Saturday, February 04, 2006

Blog Blogging

Today has been rather dreary here in Washington, with steady rain since this morning. A little while ago I even heard a few thunderclaps - unusual for February. So instead of posting about a birding adventure, I will offer some blogging notes.

Big Month

January was the first month since September that this blog has had over 1,000 visitors. In fact, it broke September's record, which until last month was a lonely spike on the graph.

Recent Search Referrals

At first my blog received very few referrals from search engines. But as it has grown and had time to be indexed by the search engines, it has been getting more and more hits from searches - not just from Google (and its blogsearch function), but also from Yahoo!, MSN, and others. Most are what one would expect; "birding" is probably the most common keyword to lead people here. But some are unexpected.

These do not quite compare with some of the searches leading people to Science & Sarcasm or especially bootstrap analysis, but are not quite what I would expect to bring people here.

Oddly enough, the most popular search term leading people to my other blog is "Senator Menendez." I suppose that information about him is in great demand right at the moment, but all that traffic is due to one short post.

Firefox Blogging

I have been experimenting a bit with some Firefox extensions I added recently, in particular Greasemonkey, which allows users to alter webpages with java script. (Many scripts can be found here.) I found one that may be useful for those of us who use the Blogger web interface to write and edit posts. One of the things that Blogger lacks is an automated way to add tags and categories to posts. This script adds Technorati tags - including multiword tags - as a bulleted list at the bottom of a post. Now if only I could find one that made trackbacking work properly....

Another extension that I have found useful recently is Performancing, a blog editor that sits inside the browser window but allows one to write posts offline. I have already noted that this is useful for writing link posts or comments about article or website. The one downside for Blogger residents is that any pictures have to be inserted through Blogger's web editor. (From what I understand, this is actually Blogger's fault.) But for people who write longer posts or write several drafts before publishing, using this or another offline editor is probably a good idea given Blogger's recent instability.