Codenamed “The Experiment”

New look, same brilliant writing! ... Oh, don't make that face. It's not like you were paying for it.

Welcome to the new Cleveland, Curveballs and Common Sense, codenamed “The Experiment”! Go ahead and take a look around, then come on back and I’ll show you around.

Last year, around this time, I started thinking about redesigning my blog. I was working on implementing a WordPress theme from scratch at work; with Stephen Stanton (and his boss Josh Laney) providing the graphics and creative vision, all I had to do was write the code that powered a new WordPress site for our Chasing Trophy Whitetails brand. On my end, there were some neat technical things with the theme like an HTML5 image gallery and automatic generation of OpenGraph tags. It seemed pretty fun and pretty easy at the time, and so I quickly became eager to write a theme for my own blog and transfer some of that new knowledge over.

But it’s not even close to that easy: it takes skill and talent to create and execute a WordPress theme design, and so I flustered for almost a year, coming up with various ideas but nothing good enough to make me want to switch.

Long may you run

Over the last couple years my blog has gone through a number of changes: the original migration from my McJournal account, to my migration to a custom domain, to a new look, to the most recent, a migration to WordPress.

One of the less visible changes, however, was the installation of Google Analytics about two years ago, on February 25, 2008, to be exact. Since then, I’ve been able to gauge where my visitors are reading from, what they like and where they came from on the Web. A couple of interesting things jumped out at me as I analyzed the data, and while I try not to do too many self-serving posts, I couldn’t resist this one. Hopefully you’ll see why later.

Overall

First, here’s the visitor graph for that entire two years:

Visitors graph since February 25, 2008

Most of the peaks (as you may imagine) came on days when I posted (or the day after, depending on how late the post was). The highest peak came when one of my posts was Reddited on the gaming subreddit.

Operating System

Operating system breakdown since February 25, 2008

This graph shows a breakdown of the operating systems visitors are using to view the site. In general I think the viewing audience of this site is skewed away from Windows more than the norm, but Windows still holds the vast majority with Mac OS X and Linux not far behind. I found it interesting that 2.3% of my visitors were using the iPhone OS via either an iPod Touch or an iPhone, showing that the mobile platforms are certainly gaining traction. I’m not sure what a “Danger Hiptop” is, but wherever you are, thanks for visiting! (Once, apparently. Was it something I said?)

Browser

Browser breakdown since February 25, 2008

Browser breakdown since February 25, 2008

Now it really starts to get interesting. Apparently Firefox is my readers’ most popular choice. This surprises me because Firefox has never been my favorite browser, and I really only used it as my primary browser for a few months at work (where, as you might imagine, I don’t frequent my own blog). However, I also know that a little less than halfway through this reporting period I switched default browsers on all of my Windows machines to Google Chrome from IE 7. I think this sort of weakened those two browser’s numbers a bit (kind of like Ralph Nader and the democrats). Firefox, IE and Chrome make up the top three with Safari (including iPhone Safari) coming in fourth. Lesser known browsers such as Camino and Konqueror round out the bottom.

International location

International visitors since February 25, 2008

Obviously most of my visitors come from the United States, but I’ve certainly made a dent in other countries as well, including all six populated continents. I have yet to crack the Great Firewall of China (I wrote a paper (PDF) trashing that firewall back in 2008, I’m not surprised no one from there has found me), but most of Europe and North America have visited, along with parts of South America and Asia. In terms of rankings (not pictured), the U.S. ranks first, followed by Canada, India, the United Kingdom and Australia.

US location

US visitors since February 25, 2008

Now this is where things get really interesting for me. As you can see, I’ve had visitors from every U.S. state except North Dakota. I want this blog to have been read in all 50 states, so if you have friends in North Dakota, tell them to read this once and it’s a personal favor to me. Seriously. Just once. In terms of state ranking, Ohio is first, followed by New York (on the right of that picture), South Carolina, Pennsylvania (sorry Amanda, I don’t have a picture of you handy), and Indiana (on the left).

In all seriousness though, it’s been really fun writing, ranting and raving the past few years. No matter where you’re reading from, no matter what browser you choose or what OS you use, thank you. I write most of this stuff for me, but it’s very gratifying that others other than myself seem to like it. Thanks again for reading, and as always, I look forward to my next post.

WWW is the new blog

A couple of quick programming notes (related to the content of this site, not my actual programming. Actually I guess it is related to my actual programming. So forget I said this.):

  • You may have noticed that blog.jimmysawczuk.com now redirects you here, to www.jimmysawczuk.com. I did this to create a more unified feel for my web presence, hopefully it’s more helpful for what you’re looking for. I’m still working on it, so let me know if you have suggestions or concerns.
  • Because I moved some files around I needed to rebuild certain projects so that they could be downloaded from the server off the installer, so I rebuilt Invaders and George In Space!. If you haven’t checked them out yet, you should – they’re probably the two most useful programs I’ve ever made.

    invaders_ss1

    Invaders

As always, thanks for your feedback, and above all, thanks for reading!