The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

January 1, 2015

Statistical Overview of 2014

Filed under: Site Stuff — Brian Lutz @ 2:45 pm

As 2014 draws to a close and 2015 begins, once again it’s time to take a look at the Blog’s stats to see how things have gone over the past year.  For those people who may not be familiar with this, during the year I use New Year’s Day as one of two checkpoints where I take a measurement of my statistics.  The other day I use is June 6th, which is the anniversary of when this Blog was started (it’s a bit hard to believe that I’ve been doing this since 2007.) In general, traffic stayed relatively flat (down by a couple hundred views over last year) but in gneral, I ended up posting less often than I have previously.  I hope to be able to rectify that in 2015, and have considered taking a different approach to posting.  Generally I like to write longer posts (I typicallt shoot for around 1,000 words per post) but that means that I typically post less often.  I figure that if I do shorter posts more often then it would give visitors a reason to stop by more often.  I have a number of changes in mind that I would like to make here (for one thing, I think the look of the Blog needs a refresh badly, but have yet to find a template that really works well for it) and hopefully this year I will have more time to spend on this.

As always, thank you for visiting, and I hope to see you continue to visit in 2015.

 

  • Total Posts(all time, including this one):  658
  • Total Comments (all time):  932
  • Total  Page Views (all time):  318.658
  • Total Page Views in 2014: 32,278
  • Total Page Views in 2013: 32,446
  • Total Page Views in 2012: 42.260
  • Total Page Views in 2011: 42, 742
  • Total Page Views in 2010:  52,228
  • Total Page Views in 2009:  60, 939
  • Total Page Views in 2008: 50, 219
  • Average Visitors Per Day in 20143:  88

Top Posts\Pages (Last 365 days:)

Sampling the Whitman’s Sampler: A Guide to America’s Favorite Box of Enigmatic Chocolates 7,584
Retail Wasteland – A Tour of the Totem Lake Mall 3,287
Home page / Archives 2,985
Wandering Off the Beaten Path at Princess Cays 2,095
Ya Wanna’ Buy a Watch? A Visit to St. Maarten 1,365
A Tour of Crossroads Bellevue – Part 1: The Mall 1,042
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of the Factoria Mall 1,036
A Not-So-Standard Chevron Station (Updated) 894
The Beginning and the End of the Old Bellevue Safeway 803
Classical Gas – Abandoned Route 66 Gas Stations 696
A Monstrous Helping of Ice Cream – Taking On the Kong Kone 617

Top Posts\Pages (All Time:)

Home page / Archives 62,443
Retail Wasteland – A Tour of the Totem Lake Mall 33,929
Sampling the Whitman’s Sampler: A Guide to America’s Favorite Box of Enigmatic Chocolates 32,548
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of the Factoria Mall 13,162
Classical Gas – Abandoned Route 66 Gas Stations 12,402
A Tour of Crossroads Bellevue – Part 1: The Mall 9,442
The Redmond Costco Moves Forward (Updated 9/9/09) 8,444
My Very Nearly Award-Winning Chili Recipe, and Other Deep Dark Secrets 6,510
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of The Everett Mall 5,774
A Brief Tour of the Bellevue Galleria, Bungie’s Future Home 5,229
The Beginning and the End of the Old Bellevue Safeway 4,647

June 6, 2014

Seven Years of the Sledgehammer

Filed under: Site Stuff — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 11:02 pm

As of today, this Blog has now reached the ripe old age of seven years.  As this is the Blog’s anniversary, I have made a habit of using this as one of the two annual statistical “checkpoints” each year where I publish some of the stats of the Blog.  I do this partially to keep track of the ebb and flow of the Blog as time goes on (and to be perfectly honest, there’s been more ebb than flow lately) and partially to give some idea of where this Blog is.  I haven’t really been keeping too much track of my stats lately (at least not as much as I used to back when I was writing more often than I do now) but sometime within the past month my Blog received its 300,000th visitor.  Given the fact that the Sledgehammer Version 1.0 (which I continue to deny ever existed in the first place, lest someone try to actually go read it) managed about 15,000 visitors total in roughly two years of existence, that’s pretty good.  Of course, there are Blogs that get that many hits in a day, but I’m not trying to be one of those.  I’ve never been all that good at writing a journal, so I use this Blog to kind of keep track of what I’ve done, and hopefully leave some sort of record to whatever future offspring I might happen to have.  I find that I write better when I have an audience though, which is what keeps me going.

As always, thanks for visiting, and I look forward to hopefully creating some interesting stuff in the future.

  • Total Posts(all time, including this one):  644
  • Total Posts (So far in 2013): 16
  • Total Comments (all time):  927
  • Total  Page Views (all time): 302,344
  • Total Page Views (So far in 2013): 16,041
  • Total Page Views in 2013: 32,446
  • Total Page Views in 2012: 42,260
  • Total Page Views in 2011: 42, 742
  • Total Page Views in 2010:  52,228
  • Total Page Views in 2009:  60, 939
  • Total Page Views in 2008: 50, 219
  • Average Visitors Per Day (So far in 2014): 103
  • Total Blog Subscribers: 110

Top posts in the past 365 days:

Post Title Total Views
Sampling the Whitman’s Sampler: A Guide to America’s Favorite Box of Enigmatic Chocolates 7,421
Retail Wasteland – A Tour of the Totem Lake Mall 3,024
Wandering Off the Beaten Path at Princess Cays 1,727
Ya Wanna’ Buy a Watch? A Visit to St. Maarten 1,167
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of the Factoria Mall 1,073
A Tour of Crossroads Bellevue – Part 1: The Mall 922
A Concise Guide to Surviving Disneyland: Dubious Advice From a (Somewhat) Seasoned Disneyland Veteran 870
A Not-So-Standard Chevron Station (Updated) 798
The Beginning and the End of the Old Bellevue Safeway 749
The Redmond Costco Moves Forward (Updated 9/9/09) 642
Classical Gas – Abandoned Route 66 Gas Stations 609

Total Homepage views (Last 365 Days): 3,602

Top posts (all time):

 

Post Title Total Views
Retail Wasteland – A Tour of the Totem Lake Mall 32,424
Sampling the Whitman’s Sampler: A Guide to America’s Favorite Box of Enigmatic Chocolates 29,335
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of the Factoria Mall 12,647
Classical Gas – Abandoned Route 66 Gas Stations 12,002
A Tour of Crossroads Bellevue – Part 1: The Mall 8,889
The Redmond Costco Moves Forward (Updated 9/9/09) 8,298
My Very Nearly Award-Winning Chili Recipe, and Other Deep Dark Secrets 6,426
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of The Everett Mall 5,595
A Brief Tour of the Bellevue Galleria, Bungie’s Future Home 5,023
The Beginning and the End of the Old Bellevue Safeway 4,288

Total Homepage Views (All time):  61,129

January 1, 2014

Statistical Overview of 2013

Filed under: Site Stuff — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 1:44 pm

Once again we have come to a new year, and as I typically do at this time of the year, it’s time for me to do my semi-annual statistical overview post (the other post typically gets posted on June 6th, which is the anniversary of when I started this Blog.  As usual, I post this mostly for my own benefit, so I can go back and look at this data later on and see where I’ve been and where I’m going.  As you can see, traffic overall continues to decline compared to where it has been in previous years, but still holds reasonably steady.  Since I long ago gave up any pretense of ever trying to make any money doing this type of thing this isn’t a big deal, although I do tend to think I write better when I’m writing for an audience, which is my main motivation for writing this Blog in the first place and continuing to do so.

For those of you who are still reading this and who continue to do so, I thank you once again for your continued visits to this Blog.  I have no intention of giving up on this anytime soon, and should have some interesting stuff coming up over the course of the next year.

  • Total Posts(all time, including this one):  629
  • Total Comments (all time):  970
  • Total  Page Views (all time):  286,361
  • Total Page Views in 2013: 32,446
  • Total Page Views in 2012: 42.260
  • Total Page Views in 2011: 42, 742
  • Total Page Views in 2010:  52,228
  • Total Page Views in 2009:  60, 939
  • Total Page Views in 2008: 50, 219
  • Average Visitors Per Day in 2013:  89

Top Posts\Pages (Last 365 days:)

Title Views
Sampling the Whitman’s Sampler: A Guide to America’s Favorite Box of Enigmatic Chocolates 7,147
Home page / Archives 3,896
Retail Wasteland – A Tour of the Totem Lake Mall 2,348
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of the Factoria Mall 1,359
Wandering Off the Beaten Path at Princess Cays 1,311
An Example to Others: A Short Story 994
Ya Wanna’ Buy a Watch? A Visit to St. Maarten 990
The Redmond Costco Moves Forward (Updated 9/9/09) 960
A Tour of Crossroads Bellevue – Part 1: The Mall 870
A Concise Guide to Surviving Disneyland: Dubious Advice From a (Somewhat) Seasoned Disneyland Veteran 822
A Not-So-Standard Chevron Station (Updated) 813

 

Top Posts\Pages (All Time:)

Title Views
Home page / Archives 59,449
Retail Wasteland – A Tour of the Totem Lake Mall 30,641
Sampling the Whitman’s Sampler: A Guide to America’s Favorite Box of Enigmatic Chocolates 24,929
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of the Factoria Mall 12,126
Classical Gas – Abandoned Route 66 Gas Stations 11,705
A Tour of Crossroads Bellevue – Part 1: The Mall 8,400
The Redmond Costco Moves Forward (Updated 9/9/09) 8,156
My Very Nearly Award-Winning Chili Recipe, and Other Deep Dark Secrets 6,368
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of The Everett Mall 5,490
A Brief Tour of the Bellevue Galleria, Bungie’s Future Home 4,849
The Beginning and the End of the Old Bellevue Safeway 3,843

June 6, 2013

In Dog Years, This Blog Would Be Middle Aged By Now

Filed under: Site Stuff — Brian Lutz @ 10:34 pm

As of today, this Blog is now officially six years old, which, in Internet time, makes it practically ancient by now.  And although I haven’t got quite as much time as I would like to devote to the Blog these days, I’m still here, and still posting stuff.  Granted, I seem to find myself writing for a smaller audience than I used to these days (I think the spin doctors call that a case of one’s appeal getting more selective) but even so, I use this Blog as primarily for the purpose of acting as something of a personal journal, although I do find it helps to write with an audience in mind when I do so.  Over the years, I’ve found that having a reasonably large archive of old Blog posts to look back at can be quite useful.  Even if I have had some trouble expanding my audience for this Blog in the past couple of years much beyond what it is right now (which isn’t all that big, all things considered,) it’s the documentary function that serves as my prime motivation for continuing with it.

Anyway, as I’ve noted before, I use this occasion each year as something of a checkpoint, and I put together a statistical overview post of the type you see here.  I’ve been doing these twice a year now over the lifespan of the Blog, using them as a way of keeping track of the ebb and flow of the Blog’s visitors, and also just because I’ve always had an interest in tracking useless data for some odd reason.  I long ago abandoned any pretense of being able to make any money off this Blog (although that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t try on another one at some point,) but I do still try to make an effort to keep the posts coming on at least a somewhat consistent basis here.

As I always say in these posts, thanks once again for your continued visits to this Blog, and if there’s anything in particular you would like to see more of here, don’t hesitate to let me know.  In the meantime, that NASCAR post I mentioned last week should be coming soon, most likely tomorrow.

-Brian

  • Total Posts(all time, including this one):  606
  • Total Posts (So far in 2013): 21
  • Total Comments (all time):  907
  • Total  Page Views (all time): 269,988
  • Total Page Views (So far in 2013): 16,142
  • Total Page Views in 2012: 42,260
  • Total Page Views in 2011: 42, 742
  • Total Page Views in 2010:  52,228
  • Total Page Views in 2009:  60, 939
  • Total Page Views in 2008: 50, 219
  • Average Visitors Per Day (So far in 2013): 103
  • Total Blog Subscribers: 88

Top posts in the past 365 days:

Sampling the Whitman’s Sampler: A Guide to America’s Favorite Box of Enigmatic Chocolates 7,877
Retail Wasteland – A Tour of the Totem Lake Mall 3,150
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of the Factoria Mall 1,502
An Example to Others: A Short Story 1,385
A Tour of Crossroads Bellevue – Part 1: The Mall 1,056
Classical Gas – Abandoned Route 66 Gas Stations 998
The Redmond Costco Moves Forward (Updated 9/9/09) 974
Ya Wanna’ Buy a Watch? A Visit to St. Maarten 884
A Not-So-Standard Chevron Station (Updated) 796
A Brief Tour of the Bellevue Galleria, Bungie’s Future Home 697

Total Homepage views (Last 365 Days): 6,179

Top posts (all time):

Retail Wasteland – A Tour of the Totem Lake Mall 29,398
Sampling the Whitman’s Sampler: A Guide to America’s Favorite Box of Enigmatic Chocolates 21,914
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of the Factoria Mall 11,574
Classical Gas – Abandoned Route 66 Gas Stations 11,393
A Tour of Crossroads Bellevue – Part 1: The Mall 7,967
The Redmond Costco Moves Forward (Updated 9/9/09) 7,656
My Very Nearly Award-Winning Chili Recipe, and Other Deep Dark Secrets 6,193
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of The Everett Mall 5,381
A Brief Tour of the Bellevue Galleria, Bungie’s Future Home 4,626
The Beginning and the End of the Old Bellevue Safeway 3,539

Total Homepage views (All Time): 57,526

January 1, 2013

Statistical Overview of 2012

Filed under: Site Stuff — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 11:21 am

Once again, with 2012 now officially in the books, it’s time for me to do my standard end-of-the-year statistical overview post.  I tend to do these twice a year; once on New Year’s Day, and once on June 6th, which is the anniversary of when this Blog was started.  I’ll dispense with the usual complaint about the lack of flying cars (I figure someone will get sick of waiting and get around to inventing one eventually) and just move on to the stats:  All in all, traffic on the Blog was down just slightly from last year, but has shown a reasonably significant upswing in the past couple of months, owing to a couple of specific posts that have started getting more attention.  On the plus side, a couple of weeks ago my Blog did receive its 250,000th page view, which puts me on a pace to reach a million visitors sometime around… oh, 2027 or so.  Ultimately I’d like to get traffic moving back in a forward direction again (although I suspect I’ve got a while to go to get back up to the levels I was getting in 2009 and 2010.)   Then again since I’ve long ago decided to keep this site as more of a hobby than anything, I suppose I will just try to keep producing interesting content, and see what happens from there.  I’ve been meaning to try to write more fiction here (I recall that last year I set a goal of writing a new short story here each month, I think I managed about three during the year.) but it’s become pretty clear from the stats that the posts that get the most attention here are the ones that cover something that really hasn’t been covered well anywhere else on the Internet that people might be interested in.

In particular, while looking through my Blog stats, I’ve noted an interesting pattern that has formed on my Whitman’s Sampler post:  For the past several years since I posted this, there has been a fairly decent spike in traffic on this post during the Holiday season leading up to Christmas, followed by a really big (but much shorter) one at Valentine’s Day.  This particular post has become by far the most popular post on the Blog, although I have seen a couple of other posts (that didn’t quite get enough hits to make the top ten)  that have started getting a lot more attention as of late as well.  It would be nice if some of the posts that I enjoy writing (in particular, the various holiday kitsch roundups are a favorite of mine) were the ones that got more attention, but if I can manage to get 2 or 3 of these niche posts out a year I think I can get my traffic up by a decent amount.  One shorter term step that I can take that I think would help would be to put together something of an index page of some of the more interesting posts on the site, making it easier to find some of it.  It’s been on my list for a while to do this, but maybe if I say I’m actually going to do it then I’ll actually do it.

Anyway, once again I would like to thank those of you who have been reading this Blog for years, as well as those of you who might just be dropping in.  I may occasionally have trouble coming up with content for the Blog, but I do remain committed to keeping it fresh and interesting to the extent that I am able to, and appreciate knowing that someone out there is actually reading the stuff I write every once in a while.

  • Total Posts(all time, including this one):  586
  • Total Posts (2011): 52
  • Total Comments (all time):  885
  • Total  Page Views (all time): 253,898
  • Total Page Views  in 2012: 42.260
  • Total Page Views in 2011: 42, 742
  • Total Page Views in 2010:  52,228
  • Total Page Views in 2009:  60, 939
  • Total Page Views in 2008: 50, 219
  • Average Visitors Per Day (2012):  115

Top posts in 2012:

Sampling the Whitman’s Sampler: A Guide to America’s Favorite Box of Enigmatic Chocolates 7,103
Retail Wasteland – A Tour of the Totem Lake Mall 3,346
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of the Factoria Mall 1,365
Classical Gas – Abandoned Route 66 Gas Stations 1,280
A Tour of Crossroads Bellevue – Part 1: The Mall 1,091
The Redmond Costco Moves Forward (Updated 9/9/09) 1,010
A Brief Tour of the Bellevue Galleria, Bungie’s Future Home 962
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of The Everett Mall 790
Local Reactions to the First Moon Landing 769
A Not-So-Standard Chevron Station (Updated) 736
My Very Nearly Award-Winning Chili Recipe, and Other Deep Dark Secrets 726

Top posts (all time):

Retail Wasteland – A Tour of the Totem Lake Mall 28,268
Sampling the Whitman’s Sampler: A Guide to America’s Favorite Box of Enigmatic Chocolates 17,735
Classical Gas – Abandoned Route 66 Gas Stations 11,037
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of the Factoria Mall 10,764
A Tour of Crossroads Bellevue – Part 1: The Mall 7,528
The Redmond Costco Moves Forward (Updated 9/9/09) 7,196
My Very Nearly Award-Winning Chili Recipe, and Other Deep Dark Secrets 5,976
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of The Everett Mall 5,163
A Brief Tour of the Bellevue Galleria, Bungie’s Future Home 4,401
The Beginning and the End of the Old Bellevue Safeway 3,357

June 7, 2012

The Sledgehammer Version 2.0: Bringing You Quality Drivel For Five Years

Filed under: Site Stuff — Tags: , , — Brian Lutz @ 1:48 am

On June 6th 2007,  a random Blog appeared on WordPress, presumably one of hundreds to have been created on that particular day.  At the time, I was mostly looking for a place to write a few things here and there, and had a few specific topics in mind that I would like to discuss.  I had envisioned this Blog acting mostly as a revival of some of my earlier efforts at writing things on the Internet.  In retrospect, trying to emulate my earlier works proved not to be such a great idea, given the fact that the vast majority of my older stuff just happens to be pretty horrible.  Somewhere out there in the Ether, all my old stuff is floating around somewhere, but to be honest, I think I’m, better off just letting it remain obscure.  Ultimately, it was a good thing that the content of this particular Blog quickly departed from my earlier works, since I suspect that if I still wrote now like I wrote back then the contents of this Blog would consist mostly of unreadable drivel.  That’s not to say it doesn’t consist of drivel now, but at least I’d like to think that it’s quality drivel.  For example, unlike my previous efforts, I do actually manage to spellcheck my posts most of the time before I post them (and then I usually catch something I missed anyway, which I then have to go back and hastily edit before someone sees it.)  This means that instead of my former combination of cynicism and frequent typos, now I usually stick to just the cynicism.  Actually, over the years I’ve tried to become less cynical as well, mostly because it doesn’t really do anything but annoy people.  So without (most of) the typos and the cynicism, that leaves…  Well, something anyway.

Fast forward five years, and somehow I’m still at it.  Admittedly, I tend not to write nearly as much as I used to these days, but I do make an effort to try to write as often as time (and the occasionally meager flow of ideas in my head) permit.   If you told me five years ago that I would still be at it now, I probably would have doubted it, given the fact that my previous efforts at creating and maintaining a website and Blogging had fizzled out right around the two-year mark.  Not long after I started this one a number of family members and other relatives started Blogs of their own, but most of those have fallen by the wayside too (although a couple of my sisters do still update theirs every once in a while, mostly with family stuff.)  When I started this one, I did have some vague idea that I may try to make money off of Blogging someday, and perhaps if I had been more diligent with pursuing that path I could have eventually made it, but ultimately I think I’ve decided that it’s best to just keep this as a hobby for now.  That way, I don’t have to worry about deadlines (although I do try to keep some rough guidelines with regards to post frequency and post length) and since I’m already making a pretty decent living off of my regular employment. I just haven’t seen the need to bother with trying to monetize anything here. 

Besides, when it all boils down, even though I do like to have an audience to write for, ultimately the stuff I post here is intended as much to serve as a personal history for myself and my future descendants as it is to be read by the general public.  I’ve never been all that good at keeping a personal journal (the fact that my handwriting was generally pretty horrible back when I did keep  a physical journal probably doesn’t help matters much, I can barely read any of the things these days,) but I do find that if I write for an audience I generally do a better job of it.  Nonetheless, the biggest challenge I have with my writing is finding enough interesting content to keep the Blog updated on a (mostly) regular basis.  I have a tendency to come up with a lot of ideas for things, but the difference between having an idea and being able to get enough out of that idea to write a 1,000-word Blog post out of it can be difficult to deal with at times, especially given my frequent tendencies toward distractibility.  On the other hand, if I can come up with something that just clicks, I find that the material can just flow.  Those times are rare, but some of my best posts come from those situations.  I also find that some of my favorite posts here are the ones that are well researched, and dig into things that may not be well documented on the Internet.  In fact, I’ve found that those types of posts have generally been the most successful ones here in terms of generating page views and comments.  To be honest, most of the popular posts on this Blog were things that I almost stumbled onto by accident.  So if you’re looking for some advice on how to write a successful Blog, the first thing I would recommend (besides finding a successful Blog somewhere and asking them) is to find a topic that isn’t covered well on the Internet, and write about that.  There’s a good chance that in your day-to-day web surfing, at some point you’ll come across something that you’re looking for, but can’t find much good info on.  If you can write a reasonable post on the topic and get it into the search engines, there’s a good chance you can get steady traffic for quite a long time out of that.  Then again, it can be trickier to do this than it sounds.  For example, in the over 550 posts I’ve written on this Blog, I’d say I’ve only managed to have this work about 4 or 5 times, and at least two of those were completely by accident. 

Anyway, as you might know if you’ve been reading this Blog for a while,  I use the Blog’s anniversary as something of a checkpoint, being something I do twice a year at the beginning and at roughly the midpoint of the year (not quite, but close enough.)  To be honest, I’ve found I don’t care as much about my Blog’s statistics as I used to, but I find it’s still a useful thing to keep for reference.  So, without further ado, here’s a few statistics since the beginning of the year: 

  • Total Posts(all time, including this one):  553
  • Total Posts (So far in 2012): 19
  • Total Comments (all time):  866
  • Total  Page Views (all time):  230,732
  • Total Page Views (So far in 2012): 19,137
  • Total Page Views in 2011: 42, 742
  • Total Page Views in 2010:  52,228
  • Total Page Views in 2009:  60, 939
  • Total Page Views in 2008: 50, 219
  • Average Visitors Per Day (So far in 2012):  121

Top Posts (Last 365 days:)

Sampling the Whitman’s Sampler: A Guide to America’s Favorite Box of Enigmatic Chocolates   6,206
Retail Wasteland – A Tour of the Totem Lake Mall   2,793
Classical Gas – Abandoned Route 66 Gas Stations   1,426
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of the Factoria Mall   1,351
The Redmond Costco Moves Forward (Updated 9/9/09)   1,213
A Brief Tour of the Bellevue Galleria, Bungie’s Future Home   1,142
My Very Nearly Award-Winning Chili Recipe, and Other Deep Dark Secrets   1,095
A Tour of Crossroads Bellevue – Part 1: The Mall   899
Off the Beaten Path: The World’s First KFC in Murray Utah   764
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of The Everett Mall   691

Top Posts (All Time):

Retail Wasteland – A Tour of the Totem Lake Mall   26,248
Sampling the Whitman’s Sampler: A Guide to America’s Favorite Box of Enigmatic Chocolates   14,037
Classical Gas – Abandoned Route 66 Gas Stations   10,395
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of the Factoria Mall   10,072
A Tour of Crossroads Bellevue – Part 1: The Mall   6,911
The Redmond Costco Moves Forward (Updated 9/9/09)   6,682
My Very Nearly Award-Winning Chili Recipe, and Other Deep Dark Secrets   5,613
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of The Everett Mall   4,711
A Brief Tour of the Bellevue Galleria, Bungie’s Future Home   3,929
The Beginning and the End of the Old Bellevue Safeway   3,164

Once again, I would like to thank everyone who has been reading, and hope you’ll stick around.  Will this Blog still be around in another five years?  It’s a bit too soon to tell, but I suspect that in one form or another it will be.  I get the sneaking some interesting things might even happen between now and then.  Stay tuned…

January 4, 2012

Statistical Overview of 2011

Filed under: Site Stuff — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 11:51 pm

 Well, we’ve made to 2012, and one of the first things I do at the beginning of each new year (well, besides and sit around and complain about the fact that we don’t all have flying cars yet, I’m really starting to suspect that this whole Future thing is getting to be just a bit overrated) is to put together a brief summary of some of the Blog’s vital statistics.  Mostly I just do this for future reference, but I figure there might be a few people out there who are interested in this as well, so I might as well make it public.  The short version is that for the second year in a row, overall traffic was down, but over the past couple of months I’ve been seeing it recover a bit, mostly thanks to search engine traffic for a few particular posts.  As has been the case for most previous years, the vast majority of the traffic comes from a few specific posts, and most of that traffic comes from search engines and a few particular links that seem to generate a fair bit of traffic on their own, mostly posts that cover subjects that aren’t covered particularly well elsewhere on the Internet.  Interestingly, even though the Totem Lake Mall post I wrote back in 2007 continues to be by far the most popular overall post on this site, a different post (the Whitman’s Sampler post) was the most read post on this site in 2011, accounting for over 12% of the site’s traffic by itself.

Although I have long since cast off any notions of being able to make a living off my Blog (or even much money in the first place, for that matter,) I still think it will be an interesting challenge to try to reverse the decline in site traffic.  I suppose I could do a lot of this by just posting more often (I’ve been trying to maintain the standard of at least one post per week and generally trying to keep that post in the 1,000 word range, although I think I’ve been getting a little bit lazy on that one lately,) but there’s also something to be said for writing more of the types of posts that generate a fair bit of search traffic. 

Anyway, as usual, I would like to thank those of you who have been reading this Blog, and hope you’ll keep reading.

  • Total Posts(all time, including this one):  534
  • Total Posts (2011): 62
  • Total Comments (all time):  850
  • Total  Page Views (all time):  212,096
  • Total Page Views in 2011: 42, 742
  • Total Page Views in 2010:  52,228
  • Total Page Views in 2009:  60, 939
  • Total Page Views in 2008: 50, 219
  • Average Visitors Per Day (2011):  121

Top posts (2011):

Sampling the Whitman’s Sampler: A Guide to America’s Favorite Box of Enigmatic Chocolates   5,136
Retail Wasteland – A Tour of the Totem Lake Mall   3,593
Classical Gas – Abandoned Route 66 Gas Stations   1,469
The Redmond Costco Moves Forward (Updated 9/9/09)   1,449
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of the Factoria Mall   1,321
A Brief Tour of the Bellevue Galleria, Bungie’s Future Home   1,256
My Very Nearly Award-Winning Chili Recipe, and Other Deep Dark Secrets   1,153
A Tour of Crossroads Bellevue – Part 1: The Mall   1,005
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of The Everett Mall   753
Off the Beaten Path: The World’s First KFC in Murray Utah   727

Top Posts (All Time):

Retail Wasteland – A Tour of the Totem Lake Mall   24,946
Sampling the Whitman’s Sampler: A Guide to America’s Favorite Box of Enigmatic Chocolates   10,716
Classical Gas – Abandoned Route 66 Gas Stations   9,764
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of the Factoria Mall   9,407
A Tour of Crossroads Bellevue – Part 1: The Mall   6,441
The Redmond Costco Moves Forward (Updated 9/9/09)   6,189
My Very Nearly Award-Winning Chili Recipe, and Other Deep Dark Secrets   5,258
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of The Everett Mall   4,383
A Brief Tour of the Bellevue Galleria, Bungie’s Future Home   3,447
The Beginning and the End of the Old Bellevue Safeway   2,977

June 6, 2011

In Only 14 Years, This Blog Will Be Old Enough to Vote.

Filed under: Site Stuff — Brian Lutz @ 2:30 am

To be perfectly honest, when I started this blog back in 2007, I figured it would put up, maintain for a while, get bored of it and move on, presumably to start up yet another Blog at some point in the indeterminate future.  Today marks the four year anniversary of this site, and although as of late I have slowed down somewhat in terms of the number of posts I put up, I’ve managed to stick with it for this long, and even though daily traffic has been down over the past few months, I don’t have any plans to quit anytine soon.  I think I’ve already dismissed any ill-conceived notions I might have had at some point of ever being able to make money by blogging  (at least on this Blog, I’ve got some ideas I’d like to try at some point that would most likely require a different format than the one I’ve got here) but to a large extent, I’m writing this as much for myself as I am for any audience out there that might be reading this.  I find it can be quite useful to be able to go back and reread old posts, both for reference on things and to just see what I was doing at any one particular point in time.  Fortunately, for the most part the stuff on here is at least gramatically correct enough that I don’t cringe whenever I try to read it (unlike certain old websites that I wrote back in my young and/or foolish days,) and even if I do find typos at least I can usually manage to make a quick sneaky edit (but you didn’t hear that from me, OK?)

Anyway, once again I’d like to thank everyone here for continuing to read this stuff (assuming that there are people out there who don’t flee in panic after the first click, I think I might have a few of those still) and although these days I can never seem to tell what direction the stuff on this site is going to end up going (even as I’m writing it sometimes) I hope that at least someone finds this stuff interesting.  Even if that one person happens to be a distant relative of mine reading this fifty years from now.  On the off chance that I’ve still got this thing going at that point, at least.  As usual, I’m putting up the very nearly semiannual statistical overview , which is found below.

  • Total Posts(all time, including this one):  505
  • Total Comments (all time):  745
  • Total  Page Views (all time):  190,305
  • Total Page Views since 1/1/2011:  21,513
  • Average Visitors Per Day (so far this year):  138

Top 10 Most Read Posts (since 1/1/2011):

Sampling the Whitman’s Sampler: A Guide to America’s Favorite Box of Enigmatic Chocolates   2,285
Retail Wasteland – A Tour of the Totem Lake Mall   2,120
The Redmond Costco Moves Forward (Updated 9/9/09)   738
Classical Gas – Abandoned Route 66 Gas Stations   683
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of the Factoria Mall   645
A Brief Tour of the Bellevue Galleria, Bungie’s Future Home   603
A Tour of Crossroads Bellevue – Part 1: The Mall   583
My Very Nearly Award-Winning Chili Recipe, and Other Deep Dark Secrets   418
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of The Everett Mall   397
Off the Beaten Path: The World’s First KFC in Murray Utah   373

Top 10 Most Read Posts (All Time):

Retail Wasteland – A Tour of the Totem Lake Mall   23,443
Classical Gas – Abandoned Route 66 Gas Stations   8,957
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of the Factoria Mall   8,716
Sampling the Whitman’s Sampler: A Guide to America’s Favorite Box of Enigmatic Chocolates   7,819
A Tour of Crossroads Bellevue – Part 1: The Mall   6,007
The Redmond Costco Moves Forward (Updated 9/9/09)   5,463
My Very Nearly Award-Winning Chili Recipe, and Other Deep Dark Secrets   4,512
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of The Everett Mall   4,011
A Brief Tour of the Bellevue Galleria, Bungie’s Future Home   2,782
The Beginning and the End of the Old Bellevue Safeway   2,636

January 1, 2011

Statistical Overview for 2010

Filed under: Site Stuff — Brian Lutz @ 1:31 am

It’s official:  2010 is done for.  Actually, I guess that as of the time when I am writing this there might still be a tine zone or two that hasn’t made the switchover yet, but here the clock ticked over to Midnight about 45 minutes ago, and I think it’s pretty safe to say that there’s not going to be much chance of 2011 being delayed out in Hawaii.  With the switch to 2011 apparently completed without a hitch, it’s time once again for my semiannual statistical overview post.  For those of you who haven’t seen one of these before, I do this twice a year:  Once on New Year’s Day, and once on June 6th (the date on which this Blog was originally created back in 2007.)  To be perfectly honest I don’t really expect anybody to be interested in any of this stuff, and I make these posts primarily to refer back to later as a snapshot of the growth (or lack thereof) of the Blog.

In 2010, this blog saw a moderate decrease (of about 13.7%)  in overall traffic compared to its peak in 2009.  I suspect that most of the decrease came from the Summer months of this year, which saw average daily traffic roughly 25% lower than the average for this site.  Even so, 2010’s traffic was still slightly higher than 2008.  As has been the case for some time now, it seems that there are a relatively small number of posts on the site which account for a significant  portion of the visitors to the site.  In fact, just three posts accounted for over 20% of the site’s traffic for the year.  I also note that none of the top 10 posts (the list doesn’t include hits to the site’s homepage, which would outnumber these significantly)  It seems that the key to this is to find topics for which information is lacking on the Internet and write about them (the Whitman’s Sampler post is a good example of this.)  Beyond that, it’s mostly a matter of just writing things that are interesting and that people are likely to search for on Google. 

Even so, I suspect that there are a couple of factors to the decline in traffic:  For one thing, I’ve been posting less than I used to.  Although I have tended to shift my focus in writing on the site somewhat to trying to write longer posts,   I suspect that a higher frequency of posting would increase traffic to the site.  I also tend to think that my focus in terms of the topics I write about here has shifted somewhat as well, and has drifted from the subjects that are of greatest interest to the readers.  I am going to try to focus on some of these again in the coming year, and to try to update some of the more popular topics on this site. 

Anyway, thanks again for visiting, and I hope you’ll enjoy whatever I end up writing here in the coming year.

  • Total Posts(all time, including this one):  472
  • Total Posts (2010): 79
  • Total Comments (all time):  745
  • Total  Page Views (all time):  168, 656
  • Total Page Views in 2010:  52,228
  • Total Page Views in 2009:  60, 939
  • Total Page Views in 2008: 50, 219
  • Average Visitors Per Day (2010):  143

Top 10 Most Read Posts (2010):

Retail Wasteland – A Tour of the Totem Lake Mall   4,698
Sampling the Whitman’s Sampler: A Guide to America’s Favorite Box of Enigmatic Chocolates   3,529
Classical Gas – Abandoned Route 66 Gas Stations   2,483
The Redmond Costco Moves Forward   2,120
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of the Factoria Mall   1,944
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of The Everett Mall   1,792
A Brief Tour of the Bellevue Galleria, Bungie’s Future Home   1,521
A Tour of Crossroads Bellevue – Part 1: The Mall   1,502
My Very Nearly Award-Winning Chili Recipe, and Other Deep Dark Secrets   1,331
Off the Beaten Path: The World’s First KFC in Murray Utah 815

Top 10 Most Read Posts (All Time):

Retail Wasteland – A Tour of the Totem Lake Mall   21,312
Classical Gas – Abandoned Route 66 Gas Stations   8,272
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of the Factoria Mall   8,068
Sampling the Whitman’s Sampler: A Guide to America’s Favorite Box of Enigmatic Chocolates   5,518
A Tour of Crossroads Bellevue – Part 1: The Mall   5,419
The Redmond Costco Moves Forward   4,723
My Very Nearly Award-Winning Chili Recipe, and Other Deep Dark Secrets   4,087
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of The Everett Mall   3,606
The Beginning and the End of the Old Bellevue Safeway   2,403
New Cereal in Old Boxes 2,280

June 6, 2010

Three Years and Still Hammering Away (Sort of)

Filed under: Site Stuff — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 3:18 pm

On June 6th 2007, this Blog was first created.  Somehow, three years later, this Blog is still around.  Although I have definitely been slacking a bit (well OK, a lot) on the Blogging lately, I’m trying to make sure that I keep posting at least frequently enough to keep the site from drifting too far off into oblivion.  As might be expected to result from a relatively low post volume, site traffic has been down somewhat lately, although it remains fairly steady at its current levels.  I suspect the fact that I have wandered a bit recently from the local interest coverage has something to do with this as well.  Although spending most of my days in Seattle tends to make it a bit tough to do too much stuff here on the Eastside these days, I do intend to try to get back into Redmond, Kirkland and Bellevue a bit more, and to try to spend a bit more time in the newspaper archives as well since I haven’t had much opportunity to do that recently.  Since I’ve finally replaced my old cell phone and its blur-o-riffic camera with a decidedly less blurry one (apparently someone at HTC finally figured out that focusing is a good thing) so I might actually be able to use it every once in a while without getting results that look like an explosion at the Vaseline factory.  I’ll have more on that in an upcoming post (assuming I don’t write 90% of it and leave it rotting in the drafts folder, that is.)

I’ll have more on that a bit later in another post, but in the meantime, I’ve put together the usual statistical overview of the site at this point in time, as seen below.  These stats are done mostly for my own benefit, so I can go back and use this info to track the growth (or otherwise) of the site.  I also like to have this data around because largely meaningless stats are fun, right?  Anyway, here you go:

 Statistics:

  • Total posts (including this one:) 426
  • Posts since June 6th 2009:  87
  • Posts since January 1st 2010: 33
  • Total Comments: 662
  • Total hits since June 6th 2007:  140,450
  • Total hits since January 1st  2010: 23,822
  • Total hits since June 6th 2009: 55,090

Top 10 most viewed posts (Last year):

Retail Wasteland – A Tour of the Totem Lake Mall 6,143
Sampling the Whitman’s Sampler: A Guide to America’s Favorite Box of Enigmatic Chocolates  3,080
Classical Gas – Abandoned Route 66 Gas Stations 2,457
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of the Factoria Mall 2,204
The Redmond Costco Moves Forward 2,166
A Tour of Crossroads Bellevue – Part 1: The Mall 1,636
My Very Nearly Award-Winning Chili Recipe, and Other Deep Dark Secrets 1,277
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of The Everett Mall 1,249
A Brief Tour of the Bellevue Galleria, Bungie’s Future Home 1,068
An Early Look at the New Redmond Center 893

Once again, I would like to thank everyone who visits my site either regularly or occasionally, and I hope you will continue to do so in the future.

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