Reviews

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 340,000 times in 2010. If it were an exhibit at The Louvre Museum, it would take 15 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 194 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 1716 posts.

The busiest day of the year was May 8th. The most popular post that day was Reduce your waste with a toothbrush? Yes.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were stumbleupon.com, ligiapop.com, wordpress.com, google.com, and forums.macrumors.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for tussionex, ipad, edit exif data, beatrix potter, and drobo review.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Reduce your waste with a toothbrush? Yes. May 2010
66 comments

2

Automatic redirect from HTTP to HTTPS August 2007
52 comments

3

Don’t play with Tussionex May 2009
91 comments

4

Hardware review: WD My Book World Edition II June 2007
228 comments

5

Editing EXIF data in photos November 2006
27 comments

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Thoughts

New, lower pricing on web use photo licenses

I’ve decided to try something different, and lowered the prices for the web-use photo licenses (the 1 megapixel sizes) to $3 for personal uses and $5 for commercial uses. These sizes are great for article illustrations, or for header images for your websites, or even for desktop wallpapers. A typical 1 megapixel image is a little larger than 1200×800 pixels.

This is essentially micro-stock pricing, but you get access to my premium image collection. I’m going to see how this works out in a few months’ time, and I may adjust the price back up if the economics don’t make sense.

If you’ve been on the fence about licensing a few of my images, now is the time to jump in and try things out. Have a go, browse my catalog and see what you like.

Make sure you read through my simplified licensing terms as well. Thanks!

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Thoughts

Are you subscribed to the right feed for my site?

A lot of my readers are still subscribed to the standard site feed, at

http://www.raoulpop.com/feed/rss2/

but that may become inactive, as I’m making some changes on the server side, so please make sure you’re subscribed to

http://feeds.feedburner.com/Raoul

which will continue to stay the same for the foreseeable future. Check your feed readers and make the change so you can continue to receive updates from me.

By the way, I’d like to apologize for the frequent and recent server outages. I’m looking into what’s causing them. They started happening as soon as I upgraded to WordPress 2.9. I’d hoped they’d go away with 2.9.1, but they’re still here… I made no other changes on the server side before or immediately after the upgrade, so the only thing I can think of is that 2.9.x has some issues. I disabled all but three essential plugins: Akismet, FeedBurner FeedSmith and WordPress.com Stats, and while my server crashes less frequently now, it still does.

It’s the strangest thing though. The server doesn’t run out of memory, my other sites stay up, Apache stays up, mySQL stays up, and yet raoulpop.com goes down. I’ve tried tweaking and re-tweaking Apache2 and PHP5 and mySQL settings to no avail. The only thing I need to do to bring my site up is to reload Apache2, but it is a very annoying thing indeed. If I had to deal with this thing long-term I’d schedule a cron job to restart Apache every once in a while, but I’ve got something in the works that should eliminate the need for that.

If anyone is having this problem and you’ve got it solved, I’d love to hear how you did it.

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Thoughts

Now in top 75K websites on the internet

I took a look at my Quantcast stats today, and got a nice surprise. After hovering around the 100K rank for some time, I’m now ranked in the top 75K websites on the web. I do hope the trend continues along the same route, to the point where I can announce that I’m in the top 50K websites and so forth.

quantcast-raoulpopcom-stats

Why do I reveal this information? Because I believe in transparency, and I’ve been fairly open about my site’s performance from the get-go. (See this post from 2006, or this post from 2007 for a couple of examples.) I started using Quantcast to track the ranking of my site in 2008, and ever since then, I posted a little button in my sidebar that you can always click on to see my live stats.

quantcast-widget

By the way, let me take this opportunity to invite serious, legitimate companies who want to gain exposure to a worldwide audience to get in touch with me. The details are here.

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Reviews

Google Reader translates posts?

Yesterday morning, I added a new feed to my subscriptions in Google Reader, and noticed what I thought was a new feature: the ability to translate posts automatically, within GR. The feature was actually launched in November of last year, and it works through the normal drop-down menu. A new option was added there, and it looks like this:

Google Reader automatic post translation

Isn’t that cool? The translation technology used is the same one found in Google Translate. What’s also cool is how the languages are detected. I assume the translate option with GR uses the language setting saved in the GR settings or in the Google Account settings, and then it either uses the auto-detect capabilities built into Google Translate to figure out the language, or it looks at the language setting encoded within the feed itself.

Google Translate

It’s an incredibly useful feature, because it allows people to read blogs in other languages without worrying about copying and pasting the text into a separate translation tool. Just think, if I write a post in Romanian and publish it on my site, the auto-translation tool within GR will allow you to read it as if I’d written it in English! Granted, the translation is machine-generated so it won’t read fluently and might even miss a few meanings here and there, but it’s certainly better than nothing, which is what we had before.

I’d also like point out that if you’re reading articles on my site instead of the feed, I’ve recently added auto-translation capabilities to each post via the same Google Translate technology. You’ll have the option to translate any of my articles into several languages, by clicking on a particular language, right under any post title, as shown below. I hope this will prove useful to my readers from other countries.

Post header showing auto-translation capabilities

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