Social Media Sunday: On The Scheduling Madness

Just hammering out an update on the scheduling madness. If you you got a link in for the blog party before I left the comment saying I was visiting and did not receive a comment from me, let me know. Seriously I did my best to visit them all, but I was in the zone and might have made a random oversight, and I am trying to get better at this thing. I’ve scheduled Tweets of all the links to go out between now and Wednesday and tagged authors if I could find Twitter accounts for them.

Just looking at what I got this week from Twitter. Twelve scheduled tweets a day isn’t worth the work that goes into maintaining that pace, until I get a lot better at composing Tweets, so I’ve easing off.

The new schedule:TwitterSuzie

  • Monday-Friday: Four afternoon tweets at two hour intervals between 1 pm and 7 pm Eastern.
  • Saturdays: Six tweets beginning at 10 am Eastern and ending around 7 pm.
  • Sundays: Six tweets beginning at 5 am Eastern and ending around 7 pm.
  • Sometimes, the links come to this blog. Sometimes they go to everyone else. Boom or bust.

With the number of tweets I still have piled up, I should be able to maintain this schedule indefinitely. I’ve got @Sourcererblog scheduled through Friday, June 5 as of this minute. It’s a mixture of links, photos, videos, shoutouts, and random stuff like Twitter-wanking and quotes from the TV Tropes Evil Overlord List.

Something I am finding: referrals go up when you get on Twitter and engage with people. We’ve done better here this week for Twitter referrals than we’ve done in a while, but not so much better for me to justify managing an around-the clock queue, and the referrals are really only up during the times I’ve actually been active on Twitter.

I’ve got my unfollowers cleaned up and am planning to delete my lists and revamp the Tweetdeck setup so I’m tweeting entirely from mentions, notifications, and hashtags soon. I know a prodigious number of good hashtags at this point, and nearly everyone who’s really interacting with me on Twitter has at least one they use often, so I can probably just keep up with most of you that way and with a couple of private lists I have for close friends and contributors.

This is an ongoing process, so will take a while, but eventually I’ll have a lighter schedule for @justgeneo and it will be for tweeting #weekendcoffeeshare, #1000Speak, and #atozchallenge links to various other hashtags.

Have a great week!

Blogging A to Z Day 16: N is for Neptune (Poseidon)

I’m sure you’re familiar with Greek and Roman mythology, or you’d at least recognise the crazy-eyed, snake-haired monster with killer looks (that’s Medusa by the way!) The Greek Olympians are an intriguing, incestuous bunch of immortals, and I find them highly entertaining. So here’s a crazy idea, let’s treat them like the celebrities they no doubt were, and give them five-minutes of fame (or in this case a profile).

DEITY PROFILE:

Neptune, also known as Poseidon, is a power-hungry sea god, with a habit of losing his temper. Since his Greek publicity team tend to be the most influential (most resources follow Poseidon’s adventures), we’ll be deferring to them.

Poseidon is one of the twelve great Olympians, and a descendent of the Titans. He has the ability to generate savage sea storms, summon sea monsters and cause landslides and floods. He is considered by many as second in command to Zeus.

Greek Name Poseidon
Best Known for/Powers: Carries a trident (three pronged spear), which has many uses; such as summoning water (springs) from the earth, or generating sea storms. Poseidon has the power to shapeshift into any animal or mortal he chooses. Some of his more famous transformations are the horse, and ram.
General Opinion/Personal life: He has a reputation for being a violent god, one best avoided if possible. He answers only to Zeus and even then, his brother cannot always rein him in. He is feared by all, especially seafarers.
Appearance:

by Jinjorz (Deviant Art): Digital Art/Drawings & Paintings/Fantasy ©2010-2015 Jinjorz

by Jinjorz (Deviant Art): Digital Art/Drawings & Paintings/Fantasy ©2010-2015 Jinjorz

Tall, with a long flowing beard – he is rarely without his trident.
Siblings: Zeus; Hera; Hades; Demeter; Hestia
Spouse: Amphitrite
Other Associations: Like his brother, Zeus, Poseidon has taken many lovers – here are a few of his better known conquests:

Aethra: after leaving Aegeus’ bed (ruler of Athens), Aethra was approached by Poseidon and the pair made love (opinions vary on whether this was consensual).

Amymone: one of the fifty daughters of King Danaus. Poseidon rescued her from a satyr and as a reward he courted Amymone himself.

Demeter: his sister. Demeter transformed herself into a mare to escape Poseidon’s advances. This did not put him off though – he transformed into a stallion and mated with her in a pasture (they were both still in horse form).

Iphimedia: unhappily married to Poseidon’s son. Driven by her love for Poseidon, she set out to lure him – walking along the edge of the sea and stopping by the water to gain his attention. Their union resulted in two sons.

Medusa: a Gorgon (with snakes for hair and a stare that could turn anyone into stone). Some believe Medusa was once very beautiful and caught Poseidon’s eye. He approached her in one of Athena’s temples and they made love. This was unacceptable to the virgin goddess Athena, so she turned Medusa into a horrifying creature as punishment (she also told Perseus how to slay Medusa).

Theophane: very beautiful young girl with many suitors. Poseidon stole her away and took her to an island. When her suitors followed, Poseidon turned her into a sheep, along with everyone else on the island. He then turned himself into a ram and mated with Theophane while they both held their animal form.

Thoosa: daughter of Phorcys (a son of Gaia). Not much is known about this love affair.

Children: (With Amphitrite): Benthesicyme; Rhode; Triton.

(With Aethra): Theseus (some say Aegeus is the father).

(With Amymone): Nauplius.

(With Demeter): Desponia; Arion.

(With Iphimedia): Giants – Ephialtes; Otus (some say Iphimedia isn’t the biological mother).

(With Medusa): Chrysaor; Pegasus.

(With Theophane): a son who was never named – ram with a fleece of gold.

(With Thoosa): Polyphemus (Cyclops).

Enemies: There is considerable animosity between Poseidon and Athena. Here are just some of their disagreements:

Though Poseidon is god of the sea, Athena brought the art of shipbuilding to mortals (he blames her for brining man to the seas).

Poseidon is the god of horses and though there is some contention about whether he created or tamed them, Athena angered him further when she brought the bridle to mortals.

They fought for possession of the city Athens – Poseidon struck the ground at Acropolis with his trident and created a spring, and Athena planted an olive tree. Zeus interceded and though there are differing views on how the battle was decided, the fact remains, Athena won.

Poseidon has lost quite a few battles when it comes to city patronage. He was defeated when coming up against Dionysus (for Naxos); Apollo (for Delphi); Athena – again (for Troezen); Hera (for Argos), and Zeus (for Aegina).

Poseidon is the divine enemy of Odysseus because he blinded his son, Polyphemus. Poseidon is said to have shipwrecked Odysseus and delayed his return home to Ithaca for ten years.

He sent a bull from the sea to destroy a man named Hippolytus.

Trivia: His power extends beyond the sea to both lakes and freshwater springs. Some say he also controls the rivers (though rivers have their own, lesser deities.

Even though he has power over the sea, this is not enough for Poseidon – he believes he deserves more. His greed led him to challenge Zeus for power, but the plan failed.Poseidon believes he can heighten his standing by attaining the most patron cities, and does whatever he can to gain favour in as many cities as possible.

At Corinth, the Greeks celebrate one of the greatest athletics competitions in Poseidon’s honour.

Poseidon and Apollo were forced to help Laomedon, the king of Troy, to build walls around his city – as punishment for participating in the uprising against Zeus. They were to be compensated, but Laomedon refused, even though it took a full year to build. As revenge, Apollo sent a great plague to the city and Poseidon sent a sea monster. Though Apollo was satisfied with this, Poseidon wasn’t – he later sided with the Greeks in their battle against Troy (or at least until it suited him to change sides). He made it hard for everyone during the Trojan War.

A softer side: Poseidon is capable of kindness. Some of his acts include:

Allowing twin brothers Castor and Pollux a bit of his power – the ability to calm the seas. He also named them protectors of sailors (giving away some of his glory).

When Ino and her son Melicertes threw themselves into the sea, Poseidon took pity on them and turned them into sea deities.

He also gives away horses as a gift to those he favours.

References: The Everything Classical Mythology Book, by Lesley Bolton; The British Museum Pocket Dictionary of Greek and Roman Gods and Goddesses, by Richard Wolf, and 30-Second Mythology, edited by Robert A. Segal.

Quarterly Blogwanking: Spring 2015

I pulled the quarterly stats Sunday morning, so I’ve not captured the entire month of March, but I decided to go ahead and do this before the A to Z Challenge starts so we can see where we are going in. As always, I’m not bragging nor complaining. I do these because I always learn things when other bloggers share their stats, and I have friends who like this stuff.

We’ve had a stellar quarter both here and at Part Time Monster. I knew January would be good, but February and March have exceeded my expectations and compared to how we ended 2014, the Monster is absolutely killing it. I am curious about two things going forward:

  1. What’s the A to Z Challenge going to do for our traffic and engagement?
  2. Is the increased traffic we’ve seen this quarter sustainable, or are we in for a huge dip later in the year like we saw in 2014?

Here are Sourcerer’s monthly views. I went ahead and included them all so we can compare them to last year’s.

Sourcerer_Stats_2015_03_29January of this year was comparable to January of 2014, but we didn’t see the huge drop-off in February and March this year that we saw last year. That’s because January of last year was a lucky month — we had the Zero-to-Hero Challenge, a weekend where the entire southeastern U.S. was snowed in to binge on the Internet, and some lucky Stumbles. This year, we got the numbers in January by blogging consistently, and we’ve been able to maintain that consistency for the entire quarter.

I don’t expect to reach 3400 views for March, but it’s going to be close. I’m interested to see what we get the first week of April. I think we should see a nice bump, but I don’t know how much of the traffic growth I’m expecting in April we’ll be able to hang on to. We didn’t do A to Z here last year, but it got me my best month of 2014 at my personal blog.

The traffic at my personal blog settled back to the normal level pretty quickly once April was over last year. That doesn’t mean much, though. A to Z took so much out of me last year I had to shut my personal blog down for a couple of weeks to get Sourcerer back on track. I’m hoping I’ve done a good enough job with the planning this year to just keep rolling once April is over.

Now, Part Time Monster’s monthly totals.

PTM_Stats_2015_03_29The Monster’s last three months are the best quarter Diana and I have had at any of our blogs since we started, and it’s the #WeekendCoffeeShare that’s driving this increase. March looks better than it actually is, because Diana got more than 800 views on March 12-14 from someone Stumbling one of her posts, and that’s not a predictable source of traffic. Even when we correct for that, though, the Monster’s had a good month.

Sourcerer and Part Time Monster have run neck-in-neck for views most of the time we’ve been blogging. We’ve rarely ended a month more than 1,000 views apart. When one pulls ahead, the other always catches up. I’ve said several times that I thought PTM was pulling away and been wrong, but I think it’s happening now.

Just in general, the Monster is a better blog for getting views because Diana gets the same amount of traffic for a lot less work than I put into Sourcerer, which is a bit of a high-maintenance operation. Just to give you a frame of reference, PTM has published 550 posts since we started. We’ve published 775 here.

The #WeekendCoffeeShare has made me a believer in the power of linkups, so once A to Z is done, a Sourcerer-appropriate weekend linkup is my next project. And as for the StumbleUpon luck – that’s not going to be luck forever. We will learn how to use StumbleUpon effectively, even if it takes me all of next year to figure out how. And that’s likely the last network I’m going to need to solve.

This is not to suggest that you should run out and get yourself a linkup without thinking about what you’re hoping to accomplish. Linkups have to be well-crafted to appeal to a lot of people, and they have to attract people who actually visit the other blogs on the linkup. Otherwise, they’re just more work for very little gain. But I’ve seen enough good ones to put one together for this blog and have a chance at success with it.

In the meantime, I am interested in seeing how April plays out for these two blogs. Here’s why.

  • We have consecutive list placement and a lot of mutual friends who are near us on the list, and we typically post an hour apart.
  • We’re both doing A to Z with contributors, and we are writing posts for one another, but Diana has fewer contributors than Sourcerer.
  • We’re both planning to visit the same number of blogs, but Diana will be visiting more because she’s a helper, and so she has extra ones to visit.

I am curious to compare our daily totals, and to see how the #WeekendCoffeeShare, which will continue in April, plays into the numbers. Here’s a brief run-down of our quarterly referrals and top posts.

Sourcerer’s Top Posts

  • One of Jeremy’s Batman posts that gets Google search hits every day,
  • A big bunch of Luther’s Walking Dead recaps,
  • Rebecca’s review of Disclaimer,
  • Natacha’s post on Star Wars and long-lasting franchises,
  • David’s Agents of Shield post that ran during the break in Agent Carter, and
  • the A to Z reveal. Nothing else generated more than 100 post views this quarter.

Sourcerer’s Top Referrers

  • Search Engines (3,200)
  • The WordPress reader (500)
  • Twitter (360)
  • Facebook (260)

No other single source generated 100 referrals.

Part Time Monster’s Top Posts

I’m not going to run them down, but PTM has 20 posts that generated more than 100 views for the quarter. These fall into several categories.

  • Old posts that generate consistent search traffic.
  • Weekend Coffee share posts (nearly all have generated more than 100 post views).
  • Event-oriented posts like the two Feminist Fridays, Diana’s #1000Speak post, and her A to Z Theme reveal.

Part Time Monster’s Top Referrers

  • Search engines (2500)
  • StumbleUpon (652, but this number looks low to me and the stumbled post was viewed more than 800 times)
  • WordPress Reader (560)
  • Twitter (500)
  • Facebook (250)
  • Email (175)

Interestingly, Part Time Monster received about 1000 more front page views than Sourcerer this quarter. I’m assuming a lot of these views are repeat visits from people checking the coffee share linkup periodically on the weekends. Just as a bonus, here’s the traffic spike from the StumbleUpon hit on March 12-14.

PTM_spike_2015_03_29Since this occurred Thursday-Saturday and coincided with the coffee share linkup, it got Part Time Monster our two best days ever for views.

Happy April! Best of luck with A to Z if you’re participating. If not, stop by for our A to Z posts. In general, our April posts will be our standard fare, only the posts will be shorter and we’ll have two posts on a few days of the week that we generally only have one.

To Friends and Contributors RE: Blogging A to Z April Challenge

184080 cover.inddFriends:

The page labels on the A to Z blog have been changed to 2015. What once was the 2014 list is now a “coming soon” notice. The imminent arrival of this year’s badge was announced last week. If you know you are doing the challenge and want to get in early, which I highly recommend, you should follow the A to Z blog by email for the next week or two 😉 I follow them all year long. They post some good stuff.

If you tweet with me and you want play A to Z games on Twitter during the run-up and the challenge, let me know. I’ve got @AprilA2Z and a few friends who are already in on a Twitter list. I will be happy to add you to it. I informed Twitter of this development last night.

Just looking at the timestamps from my inbox, the A to Z blog seems to be posting between 12 am and 5 am Pacific Time, most commonly at 1 or 2, but often at 5. I don’t do well converting Pacific time eastward, for some reason. Find yourself an app and work it out. Of the last 20-odd posts I have received, a few came through at midnight Pacific, and only one posted at 7 am.

Contributors and Guest Bloggers (High Priority!):

Our working A to Z schedule is on a page at Just Gene’O. Unless someone has a last-minute problem and can’t do the posts they are listed for, we are down to three letters: N, O, and Y. I am perfectly willing to write these three posts, and to fill in if someone has to bow out later in the year. For now, these letters are open on a first-come, first served basis to current contributors until January 31.sourcerer

For ties, best topic wins the day. I am giving priority through the weekend to contributors who came on board after the invitations went out and were not asked to join in because I didn’t want to ask too much of new contributors. You can say you want one of these letters on the public threads, but please do not discuss specific topics on the blog or on the Facebook timeline. That is for email or private messaging. The theme and topic reveal is an event. We don’t want the specifics to get out early because it ruins the suspense.

Ideally these posts will be 350-500 words (400 is perfection), include a single piece of creditable art, and include one link to a friend or to a post from our archives. Should be representative of our everyday content. If you write for the challenge here, linking to your own blog is acceptable and encouraged. Giving yourself incoming links from this blog is one of the perks of contributing. I will add official A to Z art as the featured image to display in the WordPress reader, and include a standard blurb that links to the A to Z blog list once the posts are in.

Those of you with access to the queue will see some draft skeletons for my posts appear in the next couple of weeks. Pay attention to the headline structure and follow it with your posts, but keep the content amongst thineselves, please. We are not interrupting our features to do this. We’ll just have an extra post every day in April.

This is my personal surivor badge. I earned it fair and square. No one can take it away from me. Sourcerer needs one of these.

My personal survivor badge. Earned it fair and square. Sourcerer needs one.

We’re getting a collective survivor badge, and we’re making some new friends in April.

Those of you who are also in on the Feminist Friday Project:

I’m posting the first front page announcement at Just Gene’O later this week so I can have it to share all over the Internet this weekend.

Everyone Else:

Emanuel_WynneStay tuned for Melissa’s first Arrow post later today.

Things are coming together nicely.

That is all, mateys.

Credits: World Domination Meme by Deviant Artist Shirekat. A to Z Survivor badge by Jeremy of Being Retro. The Emanuel Wynne jolly roger is a public domain image.