Posts Tagged ‘Wordpress’

Incredibly it’s two years to the day since we somewhat nervously launched Wellthisiswhatithink.

Seems like yesterday.

2In that time, we have enjoyed – and we really mean that – a whopping 113,677 viewers and responded to 2,096 comments. Phew!

Our “Top 20” most popular countries for views are, in order, the good ol’ USA, UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, India, Netherlands, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Sweden, Greece, Japan, Brazil, Finland, Philippines, and South Africa, but virtually every country in the world is represented.

We have even had a visitor from Vatican City. Just one. Once.

So welcome, and thank you, Your Holiness. Do you prefer to be called Frank?

We think the people should be told more about the British Virgin Isles. Maybe a letter writing campaign? Hmmm.

We think the people should be told more about the British Virgin Isles. Maybe a letter writing campaign? Hmmm.

Anyhow: other “sole visitor states” have included Micronesia, Togo, Solomon Islands, Lichtenstein (lift your game, please, bankers), Djibouti, Benin, Lesotho, Madagascar, Uzbekistan, Bhutan, Dominica, and the British Virgin Islands.

So you can expect a travelogue item sponsored by the local tourism authorities of the British Virgin Islands really soon: a quick acclimatization and photography tour will probably be required, don’t you think, Mr Minister of Tourism for BVI?.

"China? Are you out there somewhere? Talk to us!"

“China? Are you out there somewhere? Talk to us!”

And “Where’s China, we hear you ask?” Answer: banned.

Not them, us.

We have fallen foul of the Great Firewall of China, which is damned annoying as we really like the place, and the people. 请停止阻止我们的博客,我们是非常好的人。*

We await a response from the Chairman soon.

Anyway, we’re now comfortably over 500 posts (so you should be able to search on just about any topic you can think of and find it covered somehow!) and we’re not far behind a rolling average of offering you a blog a day, which was the goal we set ourselves.

Not a bad effort, really, from both readers and writers. And we really are very grateful to everyone – every subscriber, every visitor, everyone leaving a comment, and every guest blogger.

We are delighted that you, Dear Reader, show every sign of enjoying the deliberately esoteric collection of news items and thoughts we pull together. It’s not a political blog, it’s not an art or photography blog, it’s not a food and wine blog, or a travel blog, it’s not a blog about poetry and writing, it’s not a humour blog.

We hope Wellthisiswhatithink is all of that and more, and we are deeply touched by your interest and your generous help.

Your loyalty – and more importantly, your input: positive, or critical – is what has made Wellthisiswhatithink a success.

We hope you stick with us, and keep enjoying our somewhat wry, askance, and opinionated view on the world. Please tell your friends. And once again, thank you from the bottom of our ink-stained hearts.

Is there a topic you would LIKE us to comment on that we haven’t? Got a pet cause you think should get the Wellthisiswhatithink treatment? Want to volunteer as a guest blogger? (Worldwide fame guaranteed, and not a cent in pay.) Just drop us a line at yolly@decisionsdecisions.com.au …

It’s your blog. We built it for you. Be a part of it in our next year.

*Please stop blocking our blog, we are really nice people.

I am always being asked – usually very grumpily – why I fulminate on matters outside the borders of Australia by people who obviously believe that none of us have the right to speak truth (OK, I will concede, “our version of the truth”) to citizens of other countries.

And my stock response is, “Because I believe countries are artificial constructions, and I don’t think national boundaries should prevent the free flow of opinion, as we are all, first Citizens of the Wor4ld, not citizens of wherever we happen to live …” which always produces howls of derision from those who originally asked why I dared to say what I think, and murmurs of approval from anyone else.

And one day, recently, a very nice person in another forum where I post links to the blog – Linked In – kindly remarked that she thought I “am the bravest person posting in Linked In – I know it’s scary, but you keep raising important issues.”

I should warn you, everyone, one comment like that can keep me spouting off for a year or more.

Anyhow, here’s your real answer, Dear Reader. You just seem to be an amazingly international person … so I try and include content (or opinion) from all over the world, providing I think the content is important, or I can think of anything relevant to add to it.

How funny that orange is my favourite colour …

As I have explained many times, by far the most regular readers of my blog are Americans, who read my blog more than three times as much as my fellow Aussies.

From a country as saturated as media as it is, I consider this a great compliment, as it implies they think someone this far away has something relevant to say to them.

Either that or they’re masochists and they just love to hate me.

Whatever their reasons, I am grateful for the continual support from the good ol’ US of A. And the next biggest bunch of readers are from my old homeland in the UK, who also out poll the Aussies. This is perhaps understandable as once, deep – deep – in the last Millenium, I had something of a public profile in the Old Dart, but it is humbling and heart-warming to know that after 25 years as an Aussie they are still remotely concerned about what I think.

Either that, or my articles on sausages strike a chord.

Looking at the map, the sheer reach of blogging in the Internet age becomes clear. My words – or yours, if I have been re-blogging something – reach into almost every corner of the planet, which is something I find really quite awe-inspiring. Places I shall presumably never visit nevertheless know a little of me, virtually, at least. And whilst I recognise that the Internet can be something of a curate’s egg as far as information gathering goes – after all, how do you judge whether what you read is valid, true, biased, or … what? – it is without any doubt a remarkable step forward for the free and unsupervised dissemination of information.

Or at least, the attempted dissemination.

The Great Firewall of China has me blocked, for example. Which is quite bizarre, as I have visited China a number of times, I like the country and its people, and I wish both well as they continue their great strides onto the world stage. Or maybe I am blocked because all of WordPress is, just in case. But I think it’s me, because before my friends over there started reporting that they couldn’t read my work, fully six of them had done so. Mine was a star that shone very momentarily over the Oldest of Old Kingdoms. Hong Kong, however, can read me, and does. How curious.

I think it’s totally brilliant – totes brill as Fruit of One’s Loins would have it -  that WordPress provide one with these stats, partly out of my sheer fascination in trawling them, but also because if one covers a topic concerning, say Sri Lanka, then one can track the sudden up-tick of interest from that country as the story crawls its way from computer to computer. They also tell you what search terms most often bring people to one’s pages, and yes, Dear Reader, the top one on mine is still “tits”, and long may it be so.

(Stick tits into the search box at the top left on this site and you’ll see why.)

Interesting anomalies occur all the time. Sweden delivers about double the hits that I get from their neighbours Norway and Finland. I really am curious as to why – presumably it is a matter of population, internet access, English language skills and stuff like that. But I also wonder if it is because I post semi-regularly on the cases of Bradley Manning, the provider and founder of Wikileaks, respectively, and Assange is assuredly of interest in Sweden for various reasons.

What is also interesting is the very few countries that are not represented on the map at all, as they indicate with clarity where some of the poorest nations of the world are. Sub-saharan and central Africa especially. Or where internet access is simply impossible.

I see you there, little singular net surfing person, I see you, shakin’ dat mouse.

A whole bunch of places, although the list is getting smaller the longer the blog stays up, have recorded just one hit on the blog in the last 11 months.

One little idle, solitary flick of a finger, one man or woman, who I see in my mind’s eye, hunched over their laptop or desktop in the dark, screen glowing, hungrily gobbling up my profound thoughts on Angela Merkel, President Obama, the food we will be eating in 40 years, vaginal surgery, the mauling of the English language, the weather in Australia (and climate change generally) or – whatever.

I do hope you will drop by again, my solitary visitor from Djibouti, Lesotho, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Samoa, Togo, Aruba, Dominica, Lichtenstein, the Federated States of Micronesia, Angola, Haiti, Guadeloupe, Kyrgyzstan, the Solomon Islands, and last but by no means least, Vatican City.

Your voices need to be heard, and very often, I suspect, they need to be heard much more than mine does.

Then again, you could just be searching for tits, in which case, welcome aboard.

Post scriptum: I nearly forgot to mention that this is also my four hundred and oneth blog in a little over a year, and I could not have done it without all the feedback, positive and negative, so thanks very much! WordPress has stopped sending me little “gee up”  messages as I pass each milestone, which is a bit sad, really. They’ve obviously decided I am hooked. All gee up messages, therefore, gratefully received.

Blimey. A prize. Whatever next?

Well This Is What I Think has very kindly been nominated for the Liebster Blog Award – Liebster meaning “my love” or “darling” – for a blog that is actually worth the paper it isn’t written on.

We are a bit blown away. When we have gathered our breath we will thank Kay properly at dealingwithdementia.wordpress.com who was nice enough to nominate us, and also, in the spirit of this fun affair, also pass the award on to some other deserving recipients.

The post she felt moved by can be found here: http://wellthisiswhatithink.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/what-do-you-do-when-the-person-youve-loved-for-a-lifetime-just-isnt-there-any-more/

Well: time for a glass of something warming, methinks. Onwards and upwards.

Great article about the never-ending pain that is blogging, or writing generally. Do yourself a favour and have a great laugh. Go here:

Did My Post Suck Today?

Well done, Sweet Mother.

Anyhow, it’s just the perfect post for one of these days … we all have them.

You know the famous line about “if you want to get rich, invent a better mousetrap”?

Well I reckon if you want to get rich, invent bread that miraculously toasts only golden brown and then stops.

Burnt Toast

The breakfast of kings. Well, bloggers.

Yes, that’s right, people. The toast knows how it’s getting on, and turns off its capacity to be burnt regardless of the setting on the toaster,  which was set, of course, by a blogger more obsessively intent on his words of wisdom than the progress of his pitifully uninspiring breakfast.

As the article reproduced below ennumerates, not to mention many others scattered around the Net, burnt toast is potentially really bad for you, because of a chemical called acrylamide.

But I am here to tell you, if you see smoke streaming from the toaster, acrylamide isn’t your only concern.

Burnt toast also contains small amounts of polycylic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), better known as a class of air pollutant. Some of those chemicals are proven carcinogens – chemicals that cause or aggravate cancers.

The most well-known of these is benzopyrene – also found in coal tar and cigarette smoke. Produced when organic matter is inefficiently burnt, it triggers chemical changes in cells that can result in damage to DNA, which in turn can cause cancer.

While the level at which PAHs are carcinogenic is much higher than most people would consume through eating burnt food such as toast, the safest approach is to avoid exposing yourself to these chemicals if you can.

Health officials’advice is to toast bread to the lowest acceptable level. And if you want to be really cautious, cut off the crusts as these usually contain more acrylamide from when the bread was baked.

(Remember when your mother used to tell you your crusts was where all the goodness was? Abusive parenting, I call it.)

Bugger it, what’s the point? May as well give up toast. Life kills you, dammit. This and more from the joyous world of blogging in due course.

Mutters and grumbles insanely, bent over keyboard.

A chemical produced by frying, roasting or grilling food can double the risk of cancer in women, a new study has found.

Scientists have now issued a worldwide alert advising people to avoid burnt toast or golden brown chips because they contain higher levels of the substance, acrylamide.

The study, which involved 62,000 women, has established a direct link between consumption of the chemical and the incidence of ovarian and womb cancer.

Acrylamide is found in cooked foods such as bread, breakfast cereals, coffee and also meat and potatoes which have been fried, baked, roasted, grilled or barbecued.

The higher amount eaten by the women was equivalent to a single packet of crisps, half a packet of biscuits, or a portion of chips a day.

The European Union has now advised people to take caution, particularly when eating burnt foods such as toast.

It has also recommended eating home-cooked meals which contain much lower amounts of the chemical than processed products, fast food and restaurant meals.

The Food Standards Agency welcomed the report into acrylamide and called on consumers to heed the EU’s advice. But a spokesman said it was not possible to avoid the chemical entirely.

“This new study supports our current advice and policy, which already assumes that acrylamide has the potential to be a human carcinogen,’ he said.

“Since acrylamide forms naturally in a wide variety of cooked foods, it is not possible to have a healthy balanced diet that avoids it.”

The findings from the University of Maastricht, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention come only a month after the public was warned about the increased risk of cancer from eating bacon and ham.

(Thanks to the Daily Mail, re-reported by the Daily Telegraph, in London – where burnt toast is staggeringly common.)

Girl in the window, Salvador Dali
The girl in the window, Salvador Dali, mid-1920s

Some of the writing on WordPress is utterly charming. Emily Hauser’s work at In My Head often attains a flow of such effortlessly fluid competence that it leaves me, as a fellow professional, gasping. I have her to thank for many a heart-warming or thought-provoking start to my day.

I warmly recommend her musings on her childhood newspaper delivery round at http://emilylhauserinmyhead.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/tales-of-an-11-year-old-papergirl/

In the UK, being a paper boy was even more exhausting than Emily remembers from her Chicago childhood.

Unlike the USA, where papers are vaguely flung in the direction of the front yard, in the UK they were always delivered through the letterbox, which was usually an impossibly narrow or idiotically positioned integral component of a front door, rather than a decent-size receptacle intelligently stuck on a pole at the front gate. And the front door was invariably up the end of a path or driveway, which was always, equally certainly, covered in treacherously invisible black ice mysteriously laid down in the frigid pre-dawn.

Bikes were impractical; you’d have been on and off the thing 500 times a morning. So, rain, hail, snow or shine, one walked, carrying a bag weighing about the same as a small car on one’s ten year old frame. A bag that was made of a sort of hessian, that got heavier and smellier as it got wetter from the freezing rain that always came in horizontally off the English Channel in that seaside town of blessed memory.

Sooner or later the papers inside would get wet, and start to glutinously stick together, until eventually the whole interior started to resemble a sort of papier mâché sculpture of indistinct design.

Oh, how we laughed.

Just as it became almost overwhelmingly tempting to dump the whole bag behind the vast hedge at Miss King’s the piano teacher and run away to sea, there was something to live for.

Every morning, Sophie, the new girl with impossibly blue eyes who had moved into the yellow house down the road, used to wave at me as she sat in her bedroom window eating her rice crispies , as I vainly tried to squeeze the Daily Telegraph through their impossibly small letterbox, usually shredding it in the process.

Her father, who became infamous for writing a letter complaining about the state of the roads to the local paper, (in those days an impossibly infra dig* thing to have done), must have cursed me daily. Sophie just gazed down, like an imprisoned princess in a tower of sunflower weatherboards and slate tiles, a sudden ray of sunshine on a sodden day.

She went away the next year, to big school, until a famously hot summer some eight years later, when we endured one awful first – and last – kiss in the back of a taxi after an awkward shared meal of chicken chow mein and egg fried rice where neither of us could think of anything to say. We should have left it at a lonely wave and a gentle smile that made the unendurable worthwhile.

Never go back, Dear Reader. Never go back.

*Infra dig: a phrase beloved of my mother, one of the genteel poor, meaning unbecoming of one’s position or beneath one’s dignity.

It derives from the Latin infra dignitatem, literally ‘beneath (one’s) dignity’. It is first recorded by William Hazlitt in Table talk; or, Original essays on men and manners, 1822:

“Among other things, the learned languages are a ready passport to this sort of unmeaning, unanalysed reputation. They presently lift a man up among the celestial constellations, the signs of the zodiac (as it were) and third heaven of inspiration, from whence he looks down on those who are toiling on in this lower sphere, and earning their bread by the sweat of their brain, at leisure and in scorn. If the graduates in this way condescend to express their thoughts in English, it is understood to be infra dignitatem …”

The first person to put the shortened infra dig. version into print was Sir Walter Scott. He uses it in his 1825 novel Redgauntlet:

“It would be infra dig. in the Provost of this most flourishing and loyal town to associate with Redgauntlet.”

If ever used, it is now more commonly written without the full stop. Even most of those who realise it is an abbreviation now consider it to be well-enough established not to require it, as amp – short for ampere – is now accepted without a full stop.

What is beneath one’s dignity is obviously a matter of judgment. The group most often associated with the term are the British upper middle classes, a mindset rather than a measurement of purchasing power, although they might now consider it infra dig ever to use it.

I do love the internet. Well, I’m fascinated by it, anyhow.

One of the great things about WordPress is it lets you see which Google searches (or other search engines) have led to people dropping in on your blog. I always give it a glance, to see whether my tagging of the 100 articles I have now written and image descriptions and so on is actually doing any good.

Anyhow, here is a brief selection of ways that people found my writing the last two days.

  • the biggest naked tits in the world
  • big breast touch
  • snooki
  • hot teen naked tits
  • short naked teen with big tits
  • big tits naked
  • who has the biggest tits
  • tits actress Italian
  • nude beach big bobs
  • bigtitted readheads
  • tits

You’ve gotta love that last one, haven’t you?

Just “tits”.

Now there’s someone who knows exactly what he wants Google to deliver him. (Well, “Him”, presumably. But maybe not.) I just had to have a go. And you know what? Hopefully seaching on simply “tits” brings up 645 MILLION hits on Google.

So, if you could click on one link a second, which you can’t, that’s over 20 days of wall-to-wall mammary glands of all shapes and sizes. Why oh why doesn’t WordPress let me know who used that search term? I want to ring them and just ask, you know, wtf?

And a little way down the list was someone with a website called “Two Tits Per Hour”, which looked, on a cursory glance, like someone, somewhere could be bothered to post a photo of, yes, a girl with two tits, every hour. For, seemingly, ever. 24/7. Anonymously, for no apparent economic gain. I mean, hello?

Interestingly, Googling images of tits with “safe search off” revealed only 177 MILLION hits, so writing about tits is clearly more than three and a half times more common than photographing them. Who’d of thought, eh?

There was a slight pause in writing this article while I perused the Google images result. Research, dear reader, research. Within a very short space of time I had found my way to a website asking the question “Which celebrity has the best tits?” Apparently the answer is Jennifer Love Hewitt closely followed by Katy Perry. Discuss. No, better still, don’t.

Why my website has become such a magnet for tit searchers is because I wrote a serious (well, moderately serious) article about popular culture that actually included a discussion on popular TV’s obsession with, er, tits – and someone called Snooki from the show “Jersey Shore” in particular.

It’s far and away consistently the most popular article on my blog, and I actually am happy with it; I think it’s a fun read. Sadly, I am sure most of the people accessing it aren’t thoughtfully considering my erudite take on popular culture. They’re just accidentally rocking up there because about day 14 of their twenty day tit-fest I come up on Google. They will be sadly disappointed, and I apologise to them. You can read the original article here, and it’s worth it:

http://wellthisiswhatithink.wordpress.com/2011/09/03/on-snookie-chelsea-the-borgias-big-tits/

Meanwhile, I am delighted with all the attention my blog is getting, as some of the great unwashed will also be happening upon articles about politics, economics, culture, art, iPhones, and Lord knows what else. I think I am onto something here.

So: tits tits tits tits tits tits. Er, bottom. Arse. See how I did that? Targeting a whole new demographic. There ya go.

Oh yes, and some artfully shot pictures, of course to deliver satisfaction to the third or so of readers who need such things. A pair of Great Tits. Oo-er, missus.

A Great pair of Tits

Did you know the Great Tit is, like other tits, a very vocal bird, and has up to 40 types of calls and songs? Celebs: they all release an album sooner or later, right?

As I publish this, the blog is approaching 9000 hits. I confidently expect to crack 10,000 in about the next four minutes.

House prices go, er, up and down. I think.

House prices go, er, up and down. I think.

And there we have it. One outrageous claim in the headline and suddenly my blog hits go up from a hundred or so a day to un-countable thousands or more.

Only “New Paris Hilton Tape Surfaces” would get me more hits, I reckon. Or maybe not; she is 30 now, when all’s said and done.

Anyhow, I know this to be the case because when I posted “Choosing a blog title that GUARANTEES hits” the numbers went through the roof. Needless to say, the article that followed the headline was almost empty. If you can’t be bothered to click the link it included a photo of a woman pondering a sheet of paper, and the question “Worked it out yet?” underneath the photo.

Needless to say, some people got the gag – in other words, if the headline contains a promise of value to the reader then more people will go there – and some were kind enough to send me “Yeah, got me!”  emails – but one humourless forum moderator told me I was promoting myself and not discussing a topic of general interest and moved the article to the “promotion”  area of his precious little discussion group. He also asked me if I knew there was just a photo there, and nothing else. (Clearly hadn’t paid that much attention when scrolling down.)

Welll, I suppose there was an element of self promotion involved, because as a commercial writer it’s always good to remind people that I can write a headline that gets people in. (Well, you’re here reading this too, aren’t you?) But I was actually trying to share a bit of knowledge.

According to the Freshly Pressed splash page of WordPress (never mind all the other blogging sites) todays stats look something like “the best of 407,349 bloggers, 510,498 new posts, 462,867 comments, & 109,212,412 words posted today on WordPress.com.”

And that’s so far. 109 MILLION words? Really? On just one site? In one day?

Sheesh. Somebody do some real work, already!

Anyhow, it occurred to me that the vast majority of those umpteen words would be more likely to be read – not to mention innumerable books, advertisements, memos, emails and the like – if people could just remember that the most important line they write is the headline.

(By the way, the next most important is the next line. And the next is the last line.)

And also remember that no matter how good the headline, (in this case it was a scare story about interest rates) the information in the following article might just be crap.

For example, in the article in question a spokesperson for real estate intelligence group Residex remarked that they “wouldn’t be surprised” if  – unlike the rest of Australia – property prices fell in Melbourne by as much as 10% in the next twelve months, due to over-supply of property.

Yet as recently as, er, today, another report talked about a massive under-supply of property in Melbourne in coming years. See http://www.smartcompany.com.au/property/20100319-housing-shortage-to-hit-466-000-by-2020-hia-report-reveals.html.

Now, I am not being controversial for the sake of it, because I am sure Mr Man at Residex would jump on me and argue that the property market goes up and down, and his forecast was specifically for Melbourne in the next 12 months, and the current over-supply will wind down, and therefore the two reports are actually complimentary, blah blah blah and anyway, frankly, if he can persuade people to shell out spondoolicks for his reports then more power to his elbow. But my attention is drawn to that phrase “wouldn’t be surprised”.

See, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if property prices took off again in Melbourne as Spring continues to, well, spring, because in my view the dampener on prices recently has not been supply and demand (not that dear old supply and demand isn’t an important factor in any market) but because people have actually been scared shitless by a global financial crisis, rumours of another one, various rather nasty wars and revolutions, Noah-level floods, searing bush fires, endless whining in the press about how we’re all going to hell in a hand-basket, miscellaneous other crap like the next inevitable flu epidemic, and last – but not least – the laughable inability of politicians in Europe, America or Australia to display even the slightest smell of what could remotely be considered competent leadership in recent years.

Yet despite probably the most unsettling couple of years in living memory, we are all gradually waking up to the fact that we’re still here, and the world toddles on, and somehow or other we seem to have dodged the hail of bullets that everyone assured us was heading our way. And when the sun and the spring flowers come out, people will still want to improve their lifestyle, or their family circumstances will have changed, or they need to move for work, and they’ll start sniffing around for homes again, whether that means “second hand”, or new.

So I predict prices in Melbourne (and many spots in America and the UK, Spain and other climes as well) will start to climb over the  next half year. My reasoning is pure instinct: people just don’t stay down in the dumps forever.

Then again, what do I know? Answer: well, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if your riposte in six months was “not a lot”.