King Google the Generator

When it comes to referrals Google is still the absolute king (at least on this site).

Lindisfarne MonksThe following chart shows the percentage of visitors that I received by location for all of last year.

At 62% Google generates, by far, the most traffic. Those young pretenders to the throne Twitter, Facebook and even linkedin barely register on the radar, I get more traffic from all of the people using an RSS reader:

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Is there any wonder people give so much attention to their Google ranking!

I've put the pictures back

As part of trying to resolve some performance problems on this site I got rid of the pictures in the header.Over the last couple of days I’ve put them back along with some new ones because some people commented that they missed them.

You might be wondering where some of them are, others are a bit more obvious:

This is San Francisco harbour.

This is Grasmere taken from a beach at the Rydal end. It was taken just before we went swimming on a lovely summer evening.

Lavender in our garden which is a favourite with the local bees.

Another garden picture.

On holiday in Italy we were at the top of the Tower of Pisa as the sun set. This is the view back towards the duomo.

A more local picture this time, taken at Cobble Hey gardens in the Through of Bowland.

From north west to north east, a lovely sunset taken from the beach at Banburgh.

One of my favourite places is Borrowdale in the Lake District.

More lake district, looking across Derwentwater towards Borrowdale.

One summer we decided to try out a Maize Maze. This was the sculpture in the middle.

More sculpture, this was on display at Chatsworth, and on sale – we decided not to ask about the price. They are contemporary terracotta warriors designed by Yue Min Jun.

Another sunset, this time at a local nature reserve called Brockhole.

More lake district and more swimming, this time it’s Buttermere, it’s late spring and the water hadn’t really warmed up yet.

From Lindisfarne looking back towards the mainland.

Finishing off with a view from the far north of Scotland at a little hamlet called Tarbet which is the place where you go to if you want to visit Handa island.

The pictures are configured so that you will get a random one for each page and post that you visit. If you want to see different ones then you need to click around a bit.

There are some others and I’m likely to update them from time to time.

Giving up on a goal: 1000 posts

Back in September I set out on a process of writing less to write more. It looked then like there was just a possibility that I could get the end of the year and have written 1000 posts on this blog.

Castle CragI need to set myself personal goals otherwise I get nothing done, it’s my way of focussing.

This is post number 907 and I’m clearly nowhere near the 1000 number. So I’ve decided to put the 1000 goal to one side. I’d rather focus on quality over quantity anyway, but sometimes it’s nice to have a target and quality targets are more difficult to set.

I like to reach a summit, but not at the expense of the view on the journey.

I also thought about adding up all of the other contributions that I’ve made on Twitter, Flickr, etc to come up with a view of my overall output this year. That got too scary so I decided to leave that one under the carpet.

Writing Limits

The other week I wrote about how I’d tried to change the balance of my writing so that I was Writing Less to Write More.

Fell Foot Tree ArtThe challenge was to spend less time on Twitter and Facebook so that I wrote more consistently here.

The lesson I’ve learnt from this experiment is that there are limits to my writing output. I don’t have enough capacity to allow me to contribute in all of the places I’d like to, I have to be selective.

Over the last few weeks I’ve allowed myself to put the experiment in reverse and to deliberately get sucked back into Twitter and Facebook. This unsurprisingly precipitated a drop off in writing here, it wasn’t a conscious thing, it was just the way it was.

If you are a keen observer you will have noticed that I still wrote the occasional post, but nothing of any quality, or with any consideration. I wrote the easy stuff mainly in the Because it’s Friday category.

So I have a choice, I can contribute lots of little bits to all sorts of social media places, or I can contribute in a considered manner – I can’t do both. It’s a personal preference, but I think I’d rather be more considered, so it’s back to Writing Less to Write More.

Making some changes

I’m in the process of making some changes on this site. I’ve felt for a while that it needed a bit of a facelift. I’ve been trying to stick to my principles of simplicity, but the current manifestation is perhaps a bit too minimalist even for me. Jimmy, Grandad and Grandma go to CornwallIt’s not finished yet.

I’ve also been experiencing some performance issues which are proving difficult to get to the bottom of.

If you are a reader of Blessings then you’ll notice that it is currently in maintenance mode. I want to resolve one set of performance issues and get to a format I like before spreading it across both sites.