Behind the Blog: November 1, 2012

Behind Blog button 2Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends. We’re so glad you could attend! Come inside, come inside!

Woo! Give it up for guest bloggers Keith Emerson, Greg Lake, and Carl Palmer! And if you don’t get that gag, you’re the reason we run a PG rated show Winking smile And you should listen to more 1970’s rock (of all flavors). No other decade in musical history compares to the experimental artistry of what passed for popular music in the ‘70s.

Now… What was I doing? Oh, yeah, chatting with you about the thoughts, feelings, and analytics behind the past 31 days of bloggery!

Yes, folks, it is time for us to take a little timeout at the beginning of a new month, catch out breath, and reflect upon all those little things that caught our eyes and tempted our wallets across October, the spookiest month of all. Boo! Heh, heh. Gotcha!

Welcome back to Growing Up Otaku’s specialest of specials, Behind the Blog.

 

There behind the glass you’ll find real Internet stats. Be careful as you pass. Move along, move along.

This time last month I was predicting that our October numbers would take a nose dive. That did and yet didn’t happen. Mid-month saw our visitor count trickle off by about 20% per day versus our stellar September, but traffic for the first half of the month was high enough to bring October’s final totals up to the same level as September. Did that make sense? Frist half Oct.= very good, second half = meh, overall totals = yay!

Also in analytics analysis, I’ve been promising to figure out how many GUO “regulars” now make up our viewing audience. Returning visitors to the site now, solidly, account for 12.5% of our guests. It may not sound like much, but it is a fantastic return compared to earlier this year when returning visitors only made up about 8% of our traffic. Thanks guys! It’s because of you we do this. Trust me, if we were just looking to harvest random Google or Twitter traffic we’d just be BCCing every Apple rumor that comes down the pipe.

Come inside, the show’s about to start. Guaranteed to blow your head apart!

Most Popular Posts for October 2012

Top 5 Annoyances of Google’s Nexus 7 Tablet and How to Fix Them

Review: Zombie Tsunami (iPhone,iPad)–Out for a Jog with My Hungry Fiends

Strategy Tips, Walkthru, and Spoilers for FTL’s Final Boss Battle

Tips, Strategies, and Cheats for Spaceship Sim Game FTL

Caught on Video! World of Warcraft Laid Waste as Hackers Kill Everyone

I’ve had quite a month doing tech support on the blog. Had a couple Nexus 7s that needed fixing and Zombie Tsunami needed some achievements explained. Quite fun. I kinda miss helping people and fixing stuff. This may be the first Top 5 without an article about The Sims in it.

Out of This World Weekly

Here comes The Great One with tech that weighs a ton. We’ll probe Uranus and the Sun. Get it done, get it done.

charger-1 Alabama universityFusion Engines Hold The Key To Solar System Exploration - We need better ways of getting around space because chemical rockets aren’t cutting it.  Fusion power could actually make space exploration a reality.  Now if we could only get a working model built.  Luckily there are people working on that exact project.  I hope we don’t have to wait too long for this cool technology.

Learning About Planetary Nebulae With X-Rays - Planetary Nebula are formed when some stars explode and are some of the most beautiful objects in the sky.  X-Rays allow us better insight into the energies and processes behind these explosions and that’s super because our own Sun will eventually go through this process.  If a nearby star becomes a planetary nebula, it could be dangerous so knowing as much as we can about these stellar phenomena is important.

Earth Sized Planet Found In Nearest Star System - Yep, we found a Earth sized planet around Alpha Centauri.  It’s way too hot to actually land on but it does give us a reason to check out the Alpha Centauri system.  Since this is possibly the first star other than our own that we may visit due to it’s proximity, it is a big deal to find a science goal at that location. (I have no idea how TGO avoided all the potential mindworm jokes from Sid Meyer’s Alpha Centauri-MK)

Europe To Probe The Moon For Water - If we ever want to explore the Solar System, we need a base on the Moon.  To sustain a base on the Moon, we need water so we can drink it, make it into breathable oxygen, make hydrogen for fuel, and make rocket fuel out of any leftover oxygen and hydrogen.  First, we need to find water and this mission could be the first to directly find water on the Moon.

Weekend Watchlist

You’ve got to see the show! It’s a dynamo! You’ve got to see the show! It’s a video blog roll!

Happy 1st Birthday to Apple’s Siri! – Originally posted without Apple in the title, this bombed. Picked up a few more views after adding a little Apple SEO magic, but still one of our less popular Watchlists.

It IS Rocket Science! Part One–Weapons and Engines – Mike bites off more than he can chew, part one. Here’s how things like this happen: I had a cool video of a new rocket engine. It sat on the to-do pile for a couple weeks. When I got back to it, I thought “Hmm, maybe I should just do a WW on rockets!”. So I begins the quest for vids, fun facts, and history on the topic. Next thing you know, I ‘m up to my neck in the entire history of rocketry. Normally, I would weed through and just pick the most interesting bits, but this is ROCKETS!!! What do I pull? Ancient Mongolian rocket launchers? 1920s rocket planes? The see-through rocket engine dude built in his garage? My solution was to split this monster up. Even that took a couple of tries to get the balance right.

Compounding the headache of this feature is that fact that something is kinda screwed up with the code of this article. The hyperlink of the title was not working for, scientifically speaking, no good reason. blog rocket

It IS Rocket Science! Part Two–Rocket Powered Vehicles | Weekend Watchlist – The longest and most popular Watchlist of the month.

LittleFellaHave a Papercrafty Halloween! | Weekend Watchlist – This first WW to get posted on a Friday night. Folks here on the GUO homestead were talking about doing some origami for Halloween and pushing this feature out early to the blog was easier than me pulling out and emailing the links.

Features

Behind the Blog: October 1, 2012

Lili outsideReview: Lili (iPhone/iPad)–The New High-Water Mark for Mobile Gaming Graphics – It was really, really hard to pick screenshots from this gorgeous game. I burned the midnight oil to get it played through and review finished, expecting it to be a big deal. As it turned out, poor Lili released opposite Angry Birds spinoff Bad Piggies. The review would eventually do very well, but I really scratched my head as to why the hits didn’t pour in the second it went up until I figured out what happened.

Review: U.F.Oinkers (iPhone/iPad/Windows Phone 7)–When Pigs Fly – This review was actually completed a while ago and got bumped twice, once for FTL and then again for Lili. It’s so painful to see a game like this where the mechanics are so right, but everything else is so wrong.

pokemon black and blue_thumbEdutainment Done Wrong: PETA’s Bloody Pokémon Alternative Should Not Be Played by Children – This was a very interesting piece that I almost didn’t write. PETA shopped this game around during the last Pokémon release as well. The traditional media treatment of this is state facts, recap Pokémon, make wisecrack about PETA. Go ahead, Google it. From bloggers, to game sties, to Forbes, always the same thing. I’m proud I was able to break the trend. This article did very well.

Discover Who Bought Your Congressman at OpenSecrets.Org – I use this site a lot. Whenever an American politician pops up in the news brandishing some agenda, I check Open Secrets. I was checking out a congressman who was threatening to cut the FTC’s funding if they opened an anti-trust investigation of Google when I thought “Hey, maybe other people would like to know about this site too!” Guess not. This was our lowest rated article for the month.

ipad 4 cpu performanceA New New iPad with Twice the Performance Only Six Months Later and No One’s Mad – Awful title. Was worse. I just needed to rant a little. Ditched the “we” style and went “I” and tagged it as “Bloggery” so everyone would know it was a personal rant. My basic problem (which no one in the media seems to agree with), is that the iPad 3 was an half-arsed upgrade. Apple should have waited until this version was ready and sold it as the iPad 3. But no, they chose to whip the hype machine and drum up sales. Annual incremental upgrades are bad enough. This stunt is flat out disrespectful to customers. Upgrading you product when you’ve made progress in fine. Upgrading piecemeal for the sake of press is marketing. Marketing that costs Joe Everybody a pretty penny. People should be mad and consumer media journalists should remember that they work for their readers, not the manufactures. Apple doesn’t surf the web and generate ad money, people do.

Soul Eater Captures the Spirit of Halloween | AniMaiden'd – The Mrs. is back with her latest anime insight. Now I just need some insight as to why this article turned out a giant morass of HTML styles. Or why that problem didn’t show in the editor ahead of time.

A Gaggle of Ghastly and Geeky Gourds for Halloween – Publishing on the Web creates living documents. This was a feature from last year. We dusted it off, checked the links, doubled its size with new content, and brought it back to the front.

News

3D Printer Repossessed Due to Use in Making Guns – A continuation of a couple of articles we had written previously. I wasn’t expecting to feel for the Wiki Weapon guys when I set out to write this, but felt very sympathetic by the end. I love it when creating a blog post challenges my knee-jerk reaction to the news.

EW CW ad teardownEntertainment Weekly’s Hi-Tech Magazine Ad is Actually a Cell Phone Stuck Between Two Pages – This article did stellar traffic. Who’d a thunk cell phones were cheap enough to use in a throw-away promo.

Data That Lasts Forever – TGO: I have lost more data to power surges, magnets and pets than I’d like to admit.  Using crystal glass as a storage medium holds the promise of data that won’t degrade for hundreds of thousands of years at a usable data density.  Now if we could just eliminate the two enemies of quartz glass, Sledgehammers and Lava, we’d be set.

California Lawmakers Create Open Source Digital Library and 50 Free Textbooks – Even the lamest titles can take a while to come up with. This title went through 3 or 4 versions.

3D TV Fails to Jump Out and Grab Viewers – This story did well. Everyone loves a train wreck. Personally, I adore 3D tech Smile

Caught on Video! World of Warcraft Laid Waste as Hackers Kill Everyone – This was huge. I think we were something like the third site to have this story online. Chalk one up for working on Sundays!

Making Jet Fuel From Seawater – TGO: This could solve the energy crisis while negating the need for foreign energy sources.  The Navy likes it because they can fuel their jets and ships without needing expensive and vulnerable oil resupply ships.  Did I mention Carbon-neutral fuel?  Why haven’t I seen people talking about this on the news?  This is awesome! (We all went ga-ga over this story on the homefront-MK)

SOPA Resurrected as a Virus Based Extortion Racket – Whoever thought I’d be doing another SOPA article?

How Toxic Your Cell Phone? 36 Phones Ranked Including iPhone 5 and Galaxy S III – Everyone ran this article! I like to think that the few people that read ours got more links to what all this means. Next question would be if anyone cared. People just love to lord scores over each other regardless of the meaning.

Wii-U-CPU_thumbNintendo Reveals Hot, Nude Wii-U Photos – Yes, I did this one just to run that headline Smile with tongue out

Robot Farmers May Be Common By 2016 – TGO: Automation could hold the key to vastly increasing food yields, reducing herbicide and pesticide usage, and making organic food available and cheap for everyone.  With booming populations, increasing food prices, and toxins entering our ecosystems like never before – can we really afford not to put robots out in the fields?

Sony Removes Alzheimer’s and Cancer Research App from PS3 via 4.3 Firmware Update – Sigh. Ya know, just last month I was thinking about how long it’s been since Sony made some boneheaded move.

New Algebraic Error Correction Algorithms Could Increase Wireless Speeds 10 Times – I nearly did a cartwheel when I read about this! Such a simple solution to a seemingly insurmountable problem!

microsoft_windows_8_launch_thumbWatch Microsoft’s Launch of Windows 8 for PCs and Tablets – You see all those new systems? Cool stuff! While I’m not planning to touch Windows 8 anytime soon (early adopters are suckers), there is a ton of sweet tech on display there. MS was REALLY sucking up to their OEM partners, LOL.

Disney Buys Lucasfilm. New Star Wars Trilogy Confirmed with Episode 7 Coming in 2015 – Some mainstream news everyone heard. I just couldn’t let this slip by. Even when we do post something everyone else is, I try to have an extra bit you may not have seen. The recording of the conference call where the world first heard the news is a great example.

Cool Stuff

toyvault_dead_parrot_thumb[2]Monty Python’s Dead Parrot is a 1600 Year Old Dead Slave – I found this fun fact when looking up the Dead Parrot Sketch for use in the FTL review. I pawned the article off on the Mrs. who happens to have studied Greek literature.

First Footage of Fan-Produced Star Wars Anime Leaked to YouTube

Google’s Street View Team Sleeps with the Fishes – I liked this title.

Higgs-Boson Hoedown! God Particle Data Reimagined as Music – I’m surprised The Great One didn’t give me hell for using the phrase “God particle”. Man, he hates that term. The Mrs. loved the first line. This was supposed to be a quick copy/paste job. Problem was that when I fact checked it, it turns out that nearly everyone posted the wrong song. The tune making the rounds as being the original was actually a remix. How freaking unfair is it that these people get paid and I don’t?

hello kitty buns_thumbFeed Your Hunger for Hello Kitty with H.Kit, The Pork Pie – You’d think we could go one month without some bizarre Hello Kitty product, yet here we are again.

SOE’s Free FPS MMO Planetside 2 Locked and Loaded for November 20 Release – Because no PC gamer should miss a free FPS with unlimited tanks, planes, and bases! I haven’t had this much fun with an online FPS since Battlefield 1942.

woz_thumbSteve Wozniak Interview on Apple’s Design Philosophy, The Post-PC Era, and The Samsung Patent Suit – Another truly horrible title. I like how Woz questions why iTunes isn’t on Android. I mean, if you have a store, you want to have as many people as possible coming in, right? Very low hits considering it was an Apple feeding frenzy out there. Maybe just lost in the shuffle.

Achtung! Cthulhu–Charlie Company is a Free PDF Comic Created with Photos of Tabletop Miniatures – Cool, crazy, free, and themed for Halloween. Perfect!

stop zombie mouthDentists Want You to Give Free Plants vs. Zombies Game to Trick-or-Treaters Instead of Candy – Cool promo! You can still get your own free copy for Mac or PC until Nov. 10 using code PEAH8R.

 

Right before your eyes we'll pull laughter from the skies. And he laughs until he cries, then he dies, then he dies.

And that’s that. As it turns out, we just barely beat out last month’s traffic in terms of visitor count across our 40 articles. We’re pushing records and traffic is nearly double that versus this same time last year. I guess this calls for a ‘boom shakalaka’!

That said, allow me to publicly apologize for the dip in the quality of my writing for the second half of October. The staff is still firing on all cylinders, but I’ve been having a ton of problems. Things aren’t very rosy here at the GUO homestead. Two of these articles were actually written on an iPad from the hospital as the Mrs. underwent another iron infusion for her blood. She’s also scheduled for a minor operation this month. Also, as I write this my Mom is weathering hurricane Sandy in New Jersey. She’s have lost power and a two large trees have fallen on the house, blocking the exits and destroying the car. Even before things got heavy, I started suffering from a bit of the ol’ writer’s block. There were two Halloween themed articles (one of which was looking fantastic) that I simply could not complete. There were few more that led me to just staring at a blank window for hours on end. I seem to be running out of… what’cha call them long strings of letters? Yeah, those! I’m a little short on words lately.

Going forward into November, I will not be pushing myself to write daily updates in the hopes of recharging my batteries. Don’t worry, this isn’t another three month hiatus, but there probably will be a decrease in the number of features and a few more copy/paste jobs. At least I’m not re-running Ask Grandpop. Or am I?

Well, it DID have to do with writer’s block. Feeling nostalgic? A) You’re sick and B) All of GUO’s original video productions are always available via our YouTube channel. Yes folks, this is what those pennies from our Amazon affiliate link go to pay for.

Well, that about does it for this (last?) month’s Behind the Blog. Special thanks to Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. Most importantly, thank you for sharing your time with us yet again as we continue our quest to provide a family friendly haven for geeks of all flavors. We’re looking forward to doing it again next (this?) month. We love you!

Thanks for Reading!

See the shoooowwwwwww!

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