March 2007

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Go Away Hotlinkers!

So I’m looking at my server stats this month (I’m close to my bandwidth max again). There are a few big bandwidth hogs on my site, one of the startling ones is search engine bots. At least three of them rack up over 1 gig in bandwidth every month. About 7 gigs total among them.

Another sobering thing in my stats are the number of hotlinks to Candy Blog. For March so far the tally is over 370,000 hotlink hits to Yeah, my site is popular, but I DO NOT have 370,000 visitors per month.

I do have an htaccess file that limits hotlinking, so the images don’t show up elsewhere (except for a few permitted sites like bloglines). But I know where my images are going ... they’re going to myspace and forum posts and other blogs.

I know how they get here too, they come via the Google Image Search. I tried a few different ways to foil this but still get the new traffic, but to no avail. Not only is it an issue of hotlinking, but the photos I’ve taken of candy are ending up in all sorts of places. It’s one thing to put a candy photo in your blog post on your site that gets a couple hundred hits a day. It’s another entirely to be an Amazon store or eBay auctioneer and take my photos to sell candy I’m not here for other people to make a profit. I’m not really interested in junking up my pretty photos with watermarks.

So, I’ve now forbidden Google Image Search. It took a while to get it going. I put in the appropriate info in my robots.txt file, but for three weeks I still saw the traffic (about 15-20% of those people who come to come for the images). So yesterday I put in a prompt with Google to remove my site from the image search. As of this morning my site traffic is down by 15% and I haven’t noticed any referrers from Google Image Search.

I know it’s going to be a blow to my traffic. But I’m more interested in readers than traffic. I hope my readers feel the same way. I hope my advertisers feel the same way.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:11 am     Curious News

Monday, March 26, 2007

Never Enough Time

People say a lot of things about me. I write a blog and people talk about it sometimes on forums and chats and even other blogs. The say I have too much time on my hands.

It’s not like they say that just about the whole candy blogging thing. I see it in reference to many of the participants who write novels in November.

I see the same thing bandied about when people take on quirky challenges, like walking the full length of a street, like Sunset Blvd. or when they create new and wondrous expressions of art.

“That person looks like they have too much time on their hands!” They chortle, as if it’s an insult.

Of course I don’t have too much time on my hands. I have a full time job. And a couple of part time jobs. And volunteer gigs. And blogs. I still manage to watch the FDA recommended doses of television. I travel. I have friends. I brush my teeth and manage my personal hygiene. In fact, I have a huge list of things I want to do!

I don’t know if this statement of other people “having too much time on their hands” is somehow supposed to make that person feel better about their lack of productivity or to make us sit down and stop being active and provocative. Yes, some of the stuff I create with my productiveness is useless and probably even counterproductive. But I’m exploring my world. I’m living in it. I’m not sitting around commenting on the worthiness of other people’s pursuits. (Unless their pursuit happens to be going around declaring how much time on ones hands is too much.)

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:32 pm     Curious News













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During November it's all about me writing a novel. Sometimes it's about whalewatching. You know, and then there's other stuff.