damn! We've only got one ftp login for stonesoup - looks like radio userland is not exactly going to happen. Harumph. You sure you don't want to try MT Giles? Could set you up in a matter of minutes, everyone is doing it, the first one is free, you can stop anytime... (just ask iona)
So after this long rambling carry on about logs etc... what do I do when I'm work from home in a prefectly blog friendly manner? Forget to download last week damn raw log files and now they are gone. Sorry folks. I was looking forward to doing a little bit of analysis on it too.
In other news, Fi has asked about hosting non MT blogs. I'm going to look into it, bit I suspect that it's likely to be a huge pain in the ass. Thoughts and comments would be hugely appreciated.
Giles, if you are reading this, could you give me a bit of a low down on how radio userland?
So, you want to know who is looking at your blog? This is a very brief guide to explaining how the logfiles work and what they mean for your blog. But first, a quick caveat - I find logfiles really interesting right up to the point that I start having to do it for a job. I've spent a great deal of time, and a considerable amount of fustration over my many years trying to devine some secrets of human behaviours out of these damn things. With that out of the way, here goes nothing:
Every request made to stonesoup.co.nz is dutifully logged. This describes what was requested (eg which page or image), who requested it (ie IP address), when, and some other stats. A raw unprocessed logfile entry looks like this:
126.96.36.199 - - [23/Apr/2003:00:10:45 -0500] "GET /chinashop/ HTTP/1.1" 200 20774 "http://www.stonesoup.co.nz" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows 98)"
Roughly speaking, the first string of numbers is IP address that made the request, then you can see the date, then there is what was asked for (chinashop index page) followed by some other details and then, you'll note, a URL. This URL is the referrer. It is from this page that this person clicked from to go to iona's blog. The remaining stuff describes the browser and the operating system.
A logfile is made up of thousands of such lines. The webfarm hosting service keeps the log file going for a week at time. They delete the old entries and start from scratch every tuesday morning. If I want to do any processing myself (which, in my nerdy way, I do) I need to grab these files every Monday.
Fortunately all is not lost. You can see some rudamentry analysis of the entire stonesoup site at www.stonesoup.co.nz/wusage - there is a weekly history that goes back to the very first day of stonesoup. Unfortunately, this quite high level and not entirely applicable to just your blog. You can type in the following:
(Remember to change the date every week in the URL). From there you can pick out your blogs directory and get an idea of what your most popular page is.
Again, this doesn't really tell the whole story. This is why I do some logfile processing myself. Just so I can find out fun filled stats like this one:
view referral graph
The correct, and proper thing to do, would be for me to find a way of automatically downloading the monday logfile, split it into the blog directories and processing each one individually and then uploading the results for you to view. I might look into once the search engines kick in...
Oh yeah. Search engines. Right now, because of all the pings we are sending out to places like weblogs.com and blo.gs we are getting loads of spider traffic. This results in links to our blogs, the more links we get the more likely we will be picked up by google. When that happens, all hell will break loose. Expect to see some strange and wonderful search queries. Just ask Iona about all that Frodo and Buffy fanfic she's been publishing.
Still loads more work to do though. And as always with these stats, they create more questions than they do answers.
Next lesson: robots.txt and why you should give a rat's ass.
For those of you who have set the stonesoup home page as your default home page, I've got a special treat. Clicking ong the Stonesoup logo takes you to the log in page. Easy eh? (Thanks Fionnaigh for the suggestion).
Next week, we look at bookmarklets...
After much gravelling around, trying not to rock the boat, and general being stuck between a very large rock and a somewhat squishy place, I'm pleased to announce the latest addition to the stone soup couldron: indiginz.
Okay the auto-home page updater thing is almost sorted. Just don't touch the template calle "For Syndication" or the file "up.html".
[stern teacher voice on] Iona, I need to speak to you after class[stern teacher voice off]
I know, I know, it's nothing great, but it impressed me. Check out the left hand menu. List of recently up dated blogs. Pretty cool eh? Thanks to David Raynes excellent (so far anyway) plugin for MovableType - MTOtherBlog.
whee! Now to sort this out for the home page.
Some introductory stuff, now that there's a few of us.
Too Many Cooks is a blog open to all stonesoupers, a place for questions and suggestions, notices of interest to other bloggers, and so on. As a stonesouper, you've been added to the email notifications for this blog. (If the traffic gets too heavy, email me and I'll remove you from the list. At the moment it's fairly quiet so it shouldn't be a problem.) It just seemed wise to have an easy way for us all to stay in contact.
Kim's going to try to set up the homepage so that all our most recent posts show up there. This'll make it easier for us to keep up with each other's blogs without having to check many pages. Again, let me know if you want to opt out (and why).
And finally, I'd like to propose a stonesoup launching get-together for coffee or drinks. Will y'all be around next week or are you going out of town? I'm thinking Tuesday after work? RSVP. :-)
...whoever you may be!
Stone Soup is now home to the shady (yet somehow connected to Laura and Iona's sister) "cyberjohnboy".
We understand that he will be an intrepid traveller and reporting from such far away and exotic locations as Sheppard's Bush and Brixton.
Aargh! I'm spending far too much of this weekend on the computer! Bad bad bad!
Anyway, I've put up this new page with information for people wanting blogs. Comments anyone? I just made it up off the top of my head, so open to suggestions.
Also, was wondering about organising a stonesoup get-together/site launch/meeting over coffee. What do y'all think?
Btw, Kim, if our original plan to put recent entries from all stonesoup blogs on the homepage is still possible, I think it'd be cool. Then I could just check one page instead of going to each blog individually. Can it be done?
Let's give a rocky but warm stone soup welcome to laura and her new blog: "short normal tall". You can find it here.
Made a mistake on the template for this page (the links I added used the none existent htpp protocol). Boy do I feel like a chowder head. Corrected now. Fi, you might want to up date your main template too.
In this case, my brain. :-)
Fi and I spent lots of last night (and a couple of phone calls to Kim and Reb) trying to mess with the stylesheet for her blog, with eventual success.
Lesson: the main index page defines the layout; the style-sheet defines the colours and stuff. Duh. (I am remarkably clueless. You'd be amazed.)
I still don't understand why some of the colours in the stylesheet are defined with 6 characters (eg, #FFFFFF) and others are defined with 3 (eg, #CCC). What's up with that?
I'm managed to find a bit of fix to these new templates not displaying right in IE. Let me know if you want me to apply the change to your site.
If you want to make some light adjustments to your templates, i suggest adding a width element to your .blogtext tag in your CSS file. I've made it an arbirary 540px.
Iona, since you are using the old templates, you don't have to worry about this.
Hip hip hooray
Hip hip hooray
Hip hip hooray!
For web-fiddling above and beyond the call of non-duty. Hee!
Fionnaigh's blog Beautiful Monsters has been created. Hope she enjoys her new home!
*poing* has been created to house all my non-sensical musings.
You are a china shop, i am a bull has been created. All of iona's lovely content has been moved over from avantgord.com
Here it is! A general blog for Stone Soup bloggers. Notification of new blogs and interesting events can be posted here by all those who use this blog space.