Introducing Always Very Busy

Sometimes I go out and buy a lot of food to cook only to find the kitchen a mess and decide to go out and eat instead. This is how this blog has become. I have recently made some changes to clean up and focus the content, in the hopes of actually writing more.

The first thing I did was to delete about 30% of the content. I removed all posts about politics (there’s plenty of more qualified people writing about politics). I reduced the number of categories and re-categorized posts.

greginthedesert.net is supposed to be about Me, Greg, in the desert. So I have started a new blog called alwaysverybusy.net to write about tech and gadgets and other stuff that keeps me always very busy. I’m also considering another spin off site where I can focus on photography.

I’m still in the process of moving and removing posts. I still have the problem of Google not indexing this site so more work is to be done.

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Greg In The Desert Review At The Kindle Blog Report

I want to thank Ann Currie at The Kindle Blog Report for reviewing Greg In The Desert. Not only do I like the attention, but the review was positive.

It is well written. It does not rant. You can follow it…well once you get to know (and love) Greg, you can follow his ramblings. Usually, if you have read my past reviews, I am not a fan of “rambling” blogs, but this one is a little different. In the description of his blog, Greg says it is about “Technology, Apple, New Mexico, Rio Rancho, Home Improvement, and Automation among other things.” And, he sticks to that (those) theme(s). And, he does a good job while he is at it.

I put a lot of effort into making a readable, well written blog . This sort of feedback is encouraging considering I failed 8th grade english. Hopefully I can get real life out of the way and get more posts up.

What Google Takes Away, Google Gives Back

At the end of last year Google did something with its page rank algorithm that caused my site to loose most traffic from Google. I thought the problem was due to excessive load times on my site. I used Pingdom to narrow the load times to a javascirpt from a WordPress contact form plugin. The javascript took about 4 seconds to load and was loading on every page, including pages that did not have the contact form.

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Once disabled the load times were down to a more reasonable level, although they have crept back up according to Google Webmaster Tools. As far as I can tell it’s images causing the load times. It was a good exercise for me to understand load times but it was a change made completely on Google’s part that caused the loss in traffic. The site not only got the traffic back but it increased a little. Also, when the traffic did come back the site had a significant increase in comment spam, so much that I had to turn off comments for certain posts.

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Meanwhile, I took a much need break from the blog and completely ignored everything (except approving comments) and missed that TechCrunch linked to one of my pages. Causing a nice spike in traffic.

Google Doesn't Like Me

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Google has decided to stop sending people to my site. Most of my traffic comes from Google searches.

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It might be because it’s taking too long to index my site (in milliseconds). I can’t seem to figure out what is causing this.

Update: According to Google Webmaster Tools, Google has no back links to me at all, which is a change from before. Hopefully Google will restore these in the near future.

End Of Year 2009 Post

I normally haven’t been writing “year in review” type posts, but this year I thought I had made significant enough improvement to Greg In The Desert to make a few notes.

I would like to think that my actual writing has improved. I have spent quite an effort on editing and I think it shows in my posts. It’s not where I would like it to be but it is better. I have also moved to dedicated hosting using WordPress and it has been a huge improvement over the previous systems I used. I wished I had switched sooner.

It was difficult to get back into writing posts when my dad died this summer, but I’ve started to pick up again in the last few months. I’ve been able to increase traffic and increase affiliate and google adsense income. It’s enough to cover the costs of hosting plus a little (maybe enough for a few tanks of gas). To better target subject matter, have considered breaking Greg In The Desert into at least two blogs with Greg In The Desert’s subject matter focusing Home Improvement and Automation.

I can see the potential to make real money on the internet by blogging. Whether I have the time needed to devote to it is another matter.

Here’s a top 10 list of posts by raw page views.

Greg In The Desert On Twitter

I have for the most part given up on Twitter. Too much noise and not enough signal. I’ve even gone as far as making my account private.

I’m in the minority and since Twitter is very popular and some people won’t even click on a link unless it’s on Twitter, I have set up an account just for Greg In the Desert on Twitter. The account will just show posts from Greg In The Desert rather than random things from me. I thought it was better to set up a new account rather than spam the followers I already have.

If your interested, I’m using the Twitter Tools plugin with the Twitter Friendly Links to generate my own short URLs.

twitter.com/greginthedesert