Tag Archives: WordPress

I ♥ WordPress!

Today is my first anniversary with WordPress! Yes, that means I started this blog on Nov. 4, 2009, exactly one year ago.

In year one, this blog received 221,517 hits (views).

182,490 (or 82.4%) of these hits came from one post: US Census 2010 Win. Thank you “certain person.”

84,570 (or 38.2%) of total hits occurred on one day: March 26, 2009. As the vast majority (75,741) of these came from the Census post, my blog was, for one day (3/27/09), ranked #58 on WordPress Top Posts.

The second most popular post was StarCraft II Unit Review: Protoss Void Ray, at 4,472 hits. Note that this is only a fraction of the the viewcount of the top post.

The third most viewed post was Tumblr vs WordPress: Simplicity vs Power at 2,582 hits. Fourth was The StarCraft II Map Editor, In Context at 2,183 hits, and fifth was Why is a Raven Like a Writing Desk? at 1,074 hits.

The longest single contiguous post was Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty Walkthrough, Difficulty Guide at 4,946 words. The second longest is the short story One Day, and One Day Only, at 3,129 words.

The shortest non-image post was When I Can’t Think of Anything to Blog…, at 4 words (not including the title!).

The most common search term that arrived at this site was tumblr vs wordpress, with 1,269 hits. Second was void ray, at 321 hits. There was a two-way tie for third between the scarlet letter and nargaque, at 253 hits each. And fifth was the persistence of memory, at 197 hits. Note that these stats are not truly representative, simply because of overlap, e.g., protoss void ray rush brought in 144 hits, void ray rush was 138 hits, and protoss void ray was 113.

[No very precise stats here.] The most effective referral site (i.e., the site which generated the most traffic here from links) is Digg, at an estimated 125k referrals, followed by StumbleUpon, estimated at 70k. The third site, Facebook, at an estimated 2k referrals, doesn’t even come close.

The busiest month was June 2010, in which I created 33 blog posts. My longest posting streak is 42 days in a row.

My most posted category was a two-way tie between Books and Life, each with 34 posts.

There were 212 total posts, for an average of 0.58 per day, 4.1 per week, or 17.7 per month. Accompanying these were 413 comments, including pings.

Well, I hope y’all enjoyed this plethora of data. How will 2010-2011 go for this blog? Well, as most of the 221k views this year came from one post, and that one magical post is actually quite rare, it would be very unlikely for this blog to match or beat its first-year record. Let’s see what happens.

Tumblr vs WordPress: Simplicity vs Power

There are a great number of debates on this subject already, and I could agree with any of the first 10 hits in a Google search of “wordpress vs tumblr” for either side, as there are certainly advantages and disadvantages to each. Here is my take.

Overall: WordPress is more powerful but more bulky; Tumblr is more simple but more limited. (Also, I’m referring in this post to WordPress.com hosted WordPress. If you don’t know what I meant by that, ignore it.) Feature sets are as of mid-2010.

Tumblr

When you create a Tumblr, you can basically start blogging immediately, with little adapt-time. On your Dashboard, you click this giant button for Text Post and it leads you to a nice, basic text editor. You type in a couple messages, click Create Post, and in no time you’ve created your first post!

You’ll find, however, that what I listed above is about all you can do. There are slight variations, such as posting pictures, quotes, audio, and short videos, (and a little more, but are all expected of a blogging software) but that’s it. Going further, you can “follow” other people so their posts will show up on your Dashboard, very similarly to friends’ statuses in Facebook’s “News Feed.” After that, you can “like” posts, also similar to Facebook, and you can “reblog,” which basically copies a post into your own post and lets you comment or reply to it. Your response, however, will only appear on your own blog. This makes Tumblr a poor choice for discussion—there is NO built-in comment system. For me, that alone made Tumblr out of the question.

WordPress

When you create a WordPress, things are different. On your Dashboard, you see a zillion things on the left-hand menu, and a perhaps-intimidating grid of information in the center. In fact, it might not be obvious at first how to make your first post!

After a little while of getting used to it, however, you find that it virtually lets you do anything you want. You can include almost anything in posts. You can put categories or tags on your posts, for archival purposes or for ease of access. Speaking of archives, Tumblr’s post archiving system is unique, but rather disorganized—it looks nice, but it’s incredibly hard to find a certain kind of post. On WordPress, if you can narrow down the category or month, it can become much easier. You can also comment, which makes WordPress infinitely better for discussion; it has automatically included anti-spam as well. WordPress comes with a built-in stat tracking system, which is very nice, telling you how many times posts were viewed, which ones, from what links, etc. It also LOOKS more professional. The themes are very well designed, and there are lots of them. You can post attachments which don’t have to appear in any post. Plus, WordPress is de facto more than just blogging—it lets you create a website, with pages which are not posts, and which can be as many in number and can have as many sub-pages as needed. And each of these features is customizable.

The Verdict

It might seem above that I am saying that WordPress is unequivocally better. But that is is not my point. Whether you should choose WordPress or Tumblr (assuming you have narrowed down your choice of blog to these two, though there ARE other nice blogging sites) will depend on how you plan to use your blog. If you want your audience to be a group of close friends, and you don’t feel too serious about blogging, then I would recommend Tumblr, as it’s easy to set up, easy to connect.

But if you want to reach out to a world audience, and are somewhat serious about blogging, then I urge you to use WordPress. It takes more time to get used to, but it gives you so many more features.

Extra

Here are a screenshot of Tumblr and of WordPress respectively. Click an image to view at full size.

Tumblr:

Tumblr Screenshot

Plain and simple.

WordPress:

WordPress Screenshot

That’s a heck of a lot more customization, but also a heck of a lot more to learn.

Final Advice

You’ve seen them, you decide.

WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter

In the last three months of 2009, I have used all of the above. So what is the point of this post? Well, I wanted to reflect over my usage of each of these sites. Originally the title was WordPress vs. Blogger vs. Tumblr vs. Facebook vs. Twitter, but then I realized, no, that would be comparing ballads and limericks. Blogging vs. Micro-blogging. But I digress. Here is how I now view each one.

Facebook

I’ve had one since September 2007. Facebook is distinctly a social networking site, not a blogging one. One posts short status messages. At this time, there are two actions, “like” and “comment,” that can be done on these. It is very personal; massive amounts of individual pictures are uploaded. People can be tagged in pictures. Because of this, privacy is a large factor in Facebook.

Me? I suppose I use Facebook a lot. But much differently than I used to. My Facebook status updates right now are, ironically, links to WordPress posts from here. Automatically, of course.

Blogger

This one is what its name suggests: a blogging site. I’ve actually made two product blogs back in 2008, to provide official information for two WarCraft III maps, one that I started from scratch, and another co-edited. Sometime in October, I decided to create another one, a personalized one. I didn’t use it very much; in fact, I switched it over to WordPress. This very blog.

Tumblr

A friend suggested it in October of this year, so I tried it out. It has some nice concepts. It’s for blogging, but the catch is, you can’t comment on other people’s blogs, at least not directly. This makes it a unique, non-linear system. However, I don’t like it very much. I’m used to forums and normal blogs, where, to respond to a point, you simply make a comment. With Tumblr, you can instead “Reblog” a post, so that the original post will show up in its entirety on your page, and your comment will appear below it. Unique? Yes. But is unique necessarily good? No.

I know it only takes a few clicks to post a reblog, but it seems a waste of space to have the original post keep popping up. This is both Tumblr’s strength and weakness. It’s hard to make a conversation, let alone see one. Debates don’t work. Especially for an outsider trying to view the debate: on a forum or normal blog, one simply scrolls down through comments, but on Tumblr, one has to forage through a convoluted mess.

Right now I don’t use Tumblr.

Twitter

Dislike. Yes, it’s concise. But I find I use it right now solely to provide links to WordPress. To me, it seems Facebook is just a better version of Twitter.

WordPress

Amazing. It’s simply more powerful than Blogger. Plus, it doesn’t have the disadvantage I mentioned with Tumblr. Moreover, WordPress allows you to do much more than write a blog—it pretty much lets you design and contruct a full website.

Overall

If I had to rank these five sites for myself, it would be in this order:

  1. WordPress
  2. Facebook
  3. Blogger
  4. Tumblr
  5. Twitter

This is a totally subjective ranking, and may not be true for you.

Testing WordPress-Facebook Posting

[Edit: As of Feb. 27, 2010, WordPress can post directly to Facebook. The following post is now obsolete.]

WordPress can post directly onto Twitter, and Twitter can post onto Facebook via an application. This is an experiment to determine whether or not, through Twitter, WordPress is able to directly post onto Facebook.

Update: A link to this post appeared instantly on Facebook, so this two-step method of WordPress-Facebook integration does work.

WordPress Facebook Integration Screenshot
WordPress-Facebook Integration via Twitter

Of course, Facebook’s Note application has the ability to import external blogs’ RSS feeds, but it creates a note and does not actually go to the blog. The Twitter approach, on the other hand, gives the blog post title and the short link to the actual WordPress article:

Notice too that, even though this method uses Twitter as a middleman, neither the original WordPress article nor the resulting Facebook status links to the Twitter post. Hence, even a totally inactive Twitter account can be used for this method of WordPress-Facebook integration.