Talk to Me!

I’ve added a new page to the Biodork blog called “Talk to Me!” It will be a permanent link available in the right sidebar under “Pages”.  On this page I list my contact info and reasons why I think you should Talk to Me! such as to:

  • Tell me about a COOL STORY or LINK.
  • Inquire about being a GUEST BLOGGER.
  • Invite ME to be a GUEST BLOGGER on your site.
  • Inquire about being a Biodork ARTIST
  • DONATE a Prize or SPONSOR a Contest.

To learn more about my ideas for any of the above, I invite you to visit my Talk to Me! page.

Talk to Me!

Plants vs. Zombies aka Why My Blog is Slow

You may have noticed a dearth of posts over the past week.  This is why:

1)I had very little access to the internet over Christmas break, and I don’t enjoy writing posts on my phone. 

2)Plants vs. Zombies.  Well, I had to beat Zomboss, didn’t I?

3) Over the Christmas break I got out of the groove of checking the blogs I follow, thus no “look what I found on whoseits website!” to share.

4) Plants vs. Zombies.  So…I beat Zomboss at the beginning of the second day I started playing.  But then I had to play through the entire game again to unlock all of the plants for my Zen Garden and raise enough money to buy all of the plants from Crazy Dave’s shop.

5) Watching all of my new DVDs that I got for Christmas with friends.  Really, this is not conducive to writing creative blog posts:

6) Plants vs. Zombies.  See, there are these extra levels in Puzzle Mode, Survival Mode and Mini-Games.  I’ve taken care of all of the mini-games and survival modes, but I haven’t been able to make it to the 15 levels for Vasebreaker and 10 levels for I, Zombie needed to unlock those acheivements! 

Curse you, Zombies!  But don’t worry – as soon as I save my house from these brain-eating jerks, I promise that things will get back to normal.  I figure I’ll get my “geeky Christmas presents” post up at about the same time I usually take down my Christmas decorations.  So….March-ish?

Plants vs. Zombies aka Why My Blog is Slow

Blog Traffic

I know I’ve talked about why I blog, but in the past week I’ve had three people ask me about how I get new commenters and new visitors to my blog.  There are tons of resources on how to increase traffic to your blog (google “how do I increase traffic to my blog”).  But people have asked me, so here are my thoughts.

I am a new blogger – I’ve only had this blog since December 2009 – but my site hits have been gradually increasing over time. 

May 2010 was an oddity – I was published on the frontpage.

I don’t get a ton of hits, but I get enough to hold my interest, and to make writing regularly worth it on the days when I don’t necessarily want to write.  These are some of the factors that I believe play a role in getting people to check out my blog, and to keep them coming back:

Cross-publishing on Facebook and Twitter.  I get most of my regular, returning readers from Facebook.  I think that a lot of people don’t like to subscribe to receive email updates, so FB and Twitter provide an opportunity to unobtrusively knock on the door when I have new posts.  Also, I have friends and family who do FB, but don’t read a lot of blogs.  FB connects them to me. 

Including popular, controversial or unique words in my posts.  Sex, circumcision, diet, porno, Marilyn Monroe, atheism, ValleyScare.  All of these words have coincided with a bump in my viewership and my google search hits.  One of my favorite bloggers, Jeremy from Cafe Witteveen, put the word “vuvuzela” into one of his posts during this summer’s World Cup and received a generous boost in his viewership.   This is a good way to get people to glance once at my blog, but not a great way to gain loyal, returning readers. 

Getting noticed by bigger blogs so that they publicize for me.  I consider this to be one of the coolest things that has happened to me during my time in the blogosphere, and yes, even more than being published on Jen from BlagHag took notice of my blog and thought it was decent enough to add it to her Recommended Reading List.  Whenever I add a new post, her blog updates so that my post shows up in the left-hand column.   I usually get ~10 hits per day redirected from her site.  I also show up on some blog rolls on other sites and get occasional hits from those.  It’s audience bias – when the bloggers who have an interest in reading me put my blog on their website, chances are decent that their readers will also have an interest in what I’m writing.

Posting early.  Or late.  It seems like I get a rush of hits in the morning, a smaller bump over the lunch hour and then after 5pm.  These are the times when regular readers check their blogs, and I try to publish accordingly.

But whenever I post, I try to post regularly.  I’ve talked with other bloggers and blog readers about this, and it seems to be a popular idea that even if you post once per day, if you post in a predictable manner you’re going to retain regular readership.  People want to know that the stop at my site is going to be worth it.  I like to publish early in the day (but that doesn’t always happen).     

The more I post, the more I show up in google.  Seems pretty obvious, but as my content has grown, I’ve been suprised at some of the searches that lead to my blog.  I have found that some of my past posts are bolstering site visit numbers on days that I don’t publish new material.  Google has sent quite a few visitors my way for a few select search phrases:  Ada Lovelace, ValleyScare 2010, Green Porno, Pi Necklace, MN Renaissance, Chikage Windler, Gluten Free Pancakes, Girl in the Rain.

Get lucky enough to be published on   At the time my blog was chosen for the WordPress front page I was getting an average of maybe 25 hits/day.  I received 1,383 hits that day.  As soon as I disappeared from the front page my hits came back down, but my daily average moved up to about 35 hits/day. 

Getting site hits has never been the purpose of my blog.  I enjoy writing about what I’m up to and sharing cool, geeky, science, political and social news.  But having readership – especially an active readership that comments, debates and commiserates with me about the things that I write – is definitely a bonus. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Blog Traffic

Off for the weekend!

In about eight minutes here the Hubby and I will start driving out east and keep going like that for about four-and-a-half hours hours.  Our destination is “some city named after fish species”, Wisconsin.  We’re going to be staying at the parents-of-a-friend’s GORGEOUS cabin (mansion, practically) in the woods.  The cabin is on a decent-sized lake that connects to other lakes in the area.  We’ll go lake bar hopping (her Dad volunteers to sober-boat drive us – yay!), and if the weather warms up we’ll do some jet skiing, tubing and water skiing.

I’ll try to send some picture updates to the blog, but I don’t know how much internet-ness I’ll have out there.  As my friend put it:

“Our only connection to the outside world will be a land line, and of course the traditional telegram and handwritten letter.”

So, if all else fails I’ve got a few canned posts for the next couple of days.

Take care, and for my US readers (all three of you) – have a fun and safe Labor  Day Weekend!

Off for the weekend!

All work = All play

I was productive yesterday.  Really I was!

  • I worked a full day at the office.
  • I did my mentoring thing for two hours after work.
  • I walked the dog and fed the pets.
  • I watched an episode of Warehouse 13.
  • I read a couple chapters of my Med School Confidential “homework”.
  • I worked on my draft post about my trip to Rome

So you see, I was actually quite busy last night.  It was a nice combination of work and play.

But alas, for the second day in a row, I have no real blog post for the biodork blog today.

Dear readers – all three of you – I ask your forgiveness.  In place of thoughtful writing I offer up to you this fabulously humiliating picture of me being an idiot in our apartment.  Bon appetit.

Self-inflicted self-punishment picture for the loyal biodork readers.  Trust me…this hurts you more than it hurts me.

All work = All play

Snippets and Sunday Pride

Snippet #1: I took this picture of some awesome mailbox “street art” in Uptown at Girard and 31st:

Snippet #2: I needed a bigger flower pot to contain my monster cherry tomato tree.  My friend, Courtney, thought that she had one that would work, so she came over with a replacement.  When she got to my apartment complex, she got out of the car, pulled out her cell phone and announced to me, my caretaker and a couple of neighbors, “Hey, I’m outside and I have your pot.”  Greeeeat.  Thanks, Court.  I made a big show of displaying the brown flower pot – “Wow, this is a great pot!  Thanks!” – to the neighborhood as we got it out of her trunk.

Snippet #3: WordPress lets me know what phrases people are using when they stumble across my blog via google.  Yesterday I had an above-average weird Google Search Term hit: “genital anatomy dog”  WTF,

Snippet #4: Today is the start of CONvergence!!!  I’m using the CONvergence Scheduler, which is pretty sweet – especially for an event of this size, with 10+ panels, activities, events and parties happening every hour.  There was a write-up about CONvergence in 365 Things to Do – Twin Cities, and an even better photo of some con attendees in the article!

Sunday Minneapolis Pride Report

Sunday was very, very different from Saturday.  For one thing, I went to the Pride festivities with the Hubby instead of a 13 year-old and a six year-old.  Sooooo different.  I don’t think I really experienced the Pride events on Saturday because of my preoccupation with keeping everybody smiley and safe.  On Sunday I was with the man I love and I was relatively carefree.  The parade was awesome, as always!  I didn’t manage to get any photos of the parade, but I did manage to scrounge up some decent video of this year’s parade.

The first one is interesting because he’s sped up the film.  This first video is different from the second (below) because he has a lot of zoomed-in images, so you don’t get a feel for how large and crowded the parade is:

I like this second one BUT I would recommend skipping the beginning and watching only between 0:54-5:51.  Outside of this window is just film of the videographer and her friend chatting and being silly.  But the meat of the video (again – 0:54-5:51!) is fun because she mixes still shots and video, and she’s filming from the street without zoom so you feel more like a spectator watching this video than you do with the first video.

And more of my own pictures in the park, this time on Sunday with me and the Hubby:

Snippets and Sunday Pride

100th Post Anniversary

Here’s to me for passing the 100th Post mark! And to cheeky old broads! photo source


This is my 101st post!  I started the Biodork blog in December 2009, and started posting (nearly) daily on December 31st.  WordPress has amazing stats, so with very little work on my part I can show you what’s been going on in the way of traffic for my blog:

Posts: 100
Comments: 137
Views:  1,559 (not including me!)
Subscribers: 4
Avg Views Per Day: 14
Busiest Day:  4/26/10 with 84 Views!  

The Busiest Day – February 26th with 84 Views – came right after I published WTF, Barb Davis White? *singsong* I think someone’s google alert was tickled!  Let’s find out…

From My Tag cloud, I can see that the majority of my posts have something to do with Humor, followed closely by Science, Political, Dinkus-ness, Adventure and Ubergeek.  Yup…that sounds about right!

The blog statistics are fun and all, but they really aren’t – and can’t be – the reason to blog long-term.  At least not for me, someone who blogs as a hobby.  This is a repost of a comment I left on a friend’s blog about a month ago, and I think it’s fitting to re-copy it here, today:

My reasons for blogging are constantly evolving, but the one underlying purpose for me to write something new is to remind myself that the world is full of wonderful, exciting things. My blog posts are snapshots in time – I can go back and see what caught my attention on any given day.  My blog posts do also have the secondary purposes of sharing myself with my friends and family and to pass on “important” new stories now and then, but the main reason I write is always for myself. And trust me, with an average view rate of 10-20 views per day…it’s gotta be that way.

Thank you blogosphere for providing me hours of free entertainment and a place to share and record my thoughts!  And I have to say…after four months on WordPress, I have been – and continue to be – pretty durn happy with this blogging site.  So thank you WordPress, also!

Enough of this crap – On to a funny picture:

I had this for lunch yesterday:

Smart Food + Not Smart Food = Zero Net Calorie Gain or Loss, right?

100th Post Anniversary