Behind the Blog: September 1, 2012

Behind Blog button 2It’s that time of the month again! No, not that time of the month. Geez, always with the gutter humor. It’s time to put on those rose-tinted glasses and reminisce about all the cool stuff we put published here at Growing Up Otaku. We tried out a bunch of new things this month. We had a go at posting regular installments of Thursday Tech Tips and our little movie house opened with the Weekend Watchlist. Most exciting of all, the Mrs. emerged from behind the curtain to try her hand at reviewing anime, not with the cynical eye of a critic, but through the joyous eyes of a fan. She’s also expressed interest in contributing to the standard news roll, so look forward to more from our newest contributor. Goodness knows, everything on the web could do with a bit of a woman’s touch!

So, with lots of new content, new scheduling, some new writing talent, and our first full month back after an extended hiatus, how’d our numbers do? As you might expect, some old trends, some new trends, and some wonky results. Ah, Internet… You make me hit my head with things.

Journey with me now as we go Behind the Blog.

Ah, analytics; The pride and pain of every webmaster and blogger on the Internet. Numbers overall weren’t bad, and were even up over this same time last year. The agonizing part of looking at the stats now is that we drew a literal mountain of traffic from our Skyrim Heart Drop video racking up nearly ONE MILLION views on YouTube. Here, let me show ya what I’m talking about:

sept blogger stats

This is from our least accurate analytics engine (ironically, Blogger’s own), but the trends match even if the real numbers do not. That mountain casts quite a shadow!

Additionally, the later half of  this month started showing some unusual results. At a glance, our pageviews per article dropped pretty significantly. We expect this to a certain degree as we trend father from the mainstream, but this was a much more consistent trend than usual. Looking a little closer revealed that although direct article hits were down (mostly Google and Twitter traffic), returning viewers on the main page was up. We have established a reader base! Yay! Or it could just be spammers. We’ve been getting a TON more spam this month. Boo!

Adding insult to analytics, it is time for the annual Paying of the Blog Bills. Timing on that couldn’t be worse because nothing ever happens in August leaving us to blog by the seat of our pants. Traffic tanks as a result. So if you’re doing some online shopping, this is a good time to use our handy Amazon referral link to kick a few cents back our way. Hmm, I should probably have a referral program in a country where money is worth something Winking smile

Whew! That’s a lot of Behind the Blog-ing! Let’s get this show on the road with:

Most Popular Posts for August 2012

Review: Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim (iPhone/iPad/Android) Slaying Dragons With Better Bookkeeping

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

Unreview: The Sims FreePlay (iPhone/iPad) These Are Not The Sims You’re Looking For

Tips, Cheats, and Strategies for Wasteland Empires on Facebook

No Backup Option in iTunes Fix

Kinda wish I had run all the Nexus 7 articles separate. I’m curious about which issues are bugging people. A casual glance at the search queries indicates that the biggest problem people have with the Nexus 7 is that Kindle Fire-ish home screen. A lot of people searching on how to get that off.


Out of This World Weekly

The Great One is taking a quick break from typing to do more typing. While I grab a cup of tea, here he is to reblog his own stuff for your recapping enjoyment.

Space Elevator For The Moon - It doesn’t look like we are going to be making a space elevator on Earth anytime soon, so let’s do it on the Moon! This one technology could allow us to colonize and exploit the Moon and we can do it with technology that we already have. Let’s just hope that the space elevator won’t have space elevator music.

Better Diagnosis And Detection Using Microflow - Thanks to the lack of space on the I.S.S., we now have medical equipment the size of a breadbox that used to take up an entire room. Just another tech advance thanks to the space program. This will help people in isolated areas to get better medical care.

Tectonic Plates Have Been Discovered On Mars - So now we know that Earth isn’t the only planet that has active tectonic plates. If both Earth and Mars are active, we can be sure that other planets are likely to have active Volcanoes, Quakes, Mountain Ranges, and Rifts.

Moving Objects In Orbit Using 90% Less Fuel - Yes, we are still discovering better ways to get around space. This advance could save millions of dollars, extend the life of current equipment in space by years, and reduce the amount of space junk. Talk about a win-win-win scenario!



 Behind the Blog: August 1, 2012–The Return – Funny what an unexplained absence can do for B-the-B’s ratings. Actually, B-the-B has been increasing in pageviews since being renamed from GUO Digest. This one did gangbusters. I’m glad. These things take forever to put together and last month’s featured more writing than most of the articles on the site. I also thought the conversation format was cute. May try that again.

Video Games Have Changed Our World and Warned of Our Future | Weekend Watchlist – The Weekend Watchlist turned out to be a lot more work than I thought. I just can’t bring myself to post a list of vids without adding some context. And sometimes writing that context takes a while. I’m fond of saying, “If I haven’t rewritten it at least 3 times, it isn’t worth posting.” This list posed an interesting problem: How do you frame a list touching on the topic of games that isn’t about games? I try again later, with much worse results.

Polar Bear Cafe Anime Brings Heart to It's Story | AniMaiden'd – Did you guys expect this to happen? I sure didn’t! The Mrs. signs on to our writing team to fill a much needed position: Anime blogger. And, yes, it took days to come up with that column title.

Tips and Tricks for Better Google Searches – Most ‘How to search’ articles are out of date. Everyone knows to use quotes now. What people don’t know is how to keep your search ‘pure’ or find the bloody cache link. Article bombed at launch (‘cause there’s a million of ‘em and people think they know how to use Google), but has slowly picked up some readers.

Extremely Alternative Modes of Transportation | Weekend Watchlist – One of the hardest parts of the Watchlist is finding a place to stop.

Happy 80th Birthday LEGO–Weekend Watchlist – Speaking of not knowing where to stop, this was the hardest. There’s a gigaton of great LEGO videos all over the web. This was by far the most popular of the Weekend Watchlist series.

Comic: Unplugging – Yay, I got a comic done! I couldn’t get the other one I’ve been working on to look right. This one flopped Sad smile But Facebook Liked Smile

funimation ios appReview: Is Funimation’s $10 iOS/Android Anime Video App Worth It? – I had to write this since it was exactly the information I wanted but couldn’t find on the Web. FOUR DAYS of torture. Funimation’s content delivery and billing options are chaos the likes of which Mandelbrot never imagined. Couple that with a terrible app UI and you get a horrible experience trying to sort all this stuff out. Adding salt to the wound, traffic results were just short of ‘Meh’.

How to Take Proper Care of Your Phone, Tablet, and Laptop’s Lithium-Ion Battery – Sparked from a conversation with the Mrs. Heh, sparked…

Awesome Game Trailers Not About Games | Weekend Watchlist – A funny and surprisingly difficult list to compile. The afore mentioned “worse results”.

Computers Take Over Parenting in Fractale Anime | AniMaiden'd – The Mrs. really hits her stride with this second feature!



Star Wars: The Old Republic Player Numbers Drop Again. Game Will Go Free This Fall – This was originally a much more biting and sarcastic post. Then I read about everyone losing their jobs.

Amazon Instant Video Comes to iPad with a List of Problems. Here’s Fixes for a Few. – They just patched in a search box! Yay! Remember the old days when people only released software when it was done? This post pulled a ton of hits.

Japanese PS3 Trailer Shows Off 4 Upcoming HD Game Remasters – Neat video, but I just wanted to rant about HD remakes Winking smile

Anonymous vs Early Flicker over Stolen Logo and Slogan. Dumb or Brilliant? – This event turned out to be a power keg (sans fuse) for about 3 days. It also broke my faith in even the largest tech sites doing ANY amount of research before posting news. I mean, Wired and CNet couldn’t even think to pull Early Flicker’s site from the Google cache to see that these guys were just clueless and looking to make peace ASAP? The race to be first has destroyed journalism. Seriously. Everyone who wrote an article or did a podcast about this without any more research than an Anon video should be ashamed of themselves. ackbar or jar jar

But the real story here was that awesome, awesome graphic I whipped up! A last minute change, Jar Jar or Ackbar is the stuff Internet memes are made from!

3D Printers That Can Print Out Pharmaceuticals Are In Sight – Yep, 3D Printers are all the rage this month. Scientists want to be able to print out individual drugs using 3D printers. This would allow for savings in distribution, storage, and the ability to print out brand new drugs almost instantly. This might actually be able to stop a global pandemic – if we are able to find the right drug to cure it first. – The Great One

SOEmote Brings Life and Emotion to Everquest II by Mapping Your Face onto Your Character – I spent a ton of time working on this one and capturing screenshots. Very impressive, cutting-edge tech from Sony available for free to everyone. Nowhere near enough people talking about this!

Otaku Log: Supplemental–The Everquest 2 SOEmote Story – I was so impressed with SOEmote I wanted you to hear the enthusiasm, so I did this Audioboo. I’ve also talked about doing a GUO podcast for over a year now, so it was a easy trial run. Well, that idea is shelved now. Actual plays of the audio file are in the single digits. Direct hits on the written article were about 80. If we do finally put together a podcast, it will be for YouTube (which requires a ton more work so I’m more likely to it put off). This experiment was a big, smoking bomb, but probably won’t be the last time I try it.

3D Printers Build a Better Toddler. Two-Year Old Finally Hugs Her Mom Thanks to ‘Magic Arms’ – This was a very difficult article to write after all the personal drama stuff, but it was perfect for the site. I went overboard trying to keep it light for my own sake. Good title.

The Heavy Needs You, Both Red and Blue, for Co-op in TF2 to Give Robots Their Due – Everyone getting in a bit o’ the bloggery this month! Brandon pops in to share TF2’s new Mann vs. Machine mode. I admit I totally rewrote that title to get in on the fun myself.

UbiSoft Launches New Uplay Online Store with 4 Days of $1 Games and 75% Off Sale – Deals are done, but Ubi’s new store is still news, so it goes on the list. Yes, their DRM servers creaked and groaned during this sale. Not the total failure like during the last Steam sale, but a bad sign and a reminder that you can’t actually own content that relies on the Internet.

Apple’s Victory Over Samsung in UI Patent Case Dooms Startup Technology – Just a rant. Didn’t even bother to research it much as news was still coming in at the time. Obviously, we scored a lot of hits as this was big news.

The Race to 3D Printed Guns - Looks like people are going to be printing out their own plastic guns sooner than later. Will they last? Can they shoot straight? Is this the end of society as we know it? All I can say for sure is that those day-glow orange plastic guns might actually shoot real bullets in the near future. – The Great One

Noodle Making Robot Army Poised to Take Over Chinese Restaurants Today; World Tomorrow – Meatbag.

DNA - The New Hard Drive - As our current hard drive technology reaches it's limit, we have to find new sources to store the massive amount of data that we are able to generate. DNA has the potential to hold far more data than anything we've ever discovered. Now how do I train my DNA to store movies?


Cool Stuff

Work on Friday? Pfft! I’m a Super Spring Break Speedboat Hero (in my browser)! – The Friday Fun train rolls on with boats.

Give Your PS2 Games New Life on Your PC in 1080p with an XBox 360 Controller – Was a much bigger piece with detailed instructions and captured video from Final Fantasy. System chugged in spite of everything I did during video capture. I gave up on writing instructions because I didn’t want to do tech support for a fan made emulator.

Suicidal Puzzler Lemmings Returns in HTML5 Form Fit for Any Browser. Even Mobile! – I love me some Lemmings!

Watch Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror CG Anime Film on YouTube Before You Can Buy It – Still up. Still good. The Mrs. actually bought the Blu-ray after seeing it on YouTube. Go figure. Also justified up dropping $10 on the Funimation app. You listening marketers? Give us free stuff and we’ll hook you back up. Promise.

hello kitty knife set_thumb[1]Loving the Hatred: Hello Kitty Knife Holder – Very nearly a bomb. Certainly one of our lowest rated H.Kit posts.

This is Sand–Doodling and Dreaming in the Browser – Take that, Art!

Full Size K’nex Skeeball One-Ups Many LEGO Creations – Total bomb. Like, worst of the month bomb. At least I didn’t spend much time on it, but still… so cool!

Free Official Pokémon Papercraft Puppets – Bombed, but a Facebook Like. Those are pretty rare. May justify itself later. This kind of stuff has a long tail in terms of traffic.

Rebuild a City Shattered by Zombie Armageddon on Your Browser, iPhone, iPad, or Android – Plugged this game before in the Halloween list, but it deserved its own headline.

Transformer: Fall of Cybertron Features Best Button Prompt Ever! – Press Middle Mouse Button to destroy Megatron, LOL!

Borderlands 2 16-bit ‘Demake’ Brings the RPG Shooter to Your Browser 


Egad, that’s a lot of cool stuff and doesn’t even include our software scrounging deals! We the Team posted 44 articles throughout August. Even after the bucket loads of spam, downward trending analytics, and false virus warnings (fix your crap Trend Micro!), it all fades away when I gaze lovingly at the front page. I am always very proud to see what The Great One, The Mrs, Brandon, and myself have created in our little corner of the web. GUO is the kind of site I like to browse: A fun and funky world of whimsy from real geeks before it was chic. It is a honor to share this vision with you month after month. We love ya!

Thanks for reading!


  1. Boy..... Let double the number of articles next month!!!! Then the month review will be a pain in the butt. XD

  2. Gee, sounds like you just volunteered to write this feature ;)