Tag Archives: Wordpress

Confused!

JUST SAYING…

Every now and again you write a post and you think “That is a good one” you think “I am going to be busy dealing with responses to this one” and then no one stops by to read it, comment on it or even just press the like button in passing.

Hey Ho!

I wish I understood WordPress and the people who use it.

 

It’s Nice To Feel Useful (4)

  

It’s nice to feel useful (4) …

Every now and again I start to look back over my posts to review what has been going on.  One of the things that I like to do is to take a look at the search questions that seem to bring web-surfers by the site and take a look at some of the more bizarre and unusual.

P&O Pride of Rotterdam

All of my reports  in this post  are about travel related questions. Firstly this one – Ferry Crossing Hull to Amsterdam Horror Stories”.  I am not sure what the enquirer had in mind here, perhaps it was the story of the woman who threw herself overboard or perhaps the suicide statistics on the nearby Humber Bridge, maybe it was the on board catering arrangements which, actually, I have to say were excellent!  Either way here is the post that I wrote about the otherwise brilliant ferry crossing – Hull to Rotterdam.

Spain Postcard Map

Second in this category is is there mountain driving throughout Spain?” What a dumb question – with an average altitude of six hundred and fifty metres it is second highest country in Europe after Switzerland so of course there is mountain driving and to be honest most people could work this out by consulting a geographical atlas.

To be honest however I have to admit to having been caught out by this myself and on a recent visit to Catalonia I was forced to abandon a drive to Andorra because the mountain drive was just too difficult – An aborted drive to Andorra.

Ryanair Cabin

Next in this section – How long is Ryanair airplane seat belts?” and quite frankly how the heck should I know and do I really care. I first wrote on the subject of Ryanair in 2009 and it immediately started getting hundreds of hits and then in 2011 it just stopped completely.  I reviewed and reposted it and changed the title from the specific ‘Travel Tips when Flying Ryanair’ to the more general title that it has now and hey presto the hits started coming again. – Travel Tips when Flying Budget Airlines.

Gerald Durell Corfu Greece  Lawrence Durrell Corfu Greece

Next, I like this one – Lawrence and Gerald Durrell – how tall were they?, honestly, what sort of question is that and unless you were their tailor or their undertaker why would you want to know.  I did write a post about the Durrells when I visited Corfu where they both lived so perhaps this is where the enquirer ended up – “Corfu, In the Footsteps of Lawrence and Gerald Durrell” and I will be returning later this year so hopefully I can provide more missing detail!

Sagrada Familia Cathedral Barcelona

How about this one – How long would it take me from Sagrada Familia from England?  Without further information that is a tough one because unless you have discovered time travel which is very unlikely then the options seem to me to be restricted to road, train or airline.  The motorway option will take a couple of days if you test the motorway speed limits to the maximum and the train option is probably more or less the same but a flight from London Stansted will see you in Barcelona, or nearby Girona (Ryanair) in under two hours.

I flew to Girona recently and this is my post about Gaudi’s unfinished Cathedral – The Sagrada Familia.

Finally in this section I have found a question about Morocco – Buying a rain jacket in Fes” which just makes the mind boggle.  You can pretty much anything in Fes but it doesn’t generally rain a lot in Morocco, except when we went to the Majorelle Gardens in Marrakech so when I was there rain wear was not very prominent and we had to make do with a travel umbrella – The Souks of Fes.

edam

Moving on from travel I have found a couple of health related queries.  I am not a doctor or a dietician but I think I know the answer to the first one – is edam good for your liver?” and my response, unless there is medical research to the contrary, is probably not.  I did write a post about a visit to a Dutch cheese factory so perhaps this is where the enquirer was directed – Heritage visits and Museums.

And then this one – “Banana Death”  

I confess that I have never been a great fan of bananas but except for the time when my dad and I fell out one tea time because I refused to eat one in a sandwich I have never really considered them to be especially dangerous. 

My dad loved bananas and it is an interesting fact that they are now the most popular fruit in the UK with Britons eating an average of between 25 and 30lbs of fruit each year; more than double the amount consumed 15 years ago. Annual UK sales are at a record £750m, representing more than a quarter of all fruit sales.  I wrote about bananas once here – Banana Sandwiches or Chip Butties?

Tourists The Grand Tour of Europe

Finally to sex because it is estimated that well over half of all web searches are about this subject.

Firstly “Places to get laid in Europe” and believe me if I had the answer to that one then I would keep it to myself.  Perhaps the enquirer was thinking about the red light district in Amsterdam or perhaps they found their way to my post on the Grand Tour of Europe?

But I have saved my absolute favourite for this collection util the very last and this is it:

Did Vikings have large penises?”

Vikings

Well, I am not an archaeologist or an anthropologist but what  sort of odd question is that to put into a web search engine?

I find myself being completely unable to help with this subject but on a recent visit to Iceland I did get to visit the rather odd Penis Museum but I don’t think that will have the answer to that one either.

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WordPress.com or WordPress.con?

confused.com

Sometimes I worry about WordPress.  Is it all a big con?  Are those of us who use it, coming up with new material and spend hours preparing, reviewing and posting all collectively part of a huge high school joke?

Why do I say this?

Well consider this:

In the early hours of 30th December I received 124 hits in one hour on a post about the film ‘Shirley Valentine’ and the Greek Island of Mykonos on my archive blog ‘Another bag, more travel’ http://anotherbagmoretravel.wordpress.com/2011/12/19/the-greek-islands-mykonos-and-shirley-valentine/.

WordPress even sent me a congratulatory note to say that my hits were booming – up from an average of 3 an hour to over 130 in this short snapshot!

I was delighted of course but suspicious.  Unbelievable – that’s exactly what I thought.

What is interesting is that the film ‘film ‘Shirley Valentine’ was shown on UK television late the previous evening and the search engine terms feature seemed to suggest that this might be a factor especially when linked to the fact that most of these hits apparently came from the UK.

Of course I was almost ecstatic about this but when I checked the post I began to become sceptical.  I checked the search engine terms through Google and none of them led to my blog.  Out of 124 hits there was not a single comment, no additional likes, no clicks and no new post ratings and I find that rather strange.  124 people allegedly came to my post and not one of them left a single footprint.  Don’t you think that is odd?  Usually when I visit a post I leave a comment or a like (unless I really don’t like it) because it just seems to be good manners.  Is it possible that 124 people visited this page and none of them liked it, none of them wanted to leave a comment?  Not even to say that it was rubbish?

So now I am getting very suspicious.

This probably shouldn’t be a surprise but when I search the site I have noticed that the same few bloggers appear over and again.  Perhaps this is inevitable because, after all, I am fishing in a big pond for people and blogs with similar interests to my own, they comment on mine, I comment on theirs, they like mine and I like theirs and so on.  So where do all these other hits come from and why do they leave no apparent trail?  Maybe there are really only a couple of hundred of us here banging out daily posts and looking at each others posts, commenting and liking!

Do you think I am being paranoid, am I a conspiracy theorist?  Well now consider this:

According to WordPress stats my most popular post is https://apetcher.wordpress.com/2011/03/02/norway-haugesund-and-the-vikings/ with a massive 24,048 (well, I think it is massive) hits since I posted it on March 2nd 2011 but despite that huge number it has only 16 comments (and 6 of these are mine in response to others) and only 34 likes – just .14%!

On a second blogging site ‘New Light through Old Windows’ I have a post about the Robin (the bird not the Reliant or Batman’s pal) and WordPress tells me that it has 27,477 hits (3,000 more than the popular Vikings post on ‘Have Bag, will Travel’) and I think you will agree with me that that is a lot but this has only 9 comments and 4 of them are mine and only 13 likes (only .05% of all the people who stopped by here).

I have raised the issue with WordPress through the support forum but whilst some topics get an immediate response to all sorts of dopey questions my enquiry has been left hanging without a reply.  Somebody just got a response after 3 seconds to the question ‘features not functioning’.  Or did they? Have I uncovered something sinister?

Makes you think doesn’t it?  Are we all wasting our time?  I would be interested in your views…

home-statistics

 

Favourite Blogs of 2013

Spain Tapas Bar

CHEERS!  – ¡SALUD! –  YIAMAS

I have had a really good year at the keyboard and posting my blogs but I have also enjoyed reading other work just as much.  Some catch the eye straight away, some can be found indirectly through others, some appear like shooting stars and disappear without a trace whilst some continue to get better and better.

I thought it would be nice to share with you my favourite blogs of 2013.  Seven of my favourites reappear on the list from 2012 but there are three new ones which replace some that have sadly slipped away into blogging oblivion!

Don’t panic anyone – this is not an Awards Blog so it does not come with any requirement to display anything, reveal embarrassing facts or to pass it on to anyone else.

They are in no particular order except this one, which is my favourite.  We have fallen out with each other a couple of times but I still keep going back for another spat and for more of this post about ex-pat life in Gibraltar:

http://roughseasinthemed.wordpress.com/

Author Richard Tulloch writes about his travels:

http://richardtulloch.wordpress.com/

Adrian shares his excellent pictures:

http://adrianharveyphotography.com/

I like this one even though there seemed to be fewer posts this year:

http://abitofculture.net/

Great pictures here from Gunta in the USA, especially the surf and the sunsets:

http://gusgus64.wordpress.com/

A lovely recollections and memories blog:

http://opobs.wordpress.com/

Great posts about one of my favourite countries – Portugal – and a lot more besides, including a shared obsession with windows and doors:

http://restlessjo.wordpress.com/

and then a new one for 2013 – a gentle pot-pourri of good stories from an Englisman living the good life in Turkey:

http://unclespikes.wordpress.com/

Also new for this year more travel tales from:

http://gallivance.net/

and finally a blog  from Canada with some excellent short stories:

http://letscutthecrap.wordpress.com/

Apologies if I didn’t include you in my top ten this year, it’s nothing personal and I still enjoy your posts – I will review the list at the around the same time next year!

One final thing – this is not really a blog so I can’t include it in my blogging top ten but I have to mention my friend Dai Woosnam who comments regularly on my posts and writes an excellent monthly on-line magazine full of articles, anecdotes and links called Daigressing – if you write to him at DaiW@gmx.com, then he will add you to the mailing list.

One final, final thing – if any of you in my top ten get ‘Freshly Pressed’ then you will be removed from it immediately! 

KEEP POSTING…

Writing Paper and Pen

It’s Nice To Feel Useful (3)

  

It’s nice to feel useful (3) …

About this time of the year I start to look back over my posts to review what has been going on.  One of the things that I like to do is to take a look at the search questions that seem to bring web-surfers by the site and take a look at some of the more bizarre and unusual.

Last year my favourite was can pubic hair grow more with regain?” and rather disappointingly I have nothing to really compete with that in 2013 but carrying on, here are my top ten:

Being a student of history I am going to begin with a selection of wildly inaccurate historical searches.

The first one is “Why did Shakespeare bring starlings to Australia?”  I think I am obliged to point out here straight away that William Shakespeare died in 1616 and Australia wasn’t settled by Europeans for another couple of hundred years or so after that and although there is much literary speculation concerning possible visits by the Bard to Italy I think it is safe to say that he never went as far as Australia!

I imagine that what the question referred to was really about starlings in the USA because here there is a connection.  The introduction of the starling to USA is said to be the responsibility of a man called Eugene Schiefflein who belonged to a group dedicated to introducing into America all the birds mentioned in Shakespeare’s works on the basis that they thought it would be rather nice to hear the sound of Shakespeare’s birds warbling their old world songs on the tree branches of new world America.  Obviously they didn’t realise that this had the potential be an ecological disaster on the same scale as introducing the rabbit into Australia!

Showing a similar lack of historical knowledge is my second search term, “Was El Cid a Muslim?”  Now, El Cid was the great Spanish hero of the Catholic Reconquista which drove the African Moors out of the Iberian Peninsula so I imagine any suggestion that he was a secret Muslim will have poor Charlton Heston spinning in his grave.

Following a visit to Castilla-La Mancha in 2009 I wrote a number of posts about El Cid and I expect the enquirer was sign posted to one of these.

El Cid 1

Next on my historical howlers list is Napoleon Monument in Moscow” What? In his periods of sanity Napoleon did some rather good things but most of the time he was a tyrant and a dictator and a warmonger and in 1812 he invaded Russia and did unspeakable things to the Russian people who were unfortunate enough to be in his way as he marched his army to Moscow.  When he got there the Russian people burnt the city down and so with nowhere to stay for the winter he was obliged to march all the way back again during which his army did more unpleasant things to the Russian people.

I imagine that the chances of there being a memorial to Napoleon Bonaparte in Moscow are about just as likely as there will be a statue of Adolf Hitler.

La Colonne de la Grande Armée Boulogne France

There is however a monument to the French Emperor in France at Boulogne-Sur-Mer so perhaps that is where the search engine went looking?

Moving away from history to travel I do hope that in some small way that my posts will provide some useful information for fellow travellers – here are some of my favourite search question:

Firstly – “Places to get laid in Europe” and believe me if I had the answer to that one then I would probably be inclined to keep it to myself!  Perhaps the enquirer was thinking about the red light district in Amsterdam or perhaps they found their way to my post on the Grand Tour of Europe?

Grand Tour of Europe

Stansted Screening

Next  in  this section is Do I have to take my shoes off at Stansted airport?” and what sort of odd question is that?  The answer actually is sometimes depending on how much the security staff at the airport want to irritate travellers on that particular day.

And my favourite travel question is two things I didn’t know about Spain”.  There are actually about two million things I don’t know about Spain so the chances of me providing the illusive final two for this enquirer are very remote indeed.  I did a post once about ‘ten things I didn’t know about Spain’ but this wasn’t ever meant to be a definitive list and I am fairly certain that I could have kept that theme going forever.

Iconic Spain

From history and travel I move to sex because it is estimated that well over half of all web searches are about this subject.

My first enquiry is just simply “knobs and knockers” !  Interestingly however I once worked with someone who used the office internet to make this very same enquiry.  She was restoring an old Welsh Dresser at the time and although her enquiry was completely innocent she had some explaining to do to the IT section when she received the unexpected results of her search.  I have made a few posts about doors and windows so I expect that’s how my blog was identified in search results for this particular question.

Catalonia Spain Door Detail

I like the next one better – “see through girls’ clothes” and once again if I had the answer to this one I would surely be a millionaire.  It reminded me of my post about X-Ray Specs which seemed to suggest all sorts of peeking opportunities but in fact never actually worked (or so I am told!)

And so I wind this post up with a couple of random questions that I cannot seem to place into a category.  Firstly a really dumb question – “French dog waste management” and I can only assume that the person asking the question has never actually been to France because the answer is simple – there is no dog waste management in France and the French people just allow their canine companions to poop all over the streets with total disregard to other pedestrians.

Finally for this year I really like this one – “do you need a CRB check to hold a childrens’ party at Mcdonalds”Probably not such a daft question when you think about it and the answer is probably yes!  I wrote about birthday parties so perhaps this is where the question was directed?

Only just excluded from my top ten this year – What is a Mole?”, “What did houses look like in the middle ages?” and these what year is the baby boomers let me?” which, as far as I can see makes no sense at all!

It’s Nice to Feel Useful (2)

  

It’s nice to feel useful…

Six months or so ago I took a look at my statistics and was baffled by some of the search questions that seemed to have brought web-surfers by to visit my site.  I have done it again looked at my statistics for the last month and selected my favourite  Search Engine terms that brought people to my blog.

I have set them out here together with a link to the appropriate page…

First off this time…

“do flights landing in Naples fly over Vesuvius?”

Vesuvius the crater

Now, this seems to me to be an especially dumb question.  I am not an expert on aviation or air traffic control but it seems very unlikely to me that aeroplane carrying over three hundred passengers landing at an international airport in Italy would want to fly over the top of a 1,300 metre high active volcano because it sounds full of potential hazards to me.

The page they were directed to was probably my post about my visit to the mountain.

  •  

Now, I like to think that my posts are occasionally informative and the contents have some useful trivia but I really don’t see how I could possibly help with these two searches because it seems to me that someone is looking for a level of detail that I just can’t get down to:  Montreuil sur Mer allotments and the name of the street behind the Moulin Rouge?”.  I have posted on these two locations so perhaps this is where they were directed: 

Montreuil-Sur-Mer old town walls  

Montreuil-Sur-Mer                                      Moulin Rouge

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This one cropped up before but it’s well worth repeating again here because I can’t believe anyone would google this – How big are Ryanair seat belts” – I dealt with flying with Ryanair in my post Travel Tips When Flying Budget Airlines – These people are going to be really disappointed when they get the answers!

Ryanair over the Alps

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This is a really good one, I like it – committing suicide on p&o mini cruise”. Some people go to Switzerland to end their lives unnaturally whilst others look for a solution on line.

I have been on a P&O mini-cruse from Hull to Rotterdam and although it was not what you would describe as a luxury experience, the food was good and the bar prices reasonable so I can think of no really good reason to throw yourself overboard!

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Another dumb historical question next – “how wealthy are the Romanovs?” and dumb because most people know that the entire Romanov family were killed by the Bolsheviks in 1917 during the Russian revolution.

There are some claimants to the titles of the Russian Tsars but even if they were confirmed to be true descendants they would be extremely unlikely to be wealthy because the Russian communist regime confiscated all their money and valuables.

I visited Russia in 2012 and posted about the fate of the Romanovs so I guess the enquirer might have ended up on my post about the Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg.

Russia St Petersburg

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I rather liked this question and for once I can be certain that I have the answer:  Is it always raining in Wales” and the answer in my personal experience is YES!  I went to Wales in 2011 for a week and it rained so much that after four days I gave up, abandoned the holiday cottage and drove back home.  This is my account of the journey!

North Wales

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I was also delighted to be able to help with this enquiry – “seagulls on my roof” because I have had exactly the same problem and posted about it last year when the fledgling chicks started to fly – I called it ‘The Seagull has Landed” because although Seagulls may well be a feature of the seaside when I moved to Grimsby I didn’t expect to get a pair nesting on my roof!

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Whilst it is nice to think that sometimes my posts might have been useful I have saved my absolute favourites for last and to be honest I have no idea at all where this search led people to on my blog pages – First: “Bodrum handbag prices”, because anyone that reads my posts will know that I am not by any stretch of the imagination what you would call a shopper.

But here is my absolute favourite, probably of all time:

can pubic  hair grow more with regain?”

because I don’t think I have ever written a post about pubic hair!

?????

I’d love to hear from you about weird search results on your sites!

It’s Nice to Feel Useful (1)

  

It’s nice to feel useful…

I saw someone else do this the other day and I thought it was a good idea.  I have looked at my statistics for the last month and selected my favourite ten Search Engine terms that brought people to my blog.  I have set them out here together with a link to the appropriate page…

Two searches about Ryanair:

Ryanair over the Alps

“Do Ryanair planes have televisions?”  and “How big are Ryanair seat belts?”

I have addressed these and other budget airline issues in my post Travel Tips When Flying Budget Airlines – Believe me these people are going to be really disappointed when they get the answers!

“Why is alcohol so expensive in Norway” – Travelling to Norway can really come as a massive shock to the wallet and I explained all about this in my post – Norway, Europe’s Most Expensive Country

Old Benidorm

Theses were some other enquiries that I was able to help with…

“Benidorm zaragoza street plan 1950”Benidorm, Plan General de Ordenación

“Obese people in speedos”Speedo Swim Wear

“How high is Mount Vesuvius”Sorrento, Mount Vesuvius – Living on the Edge – I feel like Wikipedia now and to save you having to look it up it is just about one thousand three hundred metres!

“What is appropriate attire for tea with the Queen”Royal Garden Party – Of course I know the answer to this one, I once got an invite to the Royal Garden Party and had a lovely afternoon in the garden of Buckingham Palace.!

“Driftwood boat makers” –  Corfu, The Boat Souvenir

I have saved my real favourites for last and to be honest I have no idea at all where this search led people to on my blog pages:

“Where can you buy a travel kettle in malta”

“Alaska giant vegetables”  I did wonder if this was an American Football Team or Baseball perhaps but my research has so far thrown up nothing useful!

Corfu Boat Souvenir