Breakin’ Eggs

(Video free from JibJab.com)

Stu’s Shed is now 6 years old!  You’ve heard of human years, dog years, cat years etc (Dog to human years, about 7:1, cat to human about 5.5:1, (and yes I know this is poor science))

A website year is harder to define – few blogs survive 12 months, let along pass 3 years (let alone double that!)  The average blog has the lifespan of a fruitfly (30-44 days) (and some claim the intelligence of one!)

Another quote that I love:

Blogging is not writing, it is graffiti with punctuation

Previously, I have provided stats at the end of each year, but they are becoming more and more irrelevant, being harder and harder to track.  Over the last 6 years there has been a massive rise in social media, with Twitter and Facebook leading the charge.  Counting for this traffic, RSS feeds, direct emails and the old-fashion (but preferred) site hits, and the 1.8 million visits the website shows is closer to 3 million if you account for the other viewing methods.

 

But whatever, Stu’s Shed is still here, and with the new shed (announcement of commencement very soon (I hope!!!!)), I am feeling really inspired for a whole raft of new content. And returning to more video content to boot!

In the world of blogs (the blogosphere), Stu’s Shed is now one of the elders (remembering too, that it is still a single-author blog, unlike most other long-term players).  Who knows where it leads, but until there is a real push for a more modern alternative, we are here to stay, and even then are very adaptable on the WordPress platform.

So, “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday Stu’s Shed, happy birthday to you”

Droll

The best content is original. Repeatedly re-blogging others content (look at your archives for the last 6 months) indicates you have no original ideas. I remember when Stu’s Shed was ‘great’, now it’s droll. – Sam

It was an interesting comment I received from “Sam” after posting about Michael Turri’s phenomenal work that happened to have been previously mentioned on The Wood Whisperer.  Unlike other media, apparently bloggers are only entitled to write original content, and not refer to anything someone else has commented on. Not sure why there are “Press This” and “Reblog” tools available, if not for reposting interesting content found elsewhere (or retweet for the twitterati).

However, if not for my readers this site would not exist, so you tell me what you want.

From Sam’s comment about the last 6 months, I decided to count back. 145 posts. 20 posts that I would regard as re-blogs (or primarily to embed someone else’s YouTube content).

'Droll' Content Graph

‘Droll’ Content Graph

Sam suggested I rename my blog “Wood Whisperer Reblogged”, although there has only been 1 post in the last 6 months.  There have been 8 from Lost Art Press (Chris Schwarz’s blog).

So my question is this: are you interested in me reposting interesting content when I find it, or not?  If not, it would simply have meant 20 less posts, but the real question is whether you think it degrades the whole site or not when I do so?

And just as an aside, have a look at some other sites, and see how much of their own “original” content they post.  And how much advertising they have.

“No original ideas”? Seriously?

Another year

Given that I recently passed 2000 posts, and associated comments at that point, I won’t go into all the statistics surrounding the blog again.

However, one is worth mentioning I think:

Stu’s Shed is now 5 years old

Not sure if I expected it to last this long or not – probably hadn’t given it much thought to be honest.  Had a look around to see what the sort of normal life expectancy of a blog is, and it seems to be in the order of the average life expectancy of a fruit fly, with the intelligence of one to boot.  So if we eliminate them from the equation, the average of those that survive the 8 or so post mark (60-80% lasting a whole month or so) is around 3 years.

So we are doing ok.

Readership has definitely changed, and the site statistics are no longer even close to being accurate, with many choosing to have new posts emailed to them rather than reading them online.  Those numbers don’t get counted in the site statistics (nor those who read the site via RSS feeds, or via Twitter etc), but the name of the game is all about the real audience, not some stat counter.  The counter currently sits just under 1.5 million visits, the real number would be closer to 1.75 million, but end of the day, who’s counting :)

I still find it interesting looking back to see what was happening around the shed 2, 3, 5 years ago.  It, and this blog are constantly evolving.  They may be small changes here and there, but they add up quickly!

So onto another year, and lots more to come.

Over 100 Countries

Since early May, when I added the new widget that maps visitors to the site, there have been visitors from over 100 countries.  Cool huh – how amazing that a small shed in the back of beyond of south-east Melbourne suburbs, down-under gets seen all over the world (or is that the global village?)  Does that make me the village woodworker, or just the village idiot?

Over 100 countries, > 1/2 the world

Over 100 countries, > 1/2 the world

Virtual Cleanup part 2

So I’ve now fixed up the “tool of-the-month” page (found under the “Review” tag), the “router bit of-the-month”, and have added the different cuts side-by-side for the “Battle of the Blades” – these are also found under “Review”, then under “Battle of the Blades”.  Scroll to the bottom of the list of blades to find the different cuts done in the test, and a link to the related page with all the images of each cut one after the other so you can easily draw whatever conclusions you need.

I’ve also removed the images of the blades that have yet to be written up from the “Battle of the Blades page”, so it is easy to see which reviews have been written. (There are only 3 so far!)

Bit of a virtual shed cleanup

Few things happening inthe background, so if some of the pages suddenly vanish, and others mysteriously appear, don’t be surprised!

I’ve changed the title of Manufacturers and Suppliers to Sources, simply because it is a shorter name. (If you can think of a better one, please say!)

The Tool of-the-month page is being moved to be contained within a new page simply called “Reviews” this section will have the Tool of-the-month, Router Bit of-the-month, the Battle of the Blades, and links to any other reviews that are done. It is completely under construction so you won’t find anything there at the moment.

Another new section that you may be able to see, and might be hidden again temporarily is the Shed Tools section. This is a breakdown of my workshop into main, ancillary, hand-powered, hand-unpowered and portable workshop tools to give you an idea of what a typical workshop can contain, and some of the reasoning behind the decisions I’ve made in choosing the tools therein. That is going to take a while! It will link to the actual tool reviews where relevant.

I’m still working on the tags vs categories concepts to make previous topics easy to find. Again, with over 300 posts already, cataloging the site is important if the info is not to be lost in the detritus.

So bear with me – we will get there. In the meantime, there are 2 new videos coming, as well as the next saw blade review, so there will still be content coming despite the work that is occurring in the background!!

There sure is a lot of time that goes into running a site like this! My hourly rate is Shocking!!!! (What is 1,000 hours x $0/hour?)

And now for something completely different

Completely unrelated to woodworking, but just thought some might be interested to know that I have finally started up a bit of a photo blog.

HMNZS TE KAHA

It isn’t much at this stage, but I hope to keep quietly adding to it day by day, and seeing it grow. It won’t impact on this site at all, it just might encourage me to start taking some photos again (other than for Stu’s Shed that is!)

Funny how things work out, Stu’s Shed was originally just a test bed for me to try out some of the new web technology for that site, and instead it captured me completely, and the original ideas for the multimedia site I was going to build faded completely! Not that I mind, and this new (old) site is just going to be somewhere I can place some images etc. I might grow it in time into other areas (my other writings, photo podcasts etc), but there’s no hurry.

The site is based around a rather unusual blog theme called Monotone, which automagically chooses the colour scheme based on the colours in the photo itself.

For anyone who is interested, it is located at occipitalhypertrophy.wordpress.com

A Little Blogging Experiment

I’m out and about at the moment, and have my iPod Touch with me. There is a wireless network here I can access, so the experiment is: can I write a blog entry using an iPod?

Given that you are reading this I guess it worked. How amazing is new technology?

Reversing a trend

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been noticing a trend in visits which was disturbing – the numbers slowly dwindling. I think I have isolated the cause, that being not showing the full body of every post on the home page. I have reversed it, so once again the whole page is slower to load, but hopefully it will encourage an ever-increasing number of readers!

I will continue to monitor the situation closely, but if any readers have any useful comments about how the site looks and feels they would be most welcome.

Temporary Post Removal

I have been asked to temporarily remove access to a recent post about the latest tools that are scheduled to come out of Triton, as seen in their yet-to-be released 2008/2009 catalogue.

Given that I had permission to publish that information there is no issue here specifically, but never-the-less I have been happy to comply with the request, given that there are commercial-in-confidence issues involved.

As soon as GMC/Triton are willing to have the information back in the public arena, I will move the post back to the public-access area.

These things happen, and even on the Triton website recently, the new saw and stats were made temporarily available (probably for as long as it took for someone to realise the information had gone live!)

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