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.
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.
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.
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.
And then the daily averages.
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.
As I noted, the language barrier isn’t as big a deal when you have a blog that is mostly pictures.
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.
Who sends traffic to EVE Online Pictures?
- EVE Bloggers
- Total EVE
- EVE Online Forums
- WP.com dashboard
- Der Held von New Eden
- WP.com Reader
- Massively (not Massively OP, the old AOL site)
- Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah
- EVE Online Community site
- 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 Online. Total 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.
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:
- The Ancient Gaming Noob
- EVE Monkey
- EVE Online Ships
- West Karana
- OmbEVE (defunct)
- Jester’s Trek
- EVElopedia (defunct)
- EVE Null Sec Influence
- EVE Kill (defunct)
- EVE Online Forums
- The Mittani dot com (changed to INN)
- DOTLAN EVE Online Maps
- EVE Online community sites
- EVE Bloggers
- 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
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.
- Space Station
- Planet (also used for moons)
- Space Objects
- Contest Entries
- Classic Graphics
- Ringed Planet
- 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.
- Jump Gate
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.
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.