Blogging to Nowhere

cat /dev/brain > /dev/null

Giving this site an overhaul…

Things are changing…

I’m currently in the process of giving this site an overhaul, with the intention of increasing the number of visitors I get. I’m also going to experiment with various ways to try and support the site (with the eventual aim of making the site self sufficient). So far I’ve changed a couple of things:

  • I’ve added a proper image gallery thanks to the NextGEN Gallery plugin. This isn’t really intended to increase visitor numbers but gives me an easier way to share my photos, without surrendering them to Facebook! You can view my public gallery now, but I still need to upload more photos.
  • I’ve switched away from Google Analytics, to a self hosted Piwik instance. This lets me take control of my tracking data and for visitors to my site it means that your usage data stays between you and me, without Google butting in! I’m also going to add the opt-out button to the side bar for anyone who really doesn’t want to share their data. So far I’m really pleased with Piwik, hopefully I’ll review it when its been running for a bit longer.

Here’s what’s in the pipeline:

  • Removing Google Ads: basically they’re not making me any money and I’m increasingly objecting to the tracking/profiling they do. I’m going to replace them with AdBard, but I’m still waiting for my account to be approved.
  • I also want to experiment with Flattr: which as well as hopefully making me some money, will allow me to give something back to other people producing content I like.
  • A new site theme: probably a modified version of an already available theme. I want something clean and I want to be able to personalise it easily. Suggestions will be gratefully received! (via the comments on this post).
  • More pages: I really need a better about page and I also want to do a digital CV. I’m also thinking about project pages for the coding projects I’m working on.
  • More content: obviously, the secret to getting more visitors lies in having more quality content. I happen to think my content is of good quality and some of it scores pretty highly in related google searches. I just need more of it! This comes down to having the time to blog and stuff to blog about. I’m trying to set aside more time for blogging and think of more topics to blog about. Be prepared to see a wider range of content hopefully appearing soon.

I’m approaching this, as I initially approached blogging, as an experiment. I don’t know how far I’ll get, but I’ll report on my progress as I go. If anyone has anything they want to share or their own experiences from promoting their own site, please feel free to comment.

Category: Uncategorized
  • David Marsden says:

    Ooh, thanks for the NextGEN Gallery tip, I’ve been wanting something like that for ages for my own blog. Do you use or recommend any of the NextGEN Gallery add-on plugins?

    And thanks for trying to help me with Pikwik – I will get around to it later this decade, but it all feels like too much work (and stress) for me at the moment.

    I really like the idea behind flattr, it just seems to need more people using it, so I would say go for it. It would be nice to be able to thank people for valuable work in a small monetary way in addition to saying thanks :-)

    I would recommend the Dojo theme, which I use, but I use it, so you can’t! :-p

    If you want a dark theme, SimpleDark 1.2.5 looks nice, although I don’t know how customisable it is.

    January 13, 2011 at 7:56 pm
  • Rob Connolly says:

    Hi David,

    Thanks for the feedback. Currently I don’t use any extra plugins for NextGEN. I was trying to use the Access Manager plugin, but it requires the latest version of NextGEN from VCS, which I couldn’t be bothered to install!

    Thanks for the theme tips, I’ll be sure to look into them. The theme on your site certainly looks similar to what I’m after.

    Thanks again,

    Rob

    January 14, 2011 at 11:10 am

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