600 Diggs and site news

Mike Grist Uncategorized 10 Comments

My article on Asylum has reached 600 Diggs, and I`m really pleased. The Digg page got a lot of comments, largely it seems about how bad the HDR is. Looking back on those shots, I can see better what people are talking about now. Part of it is a change of monitor- the old one didn`t show the colors so vividly, so they didn`t look so over-saturated. The new one (just using my macbook screen) shows it better.

The Asylum article has sent about 10,000 people to this site so far. That`s pretty amazing. It blows the roof off my monthly page views, taking it from around 50,000 a month to something like 70 or 80,000. About half of those people only stayed for 1 page and less than 10 seconds, but the other half stayed longer so no worries.

In other site news- I`ve changed the look of the site some, and been experimenting with ad-types. I`d like to make a little money from this page, but am realistic about that. It`s a niche thing to cover, and there`s no obvious product to sell. So I`m adding a Paypal donate button (just watched the movie Julie/Julia last night) and we`ll see if that does anything. If you`d like to make a donation, it will be much appreciated.

Ah, final news, am `resurrecting` my old Strange Japan content. At the moment only the Snacks/Drinks page is up, but the others will be returned soon.

I`d love to hear your thoughts on any of the above.

Comments 10

  1. Bringing the Japanese Snacks/Drinks thing back again? I’m sure you told me recently that you had no interest in that at all, or something to that effect. What made you change your mind?
    Myself, not sure if I can bothered too much with that section of my site, it does generate some views, which is maybe what you’re after, but the hassle of doing it started to outweigh any benefits it generated, it isn’t something I really enjoy doing.

  2. Some of my thoughts since you asked for them . . .

    What do you want “donations” for? I mean, what would people be donating to? What will you do with the money if anyone does donate?

    Haven’t seen you write thank you to any of these sites for posting your stuff and sending this traffic your way (asylum, guardian). Noting getting posted on other sites is fine, I’ve done it myself, but surprised to not see a thanks in there. Then there is the repeated self-praising of your own writing/photographs/etc.

    As far as ads are concerned, less = better. None = great. The books column I assume is an ad? Really hard to distinguish it from your own content as it is more prominently placed in the sidebar than even the haikyo posts.

    No need to repeat my thoughts on choice of WordPress theme, they are well known.

  3. Just noticed the donate button now after reading Jason’s comment. I used to have one on my site a while ago, and never got a cent from it, not to mention a few people told me it looked gaudy, like I was a beggar. Personally I’d suggest taking it off.

    My personal feeling on the ads. Maybe it’s just me but I’m the type of person who when I land on a site covered in google adsense, I immediately leave. Your ad coverage seems to be increasing all over your site. Is this really bringing in money? Would be interested in knowing how much if so.

  4. Post

    Hey fellas, glad you took the opportunity to chime in. To your concerns:

    Ads / paypal- like I said in the above post, it would be nice to make some money off this site. I don’t really expect to, but that hardly seems a reason not to try. What would I do with the money? Put it in my bank account.

    About a paypal button looking like begging, I partly agree, and that’s why I haven’t had one until now. But I thought, Leo Laporte has one, Julie from Julie and Julia does, so why not me. Certainly it’s less annoying than lots of ads, which I’m not comfortable with either. And why would people donate? If they did I’d hope it would be because they liked my content and appreciated the time I put into it. Ads so far made peanuts, btw.

    The books in the sidebar are recommendations. Does that count as ads? Doesn’t matter either way. I chose them myself, and stand behind their quality. I see them as added value.

    Thanking other sites, that’s good general practise. As to self- praising, in this post I actually talked about the negative comments I got on HDR, so am not sure what you’re referring to.

    About the strange japan stuff Mike, I doubt I’ll post new stuff, just sorting out my archives. At the moment the only way to find those posts (probably over a hundred of them) would be by searching for them directly.

  5. Yo yo…!

    I gotta agree here – your site should be an ad for “you”… and not some attempt to make a business of itself. People don’t pay much for online content nowadays. I’ve always felt that having ads and even a “donate” button on a personal site is a sell out.

    Do what you do well and respect your fans… success & money will follow.

  6. Post

    Scott- Good points, well received. That`s what the intent of my site has always been, chiefly to put me forward as a writer. The Paypal and ads are experiments I`ll pull if they don`t go anywhere. Thanks for chiming in.

  7. Count me as one of the ones who found you via the Asylum article (which I found through a link on thechive.com). In any case, I’ve spent way much more time than I intended to, looking at your different galleries. I’ve bookmarked your site and shall be back! Very interesting content!

    I have nothing to add to the conversation about the paypal button and the ads. I came here for the content and was not disappointed. Thanks, Michael!

  8. Post

    Mavericks- Hi there, am so glad you`ve been enjoying the site, and sorry if it swallowed up too much of your time 😉 Thanks for bookmarking, and I`ll do my best to keep interesting content coming.

  9. Another method you may want to look into is called exposure fusing. See http://digital-photography-school.com/exposure-fusion-what-is-it-how-does-it-compare-to-hdr-how-do-i-do-it . It gives results that look more realistic (to me at least). It works by using some algorithms to pick the “best” pixel from a series of images and then uses some other algorithm to blend them together so you don’t see weird banding. I haven’t done too many yet but I like the results better than HDR. Although it tends to make an image flat, which I guess is the intention since the fusing is filling in what was the shadow area. Still perhaps something to explore though. Been following your site for a while now and have enjoyed all the various sites you go to.

  10. Post

    Todd- Yes, this does look like an interesting way to shoot, I`ll have to try it out. Thanks for the tip. The heavy tone-mapping of HDR (at least my HDR work) seems to annoy a lot of people.

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