28 November 2011

Notes from underground: six years old today

Today is this blog's blogiversary, six years old today. I called it Notes from underground because I'd just re-read Dostoevsky's novel of that name, and thought it would be rather nice.

Here are the first couple of posts, rather experimental Notes from underground: November 2005.

The world has changed a bit since then.

Back then I was saying that our President Thabo Mbeki, for all his faults, was a lot better than George Bush and Tony Blair.

Now I would say that our President Jacob Zuma, whatever his good points, is no better than Barack Obama and David Cameron, and in some respects a lot worse.

I don't know how many posts I've written in this blog over the last few years, but different statistics report somewhere between 110000 and 138000 page reads, and visitors mostly come from:

United States - 45,166
United Kingdom - 9,163
South Africa - 6,393
Germany - 4,645
Canada - 3,004
Russia - 2,267
Denmark - 2,045
Australia - 1,836
Netherlands - 1,673
Slovenia - 1,394

The puzzling one there is Slovenia. Why Slovenia, I wonder?

Before starting this blog I used LiveJournal, but it was a bit clunky and difficult to use. It was intended more as a journal than a blog, and after seeing quite a lot of Blogger blogs I thought I'd try it out, and I was impressed with the ease of just sitting down and writing something.

What was most impressive was tools like the "Blog this" one, which made it easy to save the URL of a web site and comment on it, which is what blogging was originally all about.

At that time Blogger had just been taken over by Google, and about three months after I began using it Google decided to "improve" it, which meant that many features that I liked most, including "Blog this", stopped working. Google seemed to be taking their time about bringing in the replacements for the missing features, and at that time many bloggers switched from Blogger to WordPress, because Blogger was broken for about 18 months.

Eventually I too started a WordPress blog, mainly to see how it worked, in case I too had to switch, but quite soon after that Blogger was fixed, and so I began using both in parallel. Each of these blogging platforms had its strong points. WordPress was better for graphics, and also used straightforward HTML markup, whereas blogger used about a lot of commands just to display something like italic text (what it puts behind the scenes for that is italic text, whereas Wordpress uses the straightforward italic text).

But Blogger is much better at displaying third-party Javascript widgets, some of which are quite useful.

So where I posted something would depend largely on which features of the blogging platform I wanted to use. If I wanted pictures with captions, I'd use Wordpress, while for pictures without captions, Blogger would do, though if there were many pictures you would have to move them individually to where you wanted them, whereas WordPress puts them where in the post you want them to go.

Blogger remains better for quick and dirty web-logging -- using "Blog this" to post a link to a web page and comment on it.

I'm not sure why, but my WordPress blog, though started later, gets about twice as many visitors as this one.

And for quicker and dirtier stuff I've found Tumblr even better, so both this one and the WordPress one feed into Tumblr to be summarised.


Chris H said...

Here's to your next six years at Notes from Underground!

Clarissa said...

I have many visitors from Slovenia, too. I thought it was because I've blogged a lot about Slavoj Žižek, a famous Slovenian philosopher.

But maybe it's simply a country filled with curious, intelligent people.

Happy bloggiversary!

CherryPie said...

Happy Bloggiversary

Aquila ka Hecate said...

Happy Blogiversary!
I don't have any visitors from Slovenia, but in my stats for the last 2-and-a-half years I get India and the Phillipines at about the levels you're getting Slovenia.
I have no idea why.

Terri in Joburg

James Higham said...

Many happy returns of the Blogday. Any prezzies?


Related Posts with Thumbnails