Public IM (Again)

After basically avoiding it for several months (because of work, etc), I’ve reactivated my public IM account at ScalziOnAIM on, yes, AOL Instant Messenger. This doesn’t mean I’m done with work (oh, my, no) just that I’m feeling slightly more social, in that IM sort of way. In any event, feel free to add me to your buddy lists, and if you see me online, to say hello. Because I don’t sign on to this particular account if I’m not feeling sociable.

If you don’t see me online, don’t say hello. Because, really, that would just be silly.

Search the Whole Damn Site

As many of you have noticed, the search function at the top of the pages here only covers stuff that’s in the WordPress database, which only goes back to September 30, 2007. Which is not particularly helpful at the moment. So I’ve created a Google-based search of the entire site and its subsites, which is available here. You’ll also see it’s linked in the “Administrivia” section of the sidebar, under “Full Site Search.” Enjoy.

Viable Paradise Accepting Applications

Viable Paradise, the week-long sf/f writing workshop at which I will be gleefully warping the minds of aspiring writers teaching this upcoming September, has now opened to applications for this year’s session. Aside from me, your other instructors include Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden, James Macdonald and Debra Doyle, Laura Mixon and Steven Gould, and Elizabeth Bear. That’s a pretty good lineup of people telling you how you’re doing it ALL wrong sharing their expertise in the craft and business of writing sf/f with you.

No more than 24 student slots are available, so if you’re interested, find out what you need to do and then apply. Good luck!

Whatever Stats 2007

Just in case you were wondering, some Whatever stats for ’07:

9,016,664 total unique visits for the year, for an average of 24,703 unique visits a day. As a comparison, last year had 6,128,869 total unique visits, for an average of 16,837 unique visits daily. So overall visitorship was up just under 50% for 2007, which is not bad when you factor in that the site was down, more or less, for two months.

Of course, in the real world, I didn’t get 24.7k visitors every day; some days were rather more, others rather less. Weekend numbers are typically somewhat lower than weekday numbers (because people aren’t bored at work then), and for some reason, Tuesdays are generally the highest attendance day of the week around here. Attendance also generally trended upward for the year: January had 666,000 unique visits, while December had 878,000. The single most-visited day was November 13, the day after I filed the Creation Museum report; it got 72.8k.

Since October the average weekday has had between 30k and 35k visitors, with occasional spikes into the 40k to 50k territory.

One of the reasons the site gets so many visitors is that the archives are unusually active; the top page gets the most traffic but certain pages just keep piling up the hits. “Being Poor” is still visited hundreds of times daily, as is the BaconCat entry; the Creation Museum entry looks like it’ll be a perennial as well. Writing entries are also particularly popular, especially the “Teen advice” entry and the “Writing advice for people who don’t want to be writers” piece. And every year in December the “10 least successful holiday specials” piece gets a lot of visit; it the Whatever equivalent of the Charlie Brown Christmas Special.

Tracking individual entries is going to get a little more difficult now because WordPress generates pages dynamically, but I hope to figure out a way to track the requests as they come in so I know what’s getting hit.

Other stats: The most popular browser for Whatever visitors: Firefox 2.x, with 30% of visitors using that (IE 6 is second with 16% and IE 7 after that with 12%. Safari is barely three and a half percent. 1,705 visits were recorded by people using Lynx, which I think is kind of awesome. 65% of you are on XP, and 10% on a MacOS of some sort. Just 4.5% of you are on Vista, which should probably worry Microsoft; I get more visitors using Linux than Vista. More than 50 countries (by visitor domain) had folks providing at least 1,500 visits each, so here’s a shout out to Indonesia, Estonia and Ukraine. Howdy, y’all. Since the WordPress install on September 30, there have been 236 posts and 8,524 comments, which averages to two and a half entries and 90 comments per day, or alternately, an average of 36 comments per post.

In all, not a bad year for Whatever, even with the drama surrounding the Awful, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad MT4 Install, which still makes me sad because I really liked Movable Type and I wish I knew why it didn’t return my affections. But WordPress is doing all right for me.

My plans for Whatever in 2008: Well, pretty much keep doing what I do. It seems to be working, you know. The only major change at the moment is that all the author interviews and features I used to do on Ficlets or By The Way I’ll be transferring over here; I’ll have more on that, for the benefit of authors, editors and publicists, probably a little later in the week. Aside from that, I’ll just keep doing what I’ve been doing for — gawd — a decade now: Whatever I feel like. It’s a good plan. I’ll stick with it.


Happy New Year. And etc.