I like to wrap up each year by looking at what I’ve written about here. To do it a little bit differently, I looked at three different measures of content: what was the best trafficked, what got the most engagement (email, conversation, social chatter) and what I ones I most want to follow up on.
I’m a fan of the fun collections of ideas, images and concepts that find their way onto personal Tumblr accounts, often driven by crowdsourcing contributions.
Recently a handful of ideas have come to mind that I wish were actively being created by someone. I’d happily contribute.
Ridiculous local TV lower thirds — As depicted above, the foolishness of TV news is often good for absurd, accidentally ironic or just downright idiotic messages and descriptions in text on news casts.
Vanity license plates — A few efforts have started and stumbled, but a collection of great vanity license plates is too good to be missed. This is probably one I’m most suited to start myself, considering I’ve exchanged picture messages of these with my family for years.
Fat men eating ice cream cones — Next time you’re downtheshore or at a vacation spot, you’ll find them. And it will make you smile.
On behalf of Technically Philly, I hosted the event with Tayyib Smith of 215mag.com and led the conversation, featuring a half dozen five-minute introductions from niche publishers seated in chairs amongst 40 attendees in the room, decorated wildly by lead sponsor Vitamin Water and featuring free samples of Heineken Light, which didn’t turn out to be half bad.
So, in case you need to do the same, here are the steps:
From the Tools option in the WordPress.com sidebar, choose to Export.
Download the XML Export file, being mindful that all fields in the drop down menus are chosen, so you are downloading everything.
Open in Wordpad and change your file extensions with a Search and Replace. i.e. So, in the XML file from my thesis site, I replaced ‘phillypolitics.wordpress.com/’ with ‘thesis.christopherwink.com/’, meaning that the links would then associate
*Make sure permalinks are the same from your WordPress.com to your new site.
From the Tools option in your new self-hosted WordPress platform, choose to Import.
Browse and choose to Upload the XML file that you downloaded from your WordPress.com and then edited in Wordpad.
**Easy-to-miss step** Upon selecting your XML file, under ‘Import Attachments’ be certain to check off the box next to ‘Download and import file attachments’ so that your photos and other uploaded media will be transferred to this new database. (I’ve missed this step before to much frustration).
Delete the old jawn — Take down the old WordPress.com or, if you want to transition some search engine love, you can block the WordPress.com from being picked up by search engines but keep it alive for old links with a post pushing to the new site and eventually delete.
I’ve been invited to the Hardly. Strictly. Young. conference on alternative ways to implement Knight Foundation recommendations at the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri [More on that later]. One of the fun precursors to the two-day event later this month has been participating in the Journalism Carnival of blogging, shepherded by conference organizer, Spot.Us founder and leather jacket-wearer David Cohn.
Fortunately, in being late, I can point to others who already did it better than I would. No, Cohn, this isn’t a cop out, this is cutting my losses. The undercurrent on both of these questions for me is that I’m not worried about the craft as much as I’m worried about sustaining the craft.
The online documentation of my pursuit of accomplishing items on a Life To Do List that I made as a kid has moved to a subdomain of this site, at list.christopherwink.com. I first brought it online earlier this year and have since updated it.
It gives me more flexibility, control and organization. I have no expectations or desire for that blog to be any regularly updated place, but rather a true chronicle of meaningful experiences. If you find that at all interesting for whatever reason, there is an RSS feed here and an email blast here.
A couple months ago, I announced I had moved my honors thesis to a subdomain of this site for the sake of organization and archiving. Following up on that resolution to make more tidy a rambling online portfolio, I have brought another dated, collection of work of which I am proud under this house.
See all the Episodes here and all the Archives here. Go and explore.
A few things interested me from my work in 2006:
Short, bad titles — The post headlines were all short and sometimes not even descriptive. I didn’t recognize then the importance.
I wrote a lot — I far outpaced all of my fellow castmembers in output, which is great, but I could have made much of the content terser and more straightforward.
I actually had comments — On many posts, I had a handful of comments. I haven’t transferred them… yet.
I never linked — I didn’t have a single link to a past post.
Photo albums, not in posts — Photos and the video episodes were never embedded. This is the one major change I’ve made, by incorporating them.
Yes, I called posts ‘blogs’ — But that was 2006. What’s the excuse today?
I learned and experienced so damn much — I interacted with an audience and explored and created multimedia, but ultimately, I was just a young kid learning. ..And what a clear stepping stone toward the WDSTL podcast I did while in Western Europe.
You can learn a lot by looking at what you’ve done over a year.
So, while I try to get better at making goals and sticking to them, I have an eye to my work here, because this has always been a place for experimentation and learning, where I develop my thoughts, my writing and my style.
Looking at the list I think there are two specific lessons to be learned:
Original Reporting rocks — It’s just what I saw in Technically Philly’s roundup of top stories. In this list of 10, seven featured first-issue original reporting, two offered insider commentary and one offered a strong opinion. No aggregation, summaries or general perspective made it to the list, though I do all those kinds of posts tooand those kind of posts dominated my 2008 list and had more influence on my 2009 list.
Time matters — This site gets a relatively low-level of traffic (the top post on this list received fewer than 500 hits this year), so the sheer amount of time a post is up is magnified. With bigger traffic sites, the first week of traffic can largely overcome a long tail. However in my case, just one of the 10 posts was created in the last four months, and I don’t think that’s due to lack of relatively meaningful content. So, with lower traffic sites, the longer a post is up has a greater impact on its overall traffic than with higher traffic sites.
That said, here are the posts. Draw your own conclusions: