Some Whatevery

Oh, hey. You’re up. Well, as long as you’re up, some stuff about the Whatever:

* As those of you who are not obscenely hung over and/or have over-aggressive Web caches may have noted, I have yet again changed the look of the Whatever, fresh for ’07, sucka. Let me just say that these new changes will allow me more flexibility in presentation than I’ve had before, which I’m naturally happy about and which I suspect you’ll see me take advantage of in the coming year.

* Being up as I am ungodly early on New Year’s Day thanks to my cat, who awoke me with a “let me out or I pinch one off on your new couch” meow, I took the time to look at the Whatever stats for 2006. Overall the visitorship of the Whatever grew quite a bit in 2006; the site had 6,125,045 unique visits, which is nearly twice the 2005 visitorship of 3,236,399 million unique visits, which is in itself more than twice my estimate for my 2004 visitorship of 1.5 million visits.

On a daily basis for 2006, Whatever averaged 16,780 visitors a day. This average doesn’t reflect the growth in visitorship over the year, which was fairly substantial. For example, in January 2006, the site averaged 11,180 visitors daily; in December, it averaged 20,575. The average numbers also don’t reflect weekly traffic trends, in which weekday traffic is substantially higher than weekend traffic; apparently, a’yall are popping in while you’re at work (actually, since the site’s daily readership tends to peak between 3pm and 4pm, this is actually probably the case). On weekdays, Whatever has been hitting between 21k – 24k on a regular basis since the unrepresentatively busy month of September, which featured the 1-2 “big post” punches of Krissy fending off a drunk loser, and, of course, BaconCat.

However, despite BaconCat’s immense popularity, it wasn’t actually the most-viewed Whatever entry for 2006 (most viewed in the sense of being visited directly in the Whatever archives as opposed to the front page of the site). The honor belongs to “Being Poor,” which quietly racks up an average of 332 visits daily. BaconCat is easily the most-viewed entry on the site for the day it was published; I got 67,000 visitors that day. But once you’ve seen BaconCat, there’s not much else to see. “Being Poor,” on the other hand, keeps getting passed around.

“Being Poor” also highlights an interesting facet of the Whatever, which I think is unusual for the blogs, which is that my archives are actually a substantial traffic driver; aside from “Being Poor,” other highly-trafficked pre-2006 entries on the site include the “Worst Christmas Specials” entry, from 2004, and “Cracking the Flag-Burning Amendment” from 2005. Other posts from earlier in 2006 also keep getting linked, especially writing pieces; both my writing tips for teens and writing tips for people who don’t want to be writers get visited a couple hundred times daily. Having active archives both increases the overall visitorship, and I think converts some of those “single visit” readers into regulars. This is one of the reasons I decided to put in a “Best Of Whatever” category over there on the sidebar, both to encourage folks to root around, and to suggest to folks that interesting reading here happens on a regular basis.

* Do I have any plans for Whatever in 2007, aside from the usual “write about whatever the hell I’m thinking about at the moment” thing? Not really, since that plan seems to be working for me, and why mess with it. The only thing I suspect I will be doing differently is possibly instituting a semi-regular “Things People Send to Me” series of entries, since now I get enough stuff sent to me that I need a way to remember it all, and also, you may have an interest in some of this stuff, too, since at least some of it is interesting. Of course, people may stop sending me stuff, in which case, I won’t write these sorts of entries, and also, I’ll have to buy stuff like a common troll. Sigh.

* Getting back for a moment to the increasing visitorship of the Whatever, I do want to note that I very strongly suspect that, in addition to whatever I may blatherate about here, another very strong component to growing the visitorship is the comment threads, which are sometimes (oh, okay, often) more interesting than the entries to which they are attached. I’ve noted before that Teresa Nielsen Hayden’s note on Making Light about the readers there works equally well here: “Our readers are the best thing about this weblog. If you’re not reading the comments, you’re missing half the fun.” Indeed. So: Thank you again for coming around and being part of the Whatever. You help make it a much better place than I could on my own.

* One final thing, since people have asked me about it and I should have it down somewhere: People want to know if the title of this place is “Whatever” or “the Whatever.” Well, as you might be able to tell from this entry, I use both interchangeably and at whim, and always have, since earlier iterations of this site include “Daily Whatever,” “The Daily Whatever,” “The (Daily) Whatever” and “The Whatever” as well as the current “Whatever.” At the moment, since the title graphic says “Whatever” and not “The Whatever,” I suspect “Whatever” is marginally more correct. However, if I can’t be bothered to get it right, why should you? Call it “Whatever” or “The Whatever”; it answers to both, happily.

27 Comments on “Some Whatevery”

  1. Here’s hoping 2007 goes well for all concerned…

    I’m off to a roaring start this morning– all three kids got up at 6am, and the oldest two want to go out for waffles.

    ( The youngest is too busy teething right now to be bothered learning even simple words like Da-da. )

  2. Do I have time to say this is the first time I’ve ever posted on your blog? No? Okay then.

  3. Maybe Chang’s planning on the whole New Year’s eye apocalypse / checking into eye rehab / teary return on Oprah thing? (“I tell you, Oprah – it scared me. I got scared straight.”) So maybe we shouldn’t lay dibs on them just yet? I’m just sayin’.

    Chang? Am I more or less tracking your plans here?

  4. I tend to refer to here as Scalzi’s WHATEVER, just to differentiate it from whatever, you know, other whatever might be accreting somewhere else on the internet.

    A specific and highly readable subset of the intellectual navel lint that is the internet.


  5. Tim, I suspect one of us went a little heavy on the paint thinner last night.

    I think it’s the line on the left that’s just making my rod shake hands with my cones in a weird way. That and the deco font make for an interesting combination in my mind. Not as hated as white text on black background though.

    What do I know, though? I never thought the Spice Girls would make it big.

  6. Ya know, Mary getting Chang’s eyes doesn’t obviate his appearance on Oprah. You just need to decide if you’re going for the “Mary stole Chang’s eyes” pity party or “Look how selfless Chang is giving his eyes to the more needy” hero-fest.

    Your choice. I see merit and fun in each situation. But then again, I can still see.

  7. Y’know, being the owner of these eyes, you could do alot better. Their sense of spatial relations are poor. They need glasses, contacts and tend to steer towards womens behinds and thorax’. And food.

  8. Well, if I was going to use your eyes as eyes, that could be a problem. I was thinking earrings, actually.

  9. TNH: “If you’re not reading the comments, you’re missing half the fun.”

    Scalzi: “Man, I don’t even know what’s going on in this thread.”

    Me: “Woo-hoo!”

  10. I am upset with the new style, if only because I really hate it when 5 or more colors are not put in the order of the light spectrum. I want to reach in and rearrange them.

    (“Im in yur Interweeb, rearangn’ yur colurz!”)

    But, you know. I’ll get over it.

  11. I am upset with the new style, if only because I really hate it when 5 or more colors are not put in the order of the light spectrum. I want to reach in and rearrange them.

    I don’t mind the fancy colors as much as I can’t stand to look at the grayish, greenish, whateverthecolorit’ssupposedtobe that surrounds it. Is there any chance it could be changed, or am I just preaching in the desert..?

  12. Gordon, I thought the same thing. At least you know you’re not the only weirdo on this thread. Although I suppose the eye discussion already clued you in to that.

  13. I think the background could be called “kitty litter grey”. I miss the berries, but I can live with this until the next design change.

    Speaking of kitty litter, John, I noticed that your cat apparently considers the vast Scalzi acreage to be its own personal kitty pan. Do you actually run a catbox or two inside the house, or must they use the great outdoors when loaf-pinching is imminent?

  14. Mary:

    We used to have litter boxes in the house (in the basement, in fact), but Krissy wanted have the cats learn to do their business outside. For spectacularly cold winter nights, there’s a litter box in the garage.

  15. At this rate, by the middle of next decade you’ll have a billion people a year reading the Whatever.

    And a few years after that, the entire population of Earth.

  16. I kinda liked the Whatever look with Athena at the top. Somehow a mere band of colors isn’t as decorative.

  17. My Little Website that Could logged 67,548 unique visitors last year, which means I either have to get a bit more interesting or maybe tape bacon to a cat.

    I’ll let you which way I decide to go.

  18. Is anybody else seeing the band of colors like, pulse and vibrate when they’re not looking straight at it?

    It’s kinda cool, but kinda… I don’t know, disconcerting. I feel like bad things will happen if I look at it too long.

    Yeep! now the red’s like, expanding! Run awaaaaay!

    (and no, this is not a hangover talking. I’m exactly 26 days underage).

  19. Kitty Litter Grey? Hrm.. I was thinking of it as more of a “Rotting Broccoli” color…

    To be honest, the lack of photos throws me more than anything. It’s so… so plain without them!

  20. I’ve taken to calling this, “that writer’s blog I read.” Because, really how many times can you have this conversation?

    “What are you going?”
    “I’m going to read Whatever.”
    “What are going to read?”
    “No, really, don’t you have anything in mind?”
    “Yes, I’m going to read Whatever.”
    “Okay, don’t have to be a jerk about not telling me.” (wanders off mumbling words like, “ingrate.”)

    After all the weird stares it’s just easier to describe than use the name.

  21. Sadly, my left eye has taken to vibrating uncontrollably == could it be the achromatic lines on the left? I don’t know for sure, I can’t get my eye to stay still long enough to check out the theory. Anyone else experiencing the same symptom(s)?

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