An update for those of you following my Knee Blowout…
Last week I saw the doctor for the first time since surgery. Bottom line is I have 4 more weeks of “no weight bearing” and cannot drive. Grrrrr.
The doctor looked me over and his nurse removed the staples. He nodded and poked and said the swelling was about what he expected. Then he whipped out the photos from the surgery- which I was a bit reluctant to examine- but managed not to pass out.
After he explained some of the images I finally got to ask the question we’d been pondering for two weeks:
“What exactly did you put in my knee?”
He explained it’s a bone powder. The original plan to scrape some of me into the sinkhole was a no-go because the sinkhole was too big. But it wasn’t so large as to require a bone graft from a cadaver. So instead he spooged it full of this paste that is made from ground up human bone. Iyygh.
He explained it’s the consistency of cake frosting and grainy, as you might expect. Basically it’s Bone Bondo! After smoothing off he coats it with this collagen “glue” to keep it in place and sent me home. Over time my own bone will grow into this void, using the Bone Bondo as a sort of lattice to help fill the sinkhole.
Or so we hope.
Okay, apologies in advance for all the End Of Year lists and crap. But this one also fascinated me, partly because of the content and partly from the who-really-cares aspect.
Last week we considered the world as related to us by searches on Google. They even produced a video called Zeitgeist 2011. Well this week I want to share an excerpt from another press release looking back on 2011. This time from eBay:
SAN JOSE, Calif.— eBay, the world’s largest online marketplace and a leader in mobile commerce, today announced its third annual “Top Shopped” report1, ranking the pop culture moments and trends that captured shopper’s attention – and cash – in 2011. eBay analyzed sales data based on what people bought across categories on the marketplace to identify what piqued the public’s interest this year–from must-have tech and toys, to pop star divas and celebrity standouts.
The list is, as one might expect, a roll call of pop stars, gadgets and sports figures. The one possible exception being Sade. But here’s the best part, and I quote:
“eBay sales are a direct indicator of what Americans are most fascinated by and uniquely reflects the cultural zeitgeist.”
So it appears that Google and eBay have settled it. The one conclusion that stands out above all others.
The 2012 word of the year is zeitgeist.
Top Three Most Expensive Cross-Category
Purchases on eBay Mobile:
- Motors | Mercedes-Benz : S-Class: $212,685
- Fashion | Hermes Blue Sapphire Ostrich Birkin Bag: $19,975
- Collectibles | 1933 Goudey – Babe Ruth #53 PSA Baseball Card: $19,500
Every day billions of searches are performed on Google. Imagine if you gathered together all that data, all those queries, all those searches. Imagine if you compiled all the stuff that people searched for over the course of a year.
Imagine no longer… we now have Google Zeitgeist 2011.
I’m not sure who Rebecca Black is, but I guess a whole lot of people are looking for her.
How Your Images Can Attract a Crowd
Getting more people to visit your website or blog is a universal goal for most anyone. I mean, anyone that has a website or blog. Once you scrape the surface of that topic you will immediately run into the phrase Search Engine Optimization, or SEO.
SEO is simply making your pages and content as friendly as possible to search engines like Bling and Google. The ins and outs of SEO are complicated. There are tons of books written on the subject and I have no intention of delving into the complexities of all that. But one little snippet I recently discovered is worth sharing.
If you’re working on increasing traffic to your site you’re probably familiar with Google’s Webmaster Tools. If you aren’t you probably should be. Google’s toolbox allows you to see how the search engine is indexing your site (or not) and report on how your site fares in particular search results. The main page (right) display the performance of your site based on how many searches your site showed up on. The values are given as Impressions (showed up on the search results) and Clicks (someone actually clicked to visit your site).
A couple of weeks ago I happened to notice that little button on the left of the graph that says Filters.
Filters allow you to zero in on certain types of searches- mobile, image, web, etc. I was amazed to learn that the majority of search traffic being reported was from image searches. When I filtered the graph to display web searches the numbers plummeted. I was reduced from thousands of search hits to a handful.
Obviously your mileage will vary. If your site has more images you will probably see more search traffic from images searches. This can also increase by optimizing your images. Many bloggers overlook this simple but effective step- here’s how to do it…
- Name Your Image
Don’t use the lame file name your camera coughs up. Nobody will be excited by DSC00913.jpg (well, not many people anyway). But if you named it las-vegas-casino.jpg it will have much more relevance.Try to use simple words and avoid using slashes, dots or spaces.
- Keep It Relevant
Speaking of relevance- make sure the image name matches the content where it appears. Consider our above example: If your blog is about a cool casino you discovered in Las Vegas, you’re done.However, let’s say you’re writing about data backup and using a casino image to illustrate gambling with your precious data (okay, you pick the examples next time). In this case a better file name would be best-bet-backup.jpg or backup-gambler.jpg.
- The ALT & Title Tags
The HTML lingo that runs the web has a couple of image-specific tags to help with this endeavor. Most people will be familiar with these tags as “hover text.” If you hold your cursor over my screenshot above you should see “Webmaster Tools by Google” pop up. That happens because I defined the ALT tag for the image and the TITLE tag for the hyperlink.The instructions for adding these vary wildly depending on your blogging platform or content management system. WordPress makes it very easy, but Blogger makes you dip into the HTML view.
Any or all of these suggestions will make your images more friendly to the robots that constantly troll the Web on behalf of search engines. Once they find and index them you should see an increase in visits to your site from image searches. Then all we have to do is entice those visitors to stay for a while.
But that’s a story for another day.
Google Analytics Gets Real
Google’s new interface for their popular website traffic tool got a major overhaul recently. The whole thing is a cleaner design- in typical Google fashion. But the most intriguing new addition is the real-time stats feature.
This Beta feature is available from the Home tab of each site you’re tracking in Google Analytics. The main view shows you active visitors, their referring site, keywords, most active pages and the visitor’s geographic location. This is a fascinating new tool and really adds to the plethora of data Google Analytics provides.
Along with the real-time stuff the upgrade provides tighter integration with Google’s Webmaster Tools (formerly known as Sitemaps), a page flow visualization feature and enhanced conversion tracking for e-commerce sites.
There are other stats tools that have offered such detail on real-time visitors. But many of them require much more cumbersome code to be added or bombard you with irritating banner ads whenever you access the reports. It’s about time Google finally got on board!
Learn more about Real-Time Stats and Google Analytics…