There is no substantive content in this post, really. At least I suspect as I write it that there won’t be. I’m merely testing the capabilities of the latest version of the WordPress app for iOS, released today, which I disparaged in passing (based on my experience with a much earlier version) during a podcast while pondering the merits of Tumblr.
Already I see many improvements since the last time I bothered to try using this app. There’s actual formatting in the text entry box, for one. And you can even insert pictures taken with your phone!
Yes. I just took a picture of what’s right in front of me, right now, which happens to be the view from my living room couch. And yes, we still have Christmas Valentine’s Day lights up. You got a problem with that?
Clearly, Tumblr has lit a fire under WordPress’s backside, and the iOS app is one way the Automattic bucket brigade is attempting to extinguish it. Time to give this app another chance!
For a while now, I’ve had a sidebar widget on my site that displayed posts published on the same date in previous years. It’s a fun way to look back on your own blogging history and to revisit topics from the past.
I didn’t really have it set up as a proper widget though; it was just code stuck directly into my sidebar template. Today I decided to rebuild it as a proper plugin, which you can now download and use yourself!
It’s really simple to use. Just extract the zip file and place the contents in your wp-content/plugins directory. Then go to the WordPress dashboard. Activate the plugin (under Plugins), then edit your widgets (under Appearance) and drag the “On This Day” widget where you want it to appear.
You can customize the title and the “no posts” message (which gets displayed on days when there are no historical posts).
In the spirit of “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,” I will refrain from writing about last night’s midterm election results, except to say, “Don’t blame Minneapolis.” Also, to quote Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, “If you survive, please come again.” The next two years will either prove or disprove the merits of the Tea Party movement, and if we’re lucky we’ll still be around in two years to start cleaning up the mess.
OK, I knew I couldn’t avoid saying something snarky about it, but that’s it. No more. Let’s move on to something fun… ME! I’m taking a look back at the top 10 posts on Underdog of Perfection, based on the number of hits they’ve received according to WordPress stats. Without further ado… I present the all-time top 10 Underdog of Perfection posts to date.
OK, just a little further ado: here’s a chart of my hit count over the past month.
January 17, 2009 — When the gross picture of mechanically-separated chicken exploded as a full-fledged meme last month, as part of a factually challenged story hyping the dangers of the stuff (come on… you don’t need to make up stuff like “bathed in ammonia”; the truth is bad enough), I immediately recognized the picture as one I had seen about a year before. As I recalled, I had seen it on TotallyLooksLike.com next to a strawberry soft serve. I had forgotten that I had created that “totally looks like” image, which apparently is no longer available on that site, but is still on mine. Hence, traffic!
August 23, 2009 — Rants are always good for some hits, especially when it’s something other people are annoyed by too. The fact is, the Honda Fit iPod controls suck, and Honda doesn’t seem to be doing anything about it, so I suspect as each model year is introduced, this post will generate more… traffic!
May 16, 2010 — Writing about technical issues surrounding web development is one of the ostensible purposes of this blog, especially since I went freelance, so it’s gratifying to see my fellow developers relying on me for information, on those rare occasions when I actually have some to share. Thanks for the traffic! (I really didn’t set out to end each of these with the word “traffic” but it seems now that I am destined to do so. Um… traffic.)
October 27, 2010 — Being just a week old, this may be the fastest ascension of any post I’ve written to date. I suspect a lot of that has to do with the timeliness of the topic, but given the vague and keyword-free title (take that, SEO strategists!), the most logical explanation for its popularity is surely the conscious effort I made to promote it. Near the end of the post I make reference to the review of the MacBook Air by Jason Snell for Macworld. I also tweeted an announcement of the post, and stuck in an @jsnell, both in honest appreciation of his review, but also in the somewhat crass hope that he would retweet it. Which he (and several others, most notably Michael Gartenberg) did. Boom! Traffic!
July 25, 2007 — I’m glad some of these “random observation” posts are generating traffic. I believe I’ve spent a grand total of less than 5 minutes of my life inside Brooks Brothers stores, but I’ve pondered their bizarre logo for much longer, and the fact that others have too has brought my blog significant traffic.
March 1, 2009 — I kind of wish some of these posts would stay buried. Three of the top four all-time posts on my blog are related to issues with Apple products, specifically, issues with early releases and/or beta software. People continue to visit these posts long after they’ve become irrelevant. Seriously, Safari 4 Beta? It’s currently up to version 5.0.2! Please, this post needs no more traffic!
June 8, 2009 — Here’s another post pertaining to early software, and one that’s way past its sell-by date. Here, from an SEO perspective, we have an interesting case study: a keyword-laden but still generic title. What iPhone Facebook problem? The post was referring to the dilemma of iPhone users who were stuck with the then-crappy iPhone Facebook app or the then-crappy iPhone-optimized Facebook mobile site. The best option at the time, in my opinion, was the non-iPhone mobile site, but Facebook had a redirect built into that site that would automatically take iPhone users to the inferior iPhone mobile site. I found a way around that, and shared it in the post.
This is not really relevant anymore, but now any time there is any kind of problem with iPhones and Facebook, this post sees a surge in traffic.
March 9, 2009 — I’m always a bit annoyed when I look at my stats and see this post near (or at) the top. To me it’s a long-dead issue, but apparently not. I just showed this solution to SLP yesterday, so the problem still persists, and whenever I get a new Mac or reinstall my software, I have to remember to go in and deal with this again.
I don’t know whether or not I’m in the minority of Mac users here, though I suspect not, but I do not like the multitouch features of the MacBook trackpad. The only one I use is two-finger scrolling. That’s nice, but the rest are just an unwanted nuisance. I forget they even exist until I trigger them accidentally when I’m trying to do something else. Then I have to dig into System Preferences again and turn them off. Apple may love multitouch, and it’s great on iOS devices, but clearly there’s some distaste for it on the Mac, which for me means traffic.
P.S. You may notice a logical inconsistency here: the rankings in this list — specifically, the placement within the rankings of #10 and #6 — don’t jibe with the chart I showed at the top. That’s because most of the traffic driven to my site in the wake of the mechanically-separated chicken meme went to the home page, for whatever reason, not directly to the post. In which case those visitors would have completely missed the mark. In short, it’s a failure both for Google and WordPress Stats. Great job!
It occurred to me tonight, while reading a post on outsidedown, that I know of two sources on the planet of encyclopedic knowledge of progressive rock: YouTube and my own brain. And YouTube is catching up.
With that in mind, I have started a new blog: Hall of Prog: A Curated Exhibit of Progressive Rock on YouTube. The idea is simple: there are tons of videos of obscure 1970s progressive rock bands on YouTube. All you have to do is search for them. But you have to know what to search for. That’s where I come in.
The plan is to post a link a day (or more) to interesting progressive rock performances available on YouTube, with a small side dish of my own commentary. Though not usually known for brevity (a trait I share with most prog rockers), I will keep my writing to a minimum, and let the music speak (ad infinitum) for itself.
I’ve never really thought anything about weddings was “cool.” Sure, our wedding was fun… at least the reception was, especially the 6-piece jazz combo. That was the part I insisted on (and I sat in with them, demonstrating that I had reached the limit of my abilities as a saxophonist).
I was already impressed with Cabel just for the greatness that is Transmit. Plus, when I lose my registration code (which seems to happen always), the message I get back from Panic at least appears to be sent personally by Cabel himself. Nice touch.
Anyway, back to the wedding. I consider myself a creative person (after all, it is my job, at least to some extent!) but I don’t think in a million years I’d have come up with something this creative and, well, cool for wedding invitations. Then again, maybe if we hadn’t gotten married straight out of college we’d have had more time to come up with something. Still, this would be hard to top. I love the invitations. The combination of the techie pixel-style art and the tactile, “old world” feel of the letterpress printing is brilliant.