The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

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

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, 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.

June 6, 2009

It’s My Two Year Blogiversary

Filed under: Site Stuff — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 12:42 am

On June 6th 2007, an unassuming little Blog by the name of The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0 popped up on WordPress.com, one of millions on the site.  As such, for quite a while it remained in relative obscurity, but as time has gone on and I have continued to write and develop it, the site  has become…  Well…  Somewhat less obscure anyway.  Although I have never really harbored any delusions of ever becoming rich and famous off of this stuff (well OK, ,maybe one or two of those somewhere along the line) and this Blog is nowhere near the big leagues.  Nonetheless, I can see that there is a small but growing audience of regular readers out there (some of whom I might not even be related to)  reading this site, and if I have not yet had the chance to do so previously, I would like to thank everyone for their continued visits and patronage of the site, and I hope you will continue to visit. 

To be honest, the immediate to semi-immediate future is somewhat uncertain for me right now so I can’t say for sure which direction all of this will be headed as I continue into the site’s upcoming third year, but I do intend to continue writing here on a regular basis (or something resembling one) and as long as I am around to do so I do intend to actually pick up on the malls project again at some point.  I would also like to try to sort out the Recycled Newspaper stuff and try to get some sort of regular schedule for those posts, but since they tend to be time and research intensive to produce I need to determine what that will be, and if it might be necessary to scale the posts down somewhat in order to make them a bit easier to put out (I would be interested to get feedback on that if anyone out there has any.)  There’s an awful lot of stuff out there that has yet to find its way onto the Internet in any form, so I don’t anticipate running out of material anytime soon.  Unfortunately, that also means that there’s not really any way to find it without just grabbing a roll of microfilm out of the cabinet and hoping to hit something interesting as you scroll through it, but once I do find stuff it’s a lot easier to go from there.

Anyway, just in case anyone out there happens to be interested in any of this (and because I’d like to have this information to refer back to later on,) I thought I’d go ahead and do another quick drop of some of my Blog stats from the past year.  WordPress has actually done a pretty good job of making this data more accessible over the course of the last year, including the addition of stat tables, which I have pasted a couple of below.  If you don’t have any interest in this stuff, I thank you once again for your patronage, and direct you to the post below.  If for some odd reason you DO have an interest in this stuff, here you go:

  • Total posts: 339 (Including this one)
  • Total comments: 481
  • Total Views since June 6th, 2007:  85,360
  • Total Views since June 6th, 2008:  64,545
  • Total Views since January 1st, 2009:  29,521
  • Busiest day: 722 — November 13, 2008 (Most of the hits on this day came from deadmalls.com, which I believe had been linked by an article in the Wall Street Journal that day.)

 

Total Hits per Month:

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Total
2007           108 617 313 694 1,117 1,224 1,473 5,546
2008 2,610 2,254 2,216 4,731 2,885 4,590 5,402 5,542 4,094 5,464 6,129 4,293 50,210
2009 5,638 6,355 5,717 5,606 5,402 803             29,521

Average Hits per Day

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Overall
2007           4 20 10 23 36 41 48 27
2008 84 78 71 158 93 153 174 179 136 176 204 138 137
2009 182 227 184 187 174 160             189

 

Top 10 Posts from the Past Year:

2008-06-06 to Today

Title Views  
Retail Wasteland – A Tour of the Totem Lake Mall 9,432
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of the Factoria Mall  3,379
A Tour of Crossroads Bellevue – Part 1:  The Mall 2,804
Classical Gas – Abandoned Route 66 Gas Stations 2,774
My Very Nearly Award-Winning Chili Recipe, and Other Deep Dark Secrets  1,731
The Beginning and the End of the Old Bellevue Safeway 1,493
The Redmond Costco Moves Forward 1,250
Factoria Mall Redevelopment Update: The Beginning is Near 1,192
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of The Everett Mall 1,104
Guaranteed to Bring You More Senior Moments or Your Money Back 955

January 1, 2009

Statistical Overview for 2008

Filed under: Site Stuff — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 12:07 pm

Looks like we can go ahead and put 2008 in the proverbial books now, and as much as I suspect that there are some people out there who would like to just forget that the whole thing ever happened, I actually thought it was a pretty decent year, at least personally.  I managed to make it through the year in one piece (which is always a good thing,) I managed to get past the point in my career development that I had gotten stuck for a while, and I got a new nephew, with another one on the way shortly.  That doesn’t mean that there isn’t plenty of room for improvement in 2009 (for one thing, there’s the whole pesky part about being chronically single that I should probably look at doing something about, and it would be nice if some of the local sports teams could actually win a game or two in 2009,) but all in all, I really can’t complain too much. 

Here at my Blog, the growth over the past year has also been steady, and although traffic was down  some in December over the past couple of months (probably due to less posting than normal and the Holidays,)  in general site traffic has remained mostly steady, with a total of roughly 50,200 visitors at this site in 2008, for an average of 137 visitors a day.  For comparison, in 2007 the total number of visitors was only 5,546 for an average of 27 visitors a day over seven months (since the Blog was started in June of 2007.)  The busiest day here was on November 13th with 722 visitors, most of which came from deadmalls.com after that site was linked in an article by US News and World Report.  Here is an overview of some of the statistics for this site over the past year and overall:

  • Total Posts: 260 (including this one)
  • Total Hits (Overall): 55,810
  • Average hits per day (2008): 137
  • Average hits per week (2008): 965
  • Average hits per month (2008): 4,184

Most popular posts in 2008:

Title Views  
Retail Wasteland – A Tour of the Totem Lake Mall 8,357
Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of the Factoria Mall 3,285
Classical Gas – Abandoned Route 66 Gas Stations 2,397
A Tour of Crossroads Bellevue – Part 1: The Mall 1,961
My Very Nearly Award-Winning Chili Recipe, and Other Deep Dark Secrets 1,256
The Beginning and the End of the Old Bellevue Safeway 1,138
Totem Lake Mall Research Update – A Map of the Lower Mall from 1973  938
Factoria Mall Just Keeps Getting Emptier 912
Looks Like the Show is Over at Redmond Town Center… Or Is It? 909
Factoria Mall Redevelopment Update: The Beginning is Near 852

I know there are sites out there that take about five minutes on some random Tuesday to rack up 50,000 hits, but it’s been fun to watch the site grow steadily over the past 18 months from scratch.  With some time available to work on some of my long term projects, I hope to be able to continue to provide interesting content (and maybe even  find something besides empty malls that people want to read about) and continue with this growth.  I would also like to thank everyone who reads this site and contributes to my still rather limited knowledge of the history of the local malls.  And to the various family members out there who read this site, I hope I’m not boring all of you too much with this stuff…

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