Friday, August 31, 2007

Epiphanous statistical analysis (that Crazy Egg again)

(I apologize ahead of time for the length of this post but I cant figure out if there is a "read more" option. If there were one, I would use it!)

This is a follow-on post to the one I did a few days ago on using Crazy Egg to get a graphical representation of your blog traffic hits over time.

I just wanted to share a couple of nano-epiphanies I have had after looking at where people click on my main page. Note that while a huge amount of my traffic links directly and deeply into the blog without ever going to the front page (google search and google image hits), the elements I have focused on here are shown on each and every page load (wordpress uses PHP to dynamically serve content). I have put the script in the footer php so that it monitors every page that includes that footer (as in every page on the blog).

Epiphany 1: Blogrolls DO matter and they get quite a lot more hits than I ever expected.

Crazy Egg Blog Analysis: blogroll stats

Epiphany 2: People really DO like to use the archive section for navigation.

Crazy Egg Blog Analysis: Archive stats

I looked at my gardening blog Humble Garden which uses a calendar as well as an archive section to see if there is a preference. As this is a brand new blog, sample size is not huge but perhaps there is an indication here that the calendar with clickable dates is a usable and useful design element.

Crazy Egg Blog Analysis: Humble Garden Nav

Epiphany 3: People DO use my search bar, a whole LOT. - if you have one, you better make sure it works! You can also see that people are browsing as well with the nav bar above the search box.

Crazy Egg Blog Analysis: search and nav stats

Epiphany 4: Put your search box near the top and near the "browsable" navigation bar at the top in case a person can not find what they want with their search terms.

Epiphany 5:
(Last one) Make sure to have a link at the bottom to the next page so that people can keep browsing without having to search and search for the archive or some other way of finding older posts. I personally go nuts when I am cruising a neat new blog and then cant find that older posts or next page button.

Crazy Egg Blog Analysis: next page nav at bottom

I hope I have not bored the pants off of you!

KD's 4th bday: Spongebob's scary pants

You can tell here that Spongebob Squarepants was not at all impressed with this post :-), his pants have been bored right off. These are the hazards of blogging.

This Post was written by Nika from Nika's Culinaria and Humble Garden.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

[Invite] World Blog Day


Hey ev'body!

A friendly reminder that tomorrow is World Blog Day

This post brought to you by Rachael from Fresh Approach

Monday, August 27, 2007

Photography in Restaurants

I love taking pics of the meals I have in restaurants to act as a sort of visual diary on my blog, however the lighting levels are usually frustratingly low, begging the question - to use flash or not? In my recent post here you can see a mixture of pics taken with and without flash - and even when I've fiddled with them in Adobe Photoshop the levels are pretty rubbish and the colours aren't true. Obviously the ideal would be to always take pics in full natural daylight, but does anyone have any tips to improve the quality of pictures when this just isn't an option?!

This Post was written by Fahara from Souperior

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Issue: Blogger Comments using Firefox

Hi and Happy Thursday!

I'm having problems with Firefox and comments. I use Blogger and blogger templates. Folks coming into Daily Eats on Firefox can't leave comments. When you try to leave a comment in firefox on dailyeats a program tried to download. Food Blog S'cool is using blogger there's no issue with comments.

Anyone else have this problem?
Is there a fix for it?

The site traffic on DE indicates only a 2% of my traffic is using Firefox. But that 2% could want to join in on the conversation and can't do so because of this problem.

Thanks Alanna for pointing this out.

any help is so appreciated!

Thank you so much!

This Post was written by Tery Spataro from Daily Eats

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Heatmap your traffic!

This is one for those of you who are stat-junkies.

I use statcounter and also have all the stats from my server but when I heard about Crazy Egg and how their service gives you a graphical representation of your hits, I thought I might like to give it a try. I found out about this from Darren over at ProBlogger.

I try all sorts of things like this, often to little effect. I have to say, I have learned a lot by seeing the hits laid over the page.

It will tell you if your ads are being hit, if people are clicking deeper into your site, if people are clicking your photos (I am guessing because they expect them to be flickr-linked OR to right-click to download, something you can not tell with this software).

Here are a few screenshots.

Heatmapping hits

Crazy Egg stats: heatmap

"confetti" annotation

Crazy Egg stats: confetti

All you need to be able to do is access your template and put the code you will get once you sign up for the free trial.

Let me know if you use this and if you have found anything earth shattering!

This Post was written by Nika from Nika's Culinaria

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Titles as LINKS =How To Do It?

I've been noticing in some Blogger blogs that the TITLES ACT AS LINKS.
Is this a trick of only BETA blogs?
If you're doing a search, it makes it more convenient to click on the title and just view that particular post etc.
For example if you look at, you can click on any post title instead of having to search in the sidebar.
Whereas in my blog, the titles are not clickable :(
If anyone knows a workaround, I'd love to know it. It's a useful little trick.
This Post was written by Carolg from

Thursday, August 16, 2007

How do you put Stumble upon etc. links on every post

I've noticed that some bloggers have "stumble upon", technorati, diggs and other similar links at the bottom of each post. I'd like to do the same, but am not sure how to go about it.

For example Stumble Upon says...

Installing StumbleUpon links within Blogger/Blogspot
Download this image or
grab another icon and upload it to your blogger account.
Login in to
Click on the template tab (to modify template)
Find the <$BlogItemBody$> tag
Cut and paste the following and replace **LINK TO
stumbleit.gif** with the image your uploaded:

Template Changes
Republish your blog

So here are my questions....

1. where exactly do I upload the icon html to in my blogger account?

2. do I put the code they provide ....

a) between the <>

b) between the $$

c) replace the entire <$blogitemblog$>

Any advice would be welcome.

This Post was written by Ruth from Onceuponafeast.

Friday, August 10, 2007

San Francisco Bay Area bloggers e-mail list update (and volunteer event)

The San Francisco area food and wine bloggers have had several events in the past (picnics, a work day at the SF Food Bank), but the list used to send out invitations has not been updated in some time. Since an event is planned for later this month (details below), it seems like a good time to update the list of SF Bay Area food and wine bloggers. Note that management and distribution of the list is somewhat casual, so there is a chance that your address will be passed to several others. For example, when someone is planning an event, they will get the list from a previous organizer.

If you would like to be added to the SF Bay Area food and wine bloggers list, send me your name (or nickname, if you're trying to stay anonymous), e-mail address, and the name of your blog. Conversely, if you know that you are already on the list and want to be removed, let me know. Please use the subject line "Blogger list." My e-mail address is on this page.

About the event: Amy, Bonnie, Jen, and I are organizing a volunteer day for SF-area food and wine bloggers at Alemany Farm in San Francisco on August 19. We'll help out with weeding, planting, watering and whatever else needs to be done that day. If you did not receive an invitation but want one, please e-mail me (my e-mail address is on this page).

This Post was written by Marc from Mental Masala.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

[Ethics] Troll comments

Those of you who have guidelines that prohibit self-promotional comments on your blog might be interested in this one:

We got a comment today on a Drink of the Week post from last September. The comment itself was so ridiculous (suggesting the use of a top-shelf gin for a gin & tonic) that it raised my b.s. alarms and sent me into sleuth mode.

It took all of 2 seconds to track the IP address to a marketing agency, another couple of minutes to determine that the named brand was a client, and a few more minutes to determine that our purportedly male commenter was actually a female employee of the firm.

I can't imagine any of their clients -- some of which we were actually planning posts about, sadly -- would be happy to know about this, and I'm going to mention as much to the president of the firm when I get ahold of him.

In the meantime, be on the lookout for suspicious comments on any of your booze-related posts. Our 'friend' used the pseudonym "Aaron" and -- given that she's clueless enough to post from her work IP address -- she's probably not clever enough to think of other fake names.

This Post was written by Anita from Married... with Dinner

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Time for another round of advertising talk

Happy midsummer everyone. I'm looking at some redesign stuff that includes adding some *gasp* advertising to the site. I searched the archives here but the most recent discussions about ads are over 8 months old, which is darned near neolithic in Internet years.

I signed up for adsense, am going to sign up for blogher (which I'd rather use) and realize I am relatively clueless on the topic.

Who is using an ad network/service they love or hate?
Suggestions for someone just starting with ads?


This Post was written by kitchenMage from kitchenMage

(Blogger) How to Add More Tag?

I've noticed a few Blogger blogs recently have started using the "more" tag (you know, when you can "click here to continue reading"). I've been waiting anxiously for this feature to become available with Blogger ... how do you do it? Help!

This Post was written by Cate from Sweetnicks

Can readers read your blog? I decided to ask mine

Looks vs. Legibility

Everyone wants people to read their blog, but can they?

Lately I've been using Verdana small for all the text in my blogs posts. Previously, I was using Georgia normal size for what I called "real" posts, Verdana normal for any recipes in the "real" posts, and Verdana small (which I use for all photo captions) when I only wrote a few sentences about a farm photo. But lately I've been posting fewer farm photos with more accompanying text.

While I personally think Verdana small looks nice and is easy to read on my large desktop screen (which is the only place I ever see my blog), I started wondering if the type might actually be too small for some people to comfortably read. (Note: the space between the lines of type, or leading, is set automatically by blogger. I would prefer it to be slightly tighter on the Verdana small, but I think too loose is far better than too tight.)

After putting up a fairly long post and recipe yesterday, I went back and forth trying to decide if I should change the font and/or size or not. Finally I decided to see what my readers had to say.

I asked them to take part in a "five second survey," and so far 120 people have. Their responses have been interesting as well as helpful. I would have liked to have asked more questions (including their age, as several people have mentioned their "old eyes"--I think my readership is slightly older than I assumed), but I wanted to make this as quick and easy as possible to try to get more people to respond.

I did mention that any other comments and criticisms were welcome (noting that Anonymous comments were acceptable), and many people have taken the time to tell me extra things like where they're reading my blog (Google reader, laptop, etc.) and why they chose the answer they did.

Click here if you'd like to have a look at the survey and see how people are responding to what I think is an important question. And of course I'd love for you to take part if you haven't already!

This Post was written by Susan from

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Republishing content - should I?

I'm getting loads of requests from various recipe sites, restaurant review sites and sydicated food blogs to republish my content. As I make 100% of my living from writing I'm a little reluctant to give away my words for free, even in exchange for links. The latest is for which is pulling together content in Australia.

I was wondering what other peoples' experiences are with these types of blogs and whether they have found any benefits in terms of traffic or financial reward.

Should I be selfish with my content or share it with people who ask?

Saturday, August 04, 2007

[copyright] cease and desist?

I have just discovered that one of my photographs is being used on the front page of a restaurant's website. My website and my photos are clearly covered by Creative Commons licence that allows no commercial use and has various other specifications about how my work may be used by other people.

My first reaction was to write a hot-headed email to the owner of the restaurant demanding compensation. But once I had calmed down a little I didn't hit the send button. Instead I wondered what the best way to approach this problem would be. Should I send a physical cease and desist letter by regular mail instead? Does anyone have ideas or suggestions.

This Post was written by sam from food blog scool

Friday, August 03, 2007

Help with Photography

Hi everyone,

I'm a newbie here and I have learned so much from reading through past posts. What a wonderful resource for food bloggers everywhere!

I need help with photography. I have been posting for awhile and admiring the pohtography on other food blogs. I fear I cannot emulate them as I have but a humble digital camera from a few years ago. I cannot afford an SLR and do not foresee getting one anytime soon. So how can I make my cooking look good in the meantime?

I have a Sony 4 mega pixel digital camera and unfortunately for me and my readers this is how it's going to be for the foreseeable future. I've taken into account previous advise in terms of avoiding flash and using natural light, but my pictures are still sub-par.

I welcome all advice, as I am really at a loss where to go from here. Thankfully I have a good group of regulars who seem to be happy with my meager offerings, but I want to do better. I am but a housewife who can cook, yet I want to portray my food as the best it can be, but in the current circumstances I am at a loss.

All advice gratefully accepted!


This Post was written by Deborah from The Humble Housewife