As you may have noticed from a post the other day, we’ve just moved into our new-yet-quite-old house and are up to our armpits in packed boxes and not yet properly set-up furniture and “things”. It will take a while for us to clear paths through the debris, so blogging will be something I neglect for most of the day and perhaps post something a bit later. The QotD posts are queued for at least a week in advance, so there’ll be something to see each morning…
February 24, 2016
February 23, 2016
January 8, 2016
I’m finally home again from the hospital. It was, by far, the longest hospital stay of my life (the previous being two days when I got my tonsils out at age 11 or so). Just the walk from the ward down to the parking garage left me feeling I’d put in a full day’s work down in the mines. Nearly two weeks of pretty much no physical activity leaves a mark. On the bright side, I lost ten pounds or so … but now I’ve got a bunch of pills I’ll need to take at various points during the day. Plus the joy of trying to find a doctor to provide after-care and monitoring (there may be parts of the GTA where doctors accepting new patients are plentiful, but Durham Region isn’t one of them).
Blogging will probably continue to be below normal volume, but I should manage a bit more than just the auto-posted QotD entries from now on.
Thanks again to those of you who’ve contacted me through various channels. Your words of support were very welcome.
December 31, 2015
I’m sharing this post from my iPhone while reclining in my bed in the Intensive Care Unit at Lakeridge Health in Oshawa. I’ve suffered a totally unexpected health setback on Tuesday evening and I don’t know when I’ll be able to resume blogging. There are still several postings in the queue, but once they’re posted, the blog may go quiet for some time.
My best wishes to all of you in 2016. I hope to be back to a relatively normal life as soon as medicine and rest will allow.
June 4, 2015
Yesterday afternoon, my sister suffered a massive heart attack and was rushed to hospital. She died late in the evening, never having regained consciousness. She was 51. I will be doing whatever I can to support my brother-in-law Gord, my niece Samantha (who is due to deliver her first baby any day now), my nephew Jimmy and my mother.
There will be a few pre-scheduled items posted on the blog, but I don’t expect to be actively posting anything for at least a couple of days.
May 10, 2015
Once again, I almost missed my own blog’s anniversary. It’s now eleven years since I started blogging … but I won’t say it seems like yesterday (it seems like maybe two or three years ago, actually). In rather the same way that I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, I still don’t really know what I’m trying to do with the blog. It just keeps dragging me back when I think I’m done with it…
Earlier anniversary postings:
February 27, 2015
This morning’s WordPress update appears to have messed around with the theme I’ve been using for the last several years. Most of the formatting looks to be okay … except that I’ve lost the banner graphic at the top of the page. I don’t have time to fix it properly now (not to mention that I don’t remember what I did back in 2009 to get it working in the first place), so I’ve just dropped a placeholder banner there (it’s the banner from the old MovableType site, actually).
February 20, 2015
February 11, 2015
December 31, 2014
The annual statistics update on traffic to Quotulatiousness since January 1st (it’s also co-incidentally, the 2,000th day since I started posting here after moving from the original MovableType site at Jon’s website).
Over five million hits. That’s a pretty good number for an obscure Canadian blog. Certainly better numbers than The New Republic was managing just recently.
If I had any Photoshop skillz at all, I’d put together a Quotulatiousness version of the old McDonalds sign with the caption “Over Five Million Served”.
The final count of visitors to the blog will be about 1,500-2,500 higher, as I did the screen captures at around 11:30 in the morning.
December 14, 2014
Let’s just say that there’s not a lot of profit for a monthly magazine with single-issue newsstand sales as low as this:
From a business standpoint, The New Republic was undoubtedly facing an uphill battle for profitability, even before last week’s events. According to the Pew Research Center and the Alliance for Audited Media, single copy sales of the magazine (considered the most objective measure of a magazine’s print appeal) have steadily declined over the past year, dropping to around 1,900 per issue.
They note that, between the first and second halves of 2013, newsstand sales fell by 57%, and fell a further 20% in the first of half of 2014.
One thousand, nine hundred readers. Per month.
Let me just give you a bit of perspective here:
At shortly after 10 a.m. on a quiet Sunday, I’ve already had more visitors to my obscure little personal blog today than there were copies of The New Republic sold in a recent month (not counting subscriptions).
That is not a viable business.
H/T to Kathy Shaidle, who also gets more daily traffic than TNR sells in a month.
June 25, 2014
Sonny Bunch on the serial comma, single-spaces after periods and other pressing concerns:
Via 538, I’m proud to announce that those of us who support using the serial, or Oxford, comma are on The Right Side of History™:
The poll of 1,129 Americans, conducted from June 3 to 5, showed that the pro-Oxford comma crowd has a somewhat substantial lead overall: 57 percent to 43 percent. …
Readers had asked how the responses broke down by age, so here’s a chart to show who falls into each comma camp. The younger crowd overwhelmingly prefers the Oxford comma.
This makes sense, since refusing to use the Oxford comma is stupid and barbaric, a product of a bygone era. See also:
June 23, 2014
I’m very sorry to learn that Sir Humphrey will no longer be updating his well-written and informative blog on British (and allied) military affairs:
I started this blog in late 2011 as a response to the levels of debate which surrounded many issues impacting on Defence and wider UK security policy. I felt a keen frustration that all too often the debate quickly descended into poor reporting, tired clichés (e.g. more admirals than ships) and a general sense that the UK was a declining nation with good armed forces who were being betrayed by the MOD.
In starting it I wanted to try to address some of these myths, try to put across an alternate viewpoint and suggest that actually the UK remains a relatively influential nation with capable armed forces and that there is often very logical reasons why things have been done as they are. In other words, I wanted to put across that it is possible to be very positive about Defence in the UK and that there is a remarkably good story to tell. In the intervening two and a half years, nearly 200 articles, over 2600 comments and over 650,000 page hits later, I feel that hopefully some of this has been achieved.
That said, I’ve now reached a point where the decision has been made to close down this blog. There are several reasons why I feel this is the right time to do this: Firstly, from a career perspective, it is increasingly difficult to balance holding down busy jobs as both a civilian and a reservist, and be able to comment objectively here. Recent changes to both commitments mean I don’t think I can continue to be able to post material here without having a conflict of interest in my professional roles.
May 10, 2014
Today is the tenth anniversary of my very first blog post. It wasn’t really a barn burner: El Neil on the Iraqi Prisoners. With only two posts on the first day, it wasn’t clear that the blog would last even to the end of May. Eleven posts on the second day were a more hopeful sign. I’d been reading and commenting on blogs for a few years at that point, so the transition to being a blogger was relatively easy. Managing some kind of consistency — that was more of a challenge.
Becoming a long-term blogger just sort of happened: my friend Jon installed MovableType and invited me to start a blog of my own on his site. Jon eventually decided that blogging wasn’t for him so he shut down his blog, but allowed me to keep my blog hosted at his site for over five years as a primary and my first five years of posts are still available there. Jon’s short experiment in blogging was called Blogulatiousness, and I named my own blog as a back-handed reference to his … which is why I still have the least easily pronounced blog name in the Anglosphere. Initially, I expected the blog to be primarily quotations, although even from the start, I didn’t post a QotD entry all that regularly.
Advice for anyone wanting to start a blog? (Especially if you’re involved in the gaming-oriented Newbie Blogger Initiative this year.) Blog every day. Even if you don’t have much to say, make sure you post something. It’s dual purpose: you need to get yourself into the habit of posting regularly, and you need to have something new every time a reader loads your page, or they’ll stop coming back. I have a stockpile of QotD posts ready to go for those days when I’m too busy or too pre-occupied to come up with regular posts. I recommend you do something similar, although it should be something that ties in with your general theme (if you have one): original artwork, YouTube videos, quotations, short poems or drabbles if you write fiction, historical photos, a list of assorted links, etc. But do remember that a blog isn’t Instagram or Tumblr or Facebook: don’t post photos of your lunch. Please. You’re trying to build your own audience, and it’s unlikely you’ll do better than those services, as they’re optimized for their particular niches.
Whatever you choose to do, remember to link back to your sources every time. It’s courteous and it’s common sense: you want your work to be appreciated, and so do the other writers/artists/musicians you link to.
Earlier anniversary postings:
- Ninth anniversary
- Eighth anniversary
- Seventh anniversary
- Sixth anniversary
- (Very belated) Fifth anniversary
- (Premature) Fourth anniversary (a few days later, I welcomed my 150,000th visitor)
- Third anniversary
- (Belated) Second anniversary
- First anniversary
Update, 13 May: I just discovered that May 10 in 2004 was the same day that ArenaNet announced the development of their first MMO, Guild Wars (now known as Guild Wars Prophecies. I didn’t play the game until a year or so later, but I’m amused and pleased that we share an anniversary date.
March 18, 2014
ESR linked to this. It’s a generator site for “social justice” that produces simulated Tumblr and blog post rants that are indistinguishable from the “real thing”: