Five Years of Spaceship Pictures

Every so often I get the urge to run off and start another blog, as though this one wasn’t enough.

Sometimes I think I have a funny idea.  Sometimes I repeat something I have already done.

And for some reason, I always feel the need to make up yet another pseudonym.  I don’t know why.

But over the last seven years of blogging (because there was a blog before this one) I have only stuck with this blog and one other.  The rest all sit, neglected.  I didn’t even get past the creation stage with some.

Aside from this blog, my only other… success… is EVE Online Pictures, which turns five years old this week.  And I am surprised it has made it that far.

The first and only banner for the blog

The first and only banner for the blog

For the last five years I have posted 2 or 3 pictures a week, every week, all from EVE Online.  And since I do a yearly anniversary post here every year, I thought maybe I ought to do one for my other blog after five years.

I am doing it here, because this is the “words” blog.  That is just the “pictures” blog.

The big question is why does that blog even exist?  I could have easily done picture only posts here as a regular feature.  That is certainly my thought in hindsight.  It surely would have made things less complex.

I think I wanted to see how a picture only blog would fare on its own.  By the time I started it, I was nearly two years into this blog and had, thanks largely to VirginWorlds, garnered a regular readership beyond any reasonable expectations.  So I decided to see what would happen with another blog… kept scrupulously separate for about a year… with a different sort of format.

So EVE Online Pictures was born.

As noted above, I am also surprised that I have kept it going for five years.  Compared to this blog, traffic has always been sparse (despite what WordPress.com said at one point), and fell off precipitously with the changed to Google image search back in February.  Feedback is rare unless I misidentify a ship.  I keep words to a minimum, so there are few opinions expressed to go back and review later on.  And, as much as I go on about blogging for myself, traffic and comments do help in keeping this blog active.

Then there was a gap from mid 2009, when Potshot and I gave up on our wormhole expedition, through to Incarna, when I wasn’t really playing the game.  I held a contest to get pictures to post.  The contest entries make up 111 of the 580 posts on the blog.  So at least 20% of the posts on the blog are not even my screen shots.  And that does not include pictures I have borrowed from other sites. (Always with acknowledgement and a link back.)

And yet I have carried on.  The last year has been especially fruitful for pictures.  Being in null sec has let me take lots of screen shots of battles and ships of the sort you never get in high sec.  And so the blog carries on.  And I expect it to continue on as long as I am playing EVE, and then for a while after that as I mine through the thousands of screen shots I have amassed.

There are more details about EVE Online Pictures, including statistics similar to the stats I have been keeping for my yearly posts about this blog.

Basic Statistics

Days since launch: 1796
Posts total: 580
Average posts per day:  0.32
Comments:  165
Average comments per post: 0.28
Average comments per day:  0.09
Spam comments:  23,298
Average spam comments per day:  12.97
Comment signal to noise ratio:  1 to 141
Images uploaded:  559
Space used by images: 243 MB of my 3 GB allocation

Some charts to add to the mix.

Total Monthly Page Views

Total Monthly Page Views

Average Daily Page Views

Average Daily Page Views

That is what you get with no VirginWorld-esque champion to link your posts, few words to attract Google searches, and almost nothing unique that would make you stand out on Google image searches.  Not that I am complaining.  This was an experiment in some ways, and the result was that I ended up with a very different trajectory than here.

You may also wonder about 580 posts with only 559 images uploaded, something even more questionable when I point out a number of posts that have multiple pictures attached.  I did one post the other week with 8 pictures attached, though that is an extreme outlier.

Part of that is the fact that I do occasionally post videos to the site.  Pictures get posted on Tuesdays and Thursdays, while videos tend to be a Saturday thing.  If I tagged things correctly, there are only 9 videos posted, so that doesn’t cover the gap.

The other reason for the mis-match is that if I am feeling lazy, I will just take the URL from a picture I already posted to this site and use it to create a post over there.  I am actually surprised I do not do that more often.  So those are the basic stats.  Now what else can I drag out?

Demographics

While I get less traffic, it does seem to come from a more diverse base of people worldwide.

EVE Pics Reader Demographics

EVE Pics Reader Demographics

You can compare that to the same chart for this blog.

Beyond the thousand acre wood...

TAGN demographics as of late 2012

The US makes up less of the audience.  But language isn’t such a barrier.  And the sample size is much smaller, so who knows what it really means.

Incoming

These are the top ten sources of traffic to EVE Online Pictures.

  1. The Ancient Gaming Noob
  2. EVE Bloggers
  3. Der Held von New Eden
  4. Massively
  5. The Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah
  6. Google
  7. Twitter
  8. Our EVE
  9. Facebook
  10. Blog Top Sites

I suppose it is unsurprising that TAGN is the biggest source.  I try to link out to other blogs whenever I can, and my own other blogs are no exception.

Aside from myself, EVE Bloggers is far and away the biggest source of traffic.  I forget when that even started, but I was quite grateful when Marc Scaurus took it over and kept it going.

Der Held von New Eden is a German site (no kidding, right?) that features EVE Online Pictures as part of its blogroll.  Proof, I guess, that a picture is worth a thousands in any language you choose.

Massively gave me image credit for a screen shot they used at one point.

I think I tricked Kirith Kodachi and a few other bloggers by publishing a list of the EVE Blog Pack into which I injected EVE Online Pictures.  EVE Online Pictures was never a part of the pack.

Outgoing

Where does EVE Online pictures send traffic?  Back here!

  1. The Ancient Gaming Noob
  2. EVE Monkey
  3. EVE Online Ships
  4. Massively
  5. West Karana
  6. EVE Wotlankor
  7. Jester’s Trek
  8. EVE Bloggers
  9. The Mittani dot com
  10. EVElopedia

Actually, I have no good explanation for most of those.  People come here because I sometimes link back from a picture if there was a battle around it I covered.  Jester’s Trek is all based off of my stealing the Space Cockroach picture from him and then linking back on it.

I am a bit surprised to see The Mittani on there.  It hasn’t been around for that long, yet there it is in the top ten for the past five years.

Most Viewed Posts

This is largely a function of Google over the years.  Most people who view the site do not bother clicking on a post.  Why would you?  The picture is the thing.

  1. Sansha Battle Station
  2. Asteroid Mining Station
  3. Space Cockroach
  4. Myrmidon
  5. Raven and Rokh
  6. Rifter
  7. New Asteroids
  8. The Maze Complex
  9. Angel Cartel Battleship Opens Fire
  10. Cormorant Classic

My Most Used Tags

I have tried to be both consistent and reasonably comprehensive in my use of tags and categories on the blog, to help people find pictures of the ships in which they are interested.  This represents the number of posts that have that given tag, as opposed to how many times it may have been viewed.  And there is overlap.  Lots of posts have pictures with more than one ship in them.

  1. Drake – 75
  2. Maelstrom – 32
  3. Raven – 19
  4. Dominix – 15
  5. Apocalypse – 15
  6. Rokh – 15
  7. Punisher – 15
  8. Avatar – 15
  9. Orca – 14
  10. Cormorant – 13

I do have a lot of pictures of Drakes.  And Maelstroms not only have one of the iconic EVE Online profiles, but have been the backbone of one of the key fleet compositions during my time in null sec.

The most interesting one on the list is the Avatar, the Amarr titan.  It is the best looking of the titans in my opinion.  I take lots of screen shots of them.

My Most Used Categories

Categories are more general.  WordPress.com used to use categories for various feeds, which prompted me to use a couple of standards.  Thus every post is both in the “EVE Online” and “Entertainment” category.  Other than those two, I tried to come up with some general types of pictures to make into categories.  These are the ones I have used more than twice.

  1. EVE Online – 568
  2. Entertainment – 544
  3. Caldari – 205
  4. Amarr – 147
  5. Minmatar – 112
  6. Space Station – 111
  7. Contest Entries – 111
  8. Space Object – 110
  9. Gallente – 88
  10. Planet – 79
  11. Explosions – 62
  12. NPC – 60
  13. Classic Graphics – 40
  14. ORE – 30
  15. Ringed Planet – 24
  16. External Pictures – 13

I find hard to believe that there are 12 posts out there not in the category EVE Online.  I had better check on that.  And I started using Entertainment later in the life of the blog, back when if meant visibility on WordPress.com.

Otherwise, the different empires get used a lot, though I seem to skimp on Gallente compare to the others.  I have special categories for things I like, such as ringed planets, explosions, and classic graphics.  I was doing a series of pictures of space stations in high sec at one point, but that category gets used for any picture in which there is a space station or a POS now.  And contest entries are from the contest I mentioned above.

My Favorite Pictures

How to pick out of more than 500?

Well, there are certain types of pictures that I find myself drawn to.  The first are pictures that give a sense of scale, like this one.

Green Docking

My little ship coming into a station, which itself is clearly only large relative to the planets because it is the foreground.  There is a serenity to that picture too.  Plus it is the classic graphics, with the old trails.

Or this one.

Face to Faces

That one answers the question, “Just how big is a titan?”  When you fly a frigate, the Maelstrom seems huge.  When you fly a Maelstrom, titans seem gigantic.

Then there are pictures that stop the action without making the picture feel flat.

Acolytes Blaze Past

And, of course, I am a fan of explosions.

X for POS Destruction

The Future

I have enough pictures squirreled away to keep up the 2 post a week rate for many years to come, even if EVE disappeared tomorrow.  And then I could move to stealing other people’s pictures.  Lord knows enough people have borrowed mine.  I think the site has been copied wholesale at least twice, and post by post a few times using the WordPress.com “reblog” feature.

Traffic will likely remain low, comments few and far between.  Even getting people to vote on the pictures… you can give them between 1 and 5 stars… seems to garner few responses.  I think one picture has seven votes.

On the other hand, what does all that really matter?  I kind of like having my own little online archive of EVE pictures.  Especially some of the older, you can no longer see that pictures, like stuff from the classic graphics era.

So I will probably carry on.  It is only 100 posts or so a year.

3 responses to “Five Years of Spaceship Pictures

  1. ” And since I do a yearly anniversary post here every year”

    I am expecting some sort of nomination in the most redundant phrasing category this year for that one. I swear, some days I am all “did I really write that?”

  2. Pingback: Five Years of Spaceship Pictures and the Raven Navy Issue | EVE Online Pictures

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