I am generally interested in how things work or why things happen the way they do.
On my list of things to mentally explore is how this blog got to where it is today. Not that it is hugely popular, but I get my share of page views and unique visitors plus enough links to the site to get a Google page rank of 5. A modest achievement on the web, but decent relative to the amount of effort involved.
And when I look back on how things evolved, there was a good deal of luck involved. Things could have gone different. How much different is tough question. How do I measure it?
I could start writing another blog with a similar format under a different name. That would require unique content, an order likely too big for me to fill. Double my output? Not going to happen. I have enough alts to know how too many projects drag them all down together.
Or I supposed I could start over on a new site under a new name. Killing off this site in the name of science isn’t exactly what I wanted though.
I considered just reposting everything I post here at another site, under another name, with no reciprocal linkage. I still might do that. It sounds interesting. On the other hand other sites have done that to me already and I am not sure it was the path to success for them.
What I ended up doing was creating a different sort of blog. While not a parallel experience, I thought another point of view might give me some insight into the fresh blog experience.
So I pulled yet another old handle out of the bin and got to work.
I rolled up the new site on WordPress.com with a different template, put up a bunch of EVE Online related links in the side bar including RSS feeds from a few EVE focused news sources and began posting pictures.
No was writing was involved. Or not much. Some times I cannot help myself. But no walls of text in any case. After a bit I settled down to posting two or three pictures a week. Once in a while I did something a little different, like a Christmas Card post, or a meme response, or a week-long tribute to EVE Online classic graphics, which went away with Apocrypha.
I did not push much for publicity. I put the site on the blogroll here and linked to it three or four times over course of the year. Mostly I just posted pictures and watched what happened.
And what did happen?
Well, I have some measurements and observations.
Comparing first years, the new site received about 15% as much traffic as this one. That was not unexpected. There was no early VirginWorlds recognition moment like there was here, nothing to give the site a substantial push in the right direction. Luck wasn’t there for me.
Still, the site starting building traffic over time and has garnered a fair share of links and blogroll placings. If I look at the traffic after a year, the site is about where this site was three months into its existence. Daily traffic is about 5% of what it is at TAGN now.
Most traffic comes from sites that link to EVE Online Pictures. Google, which has been exceedingly kind in directing traffic here has not been quite so generous with the new site. Even my plan to corner the search engine usage of the phrase “click to enlarge” seems to have been thwarted by Viagra spammers.
Comments are pretty rare. I picture the site being like a gallery where the visitors speak in hushed tones, if at all.
All of which is interesting, but I probably could have predicted it to a certain extent.
And now what?
I think I am going to leave things as they are. Putting up two or three pictures a week from EVE Online isn’t a burden. I take screenshots constantly in game. I am a space tourist. I end up spending about an hour going through recent shots to queue up 5-8 pictures for the blog.
I am not going to change my handle over there. Anybody who missed this post (or saw it and said TL;dr) won’t know it is me posting to both blogs. And I will see how things go. Maybe I’ll get a few more comments!
And despite posting all those pictures from EVE Online, I have never managed to get around to sending one in for Zapatero’s EON EVE Postcard contests. Silly me.