Archive for the ‘blogging’ Category

Most Popular Post – Nikon P7000 Rumours

January 8, 2010

I’m surprised to see how popular this post is. It says very little other than to point to the Nikon Rumours site. I guess by some chance it got high in search engine rankings. (Which proves that automatic search engines aren’t very intelligent.)

Most Popular Post

Click for a Full-Sized Graph

I published the post in September 2009 and there’s still no sign of the camera: a replacement for the Nikon Coolpix P6000.

Even the rumour mill has dried up. When and if Nikon replace the P6000 I’ll write about it here.

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Thailand Voice – Promoting Blogs About Thailand

January 4, 2010

A few weeks ago I noticed that one web site was linking to all the posts on this blog. It’s called “Thailand Voice“. They say:

We are on the Internet every day looking for quality articles and blogs about Thailand. We will post extracts from new stories twice a day. Click on the links to read the full story and for more articles from that author. Our only aim is to help promote blogs about Thailand. You won’t find any advertising on this blog as it is sponsored by the Paknam Web Network.

They only list the first few lines of each post so readers have to go to the original blog to read the whole post.

I guess it’s a good idea and the site seems reputable. I wish they’d asked before linking to me though – that would have been polite.

Many of my posts have nothing at all to do with Thailand – they’re about software or something that’s interested me. Currently there are 30 extracts on Thailand Voice’s home page. Four of the extracts are from this blog.

I cannot see any downside to letting Thailand Voice link to me. Perhaps there would be a problem if it had links to “bad” content like malware sites: guilt by association. I did not see any of those but it could be a danger if the Thailand Voice site is built by a software robot.

As I said, I wish they’d asked first. Perhaps they adhere to the saying attributed to Grace Hopper that we used to use in HP to confound our managers: “It’s much easier to apologize than it is to get permission”. I think that’s Google’s philosophy too – viz the controversy about the Google Books Library Project.

PS I think Grace Hopper was really cool. I’d have loved to have met her.

WordPress Duotone Theme

January 4, 2010

I’ve been looking at a new theme (visual design) for this blog. WordPress recently released a theme that’s designed for bloggers like me who like to post a lot of photographs. They call it Duotone. You can read about it here.

WordPress Duotone Theme Test

WordPress Duotone Theme Test

Duotone has some differences from the design I was using:

  1. It changes the background colour of the page based on the colours in the first photo on the page. That’s very clever!
  2. It displays the EXIF information (aperture, focal length, ISO speed, shutter speed and camera model) for the photo in a special panel in the margin. This only works for pictures I’ve uploaded to WordPress, not for pictures I link to, such as from Flickr.
  3. It shows one post per page – thus each page can have a different colour depending on the photo.
  4. It puts the widgets I had in the right sidebar at the bottom of the page.

Isn’t CSS wonderful? WordPress themes are an excellent demonstration of the power of separating presentation from content. I did not change any of the content of the blog to use Duotone.

I changed my test blog http://bkkphotographerstest.wordpress.com/ to use Duotone. I posted some pictures in three new test posts to see the colours Duotone would choose. Please take a look and tell me what you think in a comment. Thanks!

My Statistics from Alexa

January 3, 2010

I registered as the owner of this blog with Alexa “The Web Information Company”. Alexa provides a lot of useful data and, for one, it is not Google. (I feel I am becoming too dependent on Google as I used to be on Microsoft. I want more diverse sources of information and tools.

The registration process is a pain as WordPress does not allow me to add the meta tags Alexa look for to validate that I control the blog. I had to ask for a manual verification. That was granted yesterday.

So now I know that this blog is has a “traffic rank” of 1,775,001 but it is the 45,265th most popular web site based in Thailand.

See here for more statistics.

2009 Statistics for Bkkphotographer’s Blog

January 1, 2010

Here’s a summary from my WordPress statistics.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”false” link=”term=thank+you&iid=176811″ src=”0173/81a76601-9c22-43df-b535-3614a81d4442.jpg?adImageId=8743571&imageId=176811″ width=”234″ height=”234″ /]

Thank you all my readers and commenters!


Views 2009

Views 2009

Watching my Grammar

December 24, 2009

http://topics.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/22/more-trouble-with-only/

I enjoy writing. I think I’m fortunate that my teachers taught me good English grammar and I attempt to use the lessons I learned all those years ago in this blog.

It’s very easy to get into bad grammatical habits. This piece from the New York Times reminded me that I misuse the word “only”. “Only” should refer to one person or thing: “The only photographer …”. I should not write “one of the only cameras …”. It is better grammar to write “one of the few”.

Recently I wrote “My only complaints about the Canon MP610 printer are …”. I should correct that – but “My few complaints …” does not sound right to my ears. Sometimes grammar is an art not a science. I think the best solution is to eschew the adjective: “My complaints …”.

I will take more care in future. WordPress has added some grammar checking features to the editor I use to compose blog posts. It catches some errors but many times I disagree with it.

Leave a comment if you read bad grammar on this blog. I want to improve.

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=grammar&iid=3150783″ src=”a/a/e/7/Lesson_3f9b.jpg?adImageId=8548562&imageId=3150783″ width=”380″ height=”439″ /]

British school in 1962.

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=grammar&iid=3150784″ src=”b/7/5/5/Classwork_8d02.jpg?adImageId=8548565&imageId=3150784″ width=”380″ height=”383″ /]

Site Performance

December 19, 2009
BKKPhotographer Site Performance

BKKPhotographer Site Performance. Click for a larger picture.

I took a look at the Google Webmaster Tools “Site Performance” metrics for this blog.

I was surprised that the page load times have shot up recently and they say the average is 4.8 seconds: slower than 72% of all web sites.

They don’t say how many samples they took, so the mean is not very useful. It looks like there was a spike in December but the load time has gone down again. The sloth could be related to problems with the pictures I include on almost every post. I have noticed that Picapp has been very slow recently.

The page content changes every time I make a new post and WordPress splits the page and includes an “Older Entries” link  after 10 posts. (I think that’s the rule they use).

I am not going to get too excited about the mean metric but I will watch the graph more frequently.

Please leave a comment if you have been annoyed (or pleased) by the performance of this blog.

Crowdscience User Surveys

November 23, 2009

I’m frustrated! I found out about a free (the Bangkok Frugal Photographer likes free) service that can survey visitors to this site. I found it through a link in an article I was reading on Google Reader. I thought it would be good to learn more about my visitors. All I know is the gross number from my WordPress statistics and the city / country they are from. The latter comes from my Feedjit widget.

So I went to the Crowdscience web site and set up an account. It was pretty simple – the usual stuff including an email validation. Then I told it about this blog. You can have multiple sites under one Crowdscience account.

Crowdscience Survey

Finally Crowdscience gave me the code to embed in every page that I want to generate a random request to take their survey. BUT …

It was a reference to a JavaScript provided by Crowdscience. I knew at once that WordPress would have nothing to do with it “for security reasons”. Just like my Picasa Web embedded slide shows. And so it didn’t – and I could not find any workarounds on the Crowdscience web site.

Once again Crowdscience needs to work with WordPress to get a special embed code as Picapp and a few others did. I wasted a whole 15 minutes of my valuable time to find that out!

I feel another Mr. Fredrickson moment coming on.

Top 10 Things You Should Never Discuss Online

November 20, 2009

http://listverse.com/2009/11/18/top-10-things-you-should-never-discuss-online/

I agree. I’m keeping this blog un-controversial…

But of course merely by listing the subjects he’s discussing them – and he’s gathered 590 comments (when I looked) in two days.

GeoURL Service

November 16, 2009

GeoURL

I found that Geotagging my WordPress blog posts has some utility even before WordPress release features that use the information.

GeoURL has a directory of goecoded web sites (pages?). GeoURL describes itself as

… a location-to-URL reverse directory. This will allow you to find URLs by their proximity to a given location. Find your neighbor’s blog, perhaps, or the web page of the restaurants near you. GeoURL is listing 4,896,702 sites.

It has a tool to add a geotagged web page to their directory and then list web sites that are located nearby. I think the reasoning is a bit weak: there are better ways of locating restaurants aren’t there? It seems like a solution running around seeking a problem to solve. But that’s okay – many things started out like that.

So I tried introducing my first geotagged WordPress post to the service to see what it would find.


You can click on any of the thumbnails above to see a full-sized picture.

  1. The “ping form” for GeoURL is at http://geourl.org/ping/. You only need to add the URL of the web page that has been geotagged.
  2. Press “Submit” and wait.
  3. If everything goes fine you’ll see this. You can click on “see your neighbors” and see:
  4. This list of sites that GeoURL thinks are close to me. The way they state Bangkok addresses is strange. That’s probably for the same reasons that Jeff Friedl’s Reverse Geocoding for pictures in Lightroom is so problematic – inconsistent address formats around the world.

You can check the results by clicking


GeoURL
That was a good exercise but it is of limited use. I will be interested to try the tools that WordPress introduces to support geotagged web pages.