Tag Archives: Fagstein

Playing with new toys

I’m experimenting with some plugins and widgets and toys in order to boost my visitor count make this blog better for its loyal readers.

One thing you may have already noticed is that individual post pages now have links to related posts (as determined by that post’s tags). Since I tend to write about similar things, you’ll likely find those posts interesting. Related posts are also included in the RSS feed, which you should subscribe to.

Meanwhile, I’m still experimenting with some social bookmarking techniques. I’ve setup an account at del.icio.us, which allows me to share websites and pages I find interesting. I also have my Google Reader shared items, which allows me to share some of the blog posts I read that I find particularly interesting. You’ll find that feed currently being burned so I can track its popularity.

Unfortunately, I’m having trouble combining the two together and/or automating their inclusion into the blog. del.icio.us has a feature that automatically posts links to your blog (as you see below), but it’s not very configurable, and I don’t find that many links that would necessitate a daily post.

If anyone has any ideas on how I can automate, say, a weekly roundup of my del.icio.us (God that’s annoying to type) bookmarks and Google Reader shared items into a weekly blog post, please let me know. Surely someone has thought of this before, but Google hasn’t helped me.

Links for 2008-03-22

On being a local blogebrity

Being subscribed to as many feeds as I am, I see a lot of different types of posts come up repeatedly. The meme post, the viral video, the apology for lack of blogging.

Among them is the anniversary post. One year of blogging, three years of blogging, 1,000 posts, 666 posts, etc.

On the occasion of Fagstein’s first anniversary, I’ll add some content so this isn’t a wasted post. But that content will be about me.

Media blogger Julien Brault interviewed me for his blog (reposted at CentPapiers). His questions included some FAQs that I figure I’d repost here in English:

You blog really late at night. Why is that?

My sleep schedule, mainly. My job is an evening one, that sometimes goes as late as 1:30am. There’s also the much more pathetic reason that I find late-night TV much more interesting than early-morning TV. So I tend to sleep between 3am and noon instead of more sane hours of other people.

I tend to blog near the end of the day because that’s when I compose my thoughts. Earlier parts of the day involve reading newspapers and other blogs and making note of those I want to talk about.

Why did you start your blog?

Because I like to talk. I had been blogging personally between friends and eventually decided some non-personal stuff should have a wider audience. I also wanted to build a personal brand, prove to potential employers that I understand the Internet and have an excuse to go to Yulblog meetings (since I write about blogs).

What’s the difference between your blog posts and articles?

I don’t have to have blog posts approved by editors before I write them. On the other hand, I’m not paid for blog posts. Articles involve much more attention to the writing, more interviews and research, and are written for a different format. With blog posts, I can have a bit more fun, talk about myself, and use links and comments to do stuff I couldn’t do in newspaper articles.

Do you ever expect to make money from this? Are you planning to add ads?

Let’s be realistic. My traffic isn’t bad for a local blog, but it’s nowhere near what I’d need to be able to make money off of it, much less enough to live on. Even the celebrity bloggers here have other jobs that pay them more money. If it gets to the point where ads will bring in some money, I might add them, if only to offset hosting costs. But there’s not much point now.

I also look at it as having an indirect impact. I’ve gotten story ideas from this blog, developed contacts, and learned quite a bit. These non-tangible things might help me later on. But mostly I do this for fun.

Will blogs be the end of newspapers?

It depends on what you mean by “blog” and what you mean by “newspaper.” Blogs aren’t some magical force, nor are they all the same. Blogging is simply a publishing system that has articles in reverse chronological order. What you put on it defines what it is. So it’s very hard to make blanket statements about “blogs.”

As for newspapers, their main feature is their team of journalists. TV and radio don’t come close, mainly because they have to devote so much of their staff to technical matters and their journalists have to spend more time on each story. So the stories everyone talks about (including the bloggers) mainly come from local newspapers. That hasn’t changed yet.

Right now, the primary source for newspaper revenue is print advertising. Eventually, that might change and online advertising will become the primary revenue source. Once that happens, you’ll see a lot of newspapers shifting gears (beyond the current lip-service they give to online media) and focusing on digital distribution methods.

I think the newspaper as a format may be on the decline (though it will take decades before they truly disappear), but the journalism that comes out of them is what matters, and there will always be a market for that.

What’s your traffic like?

Not sure how to rate it quantitatively. It’s higher than some, lower than others. I get about 15,000 unique visitors a month, or 1,000 visits a day. Most of it is from other bloggers, friends, people in the media stealing my ideas, and of course myself. I have about 65 subscribers through Google Reader, plus another 20 or so using other services. My top referrers include Montreal City Weblog, Spacing Montreal, Dominic Arpin and Patrick LagacĂ©. The latter creates a firestorm when he links to me in one of his posts (as he did today), tripling my regular traffic for that day. So I don’t pretend I’m all that.

Any other questions?

On being a B-list blogebrity

Navel-gaze with me for a moment.

B-listI checked my Technorati rating yesterday and noticed that I’m above the 100 authority level for the first time (111, exactly half that of my hero Patrick LagacĂ©). That level, according to this hyper-scientific calculation system, makes me a B-list blogebrity.

That sounds cool and all, but I’m still ranked 58,325, and I don’t think B-list celebrities have 58,325 people more important than them.

What gets me more is the words used to describe this blog in the local blogosphere, where I imagine the name carries a bit more weight because I focus on local issues. Small things like saying “un site plus connu” or “un influent blogueur” boost my ego enough to almost forget about the fact that I’m not paid a penny to do this (yet).

Of course, quite a bit of my Technorati rating comes from automated spam blogs that link to whichever of my posts contain their magic keyword, hoping for trackbacks that’ll send eyeballs to their ad-ridden sites.

Going through my logs, it seems apparent that I have some regular readers. About 50 or so subscribe to the blog’s RSS feed through Google Reader, Netvibes, Bloglines or other similar services, and more visit the site the old-fashioned way, through bookmarks, memorizing the URL or Googling “fagstein”. Many others get here through search engine searches for things that nobody else has written about. The rest are Google’s indexing bot.

So to you human readers I say thank you for reading. If I can’t have modest riches, at least I can have modest fame.

I expect the red carpet treatment at Yulblog this week. (Even though I’ll probably be at Pecha Kucha instead)

Now back to your regularly-scheduled blogging. (This week’s geography trivia question is still open, with an added hint.)