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What you view and ignore online


Sunny Phil
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Many regulars know that I post photos and observing reports online. I also have Twitter and my own website, not to mention Youtube.


 


Over the years, I've had to cut down on the amount of time I spend creating and maintaining online content.


 


As I've just finished yet another photo reorganisation project, I'm thinking about re-doing my website (or at least the main pages) to make it more interesting to visitors. I have a "gateway" page that links everything together:


 


http://philippugh.comlu.com/Phils_Gateway.html


 


 


 


Before I do, I need some honest feedback about what you look at on people's sites, Facebook, Twitter, etc


 


For me, I usually check photos that have been Tweeted. I visit this forum regularly. Even though I'm well south of most of you, I find this forum the most interesting I visit. I have links to other astronomer's sites and galleries but don't normally visit them, unless prompted by a tweet or some sort of message. In other words, I look at posts and pictures where I am somehow notified but don't usually go searching for things. TBH, I'm quite generally busy and have to ration my leisure time online and won't be online if it is clear outside.


 


Although I don't have many direct followers on Twitter, I have many indirect ones from people who are followers of my followers. I also see stuff that people I am following "retweet" that is interesting. In general, I find Twitter quite responsive and even if you don't want to create your own account (which takes about 5 minutes), you can Google "Twitter" and search for the hashtags #PhilipPugh and #astronomy. I often have use a hashtag for objects, such as #Sun, #Moon, etc. You can also use the hashtags directly in a search engine.


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For feedback Phil - I did actually look at your faceache site recently (even though I normally can't stand social networking websites). I can't quite remember why but it was something you posted here that inspired me (a sun or moon pic I think) - so I did pop over for a quick look.


 


In the end I was stunned by the amount of stuff you have there and wound up going through the lot - right back about 3-4yrs of images I seem to remember. Didn't look at everything in detail - but did cover quite a bit of it before finally scrolling down to see how much more there was - I was quite fascinated by your dedication to only one or two objects.


 


But do note - this was a rare thing for me to do - not the norm at all. I do agree a little pruning might be a good thing. Hope that helps. :)


 


(Thanks for the nice comments about EMS mate - you're always welcome here as you already know).


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Guest peepshow

My own web site host uses Awstats.  There are many other types one can use.


This enables me to see each day/week/month how many visitors have viewed any


of my many pages.  How long they stayed and the browser they used.


I get info too on all the pages popularity so I can see which is attracting the most.


Also which country is doing the best on my site.


 


..........big brother (me) is watching you all! :D


Edited by peepshow
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Thanks for the feedback, Folks. I'm quite dedicated to the Sun, as you mention, Kim and the Moon is quite fascinating to photograph. Apart from not getting much dark viewing during the summer, The Sun is my favourite because it doesn't look the same from one day to the next, unless you are restricted to "white light" and it is a solar minimum.


 


I try to do at least a binocular scan in white light on a daily basis and I'm managing it most days, despite the weather. I try to get a full disc shot of the Moon as often as I can but am saving the detailed close-ups for weekend evenings or the rare weekday I'm not too busy.


 


I'm going to do more constellation and deep sky shots, now I've got the kit to do it but still don't have a driven mount. Despite that, there's more out there to photograph than I have time to experiment.


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My own web site host uses Awstats.  There are many other types one can use.

This enables me to see each day/week/month how many visitors have viewed any

of my many pages.  How long they stayed and the browser they used.

I get info too on all the pages popularity so I can see which is attracting the most.

Also which country is doing the best on my site.

 

..........big brother (me) is watching you all! :D

I use a similar tool but have found very few viewers. I'm also disappointed that my blog gets very few visits.

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Guest peepshow

I use a similar tool but have found very few viewers. I'm also disappointed that my blog gets very few visits.

How to get more site  traffic is a book in itself............a library. :D  

But have  plenty of text on pages. and links to other sites helps.

 

It takes some time to get hits and another learning curve for getting

to grips with SEO (Search engines optimization)

There are some excellent forums to help any webby on his way.  Google 'em. :)

 

I would give you some links but they are all on my desktop PC

which has a power pack failure at present. :(

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How to get more site  traffic is a book in itself............a library. :D  

But have  plenty of text on pages. and links to other sites helps.

 

It takes some time to get hits and another learning curve for getting

to grips with SEO (Search engines optimization)

There are some excellent forums to help any webby on his way.  Google 'em. :)

 

I would give you some links but they are all on my desktop PC

which has a power pack failure at present. :(

Getting traffic to a website is a bit like writing a CV or trying to find a partner if one is single! The goalposts keep moving all the time. I have quite a few links to other websites but most people do not go to the page with most of the links on.

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I don't use Twitter as my account got hacked frequently and I never really understood it anyway, so deleted it.


 


I follow a few astro-related things on facebook (Damian Peach, S@N etc), but get most of my inspiration and images from EMS and SGL. I read Astronomy Now and S@N magazines.


 


I've never looked at your blogs, sorry!


 


JD

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For me it's a time thing, I have looked at your blog only once I must admit but the thing that puts me off the most is links to things.

For example, if people put links up saying, here is my latest picture of Jupiter, I don't bother, where if they posted a image from Astrobin or photobucket or flicker etc (it's easy to do and they all do it) then it's in my face and I can see it without having to do anything.

Granted I know you can't do that with blogs or links to other websites, but unless someone types my god that's fantastic and there is a big who harr about it, more often than not I won't bother.

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I have never used Twitter and have only spent 10 minutes on Facebook about 4 years ago and didn't bother wasting my time again. :D

 

I have all on keeping up with EMS. :)

Sometimes I spend a few minutes looking over a new astro website, but generally find that there are so many sites out there, it takes up too much time. If I come across a site I really like I will put it on favourites and will come back to it at a later date, but that may be months later.

For me, a website needs to look smart and grab my attention with visuals and a good layout, be easy to navigate and have unique in depth content to read.

Your website has a lot of content, if people have the time to delve into it. What I am not too keen on are the various different page styles which make it feel a bit disjointed.

I do appreciate that you put a lot of time and effort into your online presence, but for me there are just not enough hours in the day.

 

Good luck with your site reorganisation :thumbsup:
 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'd be interested to know what sites are considered "good" and which aren't. Mine has sometimes been labelled both good and bad. I may be wrong here but I think the idea is to have something that catches the eye, encourages people to explore further and updates often with new pictures and/or news.


 


Sounds easy but it isn't.


 


I'm inclined to think that when most people browse websites, they are generally reluctant to click on links or even use the Page Down button, especially if they are taking a few minutes' skive from work.


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Guest Tweedledum

Hi Phil,


 


I think you have opened a pandora's box. What folk find attractive about websites is hugely subjective to the individual, hence all the data being mined and presented as ads when you surf after viewing some sites.


 


I have run UK wide IT environments, and have tied desktops/laptops & mobile devices  down to minimize both lost time and risk/exposure to the estate from external attack. This would include no un-authorised devices bieng attached to corporate networks. In folks own time it is different, so don't expect people to visit from work environments.


 


Personally any site overladen with ads I avoid like the plague, so I look for sites for content that I am interested in. If I then have to drill down that fine, thats my choice. So my advice would be know your audience, hold content that is applicable to your visitors and avoid anything on the page that may take them away. NO POPUPS :D


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Hi Phil,

 

I think you have opened a pandora's box. What folk find attractive about websites is hugely subjective to the individual, hence all the data being mined and presented as ads when you surf after viewing some sites.

 

I have run UK wide IT environments, and have tied desktops/laptops & mobile devices  down to minimize both lost time and risk/exposure to the estate from external attack. This would include no un-authorised devices bieng attached to corporate networks. In folks own time it is different, so don't expect people to visit from work environments.

 

Personally any site overladen with ads I avoid like the plague, so I look for sites for content that I am interested in. If I then have to drill down that fine, thats my choice. So my advice would be know your audience, hold content that is applicable to your visitors and avoid anything on the page that may take them away. NO POPUPS :D

Thanks, Damian. My class is doing the last exercise of the course, so while I'm waiting for the "help, I'm stuck" calls, I casually browsed a few sites that I have bookmarked.

 

About 1/3 of them had disappeared. They had probably closed or migrated to another provider.

 

Many of them are not updated and some have obviously not been touched for years.

 

Some have eye-catching content but many have a lot of text and it is necessary to page down or navigate away from the home page.

 

This isn't meant to knock other site owners, it is more to emphasise how widespread the problem is. One reason I started a blog, rather than updating my "main" site was that maintenance is easier. This has proved true. Although I am more than capable of writing HTML code, maintaining my website has to compete with my day job, writing, family, my dog and getting out and seeing and photographing things (in no special order).

 

I think showing my blog automatically is a good idea but am thinking of having an automatic update where is switches between Photobucket (all my photos) and Twitter, too. I'm thinking of having a navigation pane at the bottom and removing the side bars. In my opinion I think when people see a website they want to see new content, rather than having to go and search for it.

 

Incidentally, I think a lot of people DO pay sneaky visits to websites during work hours. I'm a good (bad???) example here.

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What course are you teaching on?

Nothing astronomy related. I'm teaching a class on one of our telecommunications products. My day job is an instructor. It's why many of my posts and pictures are from abroad.

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Despite information to the contrary, I can no longer get Netscape Composer to work, since my upgrade to Windows 7.


 


I've found Microsoft Windows Expression seems quite good and I can always revert to HTML when stuck.


 


After a bit of "playing", it seems that having top and/or bottom panels that are too big really restricts the amount of information on the middle panel, especially as most people have laptops (no 19" screen) and smartphones. I need a real long think!


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This is what I've got so far:


 


http://philippugh.comlu.com/index.html


 


I think it's rather cluttered with the side panels. OK they work well on 19" screens but most of us don't have them these days. I've tended to change the main entry pages to my site from time to time and left most of the content untouched. However, I know that some older content is not visited regularly.


 


Whilst I'm collecting ideas, I'm planning to finish my latest book (not astronomy related) and do some sorting out while waiting to start the next book.


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