Who Visits Your Blog?

“The only way to improve the quality of your life is to improve yourself. If you want to grow your organization, you must grow as a leader. If you want to have better children, you must become a better person.” – John Maxwell

In the last months of 2008 and until now my blog site’s hits picked up. The rate of visitors has increased a lot compared to early part of last year and that of course puts a smile on my face. I attributed the improvement to my recent availability and frequent online activity. I’ve visited old contacts’ blogs, became active in several networks like multiply.com and Friendster, wrote more frequently than before and my wife has been promoting it as well to her colleagues and even her manager which left me wondering if I’d be thankful or not for exposing me up to that level. Anyway, she left a comment and it was one of the most flattering comments I ever had.

That visit and comment though just didn’t add one more blog hits. From then on, I got challenged since I now know who’s been reading, who visited and what probably the expectations of my visitors and readers are. The pressure to write sensible blogs with acceptable composition started. I also began to check what my latest posts were and if I violated some of the company’s confidential policies. The good thing is I didn’t but the bad thing on the other hand is that due to the urge to write more, I seem to have written with so much wordiness yet with less appealing topics, that even I hated it. Surprisingly, the hits kept on rising.

Now I’m becoming worried than ever. I asked myself if I know who’s been coming back, why they come back, what their interests are and how they learned about my site in the first place. With that in mind and similar other observations from the blogging world lit my thinking bulb. It’s time I answer the question, “Who are your blog visitors?”

  1. Lurkers. They are often times blessings in disguise because they increase network traffic and they make up the biggest percentage of a website hits. I suspect The problem with having them though is that they don’t leave any (good or bad) comments which keeps you guessing what they are so interested about that they keep on coming back. Among these lurkers are:
  • Spammers
  • Advertisers
  • Enemies who would love to see you fail.
  • English grammar teachers who are searching for the “I-kill-me-moment” for their next day classes. “Class, please visit crisn.wordpress.com and find as much grammatical error as possible on his post…”
  • Copycats who secretly grab your ideas and plagiarize it on their own blog site (thanks at least for pingback that they get caught somehow).
  • Journalists who are desperately trying to meet the deadline and hoping that a keyword or tag from your post would light up their own light bulb.
  • Your current boss looking for violations in confidentiality.
  • Your next employer.
  • Your colleagues who wonder if you’re the same person they know especially if you’ve kept your writing skill (or the lack of it) secret.
  • Your ex-lover.
  • Bloggers you visited and commented.
  • Social engineers and Phishers.
  1. Same feathers. From the famous “birds of the same feathers flock together” cliché. These are visitors and/or readers who may be also members of the internet forum or egroup you’re currently in. More often than not they don’t necessarily mean that they love your site, your subject matter or even your writing style. More likely, they are just there hoping to exchange links and probably get some ideas in the process. So beware and don’t immediately edit that blogroll of yours unless you’re totally convinced that they deserve that sweet spot in your blog site.
  1. Niche audience. These are the people that you want in your blog They are those who have the same interest as yours and can fully relate to your blah, blah, blahs. They understand your jargons and other fancy terms. Unlike lurkers though, they usually keep in touch with you either through comments or emails. With them, the likelihood of an exchange of useful ideas is very high. These are among the people that you should maintain and have a close relationship with. Either add them to your favorites or add them to your blogroll.
  2. The 3 Fs. They are your Family, Friends and Fans all at the same time–by force or by choice. Although they aren’t as frequent as the lurkers, their visits are usually well-meaning and their praises are true. Just a warning though especially if you’re the type who can’t take criticisms. This group of people (or person) may give blunt comments that will hit you like your mother’s whipping spank–it will hurt, but whether you like it or not, it is for your own good. So appreciate and cherish their comments but listen and act accordingly to their criticisms.

As my employment time is counting down my blog hits however is going up. While laid off, blogging I guess will be my main occupation, paid or not, as I try to figure out what my next moves would be. It is just wise then to know my visitors because through it I get to feel what to improve, how to improve it and hopefully perfect it in the end – no matter when and no matter what it would take. After all, I love writing and I’d be all smiles when the day comes that I do what I really love to do.


Mood: 3/10 Honks!

You’re a Blog Addict If…

(A tribute to the return of wp-pinoys.com)

…You have one or more blog accounts.

…Your mind is always wondering what your next blog subject will be.

…You find yourself desperately composing a post even while driving.

…You would rather keep mum during discussions not until you have blogged about the subject matter for fear that other bloggers in your group or anyone would hear about it.

…Every discussion is a good discussion.

…You’ve become masochistic by enjoying confrontations just so you can check if you can make a good blog post out of it.

…You accepted an offer for an extreme adventure not because you love it but because you want to write about it despite the possibility of nausea.

…Microsoft Word and the Internet Explorer browser have been your most utilized application over Powerpoint and Excel.

…”Is the internet connection ok?” becomes your official greeting when you reach home from work.

…Your wife worries about your health whenever you fail to post.

…Your primary concern before a vacation is if your destination offers Wi- Fi.

…You suddenly wake up in the wee hours of the morning just so you can check if what you’ve posted that night had grammatical errors in it.

…You had dreams about you and your conscience arguing about your grammar usage.

…You had nightmares about WordPress.com being wiped out.

…You also had nightmares about your blog drafts being wiped out.

…You are prone to malapropism.

…You’re having symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

You’re justifying to yourself (or wife) that an HP mini is a necessity even during this recession period.

…You’ve set your mind that your fast growing beer belly will become a good netbook platform in case you have to type while standing in a packed train.

…You have your digital camera along with you all the time ready for any “bloggable” event.

…You have considered getting a Paypal account so you can monetize your blog.

…You consider that having your own domain is a good investment.

…You wonder after the homily if the priest has a blog site.

…You’re fully aware that Technorati isn’t related to the Illuminati.

…You’ve approached your boss to let you have a blog time rather than a lunch time.

…Brushing your teeth becomes second to checking your blog hits – and that your mood is dictated by it.

…Other than the internet cafes you’ve also frequented Power Books stores and spent time taking notes of blog materials.

…You can relate very well to this blog. Happy blogging to all!


Mood: 3/10 Honks

Tumbled Upon Tumblr

Not all simple things are created equal and tumblr.com is an example. This is a blog site I discovered several months back after reading it on a newspaper article. It’s one of those lazy Sundays when the moment I see a link, I immediately give it a shot.

At first I find it so simple that I was wondering what was going inside the mind of its developer when he made it. Maybe he’s trying to be among the dot.com millionaires like the people behind Facebook, YouTube or even the fading Friendster. Well, I don’t know if he made the mark but to be fair, I think he or she somehow made a good start. Of course, I already signed up.

Trying to experiment what this site brings got me into starting my own, everythingpetty.tumblr.com. I find tumblr’s dashboard very basic. It requires little experience from its users and one doesn’t even need to be good at writing since in here anything can be posted. Users may post photos, text, quotes, audio and links. Consider this as some sort of repository of drafts of wild ideas.

tumblr’s dashboard

The large icons make it so highly recommended for bloggers with vision problems. Please tell your grandma about it.

Don’t get me wrong though. This site has some good following from a various talented people. From what I’ve seen, most people like to publish photos and drawings. I’ve seen one member post drawing blogs about his daily life in his cubicle and I was entertained and awed at the skillful depiction of the boxed working environment. I feel him.

The simplicity of tumblr is so enticing that anyone with lots of time to kill inside the cube would likely post something, anything, anytime, any day. Hmm, I think I’ll have to consider this one later in the day. Something to keep me busy during the whole 8-hour period. Hahahaha. Just kidding, IT admin guys.


My bad. I actually forgot all about this tumblr account but one of my recent visitor’s comment reminded me all about it. Thanks, Mariam. I already posted a new entry. Please check it out every now and then.

Visit also Mariam’s site because so far she’s got the perfect header for a recession-related blog. And incidentally, just like me, she’s also keeping track of those posting the same tags. See it for yourself.



Mood: 3/10 Honks!

2008: A Blog Year in Review

Two more days and 2008 will end. And couple more hours from now, I’d be functioning as a daddy and being Hobbes* again. So I’m thinking, why not grab these wee hours of the morning, while both wifey and baby are sleeping soundly, to review what has happened to this blog and the events that inspired it.

I made a run-through of the posts I did since January to date, and so far I killed time 79 times this year—79 posts overall. Like photographers, bands, singers, writers, and bloggers, each has their own favorites in their portfolio which when reviewed over and over again affirms that one has indeed performed a good job somehow. The opposite of which are those footprints that will come to haunt like a sequel to a previous nightmare.

As any other self-respecting person would do, I will list only my favorite posts for this year and here they are in order of posting date (starting from January to December).

1000 Kilometers, 1 B-Movie, 3 Coffee. I wrote this blog for the first time from our company’s (after my shift, FYI) parking lot while waiting for wifey and while trying to compose it with the draining battery of my old, yet trusty T42 IBM laptop.

2008: Year of Change?. A start of the year reflection on what has hap- pened and things that may yet to come.

We Could Steal Cars. Not well composed, but this reminds me of the time when my wife and I spent several hours lock picking our brand new Honda during a gas stop to Clark.

The Rock Star in Me. Any fictitious story coming true is worth writing. This is my first Arnel Pineda blog. And by the way, this is the most read (or clicked) – it registered 394 views to date.

Rio and Gino. Almost landed a writing job for an automotive site but unfortunately, the auto financing subject caught me unguarded—reason why I haven’t heard from the forum folks anymore.

Ship is Sinking II. Another blog sequel but which I find better than the first because the “sinking” here is more imminent.

House For Sale?  My eBay venture blog. I learned a lot from it and have sold several items thru the internet.

Something Looks Familiar. An F1 related post inspired by a familiar corporate logo which contains one of the historic events during this year’s season.

Back on 2 Wheels. One of the things I did this year to save on gas is to have a motorcycle in July. I now bring it to work every chance I can.

Heroes Wanted: Dead or Alive. The truth is, I’m one of those who has the hatred and shame of being a Filipino but is constantly thinking how I can do my own part to get out of that sentiment. So when the “I am Ninoy” movement came out, I eagerly gave it a chance to sink in.

We’re Moving Out. Despite my low emotional state, this blog is one of my wackiest compositions.

Photo Loco. Inspired after attending a basic photography class, the photo enthusiast in me kicked in. I posted several shots that got some compliments from other friends who are also into photography. A couple of related blogs followed next.

We Are Now Parents. An early Christmas gift for us. We now have a baby.

Ghost Sightings. My first post written while in wifey’s place in Batangas. This is also when I started using the “Honks!” scale in my blogs.

Changes and Transitions. This is what this year is all about.

Filipino Pride. This is one of those days when the news all over the country is that crime has ceased to exist – at least every time Manny Pacquiao is up on the ring to fight.

Next year will be another blogging year and I’m hoping that I’ll do more and better blogs. If there are things I’d like to have for me to continue doing so, these will be time, inspiration and wisdom. Oh by the way, I’d like to get paid as well. Hahaha.

*I was wondering why my wife’s been calling me Hobbes, but then I figure it’s better than hubby so let it be.


Mood: 2/10 Honks!


Things (or People) To Avoid When Writing

I’m writing  an article and this is not supposed to be it. I drafted my first choice and set it aside for later retrieval and continuation as I can’t concentrate on how to properly compose it. I have made a lengthy piece but the words and phrases seem to be similar to that of a drunken line of ants. No go.

It left me no choice but to press CTRL+N–or in layman’s term, make a new post instead. As a release mechanism, what I’m doing now is share some of the distractions that need to be avoided or eliminated when writing. By the way, this is in no particular order. I repeat: In. No. Particular. Order.

  1. Clouded mind. It’s one thing I avoid when writing or even replying to emails. Blogging is like driving and a clouded thinking doesn’t give good judgment and direction. So avoid it if you can. Anger, frustrations, and depression are just some factors that will result to clouded thinking. To solve it, listen to your favorite music over the headset before and during a blog composition.
  2. TV. Boob tube. Turn it off unless your topic of choice is what you’re currently watching.
  3. Videoke. No point explaining this one. Pray for rain instead, it helps disperse your neighbor’s drunken party.
  4. Empty stomach. Write satiated if your topic is not about how it feels like to be hungry. Then lastly…
  1. The wife. Yes, that’s right. Wife. As lovely as she seems to be and might even contribute blog ideas, she on the other hand could be sneaky, unpredictable and a potent factor of ruining a good blog. If her mood isn’t right, she may even be the cause of unexplained deleted post or worse a deleted blog. To neutralize or tame this threat, I make sure that she’s fully asleep. But I still always remain cautious because a snore isn’t an indication of a deep sleep. I’m always prepared of any sudden or unsuspecting pillow movement as that may prove that she’s sneaking behind watching for that telltale sign that of a naughty blog.

Although, this isn’t the complete list, these distractions are often the reason my fingers freeze, mind stops running and usually makes me end up sleeping beside my lovely, sneaky wifey. Not bad after all. Ti abi.


Like Writers and Photographers

“…I remember coming home a few days after EDSA 1 and playing it on the piano without interruption, and completing this five minute song in an unbelievable two minutes. How was that possible, if the song takes five minutes to sing…” – Jim Paredes

Athletes call it the playing the zone. It is the level where most play their best games and the performance continues as soon as they get into it and ends until they tire themselves out. Similarly, this applies to everything we do, day in and day out. There are times when we spontaneously do something without even having to think about it, when everything just seems fluid. Even doing a simple household chore has its own zone.

This must be why all of a sudden there’s that void of well-composed photos on my multiply.com network. Just a few months back there was a barrage of spectacular pictures coming from my online buddies but lately it seems no one has posted much or not one has shot anything worthy to be considered photography. Hopefully, their pricey Canon SLRs aren’t sitting in a corner, collecting molds and dusts.

This is also true with bloggers and reviewers. I miss the days when I’d read write ups so nice that I’d wonder if the man behind the harmony of words are pro incognito or just plain individuals like me who don’t have the bucks to purchase expensive cameras and therefore decided to write instead. While creativity is involved, this is what sets the two hobbies or pastimes apart. Photography enthusiasts need at least a high-end SLR while all bloggers need is just an intangible idea.

A couple of weeks ago I reviewed some of my previous (more than a year ago) posts and some made me smile and pat myself on the back, while some not so much. My only consolation is that my blog traffic isn’t so high thereby reaching only a few unlucky individuals. Having no proofreader or editor is my ultimate alibi.

But I still remember the times when I’d write better (as far as I’m concerned),  when I’d feel like I’m immersed in the zone. These are when a favorite music either plays in the background or just inside my head. I think the rhythm does something with the composition especially if it goes with the emotions behind the idea that is set at that very moment. My keyboard becomes the piano sans  the melody.

Even the people I admire and envy for having been gifted enough to possess such wonderful talents in both literature and photography, such as Jim Paredes and James Deakin don’t come free from blunders. I’ve read and seen some of their works and I can’t help but think “Hey, this isn’t them” or “Did they really do this?” But then, these are busy guys and the pressure of the deadlines sometimes affects the outcome.

With Christmas season getting nearer each day, work activities piling up, vacations to consider, parties to attend to are all joining our already chaotic schedule, I still hope that people could still find time to focus and be in the zone. Let those great articles come  back again and let those lenses capture the beauty of everyday life.

Blog’s 1st Year


I can’t believe that a year has passed since I started writing and blogging. It was Aug 30, 2006 when I first got myself out of the couch, turned the TV off and approached my then lowly but dependable PC and started composing my Rockstar post. The result was actually surprising. I wrote one that actually made me pat myself on the back even with the uncertainty that grammatical errors could exist and await for one keen grammar Nazi’s eye or any smart elementary kid to take notice.

But there’s always something for encouragement to just do it. As if by coincidence our Daily Quote calendar has this for Aug 30: “A life spent making mistakes is not only honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing – George Bernard Shaw”. So timely, so appropriate. One more reason to make mistakes, or in this case, write blogs. I smiled and nodded when I read it. This calendar was given to me by my wife.

My wife. Two words that I’ve been including in most of my blogs either consciously or unconsciously . Well it’s no wonder, she’s the one who inspired and encouraged me to try writing. As far as I know, she is the leader of my few readers who visit my blogspot every now and then. My Technorati rank will attest to that – Rank: 3,915,745 . Ti abi.

My Blog Machine 2.0

”Every new beginning comes from other beginning’s end…” Closing Time by Semisonic.

Finally, my old Blog Machine has to go. The five-year old Pentium III 800 MHz PC has to give up his throne in our bedroom and give way to what I will call my Blog Machine 2.0 powered with one of the latest Intel Core 2 Duo 2.13 GHz PC.

The old machine has been a part of our life since it was given to us for free. During its early days it has opened our eyes to the wonderful world of the Internet. It has helped us appreciate the then famous (or infamous) Napster. Despite enduring the dragging speed of dial-up connection, I endured nights of downloading of what I knew before as just free music (it’s now technically known as piracy). I still can recall one person begging me to keep my connection open just to download Midge Ure’s Dear God—which happens to be one of my favorite songs (hint: 80‘s fan).

Of course, the old Intel machine also introduced me to one of the wonders of Web 2.0—web blogging or just blog. As a frustrated writer, I finally found one medium to share my thoughts and practice my writing skills, if I may call it. It was through this old machine that I drafted and published my first blog.

As everything will come to an end, the old guy is laid to rest. Some of its parts were taken out (i.e., cannibalized) for the new guy. Some were given away, to maybe meet other old PCs that hopefully will start other people to learn the basics and be awed by the World Wide Web. If there’s a PC heaven, I know his soul will be there.

For the new guy, he still has got a lot to prove. It’s been with us for just two days but so far the promises of an Intel Dual Core processor haven’t failed and continue to amaze me with its power. I’ve already made it to download applications from the internet, rip music and capture videos from our Sony HandyCam—all of which were done simultaneously. The result was just great. No glitch. Yet. If only writing skills improve together with the upgrade of a PC.

Oh, before I forget. I’m now playing a new game in this PC. It’s the modern, action-packed and adrenaline-pumping graphics—-the unforgiving game of…Spider Solitaire. LOL. I’m growing old. Ti abi.

My Blog Machine is Up!

Other than not having time to compose my blogs, my Blog Machine bogged down due to a defective UPS. This is my HP VL400 Desktop which runs on Intel Pentium III 800 MHz, 128MB SDRAM 133Mhz bus speed. More than 5 years ago, this could have put me on the bragging rights level if you compare it with other computers of its time. Sadly, technology is cruel. This week you are fast, the next couple of weeks you are slower than slow. In this world of F1-like “Giga” CPUs, mine is that one car that would have retired sooner even before the other cars have settled in their pole positions prior to the race start. But fear not! The Blog machine is at least still good for word processing, which is all I need to do my blog posts. It is also still good for the adrenalin-pumping, heart-stopping, mind-boggling game of Solitaire! At least I’ve got something to do while waiting for the next blog page to load through my56 kbps internet connection—actually, it has never or rarely reached that much speed. ti abi.