After yesterday’s look back at 2012, today we’re going to look forward to 2012. What does the year have in store for us?
My outlook on games in 2012 is pretty limited. SWTOR is out and I expect that to be the main thing I play, at least for awhile. I’ll continue to pop into STO and LOTRO occasionally, but no other MMO has caught my attention. I have a slight interest in Guild Wars 2, but that probably won’t launch in 2012 and it’s only a slight interest at this point.
I will undoubtedly, have a Civilization splurge at some point in the spring and fall. Depending on the needs of the baby, I might even do it sooner. Civ is a good game to play while distracted since it is turn based. I also plan to play Portal 2, which is another one that should be easy to stop and come back to when needed. That could be the downfall of SWTOR, at least outside of defined gaming periods.
I might check out the new Star Wars games coming out from Fantasy Flight. They look fun, and I might be able to convince my wife to play with me.
I’ll be attending a few Cons this year, OwlCon and Comicpalooza, though not for fun. I’ll be spending a lot of time sitting in the dealer room, trying to sell my book. But that is cool in itself.
2012 will see the release of a few cool movies; next Batman, Avengers, Bond. It will be Eureka’s final season, which will be sad, but I predict great things. I will also be going cable free, so all my television viewing will be done via Netflix or Zune. I don’t expect much to actually change in my viewing habits. Maybe watching less TV since we’ll be paying directly for a show, instead of indirectly via satellite.
John Scalzi has a new book called Red Shirts coming out that looks great. The name says it all. The big book release for the year will be the final Wheel of Time book. That has been a long time coming and I am actually caught up and ready for it.
There are also a few new GGP authors that should have books being released. Some of those look really cool.
The single biggest anticipation of 2012 is of course, the birth of our first kid. Due in mid February, I will get to experience this whole parenting thing first hand. I am excited, though admittedly, a little scared. The babies room is not quite ready, we don’t have half of the things we need, and I don’t have a clue what I’m doing. Am I ready? Sure don’t feel like it. But does anyone?
Ah, election years. Fun for a political junky, but also very very sad. Nothing useful will get done in government this year as it will all be about the election, which is 11 months away. We’ll finally stop hearing from all the crazies in the Republican primary, and instead, just hear from one single crazy. Because of how politics work, there is sadly, a real chance whomever it is will beat Obama. But I have faith that most Americans will recognize the BS the GOP is selling. I just have less hope that the Democrats can do any better.
2012 should see the release of my second novel and second book in the Aristeia series. I’m almost done with the first draft and have every intention of getting the first beta ready before the baby arrives. If I do that, then I should be able to have a much less rushed release for next fall.
Hopefully, it will also see sales for Revolutionary Right taking off. Friends and family have been wonderful in buying the book and telling their friends. But that can only go so far. Finding traction with people who have never heard of me is the real trick. We’ll see what happens.
Apparently, at the end of the year, it is a common practiceto look back at the previous year and forward to the new year. Not one to buck tradition, unless I feel like it, here is my look back at 2011:
- SWTOR Released: I’m still having a lot of fun playing this game. It definitely feels like Star Wars and the story is great. Game play ain’t bad either.
- Skyrim- While I didn’t get very far due to SWTOR, I did enjoy what I played. It’s a beautiful game with lots of options of what to do.
- Rise of Isengard- I enjoyed this expansion, even though I got distracted before I finished playing all of it. But since it’s F2P, I can hop back in anytime I want.
- STO’s DOFF system- while STO will make up a large chunk of the Lows, the DOFF system is well done and fun to play.
- SWTOR Released: Due to the launch of this game, I never finished the LOTRO expansion or Skyrim. There’s always next year.
- STO saw very little content added to the game. The Foundry was a nice idea, but incomplete and hasn’t been touched since it was released. There was only one Featured Episode series this year and aside from the ground combat revamp (which was a positive) there was hardly anything added until the very end of the year, and that included a lot of stupid grindy changes.
- Bought Portal 2 on sale a week before it went on sale for half the price I paid for it. Still haven’t had time to play it yet. That’s for 2012.
- Found some good new tv this year: Burn Notice, Once Upon a Time, Psych
- Got a Kindle and have enjoyed reading from it.
- Google Music has worked great. I have all my music available from anywhere. Started working on getting all my pictures onto Picasa as well.
- No new Stargate. No new Star Trek. In fact, no new space based sci-fi TV period. That is a sad point for television.
- Was disappointed in several shows that I tried: Freaks and Geeks, Grimm, Person of Interest
- Occupy Movement kick started national awareness of the inequality of incomes and power amongst the majority of Americans.
- The 50 million Republican debates. Why are these a good thing? Because they’ve shown how idiotic all of the candidates are.
- End of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
- Withdrawal of final troops from Iraq.
- We may have gotten redistricted into Ron Paul’s district. At least this means I can vote against him, though he’s been in power so long it’s unlikely to make a difference.
- The whole debt ceiling non-issue that was turned into an issue and paralyzed the whole system.
- A completely ineffectual Congress
- Most people still have no idea what the Occupy movement is about. The media coverage has been terrible.
- My first novel was released! It has been one year since I quit my job and I managed to write, re-write, edit and get published one entire novel. I call that an accomplishment.
- I tried my hand at some short stories. I enjoyed the process, even though I don’t think any of them are fit for release.
- Not finding an agent or traditional publisher. You’d think this might be a down side, but I think I’ll be much happier working with GGP than I would have been with a big company. I have more control of my work and am more involved. There’s no big advance, but I’ll get more per book sale. Might not make as much, but I am not writing to become rich. That would just be a nice bonus.
- Despite every intention, I did not finish the first draft of book 2 before the end of the year.
I haven’t been posting lately because I am off surrounded by family. Should be back to a regular schedule after the new year.
Today marks 6months since I began this diversion into Blogdom. It has been an interesting experience. I love numbers so let’s take a look:
At the 3 month mark things looked like this:
- 1174 Unique Visitors
- 76 RSS Feeds
- 4861 Pageviews
- 216 Comments
- 114 Non-Spam Comments
Now, 3 months later we have:
- 4583 Unique Visitors
- 403 RSS Feeds
- 66,745 Pageviews
- 708 Comments
- 207 Non-Spam Comments
On first impression, it looks good. 4x the number of visitors and RSS feeds. 13x the number of pageviews. Quite a jump.
But I think it’s the non-spam comments that tell the true story. It held steady at about 100 in 3 months. If we compare these numbers from Statpress app I have installed to the Google Analytic numbers we see:
- 1,078 Unique Visitors
- 3,377 Pageviews
That is a quarter the amount. How do we get such drastically different numbers? Well, it comes down to what you count as a visitor. My understanding is that Google filters out bots and people that load for an incredibly short amount of time. So, I would say Google is more indicative of genuine visitors. Something else that might help demonstrate that; the total number of banned IP’s that have been blocked is 7,999. So, eight thousand times spam IP’s have attempted to access the site, after being sufficiently annoying to get banned. That gives a good idea where the 63,000 difference in pageviews is.
Now, for more fun data, let’s look at search terms and referrers:
Compare these to Googles data:
|swtor beta news + rogue||29||4.15%|
|the rogue blogger sto||24||3.44%|
|swtor legacy system||22||3.15%|
|sto engineer tank build||9||1.29%|
|swtor collectors edition||7||1.00%|
|legacy system swtor||5||0.72%|
The search terms are pretty similar. But the refers is drastically different. Google has filtered out all the spam sites that link here and just summarize real people. People clicking on links I post in Facebook is the clear winner. Followed once again by links from The Ancient Gaming Noob. The others mainly come from comments I’ve made on John Scalzi’s Whatever blog and guild/gaming sites I am a member of (STO Vets and d20radio).
What do I take away from all these numbers? Mostly, that Google seems more reliable than Statpress. That, and people will visit the site from a variety of sources, but not many come back on a regular basis. And SWTOR tags are the only main way strangers seem to find the site through search engines.
But I don’t write for the visitors (though, now that my books out, I wouldn’t complain about more people visiting and discovering the book and then buying it). This blog is just kind of a fun outlet for me to talk about whatever I want.
Oh, and spammers still suck.
I decided to change the name of one of my posts. It was title Star Wars Beta News because it was about the lifting of the journalist NDA on SWTOR. However, I was getting dozens of spam comments on it every day. My spammed comments went from 130 or so to 190 since Saturday. But that’s only part of the fun. Every spam comment’s IP address gets added to the Ban list. The number of blocked attempts by banned IP’s went from 150 or so to 1100 in that same time frame. That’s ridiculous.
So I changed the name, hoping it was the popular SWTOR and Beta connection that was bringing spammers here. Not sure if it will make a difference. But we’ll see. I wish I could figure out how to turn off comments for just one particular post, but I can’t seem to find that option.
For a month or two now, since I installed an IP ban program, the number of spam posts have gone down significantly. The number of real comments was climbing well ahead of spam comments. Last night, they fought back.
The ban program tracks attempts to access by banned IP’s. Yesterday, it was a little over 100. This mornings it’s 224. I also had around 30 new spam comments made and a dozen or so new IP’s to add to the ban list. Sadly, they succeeded in killing the ratio. It now stands at 143 real comments to 152 spammed comments.
Today marks three months since I decided to try this blog experiment. This almost marked post number 100, but will be post 102.
I’ve made it a point to try and make a post every week day. Sometimes I’ve done more than one, sometimes I’ve done some on the weekend. It’s been fun, having a place to just write whatever I feel like.
The site has had 1174 unique visitors, averaging 25 per day. There have been 76 RSS Feeds (which I think means people reading from an RSS reader). And 4861 Pageviews. Though, the 5 top days of unique visitors occurred at the beginning of September.
There have been 216 total comments, of which, 114 were not spam. That’s a pretty even ratio, but at least the non-spam is ahead slightly. Of those comments, I can recall only a small handful that were not people I know.
The vast majority of people have connected using Windows XP (1183, which is higher than the number of visitors, so I don’t know how these numbers are calculated). A surprising 38 people have connected using Windows 95. I wasn’t aware Windows 95 was still compatible with the internet.
Most people use a variation of Internet Explorer, though a respectable amount use Firefox. In third is Chrome.
Here are the top ten search terms:
Seems SWTOR topics are the main driver of visitors. All in all, not a huge showing from search engines. What is surprising is that my handle (Maarkean) and a friends (Lahbacca) have brought equal traffic. I wonder whose out there searching for Lahbacca?
My top referrers was the Rogue forums. A total of 53 times people clicked the link from there. Followed by that is other places on this website. A surprising 16 people came from The Ancient Gaming Noob, thanks Wilhelm.
I have no idea what these numbers actually translate to in terms of real people reading. Have 1000 real people read the blog? Are there really 75 real people subscribed to it via RSS? Or are the majority of those visitors spam bots? If we use the comments as a comparison, maybe 500 real people have visited the site. That’s not to bad I guess.
If there are any real people reading that have blogs of their own, how does 1128 visitors in the first three months look? Good? Pathetic?
Really Netflix? You’re splitting DVD’s into it’s own company called Qwikster? I was okay with the prices going up, but splitting the company?
A) It’s a stupid name.
B) I don’t want to have to maintain two queues.
C) I’m okay with paying for the joint subscription even though I don’t use my DVD’s all that frequently. Splitting the services is going to make me more likely to cancel my DVD plan.
D) I like the combined queue that let’s me know when things that are in the DVD track become available for streaming.
E) How can you afford all of the things you have on streaming, if the revenue from slacker DVD renters isn’t covering part of the costs? I want the selection to grow, not shrink.
The only positive from this, is that it looks like they may be adding video games to their rentals. Now, if this is integrated, that is cool. If this is another separate, or higher charge, not cool.