I am always curious about this blog. I am always looking under the hood. Maybe I just write it so I’ll have something to play with.
I try and optimize this site for Google. It’s become an obsession. Google gives me some, not a lot, of information.
Here’s an item called, “What Googlebot sees,” which they let me see too.
1. my permanent record
2. geoff fox
3. geoff fox blog
4. geoff fox my permanent record
5. my perminent record
“Perminent!” Seriously. This blog is the number two return for “Perminent Record,” though until now that spelling didn’t exist here. Maybe I’ll go to #1!
Google is weird. A few weeks ago it decided 12 of the top 15 keywords appearing in the blog were months, like July or February. I actually changed all dates to numeric, hoping it would reevaluate.
Good inbound links matter. A 5 and 6 will make a positive difference to a blog this size.
As a technical achievement, this blog software is amazing. This is Movable Type, version 4.1. It was free, an open source project. I had to install and configure it it myself.
Docs are for people who know what they’re doing. They are not for learning. It shouldn’t be that way. Totally unfair.
Movable Type creates a relationship between each entry I write. Articles automatically move down the front page until they fall off after seven days. There are archives with pages appearing in individual, daily and monthly presentations.
The monthly archives read first to last, a blog rarity. There are also categories where all the entries follow a theme.
Every blog entry I’ve posted is still online. Google often sends readers to pages I wrote years ago. The pages which receive search engine hits are not necessarily the best entries, but just ones with an eclectic or eccentric group of words.
If I write about a very mainstream subject, I am buried under an avalanche of more influential webpages.
I customized the blog’s look as best I could. I see other blogs whose visual style I find more appealing. Designing like that is probably beyond me. I sorta’ know what I’m doing, but really know nowhere near enough.
The blog entries are composed using a simple form on an unlinked, password protected webpage. Firefox has a spell checker built in, which automatically functions as I type. I still miss plenty.
All the heavy duty tech stuff is done magically, out-of-sight, and mostly by the blog software. Every once in awhile, I republish the blog, which updates a few numbers on each page and takes around an hour.
This blog is a single, small tenant on a server that hosts dozens of websites simultaneously. We are each given a small space and are separated from our neighbors by barriers we can’t cross. If others are abusing the server, my site gets slow.
It costs very little to maintain this site.
There are strange, orphan pages scattered around the website. I’m at a loss to explain how they got where they are, but they did. Many look like normal pages, and since there might be links to them, I leave them untouched.
The whole concept of unexpected files on a website puzzles me. In fact, as you examine computer systems closely, you’ll nearly always find extra pieces. Computers are a little more quirky and a little more fault tolerant than you would expect.
This blog has taught me to love writing. I really enjoy it. It’s challenging and exacting. If I say something just right, or turn a phrase and illuminate a point, I’ll step back and look at it, as if the words were something an artist had painted on a canvas. It’s probably a silly thing to do.
These words are crafted. I am a craftsman. I take pride.
I like the way words look when they neatly fill a space. I like how paragraphs and sentences create a rhythm on the page. I like photos. They prettify the blog and make the adjacent text more appealing.
I favor short paragraphs, which are thought to be more readable.
I have missed days since the blog started nearly five years ago. I haven’t missed many. I haven’t missed any recently. My goal is to write every day. That too has become obsessive behavior.