Tag Archives: EVE Online Pictures

Pondering my Teenage Internet Spaceship Picture Blog

As some of you may recall, I actually have two active blogs. (And a few inactive ones.)  There is this one and EVE Online Pictures, both of which have been around and active for more than a decade.

The original banner for the blog back in 2008

In fact, EVE Online Pictures will hit the 13 year mark later on this month.  For some reason I thought it was today when I set out to write this… I probably mixed up May 2008 with May 8th or something… but we’re close enough for me to carry on.  And that is kind of a long time to run.  The site pre-dates DOTLAN EVE Maps by a couple months.

That blog started as an experiment in blogging, a tale I covered at the five year anniversary, and then kind of carried on for a while. Eventually it had been around long enough that it served as a vehicle to get me into the fansite program.  But the fansite program is gone, and I did not make the cut for the new program, so now it is just a place where I post some screen shots regularly.  That has led me to wonder if it is even worth the effort.

In favor of keeping it is the fact that it isn’t all that onerous of task to post three screen shots a week, my current posting tempo.  The most difficult aspect of that is just me being picky about what gets posted and trying not to post a bunch of the same thing in a row and keeping to a general philosophy of trying to find pictures of things that are cool of things or situations that maybe not everybody has seen.

The abundance of “fleet bridging off of a titan” shots is probably telling.  I have been doing that regularly for almost 10 years now and I still think it is a spectacle worth sharing.

Then again, there are more than a few screen shots of Jita 4-4, which is probably a location more people have seen than any other in the game, so clearly that philosophy might need some tuning.

Anyway, by merely lowering my standards a bit, and given all the screen shots I have taken over the years, I could probably keep posting pictures for the rest of my natural life even if I stopped playing the game today.

The downside of carrying on is that almost nobody visits the blog.

It was never as popular as this blog.  Even at its peak in late 2012 it was barely closing in on 200 page views a day, while this site was around 2,000, back during the last gasp of blogging being popular.   The peak day logged 959 page views, thanks to CCP linking to me in regards to an image they used.  This blog, for comparison, still passes that number regularly.

The peak times ended when the Google image search change came in.  Google was the source for most of the site’s traffic, though the top posts might indicate that perhaps I wasn’t always getting people who were looking for EVE Online related item.  The top five most popular posts are:

  1. B-R5RB Infographic
  2. Space Cockroach
  3. Sansha Battle Station
  4. Asteroid Mining Station
  5. The Maze Complex

Three of those five aren’t even screen shots I took.

Then, in January 2013, Google changed their image search model so that kept cached versions of images and would simply display a larger version of the image you clicked on rather than sending you to the hosting site, and traffic fell off rather sharply.

Traffic is now low enough… down to about 20 page views a day during slow months, which is a step or two down from even the slow times I recorded at the 10 year anniversary… that a single person scrolling down through pictures… infinite scroll for the win… can influence the page view count.  I had a month a while back where, looking at the stats, somebody scrolled back through every picture.  That was the month with the most page views for the whole year.

Traffic is low.  Comments are almost non-existant unless I mistake a Stratios for an Astero (which I have done twice).  The most feedback I get is over on Tumblr, where all my images get re-posted automatically, where a couple of people will like a post and occasionally somebody will re-post one to their own thread.

Does traffic matter?

I have said, for this blog, that I would keep on as I have done even as traffic has fallen off, and have pretty much kept to that.  The peak of this blog, when it comes to traffic and comments and whatever, was back in 2013 as well.  It has been mostly downhill since then.  Meanwhile, I have posted for more than 400 days in a row… WP.com keeps me abreast of my posting streak… and my word count per post has continued to rise.  It is almost as if more words means fewer page views!

However, what I write here is mostly for me or a few select individuals.  Everybody else is invited along for the ride, but only my attendance is mandatory to keep going.

With screen shots… not so much.  There are some images over there that are meaningful… but generally, those same images get used over here as well, often in a post describing the context that makes them meaningful.  As much as I love to inject screen shots into my posts… and I do that do excess because they often bring back the emotions of the moment… it is the words around them that set the context that matter more.

And then there is WP.com itself, which has made having a picture blog more annoying over time.  I did finally find a way to post a screen shot that let you click on it and see a bigger version with an option to see the full size version.  You have to use the new block editor… I hate it for actual writing, but for posting a screen shot I can deal with it… then remember to dig down and set the image link correct… which I forget to do about half the time… and then it sort of works.  Otherwise it won’t let you view the image in a larger for, or constricts it into a frame that is a big ad for “start a blog!”  I miss the old days when you could just click on an image and see the full size raw if you wanted, because most of these screen shots really should be viewed in a larger frame that the blog allows.  But, then again, as noted above, almost nobody even shows up at the blog and somebody actually clicking on an image to view it’s full size form is so rare as to be almost a once a year occurrence.

So I have hit a point of malaise when it comes to EVE Online Pictures.  Thirteen years is a long time to do anything consistently and I am starting to feel tired of doing it.  I have, on occasion, tried to make it more than a screen shot blog, posting the latest videos from CCP or noting events or updates.  But I really do that here for the most part, so I tended to slip back rather that be redundant.

If I could go back in time and give myself some blogging advice, right after suggesting that I find a better name for this blog, and just forgetting about that pizza blog idea, I’d tell myself just to make screen shots a regular feature here rather than devoting a whole blog to the idea.  Better to consolidate in one location.

Then again, I wonder if I would have been so diligent about categorizing screen shots by ship faction and tagging them all by hull type. (The Avatar titan is the most tagged hull on the site, appearing 121 of the approximately two thousand screen shots there.)

Getting back to where I started, having meandered down the page, I have been thinking about the future of that blog.  I get tired just thinking about it right now, but I wonder if I will regret it later if I stop.  I suspect that habit will carry me forward for a while longer, along with a war that is still giving me plenty of material.  But the war will end some day, though I might be tired enough of New Eden at that point that I’ll want a break from there as well.

A Decade of Internet Spaceship Pictures

It is probably a good thing that I only track my other blog here in five year increments rather than the sort of yearly posts I do for this site.  Eventually though time flies past and suddenly you’ve been posting pictures of pretend spaceships on the internet for a decade and you wonder how it happened.

In short, EVE Online Pictures turns ten years old today.

The original banner for the blog

A bunch has happened since I posted at the five year anniversary, and yet things still feel very much the same in some ways.  The graphics of EVE Online have evolved and improved.  A picture from today looks different from a picture from five years ago which looks different still from pictures taken a decade back.

At some point I had to change up the theme on the site, as I had to do on this site, because WP.com was breaking things for older themes.  EVE Online Pictures now uses the Piano Black theme.  Also, unlike TAGN, it has ads all over it.  Over time WP.com has gone from “your visitors may see some ads” to “we’re going to get ads all over your shit” when it comes to free blogs.

Here I pay not to have ads.  Over there I have been less inclined to pay, mostly because the site gets so little traffic anyway.  Its main benefit to me is counting as a fan site so I get one of my accounts comped by CCP.  So the accountant in the back of my brain is reluctant to give away any of the economic upside of that blog by plunking down $48 a year just to have no ads.

You get other features with the basic plan, but none of them interest me.  For example, after ten years at the same address, getting a new domain name seems like a very bad idea.

If somebody could convince me that no ads and a new domain name would double my traffic… I still wouldn’t be interested.  You’ll know why when I get into the numbers.

The story of how the blog came to be… more dubious ideas… was covered five years back.  I’ll link to that post again in case you are interested.  But basically for the last ten years I have put up 2 or 3 pictures a week, every week, with occasional bursts of more pictures (during the Fountain War I put up a picture a day for two months) and a video now and then on the weekend.  The current schedule is a post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Basic Statistics

Days since launch: 3,652
Posts total: 1,507 (up 927)
Average posts per day: 0.41 (up 0.09)
Comments:  201 (up 36)
Average comments per post: 0.13 (down 0.15)
Average comments per day:  0.055 (down 0.045)
Spam comments:  35,371 (up 6073)
Average spam comments per day:  9.68 (down by 3.29)
Comment signal to noise ratio:  1 to 176 (up 35)
Images uploaded:  1,418 (up 859)
Space used by images: 447 MB of my 3 GB allocation (up 204 MB)

What do those numbers say about EVE Online Pictures?

Well, first is that I do not get very comments at all, with just 36 comments being posted in the last five years.  Even spam comments have been down during that period.  I also have a lot of space left to upload more screen shots.  My early worry was that I would run out of space.  Not something I needed to give much mind to I guess.

Some Numbers

I’ll put the big chart up front, as I did five years ago, so you can see exactly how much traffic the EVE Online Pictures blog gets.  First, the total page view numbers.

EVE Online Pictures Total Page Views by Month

And then the daily averages.

EVE Online Pictures Average Daily Page Views by Month

You can click on either of those charts to see them full size.

Overall, you can see that traffic volume there is nothing to write home about.  If you go to the TAGN eleven year anniversary post you will see that almost every year this blog gets more traffic than EVE Online Pictures has had in its ten years of existence.

There are a few reasons for that, not least of which is that the site gets far fewer posts.  And the posts themselves are just pictures.  People can see the pictures without bothering to click through to the site if they follow me via a number of syndication channels.

Unlike this blog however, traffic at EVE Online Pictures is not in decline.  There was a significant drop in early 2013 when Google changed how they did image searches.  You can see that hit to traffic in February 2013.  But after that it is pretty steady, holding at about 30K page views a year.

Demographics

As I noted, the language barrier isn’t as big a deal when you have a blog that is mostly pictures.

EVE Online Pictures traffic sources

Countries with large English speaking populations are still represented, but I do get a lot more Russians there than I do here.  Well, at least as a percentage of the total visitors.

Incoming

Who sends traffic to EVE Online Pictures?

  1. Google
  2. EVE Bloggers
  3. Total EVE
  4. TAGN
  5. Twitter
  6. EVE Online Forums
  7. WP.com dashboard
  8. Der Held von New Eden
  9. Reddit
  10. Facebook
  11. WP.com Reader
  12. Massively (not Massively OP, the old AOL site)
  13. Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah
  14. EVE Online Community site
  15. Google Reader

Of course, Google is at the top of the list, and its total is well over three times the traffic all other sites have ever sent me combined.  Such is the power of the Page Rank.  You can see why people freak out when Google makes any sort of change to their search algorithms.  Anybody who drops off the first page of results suffers a percipience drop in traffic.

EVE bloggers, in its various forms, has provided a decent amount of traffic over the years.

Total EVE has the site in there because I bribed somebody to include it in the EVE Blog Pack list.  I think it has a legit place on that list.  It is all about EVE OnlineTotal EVE hasn’t been around as long as EVE Bloggers so it isn’t higher up the list, but it matches or exceeds EVE Bloggers most days of the week.

Then of course, I send traffic there from this site.  This post will add a bit to that I bet.

For a brief flicker of time the official forums used to send traffic to the blog.  One of the community team discovered the site via Twitter and began including a link to a picture now and then in the regular This Week in EVE post.   And then, as that was ramping up, CCP cut most of their community team and that regular post fell by the wayside.

The WP.com dashboard is people clicking on their stats page wondering what this site is that is sending them some traffic.  I have a lot of EVE Online blogs and a set of news and informational feeds in the side bar of EVE Online Pictures.

Then there is Der Held von New Eden, literally the only blog I know of out there, aside from this one, that links to EVE Online Pictures.  No love for a long time fixture of the community.  At least screen shots know no language barrier.

Once in a while somebody a link gets posted to Reddit.  Actually, looking at the number of page views I would change that to just once.

As with this blog, every EVE Online Pictures post gets piped to the Wilhelm Arcturus account on Facebook where pretty much only my mother sees them.

Old school Massively, several years gone at this point, still holds a spot on the list because they linked back to the site to acknowledge a screen shot they used.  Massively OP isn’t anywhere on the list.

Kirith Kodachi doesn’t have a blog roll, but he must have linked to me at some point.

The EVE Online community site is basically CCP’s list of EVE Online fan sites.

And then there is Google Reader, a blast from the past.  It will be five years gone this coming July.

Outgoing

Honestly, the site doesn’t send much traffic anywhere.  I would be surprised if anybody noticed that they were getting traffic from the EVE Online Pictures.  For the most part it is the rare post that even has a link out.

Occasionally somebody will click on something in the side bar where I have a list of EVE Online related sites and EVE Online related news feeds from CCP and key third party sites.  But for the most part people land on the site, look at some pictures, then leave without a trace.

In that scenario, the sites that do get clicks now and again are:

  1. The Ancient Gaming Noob
  2. EVE Monkey
  3. EVE Online Ships
  4. West Karana
  5. OmbEVE (defunct)
  6. Jester’s Trek
  7. EVElopedia (defunct)
  8. EVE Null Sec Influence
  9. EVE Kill (defunct)
  10. EVE Online Forums
  11. The Mittani dot com (changed to INN)
  12. DOTLAN EVE Online Maps
  13. EVE Online community sites
  14. EVE Bloggers
  15. EVE Tanking (defunct)

The inertia of time.  A third of the sites on that list are gone or no longer at that address.

Of course I am the biggest beneficiary, and why not?  If I post screen shots from a big fight I will sometimes link back to a related post here for further info.

EVE Monkey, West Karana, OmbEVE, and Jester’s Trek all had links out to the for pictures they posted.  Those sites aren’t gone, but they are dormant.

And the rest are people actually clicking on the side bar I guess.  All told those listed add up to just over 5,500 clicks, which is about three a month over the last decade.  Not a significant source of web traffic for anybody.

Most Viewed Posts

  1. B-R5RB Infographic
  2. Space Cockroach
  3. Sansha Battle Station
  4. Asteroid Mining Station
  5. The Maze Complex
  6. Myrmidon
  7. Raven and Rokh
  8. New Asteroids
  9. Rifter
  10. Angel Cartel Battleship Opens Fire
  11. Ragnarok Jumping in with the Fleet
  12. Cormorant Classic
  13. The Mighty Rorqual Transitions
  14. Caldari Jump Gate
  15. New Cladari Jump Gate Model

The B-R5RB infographic is the biggest draw by far, the one thing that Google still finds on the site when people search.  Of course, somebody else made that.  The top five are all the results of Google, as is number eight on the list.  General interest in asteroids and asteroid mining tricks people to coming here.

After that the rest of the list were linked on some other site or in a forum post.

For the most part a post gets traffic the week it is posted and never gets another click after that.

Most Used Categories

For the site I tried to set up categories for what I felt would be logical ways to divide up pictures at a higher level.  I went with the four empires and then some specific items, ending up with 24 categories over the years.  I suppose I could have gone with ship classes or something else, but this is what I started with and some times it is better to carry on consistently how you started out rather than trying to change horses mid-stream.

  1. Caldari
  2. Amarr
  3. Gallente
  4. Minmatar
  5. Space Station
  6. Planet (also used for moons)
  7. Space Objects
  8. Explosions
  9. Contest Entries
  10. Citadel
  11. ORE
  12. Classic Graphics
  13. Ringed Planet
  14. Drones
  15. YouTube Video

Ships identified as Caldari are the most common on the site, the category having been used 492 times, followed by Amarr at 479, then Gallente at 373, and finally Minmatar at 355.  I think that split mostly reflects my starting off as Caldari back in 2006, so a lot of early pictures were focused on those ships. (Or the Guristas versions thereof.)

Explosions is probably the best tag, followed by Ringed Planets, while Classic Graphics is a interesting look at the past.  Of course, when I created that category there were only “new” and “classic” graphics.  Since then there have been a number of revisions to how things are rendered as well as ship models, so I suppose the concept of “classic” has been somewhat diluted.  But in the context of the site it means the way the game looked when I showed up.

I excluded one category from the list.  Every post has the category “EVE Online” attached.  Tags and categories are powerful things at WP.com and one of the things you can do with them is make an RSS feed of a category or tag.  If you have a WP.com blog and you write about EVE Online, you should definitely use the “EVE Online” as a tag or category. (Here is the feed for EVE Online category or tagged posts at WP.com.)  For heaven’s sake, don’t use just “EVE,” you don’t want to know what else gets lumped in that feed.

Most Used Tags

Tags are a lot more whimsically applied.  They include the specific type of ship in the picture (and are mostly correct) or the system or some detail in the shot like Caroline’s Star.  But mostly it is ship types.  And there are a lot of ship types in the game, which probably explains why I have 450 different tags.

  1. Drake
  2. Megathron
  3. Jump Gate
  4. Apocalypse
  5. Revelation
  6. Archon
  7. Avatar
  8. Naglfar
  9. Erebus
  10. Tengu
  11. Maelstrom
  12. Dominix
  13. Hurricane
  14. Typhoon
  15. Ragnarok

Of course the missile spewing doorstop that is the Drake tops the list.  I flew it a lot before I went to null sec and then it was a doctrine ship for over a year once I got there.

Likewise the Megathron was a doctrine ship during the Fountain War.

Jump Gates… they are in a lot of shots because that is where fleets tend to bunch up and where fights often happen.  And then there are titans.  When I got to null sec I took a lot of screen shots of titans because I had never seen any before.  I still take lots of screen shots of them.

The Future

I plan to carry on as I have.  Three pictures a week isn’t an onerous level of effort.  It is easily worth doing given that it nets me a free account. (CCP still makes money off of me though, I have two other Omega accounts at the moment and I have been known to buy PLEX to get SKINs from the New Eden store.)

My posting process is pretty straightforward.  I tend to sit down for a bit on a weekend and go through pictures, queuing up posts for weeks ahead of time.

The only tricky bit is to try to include some variety in the pictures posted… I try not to post several pictures in a row from the same battle or of the same ship type… and to not repost the same screen shot.  I’ve only done that a few times over the course of the blog, but I have caught myself thinking “that looks like a good shot to post!” only to find that I already post that weeks or months earlier.

I am also picky about posting things that give a view of things that people might not see every day.  That tends to mean lots of titans.  If I gave up on my own personal rules about repetition and just started posting every decent screen shot I took, I could probably post a picture every day for the next couple of years without repeat.

Overall, a decade in, I am happy with the site.  It never took off or became nearly as popular as this blog, but it has been steady over the years and is now something of a time capsule of EVE Online visuals over the last decade. (And earlier, since I drew from older pictures at times.)

Probably the only regret is that I have hung on to the same 1600×1200 monitor over the life of the blog so far, so all the screen shots are that size.  I did recently upgrade to a slightly larger monitor, so at some future date when my current queue runs down, screen shots will start appearing in 1920×1200 resolution.

So, after about 2,500 words, I will invite you to come visit the site if you like internet spaceship pictures.  New posts are syndicated out to the following sites:

  • Tumblr (I need a better theme here)
  • Twitter (I do say things here occasionally)
  • Facebook (Pretty much just blog posts from both my sites)

I guess I need an Instagram account as well.  Maybe some day.

Or if you don’t care for any of those, you can just go to the EVE Online Pictures site directly and use the Page Down key to scroll through all 1,500 pictures thanks to the infinite scroll option of the theme I use.  We’ll see how things look again in another five years.

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.

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