pen rainbow

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Holiday—The Best of Don't Steal My Pen 2011

My favorite posts from 2011

A year of blogging

The Many and The Few
I wrote 133 blogs in 2011.  Actually, I wrote 134, but I deleted a Thursday mini-blog from last March because the link was disabled by the person who posted it on You Tube after it went viral.

134 blogs over 12 months averages out to 11 posts a month.  A respectable number for me anyway, and I fulfilled my goal of writing on a regular basis.

Some months were more prolific than others.  I wrote 18 blog posts per month in January, March, and April.  I was least productive during the summer and the fall months when vacations and holidays took over.  I posted only once in August when we attended the Star Trek convention in Vegas for the first time.  We were traveling, and we had visitors that month.  Participating in real life trumps recalling it on the computer.

Notably, I did not post on Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, or New Year's Day.   I don't write at night because it keeps my brain awake and messes with a good night's sleep.  If I miss my daytime window for blogging, then it gets pushed into the next day.

I posted only three times in November mostly because I was painting my living room.  Two and a half weeks later, I had brilliant white walls, gleaming new floorboards, and a spiffy new artichoke lamp hanging over the dining room table.

After I finished my painting project, I spent a week in Boulder City and Searchlight helping my mom paint two bedrooms and a bathroom at her place.  The following week was Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then New Year's.  It WAS a fast year!

The Little Blog That Could
Don'tStealMyPen started the year randomly.  I posted whatever was on my mind.  By the end of January, the basic structure of my blog began to emerge.  I was committed to blogging four times a week, Monday through Thursday, and each day had its own theme.  As the year progressed, I got better at using the editing tools, and Blogger continued to add new features that made it easier to use.

In March I opened up a WordPress version of DSMP called, Don't Steal My Pencil.  I was frustrated with glitches in Blogger's editing code, and WordPress had a more professional look, so I gave it a try.  My efforts did not amount to much.  WordPress also has its share of minor glitches, and I was already used to navigating Blogger, so I stuck with what I knew.

My Bloggy Stats
Blogger has a nice little feature that individually tracks interest and activity on blogs.  It looks at current, daily, weekly, monthly and all-time levels.  I can track traffic sources by url referrals, and I can tell which of my blog posts got the most pageviews.  I can also find out generally where the interest is coming from and which browsers and operating systems are linking to my blog.  Neat, huh?

Here are my 2011 stats:

All-time pageviews
Viewed 3,252 times in the US (not including my own); viewed 232 times in Denmark.  Most of the rest are autospammers from other countries.

Pageviews by Browsers
1,477 (32%) on Safari
1,387 (28%) on Firefox
1,220 (25%) on Explorer
390 (8%) on Chrome

The rest are spam related.

Pageviews by Operating System
2,275 (46%) by Windows
2,224 (45%) by Mac
113 (2%) by Linux
96 (1%) by iPad (thank you, Steve & Heidi)

The rest are from Unix, iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, iPod, and BeOS

Traffic Sources
Mostly from facebook & google.  The most searched key words besides "Don't Steal My Pen" were "whole foods cedar wrapped salmon."  I mentioned it in one of my food blogs.

Most Pageviews
Mini-Post Thursday: Rescue Chocolate (10 Febr 2011) was viewed 81 times (most viewed)
Searchlight Wind Energy Project (18 Jan 2011) was viewed 56 times (second most viewed)
i ❤ Rhubarb (6 July 2011) was viewed 32 times (least viewed)

Beginning Year Two
At the end of 2011, I've done a lot of research and learned a lot about blogging.  I've kept it mostly positive, except for the occasional rant about facebook and the TSA (which they totally deserved).

It is fun to look back on the events and topics that captured my attention during the year.  They represent a timeline of personal and technical progress.  I look forward with great affection and enthusiasm to another year of Don't Steal My Pen blog.

My Favorite DSMP Blogs of 2011

Vintage valentine redux by dsmp

Monday—The Reading Corner: Valentine Monday
10 Literary Ways to Say "I love you"
14 February 2011

Elegant expressions of love...

ever thine
ever mine
ever ours
—Ludwig van Beethoven, 7 July 1812.  Letter to his "immortal beloved," Antonie Brentano

Tuesday's Cupboard—Hearty Tomato & Swiss Chard Soup with Hummus Toast
26 October 2011

My last food blogs are my favorites, mostly for technical reasons.

1.  They are organized, focused, and well documented with photos.

2.  Earlier posts did not have a printing option.  Believe it or not, a simple widget for printing recipes on Blogger was not available when I started posting in January.  I discovered Printfriendly mid-year and was able to add printing links to my posts.  Today, I discovered that the clever folks at Printfriendly developed a Blogger print widget, which I have added to my blog template.  That means that every post now has a simple print option at the bottom!  Thank you, Santa.  I've been wanting one of these all year.

Wednesday—Good For You, Good For The Home
Eco-Fabric China & Stemware Storage Cases & Ojavàn Aromatherapy Bath Salts
2 February 2011

I liked this one because like the products, the post itself is clean, well-organized, easy to understand, and just the right size.  Ojavàn posted a link to this post on their website (under customer satisfaction), so I guess they liked it, too!  I remember writing this post and feeling like I'd hit my stride.  Home maintenance and self care were focus areas that I could write about regularly, and I was now generating a blog that was relevant, topical, and interesting enough to read.

Thursday Mini-Post:  Today's Funny Trending Tweets
26 May 2011

I often end up on twitter looking for a Thursday mini-post.  Don't Steal My Pen is also my screen name on twitter, and I check regularly to find out what the daily trends are.  Sometimes, they are interesting, and I will stay for a while, adding my tweets to the tweetstream.  Other times, twitter is full of hos, gang-bangers, meth heads, sex fiends, and drooling morons.  At least, it seems that way; they also appear to be regulars, but it's easy to ignore them.

Twitter is a social network that is entirely different from anything else out there.  I like it for the exact same reason that I hated it when I first started tweeting.  It is full of twits, but it also has a solid core of very funny and immensely clever, entertaining participants.  It is the Wild West, but there are pockets of online civility.  It has rules, and it has outlaws.  It is fast and in real time.  I used to protect my tweets and send them out to a trusted group of twitter friends.  But, the real fun happens when you let loose, go public, and jump in head first.

The tweets in this post were part of a 2-day trending topic called "lessinterestingbooks."  They made me LOL…  Harry Potter and the Forged Excuse Note for P.E.  

Friday's Art Gallery—Street Art
29 October 2011

I liked this post because it was the first of a new blogging theme that was added in October.  In spite of its dreary grayness and its soul-sucking freeways, the San Francisco Bay Area is a creative place to live.  The art here has an edge, and it can be found in many places.  Friday is a great day to lighten up, look around, and appreciate art.
The painting has a life of its own.  ~Jackson Pollock