Archive for Blog


Blog Reincarnation

KeithMander.com has experienced its second painful fatality, with zero updates in the past 5-months. To keep the angry mob at bay, I’ll have another stab at bringing it back to life. Like the Phoenix, the new birth promises a fresh start of mythical proportions – hopefully just without the fire and ash.

To prevent this perilous downtown from reappearing in the future (or at least in the next month or so), I’ve spent a couple of hours churning out a few posts which will are scheduled to automatically be published over the next couple of weeks. Hip-hip-hooray.

 Tags: Blog   Published: 16th March '10

Blog Depression

Not even KeithMander.com could escape the perils of the global downturn. Despite outcries from numerous die-hard fans, the blog has turned into a bleak and desolate place in recent months. The demise can be depicted on the below graph, which shows the evolution of activity since the blog’s birth on that fateful day in September ’07.

Blog Posts Graph

Sulk no longer, for the blog shall return and reclaim it’s place at the forefront of cutting-edge journalism. That is to say, after I figure out what exactly I’ll be writing about. Any ideas?

 Tags: Blog   Published: 31st August '09

Facebook Connect

Fellow Facebook users can now interact with KeithMander.com using their Facebook profile, thanks to the WP-FBConnect WordPress plug-in. When commenting on a post, you can opt to skip entering your details and instead connect your Facebook account with the site. Providing that you’re logged into Facebook, you’ll then be automatically logged into the blog each time you return.

FBC

Moreover, when you leave a comment, you’ll have the option to share the story with your friends via the news feed on Facebook. I already syndicate the blog via my own news feed, but this feature will allow me to reach both friends of friends, and friends of strangers. Plus, with the combo of the Facebook Comments plug-in, any comments left on Facebook are copied back onto the blog, keeping everything nice and tidy.

It’ll be interesting to see if this expanded distribution will bring a new audience to the blog and foster greater interaction.

 Tags: Blog, Internet   Published: 1st February '09

Blog Birthday

The first anniversary of the world renowned blog that is KeithMander.com almost slipped by without a recap of the year that was.

Some stats & titbits:

  • There have been 4,656 visits by 3,225 unique visitors.
  • 10,557 pages have been read, consuming roughly 196 hours. Yikes.
  • Most visitors come from the USA. UK & Ireland follow.
  • Most ‘foreign’ visitors come from Germany.
  • There have been visitors from Jamaica, Mongolia and Kazakhstan…
  • I’ve written 15,380 words in 70 posts.
  • You’re written 141 comments. Ta very much.

The top 5 most popular posts:

My personal top 5 picks (in addition to the above):

 Tags: Blog   Published: 19th October '08

Exploitation or Leverage?

BusSongs has quickly achieved the of accolade of having the largest collection of nursery rhymes and Children’s songs on the Internet. When the site was acquired, it came with 130 songs, but this has spiraled to just shy of 1,000 in under a week. How was this possible?

There a whole bunch of outsourcing platforms now in existence – with eLance, Rentacoder and Odesk being the largest and most established outfits. They all operate with the same model; a buyer posts a project detailing the task they want performed, contractors bid on the project, the buyer than selects a coder (based on a combination of cost and collective feedback for that contractor) and then work commences. The platform typically holds money in escrow and acts as an arbitrator if things go wrong.

The benefits are obvious. You can tap into a vast talent pool, save on costs and spend your own time on more value-adding activities. How cheap is it? The addition of 1,000 pictures to Just Pooh cost a meager $90 and consumed around 18 hours of labour. Each batch of 100 songs for BusSongs (processing user submissions) costs $15 and takes roughly 3 hours to complete (the contractor was asked to only input public domain material). The contractor was very professional and did a really great job, despite it being a pretty tedious task.

As you might guess, most contractors originate from developing economies, but this isn’t always the case. With another recent project, I hired a Swiss guy to scrape data from my YPN account and spit it out onto a webpage. The resulting widget (shown on the right, with fake data) negates the need to manually log-in and run reports to pull the key data I want. Email me if you want a copy.

The contractor is getting a fair wage for their time (in relative terms) and effectively input money into the economy without extracting natural resources.

After a bit of a deliberation, I reckon that I’m not exploiting anyone. Anyone beg to differ?

Update: Added some extra clarity.

 Tags: Blog, Internet, Random   Published: 14th June '08

In the ‘Press’

Midascode, a blog about buying and selling websites, picked up on my posts about Just Pooh and asked for an interview about my experiences.

It was an interesting experience and I’ve benefited from a nice chunk of additional visitors. The transcript was published on Boxing Day and can be viewed on their blog.

Here is a snippet to lure you in:

Keith, thank you so much for your time….. this has far exceeded my expectations, and there are some real gems of information here.

 Tags: Blog   Published: 11th January '08

Blog Redesign

The blog has received a well needed makeover today, with a custom made WordPress theme that I’ve dubbed ‘Squeezed Lime’.

I need to experiment with different colour schemes and make a few other tweaks, but I’m otherwise pretty happy with it – it’s slick, lightweight, and unique. Howoever, this may change if I decide to give back to the WordPress community and release the theme under a Creative Commons license.

Thanks to the guys at Artua for transforming my design into a functional theme.

Update: I’ve updated the look from Squeezed Lime to Squashed Blueberry. Better?

 Tags: Blog   Published: 11th January '08

KeithMander.com Review

Using a combination of Google’s Analytics and Webmaster Tools, I can gain an interesting, and often bizarre, insight into how people interact and stumble across my site.

The below screenshot comes from Analytics, and provides a quicksnap as to how the site has performed over the past month:

Google Analytics Snapshot

The volume of traffic, whilst small, is still quite surprising. I expect visitors from workmates, friends and family, but I didn’t foresee how many strangers the site would attract. A large chunk of visitors come from people searching Google. Here are the top searches, reported from both Analytics:

Analytics Top Keywords

and Webmaster Tools:

Webmaster Tool Top Google Keywords

Looks like I’m not the only one wanting to dine on insects in London!

Analytics reveals that I’ve left a trial of backlinks at places that I visit, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and WebmasterWorld. What I find truly fascentating is coming across people that have written about me or my site. For example, a popular Spanish blog about search engines wrote about my attempts to get an internship at Google, in a post entitled La historia de Keith Mander. I used AdWords to plug myself:

KeithMander.com Advertised on Google AdWords

Thus far, the two most popular blog posts are Is Facebook Worth $5b? and Creepy Crawlies.

For the 30.32% of visitors arriving from the US, you will pleased to see that I now rank in first for the keyword “keith mander” on Google. As previously reported, KeithMander.com is in head-to-head competition with a University professor to claim the treasured #1 spot. Curiously, I’m still lagging behind in position #3 in my two key markets; Ireland and the UK.

 Tags: Blog, Internet   Published: 21st November '07

Keith for #1

I’m in fierce competition with a fellow Keith Mander to rank #1 for “Keith Mander” on Google. He’s a professor at a British university and his site has plenty of backlinks from strong authority sites, so I suspect I’m quite behind.

I’m hoping that when Google picks up that I’ve changed my site into blog, it might give me some extra brownie points and I’ll inch a wee bit closer. You can aid my effort by linking to the far superior KeithMander.com.

Update: Looks like I’ve now pinched the number one spot for all countries!

 Tags: Blog   Published: 30th September '07

Blog D-Day

And so it begins. This day will go down in history, not only because it’s Talk Like A Pirate Day, but it also marks when my blog was unleashed upon the world.

Despite being something of a self-confessed geek, I’m pretty slow to adopt some new technologies and so I thought I’d finally give this blogging thing a go.

The launch party was a low-key affair and consisted of an episode of Friends, served with Jelly and Ice Cream. Sublime.

 Tags: Blog   Published: 19th September '07