Tag Archives: Freshly Pressed

A Blogging Recalibration

4 Nov

My blogging anniversary came and went with little fanfare. I did not say anything about it, but I got one of those silver trophies from the WordPress folks. It is hard to believe that I have been blogging for all this time.

Through the years, I have learned a lot. I have learned that some people are interested in the mysteries of gas pumps, and other people want to know the deeper meanings of Smokey and the Bandit.

I have also learned that friends can be made through the Internet. There are people out the who I have come to know, respect and care about. Some of them have left the blogging community, but others are still typing away.

Many of you know that this blog started in a therapy session. My therapist felt that I needed to release some mental frustrations and suggested a diary of some sort. I felt that a diary would not properly release the tension because I would be the only one reading it. The internal noise needed to be released in a different way. Hence, this blog was born.

Those early days were full of caustic writing that was sarcastic and, at times, mean-spirited. In fact, my first comment was negative and came from someone who I knew. The blog was anonymous, and I have still not figured out how they found it.

Getting that comment was also surprising because hardly anyone read the blog. The first month saw an average of two readers a day. However, I kept writing because that was two readers more than there would be if I did not write.

At some point, I began to focus on the statistics. More readers found their way to this place. As the content grew, the readership grew. However, I wanted more and decided to publicize the blog on Twitter.

Honestly, that may have been a mistake. I had to delete some early posts because I did not want people in my real life to read them. Of course, it was impossible to get rid of everything that came pouring out of my mine, and some people close to me were hurt by the words they found.

Publicizing the blog also transformed my writing. A lot of the thoughts inside my mind had to stay there because not everyone needs to know what goes on in there. I decided to stay away from controversial subjects and go with more entertaining stuff. At least, topics that I think are entertaining.

Along the way, the blog kept growing. I was lucky enough to be Freshly Pressed. Although, I still do not understand how a post that included Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man caught the attention of those who decide what is worthy of being Freshly Pressed.

Getting Freshly Pressed created another goal. I wanted to reach the same numbers in another month that I got in the Freshly Pressed month, and that finally happened earlier this year.

I write all of that to write the following. Statistics have become more important than the writing. I have put bad posts out there just for the sake of publishing posts. This means that I have veered completely away from what this blog is supposed to be.

I started the blog to get words out of my head. In a lot of instances, those words were not nice. When I began to publicize the blog, the words changed, but the goal of the blog did not. I was still getting words out of my head. When statistics became the focus, I was typing words that were not really in my head. At least, they were not in there for long.Recalibration

As of today, I am going to recalibrate the blog. I am not going to publish posts just for the sake of numbers. I am going to write when something needs to be written. In other words, when something needs to come out of my mind. That means that I will not be writing as often, and the numbers will probably decrease. However, I hope the quality of the blog will improve.

A Natural High

1 Jul

In April of 2013, I wrote a post about movies ending with someone riding into the sunset, and, shockingly, that post was Freshly Pressed. My statistics shot out of the roof as people click on that post and commented. After a few days, the “Click on SBI” hysteria died, and the numbers returned to normal. That means that April of 2013 looks like a rodent going through the belly of a snake. There is a big bulge right in the middle.Fat Snake

Since that month, I have been looking for that point where this blog’s numbers will match the numbers of April 2013. However, I have been looking for it to happen naturally rather than through the artificial inflation of being Pressed.

June of 2015 turned out to be that month. For the first time, this blog reached the same numbers as it did two years ago. Hopefully, that happened because the posts are of better quality and more interest.

The posts that drove the June numbers were:

The Power of 601 – a celebration of the 601st post

A Name Change – the announcement of a new name for the blog

Name That Blog – the request for assistance in renaming the blog

Down in Monterey – an ode to the music festival

The Lafayette Expedition – a historic romp with my wife through a small Tennessee town

Thank you to everyone who read those posts and all of the other ones.

The Great Month of May

31 May

Thanks to all of you readers, this has been the best month in the history of this blog. Wait, I should not put it that way. That has been the best month in the history of this blog that did not include being Freshly Pressed. That happened last year and created a stats page that looked like rat going through a snake.

This month has been consistently good with you guys showing up to read whatever stupid stuff I put on the screen. The most read post was something I write a long time ago called Let’s Go Peay! That was followed by:

You Never Know What You are Going to Learn at the First Presbyterian Church

The Legend of the Shadow Horse Gang

Hey, Nashville! Be a Real Music City and Build an Amphitheater

A Long Night in Old Nashville

Things I Learned at a Cher Concert

Sandy Springs Park – My Personal Field of Dreams

The Power of Dean

Narrows of the Harpeth

Movie Wisdom – Burt Reynolds Edition

Many of year follow this blog and check in from time to time. However, others get here through a search engine. This month, the most popular search terms were:

statue de lincoln hillsboro (oregon)

boot hill cemetery

scenery outlaw josey wales

escorts of tunica,ms

glen campbell prostitute

western actors

going to the fair to

cher concert she made a mistake

groom texas crucifixion of christ

May 2014 has been an important month in the SBI World.May

To further commemorate, I decided to throw in a little history. I am a historian, after all.

May 2004 – Terry Nichols was convicted for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing.

May 1994 – Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa’s president.

May 1984 – The World’s Fair opened in New Orleans.

May 1974 – India successfully detonated its first nuclear weapon.

May 1964 – Congress declared that bourbon as a “distinctive product of the United States.”

May 1954 – Roger Bannister became the first person to run a mile in under four minutes.

May 1944 – The USS England sank six Japanese submarines in two weeks.

May 1934 – The Dionne children, the first quintuplets to survive infancy, are born.

May 1924 – J. Edgar Hoover was named head of the Bureau of Investigation.

May 1914 – Woodrow Wilson signed a Mother’s Day proclamation.

Again, thanks for making May a great month.

It Was A Very Good Year

3 Feb

Due to events out of my control – namely, a trip to Cancun and the start of school – I never got around to analyzing my year-end fireworks show and review. As Frank Sinatra sang, it was a very good year.Frank Sinatra September

It was also a very interesting year because only one of the top five posts was written in 2013.

Into the Sunset (April 2013) is the one that got Freshly Pressed. If you ever wondered what happened to the cowboy after he rode into the sunset, then you may want to check it out.

Movie Wisdom – Burt Reynolds Edition (May 2012) is the first in a series of posts about bits of wisdom to be found in movie dialogue. You would be surprised at how many people want to know what Burt Reynolds had to say. That is especially true for one line in Smokey and the Bandit.

Listeria – Gunslingers Edition (November 2012) is exactly what the title says – a list of the great gunfighters of the West. It probably gets attention because of all the names tagged in it. However, the best part can be found in the comments. Somebody wanted me to know that I had the death date of Jesse James wrong. He faked his death and lived to be an old man.

Listeria – Western Actors Edition (October 2012) is also what the title says – a list of the great actors known for the Western genre. It also gets attention because of the names that are tagged. Check it out. If you can think of something who should be on the list, then let me know.

The Problem With Gas Pumps (November 2011) is one of the first posts I ever wrote. For a long time, it dominated the stats of the blog. For a while, it was like everyone was searching for gas, gas pumps, gasoline pumps or pictures of gas pumps. Its rule over the SBI world has faded, but it will definitely be the first inductee into my personal Blogging Hall of Fame.

The annual report also lists the top commenters of 2013. Feedback is important, and I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to read and comment. These are the ones who commented the most.

Dying Note has been commenting on this blog almost as long as there has been a blog.

Marilyn over at Serendipity is someone I always like to hear from.

Manu Kurup is a frequent commenter and great blogger.

Front Range Scribbles posts great comments and has introduced new music to an old music lover like me.

My Favorite Westerns is a great place to go to learn about that movie genre, but a lot of great comments about other subjects also come from there.

Oh, you might like to know the top search terms for 2013. I wonder who many blogs have Johnny Ringo and Porno as the top two search terms. If you find one, then let me know. I would like to read it.

A Post About Posts

10 Jun

I am always fascinated by what brings people to this blog and what they read when they arrive. Occasionally, I will go over to the stats page and see where the posts rank in viewership, and, the other day, I did just that. Some I knew would be there. Others were a little surprising.Eleven

The Problem With Gas Pumps“, as it has for months, stands at the top of the list. In the early days of this blog, I wrote a sarcastic view of gas pumps and how they think we are imbeciles. For a long time, no one read it. Then, it hit big. This post controlled this blog for a long time, and I can’t figure out why.

Into the Sunset” brought a huge surprise when it was Freshly Pressed. The idea for this one kicked around in my head for a few days before I wrote it. When I got around to it, there was no plan. I just typed. When I got the email that said it had been noticed, I sat there stunned.

Victorian Brothelese” was another early post and covers my research topic in graduate school. I am sure you noticed the word brothel in the title. You can imagine the search terms that get people to this one.

At some point, I came up with the bright idea to look for movie quotes that provide life lessons. My first attempt at this was “Movie Wisdom – Burt Reynolds Edition“. I’m not sure people are looking for wisdom from Burt, but, from the search terms, I know there are a lot of fans of Smokey and the Bandit out there.

At another point, I decided to use our fascination with lists as a topic and came up with Listeria, a combination of List and Hysteria. Get it. Listeria. Anyway, two of those posts have hit the big time. The first is “Listeria – Gunslingers Edition“, and the second is “Listeria – Western Actors Edition“. There seems to be another theme there, as well.

The Good, the Bad and the Presidential” gets a lot of hits from folks trying to find out which of our presidents was any good. I’m not sure that I can help them, but I have provided a handy list of who I think was any good.

One of my personal favorites is “Dirty Deeds and Thunder Chief“, an examination of lyrics that people get wrong. You would be surprised at how many people search for the exact words in the title. Perhaps, I should write a fictional biography of Thunder Chief and throw them off track.

Another favorite is “Sometimes It’s a Western, Sometimes It’s a Porno“. I love the search terms that bring people to this one. I didn’t realize that were so many people wanting Western themed porn. Honestly, the porn studios are missing a real opportunity here. Unfortunately, this post isn’t what they are looking for.

One of the best experiences of my life was meeting a man named Tom Drake, and I wrote about it in “The Cullman Comet“. This is a post that I would like everyone to read. Truly, he is an interesting man.

Finally, another early post has worked its way toward the top. “A Requiem for Josey Wales” is an examination of one of my favorite movies. For years, my mom complained because my father, my brother and I watched it every time it came on television. Then, she watched it and liked it. This is a movie that should be required viewing for every human.

Those are the titles at the top of the charts. It’s probably cheesy to link a bunch of posts like that, but, from a personal view, it’s interesting to see what draws people to this blog. It looks like these are the ones.