Pondering Blog Stats, Contemplating Future

Sometimes I’m amazed at the traffic this blog gets. Maybe that’s because I’ve never been big on advertising this blog — I may link to something relevant I’ve written when replying elsewhere — or utilizing SEO. An exception was at the DSL forums where I put a link in my signature; much of the content of this blog over the previous few years had a DSL bent so I didn’t think I was being pushy. Maybe this blog wouldn’t even exist if Andrews had ever fixed the DSL Blogs, which is where I originally intended to blog.

WordPress is very informative and possesses some great tools. I can see where a lot of my hits originate. Needless to say, I still get traffic from the DSL forums. I also get a lot of DSL-related search hits. This surprises me because DSL’s development appears to have ended. Last time I looked there was no update or roadmap for the future. Yet my DSL pages continue getting hits from those forum links and also from search engines.

Many of the hits from the DSL forums continue to be related to jwm. I also get a lot of hits for searches related to jwm, especially themes. These used to be the biggest source of hits to my blog, but have levelled off a bit in recent months. Not too surprising considering how I no longer post at DSL forums and I haven’t added much new jwm content in a while.

I also get a lot of hits related to dwm, dmenu, ratpoison, ratmen, and screen. At one time I’d considered doing video tutorials for these — better quality than my two crappy videos at youtube. Maybe I should go ahead and do the videos because I see similar search terms popping up frequently. If anyone has questions about these things that they’re not finding here or elsewhere, don’t hesitate to leave a comment in a relevant post and I’ll either clarify in a new post, comment, or (if you ask in the comment) in private e-mail. (That goes for anything I address here.)

The biggest surprise to me is how many hits I get related to Fedora 10 and 11 since I’ve only been using and writing about Fedora for a couple months. It’s very clear to me, if the search terms landing people here are any indication, that there’s considerable frustration with Fedora 11. Maybe my occasionally unrestrained profanity helps this blog’s rankings in Google’s algorithms because many hits since the release of Fedora 11 have included “fucked up” or “shit” in them. Especially combined with USB and live CD. (Edit: Similar terms also result in a lot of Ubuntu Netbook Remix-oriented hits to my review. Pretty clear from the number of search engine hits that I must not have been the only one to suffer crashing menu and desktop problems.)

I almost shut this blog down when I was in Houston last year caring for family. I didn’t have the time to maintain it, let alone add new content. I’d also installed BSD on everything that had Linux on it. Even when I got my AA1, I had no plan to install Linux. But I eventually did. And here we are.

I don’t know how much longer I’ll continue adding new content or what direction that content will take. It seemed easier when I was tied (more or less) to one particular distro and involved in its community. Now, I’m using Fedora (to a smaller degree than Windows) and not involved in its community. I’m also not tied to using Fedora much longer if I find something I think will serve my interests better for a longer term than Fedora’s support cycle for at least F10 (or F11 if it’s stabilized soon).

I haven’t committed 100% to installing Windows 7 when it’s released. But I’m very inclined to do that. If I do, there will probably be a lot less new content on this blog and I’ll be right back where I was when I came home from Houston.

I’ve been blogging on more general purpose topics at another blog. I haven’t added much new content to my BSD blog because there’s not much to write about. I don’t think “my servers are pretty fucking stable” is newsworthy enough. But maybe neither is “I installed ratpoison and changed runlevels and removed a lot of default software.” Yet I still get hits.

Whatever I do, I won’t take the blog down as I’d planned. Aside from a few comments expressing thanks or pingbacks mentioning resolution of issues, I don’t know how many people find anything I’ve written helpful. Hopefully it’s more than I know.


4 Responses to “Pondering Blog Stats, Contemplating Future”

  1. kruce Says:

    For what its worth, I’m still interested. I’m still learning Linux, and find it more difficult to find (accessible) documentation for system optimization. Anybody can use a gui, but there’s obviously a ton of stuff that is left to be discovered. I unfortunately don’t have the time to google every package that you’ve removed, but it at least gives me a starting point for later discovery.

    • lucky Says:

      Thanks for the feedback and for replying again. I’m not completely opposed to graphical tools. For many people, they make computers usable. I’m all for that. What I don’t like is when there’s more focus on developing and documenting graphical tools and there’s a loss of granularity/fine-tuning that users may need to get their computers working better or even correctly. Or when something as important as networking is spawned as a child process of X. Ugh. (I’m doing that now again while I check some things out. Temporarily.)

      The list of stuff I removed isn’t too complex. A few firmware packages for wireless modules I’ll never use on my AA1, Pidgin graphical chat client, Evolution e-mail and calendar, libraries for things I’d already removed like AbiWord, etc. I know I have more fonts for foreign languages I don’t speak or read that I can remove. Probably a lot more stuff can go.

      I think what’s probably more important is the number of processes that can be trimmed down or changed to things that don’t rob as much power; I wish more distros would allow that to be configured during install so users with older or less-able hardware don’t have to go through and turn stuff off. I need to do more homework myself on console-kit-daemon and see if it really needs to spawn so many instances. Maybe I should do a post on trimming down services and setting up lower-resource alternatves.

      Anyway, thanks again.

  2. kruce Says:

    That kind of stuff interests me – especially since I work for a SMB with limited hardware budget. And ever since BlackViper did his thing with Win2k Services and that guy trimmed XP to something like 140mb (still haven’t tried it), I’ve been trying to make MS work on less than current hardware. Its just (seems) much harder to find guides explaining the ins and outs of all the libraries for core Linux services, much less every bit of software that makes the hardware functional. But it would still be a hobby, ’cause after all, we’re still an XP shop.

    • lucky Says:

      One good place to start with learning the nuts and bolts might be the Linux From Scratch manual and its “sequels.” It’s not the most fascinating read but it does outline the steps required to build a system and explains what all the bits and pieces do in the header of each section.

      While that might give a good general idea of all the stuff that makes up a Linux-based system and how it works together, it’s not an absolute because Linux distros aren’t standardized and there are myriad little pieces that can be changed/patched or configured in so many different ways. At least when you see what different components in a typical distro actually do you can associate them with comparable libraries, services, etc., in Windows. I think the similarities in the ways operating systems work are much stronger than their differences.

      I haven’t looked beyond reducing the default set of services and manually removing things MS includes in its base to reduce system loads in Windows. I’ve seen apps and guides for stripping down Windows, but what would interest me more is alternative services that might be more efficient (aside from things like Bluetooth where third-party drivers like Widcomm’s tend to work better than Microsoft’s generic drivers).

      As far as tweaking services in Linux, right now I’m looking at using things that will use less RAM and less polling and fewer CPU cycles. When I can get to it, I’m redoing my networking and printing for sure. There are several other things I’d like to find alternatives for as well. Hopefully I’ll get some time this weekend to do some homework on that, otherwise it could be another week or so.

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