Blake's blog

LISNews 2009 Web Stats Summary

Almost forgot to post the 2009 stats!

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# Report: www.lisnews.org
# Report Name: Summary
# Date Range: 01/01/2009 - 12/31/2009
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Recent LISNews Stats

A few numbers for your enjoyment. Here's the stats from the last quarter of 2008:

Total Sessions 1,023,253
Total Pageviews 5,758,171
Total Hits 11,636,252
Total Bytes Transferred 172,674,015,089
Average Sessions Per Day 11,122.32
Average Pageviews Per Day 62,588.82
Average Hits Per Day 126,481.00
Average Bytes Transferred Per Day 1,876,891,468
Average Pageviews Per Session 5.63
Average Hits Per Session 11.37
Average Bytes Per Session 168750
Average Length of Session 599

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On Death and Dying

My life seems to have more death & tragedy than most. I suppose it should upset me more than it does, but I've come to accept it. It's made me who I am, which I suppose is as close to as well adjusted as could be hoped for. Of course, my life has plenty of life and happiness as well, and that's what I choose to focus on as much as possible. Of all those who have died there's one that still hits me harder than most for reasons that aren't entirely clear to me. Part of it might be my wedding.

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Possible LISNews Meetup In Orlando?

Any LISNewsterz in the Orlando area?

I'm going to be in town for a conference November 17th - 19th.

Maybe if there's any interest we could get together?

[Update 11-10-2008 1:1pm Eastern Time]

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A Simple Question: Why?

No one has every asked me why I'm voting for my guy tomorrow, and judging from the answers I get, not many other people are asked why either. I like to ask people why they're voting for their choice. The answers are usually uninspired, echo chamber garbage.

So I gave it some thought. Not that you asked, but here is why…

One guy gets my vote:

  • Because he seems to be really smart
  • Because the people I read about as "advisors" (I'm still not sure what that means) seem smart and have more good ideas than bad
  • Because he made a safe choice for VP
  • Because very little his critics have to say resonated with me
  • Because what his supporters say frequently sounds pretty good
  • Because most of what he says seems like good ideas
  • Most of what I saw from his campaign was pretty good
  • Because most of what he says he will do doesn't seem all that bad
  • Because his Party is not terrible all the time

One guy does not get my vote:

  • Because he doesn't seem to be as smart as the other guy
  • Because the people I read about as "advisors" (I'm still not sure what that means) seem like ideologues with few good ideas
  • Because he made a terrible choice for VP
  • Because most of what his critics have to say resonated with me
  • Because what his supporters say frequently sounds pretty bad
  • Because most of his ideas don't sound as good
  • Most of what I saw from his campaign was pretty bad
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I've made my choice!

For years now I've had a clear favorite, but because of what happened last night, I've change my mind. It's now...

Kit Kat

For years it's been REESE'S Peanut Butter Cups, but I think now that I'm older my tastes have changed.

My kids went trick-er-treating last night, and I helped myself to just a few samples (to make sure they were safe). It quickly became clear that while Peanut Butter and Chocolate ARE 2 great tastes, there just isn't a crispy wafer, and there's no way to get around that.

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LISNews Turns 9 Years Old Next Week

LISNews Turns 9 Years Old Next Week!
Anyone have any good ideas on how we can celebrate?

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Comments, Commentors, Spammers and Mollom

LISNews has been running on Drupal for about a year now. Before that we ran on Slashcode for a few years, before that it was PHPSlash for a couple years, and even before that I did it all by hand. If you run (or read) blogs you know comment spam is a big problem. If all you do is run or read a blog you actually have NO idea just how bad it really is. I'd estimate about 80% of all POST requests to all the LISHosted sites are spammers. When I have LISNews on the LISHost servers I worked hard at fine tuning the mod_security rules to combat spam.

Within hours of moving to Ibiblio I could see they have very different rules, and I'd need to do something else. I'm actually surprised just how good my rules were working. So I turned on CAPTCHAs. I tried some images, reCAPTCHA, Math, and finally the basic text CAPTCHAs to fight spam. They also worked. A few weeks ago I got a complaint that the CAPTCHAs were getting in the way. This wasn't the first time, so I thought I'd try something new, I turned to Mollom.

I was shocked that within a day the number of comments went up. It's been a few weeks now, and I continue to be shocked at the number of comments we're seeing. Mollom is doing a decent job blocking spam, but more importantly it's letting more people comment. The bad guys are kept out (for the most part) and the good guys have a very low hurtle to get over. (Or at least I think so. If the current trend holds, then I'll be convinced that it is indeed Mollom and not just a coincidence). Two charts that illustrate what I'm seeing on this end

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The Rest Of The Story...

A woman in her early 40s accidentally fell asleep on her family room couch one Saturday night. She was watching TV, exhausted, she nodded off around 10pm. Several hours later, she was woken by a loud pounding on her front door. Confused, unsure of the time and disoriented she jumped to her feet, stumbled to the door and opened it, thinking it must be her son returning from being out at the movies.

She quickly realized it wasn't her son, but someone trying to get in the house. It turned out to be a thirty something year old man screaming "they're trying to kill me" as he tried to push his way into the house. She pushed back and managed to hold him off until her husband woke up and ran downstairs…

The husband pushed the crazy guy out into the front lawn, the wife ran and called the cops. A short pushing match between the men ended, the guy calmed down right away, and the 2 guys sat down on the front porch. The cops arrived (amazingly fast), put the guy in cuffs without a fight and into the car. It was all over in less than 5 minutes. It turns out crazy guy was at a party next door and must've been doing some drugs that got him all crazy.

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Sunny, with a high near 81.

Today: Sunny, with a high near 81. South wind 5 to 9 mph becoming east.

Pray Harder Next Time, "mildly humorous" indeed.

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The Second Amendment

The other night something bad happened at the home of someone close to me. I'll tell you part of the story today, and I'll give you the rest of the story later in the week. I'm curious about how you think it ended based on your feelings about guns and gun control. This is one of those stories that people use to point out how right they are to be on whatever side they choose to be on. So here's the story, tell me your ending based on whether or not you're for or against having a gun in the house. I'm repeating this exactly as it happened last week. This house is located on an upscale, quiet suburban street.

A woman in her early 40s accidentally fell asleep on her family room couch Saturday night. She was watching TV, exhausted, she nodded off around 10pm. Several hours later, she was woken by a loud pounding on her front door. Confused, unsure of the time and disoriented she jumped to her feet, stumbled to the door and opened it, thinking it must be her son returning from being out at the movies.

She quickly realized it wasn't her son, but someone trying to get in the house. It turned out to be a thirty something year old man screaming "they're trying to kill me" as he tried to push his way into the house. She pushed back and managed to hold him off until her husband woke up and ran downstairs…

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LISNews On The New Server: Mollom & Ibiblio

I moved LISNews to the ibiblio servers a couple weeks ago, and since I can't mess around with mod_security rules there, I was worried about spam comments. I could see within just a day that the mod_security rules on LISHost were much more restrictive, and had blocked more spam than I thought. At about the same time someone complained about the captcha not working, so I though I might as well try something new, so I installed the Mollom module.

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If there's a better use for the web I haven't seen it

Yea, an infinite amount of monkeys would instantly complete the works of Shakespeare.: "You will need an infinite number of tireless scholars to find / check the works. (and anyone who thinks ‘a computer would do it’ has never used a spell-check)."

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BoingBoing Wannabes

It's been ages since I've written about LISNews (actually, now that I think about it, It's been ages since I've written about anything). I spent a little time last night getting caught up on what I missed last week while I was gone and saw a troll complaining about a post. A post I thought appropriate and important. I gave up caring what anonymous trolls write quickly after I started LISNews. It's just not worth it. It's not that I don't care what anyone says, I still care about what "real" people have to say about the site, there's just no point in feeding the trolls. I always have welcomed comments and criticisms of the site. But, it's been years since I've seen someone complain about the post being off topic, and it caught me off guard:

BoingBoing Wannabes
Yet another instance of LISNews posting items that really have nothing to do with libraries, librarians or information science. If you're going to stretch and assume the whole world is in the "information" part, why not also include items about Brad and Angelina or how to microwave vegetables?

We've had this debate several times, but it hasn't come up in so long I forget that many LISNews readers are new and missed out on the debates and writing from the days of yore. I've written extensively, and there have been extensive comments on what content is appropriate for LISNews (If I wasn't so lazy I'd dig those up right now, but you're probably a librarian, so you can find them)

If you look at our "About" page you'll see sentence #2 is this:

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Critique My New Site - LISWire - The Librarian's News Wire

I'll officially launch a new site Monday, so I'm looking for feedback, ideas, critiques and criticisms now. The new site is LISWire - The Librarian's News Wire - http://liswire.com/

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Don't Feed The Trolls

Unless LISNews is the only place you get any form of news you probably read about This Plan by a State Rep. in KY. You probably read bloggers up in arms over the plan, you probably read about how clueless he is, and maybe you even read a few jokes about Kentucky. So if you actually read that first article in the Kentucky Herald-Leader you should've noticed this:

Couch readily acknowledged on Wednesday that his bill raises First Amendment issues regarding free speech, so he won't be pushing it. But he wanted to call attention to the phenomenon of unkind and often untrue comments about people being posted online by Kentuckians hiding behind the cloak of anonymity.

And he also added "I think right now (online posting) is pretty much just on its own. It's a machine that's going to go its own way," Couch said. "The state can try to pass some rules, but I don't really think it would do anything."

Certainly he's a bit misguided, and this is probably the wrong way to call attention to idiocy, but if you read this story it should be clear to you that this was never an issue. I never posted a link because I knew that even if this was a real attempt to pass a real bill it didn't stand a chance to be passed. How could anyone even think that for one second this would go anywhere?

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What do your feed reader folders say about you?

What can others learn about you by the way you organize your feeds?

Generally mine seem to say I live in Buffalo, I'm a parent, a librarian and a small business owner. What do they say to you? How are yours organized?

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Do You "Do" Email?

I was just reading a post on PUBLIB and noticed a pattern, I think that a particular author "does" email. That got me thinking, is email part of working for most people now, or is it still something that needs to be done separately? For me it's like eating, or breathing even. My email program is always running, there is no "doing" email, it's just always on. Email is not a distinct part of my day, it's how many reference questions come in while I'm at work, and it's how all support requests come in for LISHost.

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In Defense Of Complaining

Complain about a company, and you'll be accused of being a whiner. But markets thrive on information, so it's every customer's right to complain, and every company's obligation to shut up and listen, says columnist Cory Doctorow.

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The Joys Of Email

If there's anyone who has a more messed up email system I'd love to hear about it. My main email address, I've been using since 1999, is btcarver, but at lisnews.com, not lisnews.org, which is where LISNews lives now (.com just does a redirect to .org). All the LISNews domains live on one of my LISHost servers, but the email (aka mx record) all goes through gmail. I also have a gmail rule set up to cc an account at LISHost, just in case. So this means I have 2 primary email accounts that are essentially on 3 different servers. I use the gmail hosted email for domains for a number of reasons. First and foremost, if one or both LISHost servers go down, I still need to be able to communicate with everyone. So that worked just fine, until recently. Work decided to firewall all major providers of web based email, including gmail. Luckily they're not blocking ALL web based email and luckily I'm already ccing all my email to LISHost for just such an occasion. So while I'm at work I check my mail via my account on LISHost, while I'm home I use Outlook Express, which I have set up to check the lisnews.com account @gmail, along with my blake account on LISHost, and my other rarely used account at eblake.com.

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