorough re-design. But I have so many projects already in mind that this one will have to wait.
In case you did not know, it turns out that Firefox does not recognize “text-align: center;” for tables or the body. I read in some blog that this bit of code is not compliant. But au contrair (as they say in France), I shot this code through the code compliance tool at W3C before I put it into effect. But browsers evidently don’t care that much about standards. In any case mozilla has its own centering code, but it does not work in IE. Turns out there is one code that works in all browsers:
Remember to check your code on all the various browsers. You can work very hard to get your web pages w3c compliant. Yet even if they meet those rigid standards and render well in one browser that does not mean that they will render well in all browsers.
I always check a webpage every time I upload anything, whether it is a bit of text or an image. I had an XO in the Navy by the name of Dougherty who used to say, “You can only expect what you inspect.” I have taken that on as one of my mottos, and as long as I have followed it, it has served me well.
The season for planting tomatoes is coming up. Spring is here. The winter this year was so long and drawn out that I found myself longing for a spade, some black earth and a flat of tomato plants.
My favorite way to indulge such passions is to create a folio for InDepthInfo on the subject. Thus, I have put together InDepthInfo on Tomatoes.
InDepthInfo seems to continuously evolve. There are parts of it that are ten years old, as I pointed out in a previous post, I seldom find the time to bring the older sections up to the new look. The tomato website took me three weeks to put together and it exhibits my philosophy on information presentation. It starts with an overview that serves as a kind of table of contents, and some of the pages delve down to subsections (such as the page on growing tomatoes). Other pages branch (such as the page on cooking). Meanwhile there are tangential references to other folios and articles throughout. I think it gives the whole tomato site an organic feel. At the same time it is relatively easy to navigate.
My idea is to present information in an easy to use, straight-forward manner, but at the same time retain the nuances and the depth that is important to more advanced readers.