Behind the Blog: December 1, 2012

Behind Blog button 2Well, that was a trying month if you’re unlucky enough to be living in the Northeastern United States. Good to see you and yours again! We’ve been sitting down here pounding away at our keyboards yammering on and on about the latest flotsam and jetsam of geekery to wash up on the shores of the Internet. Man, I bet you missed a bunch of stuff what with the lack of electricity and all. Lucky for you I’ve got this slide projector all set up with a fresh batch of clips about how we made it all. Wait… Were are you going?

Come on! It’s getting cold out there and I won’t take “No” for an answer. Seriously. Now sit down. Good. Now I’m just going to put these handcuffs on and… Perfect! Now, if you’ll direct your attention to this first slide, you’ll see all the pain behind the posts, the thoughts behind the themes, and the numbers behind the nuance. Welcome to Behind the Blog!

 

So, I’ve been waiting for our viewer numbers to drop off again- But Not Like This! In a bizarre occurrence, our reader numbers dropped by HALF on November 17th. Boom! All in one day. They’ve started trending back up again, but we’re still pretty short of our averages. Needless to say, this is a very odd occurrence. It isn’t a trend. Been doing this enough years to know that much. It’s more of a ‘dropped off the map’ thing. I haven’t had a chance to really dig and see what’s going on yet, but my guess would be that Google tweaked their algorithm to down rank blogs. It happens every now and again. Another likely culprit could be our sitemap filed with the search engines to help them find our stuff. I haven’t updated them in a while and it’s possible that some of our more popular articles are no longer being indexed. It doesn’t look like our daily content is suffering so… sigh. Needless to say, events like this are a nut-punch to the ol’ ego.

I’m still struggling with a bit of the Writer’s Block. It’s gotten better, but my draft’s folder is littered with incomplete features. Kind of a strange strange. I understand being stuck staring at a blank page, but to be unable to finish an article I’ve already sunk 250+ carefully chosen words into is just stupid. Oh, well. Guess you’ll just have to make due without knowing how much I hate Mechwarrior Online Winking smile 

Oh! Speaking of which, you might as well check out this pic of my old tabletop Battletech stuff I took for that article!

tabletop battletech

What? Oh, right! Numbers. Well, even after the Great Analytics Crash of the 17th, we came out okay. The monthly total was on par with August. Unless this is a problem on my end that I can find and fix, December’s numbers are going to take some therapy to get used to.

Most Popular Posts for November 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

No Backup Option in iTunes Fix

Analytics are a weird thing. They can only briefly make you happy. More often, they’re a source of anxiety and depression. You can never have enough. It makes me worry for the masses as we begin tracking everything we do and putting ‘scores’ on it. Facebook tracks how many people liked you joke; FitBit tracks how many steps you walked; FourSquare tracks how often you visit your favorite restaurant. As gamification gains ground, you’ll be comparing mundane stats about your everyday life to those around you. The results are going to make a lot of people sad or angry. GUO is a fine example. Even after our sudden downturn, I have traffic that most other blogs without SEO trickery or advertising campaigns would kill for, but it’s never enough. Be warned, people of the future! Putting numbers on your life will only lead to heartache.

 

Out of This World Weekly

Where Did The Atmosphere On Mars Go? - Well, based on extensive research – it definitely didn’t go into inflating my bank account.  Apparently, the atmosphere on Mars just floated away into outer space.  Confirming this simple fact allows us to understand what Mars was like in the past and what it could be like again in the future.  Sure, the Curiosity Rover is cool but the data it is sending back is spectacularly awesome! 

slm impossibleSelective Laser Melting To Be Used In Space Applications - 3D Printing continues to make headlines.  Now NASA wants to use it to make metal parts that are cheaper, lighter, and stronger than could ever be made before.  There is a good chance that this will be used in the new SLS rocket and that’s super because saving a few bucks on that multi-billion dollar project would really help out.  This may be the future of spacecraft construction.

Martian Radiation Not Lethal To Humans - The Curiosity Rover has sent home some good news.  It turns out that we won’t turn into a bubbling pile of goo from solar radiation on Mars.  It’s not much worse than the radiation that we experience in low Earth orbit.  That’s also bad because we have a much higher chance of cancer if we go into low Earth orbit.  At least we know exactly what we are dealing with.

Making Sure The “New Spacecraft Smell” Doesn’t Damage Spacecraft - It turns out that smell that we associate with new cars or other products is actually harmful.  NASA has found a way to keep those airborne toxins from damaging their spacecraft and in doing so, they are helping protect the rest of us from dangerous toxins.  Longer lasting stuff is always helpful and better smelling stuff is the perfect straight line for a fart joke. 

 

Weekend Watchlist

November was a bad month here on the GUO homefront. We have family in the North that got hit with Hurricane Sandy and we suffered a death in the family (natural causes, not related to the storm). Mix in the holiday season duties, writer’s block, and a bit of the ol’ Christmas Blues (we still haven’t heard word one from Baby Girl’s parents this year), and dealing with GUO on a daily basis can feel like a bit of a grind. One of the casualties this month was the Weekend Watchlist.

SONY DSCRide the Lightning with Tesla Coil Musical Performances – How to become a rock star and bug zapper at the same time.

Leftover Turkey – I almost didn’t do this one, what with having folks over for the Thanksgiving and not really planning anything ahead of time. Just threw it together, but folks have told me how much they liked it, so… Mission accomplished. I discovered how much YouTube is changing. There used to be TONS of dinner disasters posted around the holidays. I guess these kinds of things end up on Facebook now.

 

Features

Behind Blog button 2Behind the Blog: November 1,2012 – This month even started out squishy. This was our lowest rated BtB in quite a while.

Comic: In Windows 8 No One Can Hear You Scream – I think this was the best comic I’ve written. The coffee shop was originally intended for another comic I never got to work visually about trying to buy coffee using your cell phone.

How To Create Your Own eBook from Wikipedia – I thought this was a great feature. Doing it isn’t very hard, but the Tech Tip how-to thing is one of my value-adds vs just a news plug.

Spam cosplayBehind the Blog SE: Bizarre Spam Comment of the Day – From child rearing to ferret cages (with ramps!)

Finally, Scribblenauts Comes to the PC! And We’re Streaming It Live! – A fun experiment. Now that all the tech is in place, we’ll be doing these again. As a bonus, we generate content on GUO, Twitch, and YouTube all at the same time. Bargain!

Sword Art Online brings Online Gaming to Life through Anime | AniMaiden'd – Do you still want to raid constantly for endgame gear when your life is on the line?

LEGO: The Lord of the Rings Live Stream | Twitchy Tuesday – Our experiment into live TV continues under the codename Twitchy Tuesday.

 

News

Silent Yet Deadly: Monster Truck Bigfoot Goes Electric – Tee-hee. Fart joke.

everquest14 Year-Old MMO EverQuest Preps to Release Its 19th Expansion – The sheer longevity of EQ is amazing news! I hope it never goes away. The MMO genre is nearly impossible to preserve and very important to the history of digital entertainment.

Denied Free Music, Pirate Wages War on Piracy – What a bizarre story! Let us not forget that the Feds have been VERY active in recruiting ‘hackers’ lately, even go so far as to set up a booth at the legendary Black Hat conference.

michael-jackson-lightning-stage_1Michael Jackson Takes Vice City Offline – Yes, I posted this just to write that headline. Also, cloud storage has proven to be a problem.

Your Brain Sounds Like Free Jazz Piano Music – I like this article a lot, but I really want to talk about the code behind in this post. Getting an MP3 to play used to be a hassle involving file hosting and Flash applets. Enter HTML5! With a single line of code and no plug-in, this MP3 player works in any modern browser!

What’s Inside Peter Molyneux’s Curiosity Cube? Spam – When grand visions sell out

110204-F-1162D-019Pentagon Decides Robots Won’t Kill People, People Will – Don’t let the spin fool ya, this is more about fear of hackers than it is about a fear of The Terminator.

Apple’s Steve Wozniak is Stabbin’ Suckas with Danny Trejo in Vengeance: Woz With A Coz – It’s not a very good game either.

£20,000 RFID Enabled Scrabble Board Brings Championship Play Live to the World – This starts today!

Cool Stuff

Play Cameraman from Atop a F1 Race Car in this 360 Panoramic Video

For the Storm Ravaged Northeastern US, GUO Presents Kittens – Just a blatant pick-me-up for our families dealing with the storm fallout. Did you find the hidden Hello Kittys?

issNASA Can Text or Email You When the Space Station is Overhead – I think it’s awesome NASA setup this service for everyone!

Online F2P Mech Shooter Hawken Giving Out Beta Codes With Download of Free Comic – A free comic with a free game? Sign me up!

Only Have Eyes for Hello Kitty with H. Kit Contact Lenses

For American Thanksgiving, GUO Presents A Quad-Rotor Turkey That Drops Pumpkin Pie

960最終Om Nom Nom and Eat Up… Your $50 iPhone Case? – Love this story! Food artist out to improve the image of the medium she love to work in (literally) cooks up a wholly impractical ‘accessory’ and makes world-wide news. GUO salutes you, Mariko!

 

Well, while you’ve been enjoying our little slideshow about the 31 articles we posted last month, I figured out this traffic drop thing. It’s definitely Google’s fault and we’re far from the only ones affected. Our impressions (number of time GUO shows up in a web search) is down 75%. Just in time for the holiday shopping season. What a coincidence…

Speaking of shopping, don’t forget to click through our Amazon affiliate link for all of your holiday shopping needs. Those few extra cents help keep us on the air.

In other Google Sucks news, our GUO email’s spam filter seems to have been indiscriminately eating everything sent to last month. I’ve corrected this problem (because, Lord knows, Google tech support is an urban legend), and things should be working now. So if you contacted us in the past month (at least), that’s what happened.

And with that, lemme get those handcuffs off and return you to your regularly scheduled life. Big thanks for hanging out with us and we look forward to doing so again for the next 31 days as we stick a big ol’ fork in the world-ending year of 2012. We love ya!

Thanks for reading!

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