9AM Wednesday 11/5/2011

Feijoas and the mower man, kitchen arrangements and a quick trip to meet the ‘PD boys’. Work on Abbie’s new OC. The book is called May 2011 because it is being made in May 2011; the first Blurb book I have made although I have tried. The book is courtesy a collaborative marketing exercise by Blurb and Zenfolio. The photos were taken between May 2010 and May 2011. Not sure how many pages I’m allowed – forum hunting hasn’t helped. To the value of $35US or so? No, around $30US.

20 Things I learned About The Internet

This is a really good reference.

A fun guidebook from Google on things you’ve always wanted to know about browsers & the web (but were afraid to ask).

20 Things I learned About The Internet

A helpful place to start is near the Very Beginning: 1974. That was the year that a few smart computer researchers invented something called the Internet Protocol Suite, TCP/IP for short. TCP/IP created a set of rules that allowed computers to “talk” to each other and send information back and forth.

20 Things I learned About The Internet

Finding stuff on the Internet camfind.co.nz & wwwmedia.co.nz

camfind.co.nz c/w wwwmedia.co.nz c/w google.co.nz

I’ve worked steadily for the past two years to build a relationship with Google, so the indexing of the Monavale Homestead article post posted this morning came back within 30 seconds. This is as much to do with the absolute uniqueness of the subject matter as it is in the way I have treated it. Out there we have yellow.co.nz struggling  for relevance – yes, I do use the white pagesNZ Post is up to something (I’m not sure quite what) and I do use this. camfind.co.nz is already cool – but this wwwmedia.co.nz thing is completely lost on me. Finding stuff on the Internet using Google (the default search engine by a county mile) is easy if said material is unique and correctly presented.

Finally published 16/12/2010

michaeljeans.co.nz | michaeljeans.com following the stats.

Screen grab 2010-10-28-2357

One of the things one does, when blogging, is to watch the incoming stats. This does become a bit of an obsession. I use the inbuilt WordPress.COM stats which shows page views, made public as above, set when I moved to this platform in September 2008. Also public is Sitemeter (which shows both unique visitor numbers and page views along with a whole bunch of other stuff) going back 12 months and the fun FEEDJIT Live which displays visitors in real time along with the page/post they landed on. In terms of staying on top of my game the visitor search terms revealed in the WP.COM stats influence my use of tags and categories and to some extent the titles I use for new posts and the SEO friendly excerpts that compliment them. Lastly we have this which is a list of NZ based blogs (those with public stats.) that can, at the best of times, be a bit flaky – which, at the time of writing 1102 3/11/2010, is showing no data. If you look here the monthly aggregation of this data has me at 61 out of about 230. I first appear on this list in May 2010; 63rd of 163 then June 2010; 46/186, July 2010; 68/198, August 2010; 74/214, September 2010; 69/227 and again October at 61/226. All this suggests that folk are visiting specific subject posts – those indexed by Google (c/w michaeljeans.com) – and that I have a modest daily following. Nice!

*michaeljeans.co.nz 2010-11-03-1122 About 5,900 results (0.13 seconds)
**michaeljeans.com 2010-11-03-1122 About 3,320 results (0.12 seconds)

Down to the Wire, the story of New Zealand’s Internet

Cool. AND Flying Nun – in the year of – downloads to boot.

In the end, we won through, and in April, New Zealand became the first country in the Pacific region with a full and direct connection to the US Internet backbone. NASA itself had agreed to pay for half of the 9.6kbit/s undersea link from Hawaii through to Waikato University.



michaeljeans.co.nz – browser share

Browser share MichaelJeans.co.nz

There are no surprises about these percentages. Internet Explorer accounts for 57% of browsers used to visit my website. Though, as noted elsewhere, folk still using IE6 will not see the website as intended. Upgrade! Safari comes in at 25%, Firefox at 13% with Opera at 2%. I have recently returned to Opera (10) and find it is excellent. My favourites are in inverse order to these stats. Opera, Safari and Chrome (which surprisingly does not figure – perhaps it is bundled in with Safari – a close relative) are all great. Firefox, I haven’t been so happy with recently and I really do steer away from IE. And that’s about it. Funny old world.

© Michael Jeans | +64 27 496 3802 | galleries | michael@michaeljeans.co.nz

Extending WordPress – WP3.0

I haven’t spent much time with the .ORG version of WordPress recently but now have a couple of projects, on that platform, in need of attention. So, I returned last night to Whitehall.CO.NZ – neglected for the past 10 months – and had a play. Updating to WordPress (Version 3.0) – the version released in the past few days – is now fully automated, as is the bulk updating of installed plugins (a new feature). BTW I make the point, when asked (well, so does everyone else); WordPress.ORG (selfhosted) is the more flexible, the more exciting, and if you have the time, the more extendible – while WordPress.COM (WordPress hosted) is, for the content provider who doesn’t want to be bothered with too much computer geekery, the safe, cuddly, secure choice. There is a third way, I have only become aware of recently, which sort of sits between the two – here is a good example Waihi East Primary School. I have only had a cursory look at this and their web host provider – but it appears to be the best of both worlds (while you are there you had better get your head around this). There are bound to be others offering a version of this service. If you are tossing up between the various WordPress options have a look here first: About WordPress. If you want to go down the self hosted track read this: WordPress hosting. If not rock on over to WordPress.COM and create an account (you will want to create a .COM account whatever you decide – to handle spam and stats.) and have a play, it’s free and you can’t break anything. Anyway back at Whitehall.CO.NZ;  I had a play with a grid theme to come up with this for a front page:


I’m fairly certain I could have done this with WP2.9 but never got around to it. Also, in my rush, I have over looked the fact that this theme is not listed as being 3.0 compatible – and that it appears to be based on code that is most probably much more flexible than I have the time to delve into. It is not quite what I want but the idea is there. Oh, and if you haven’t heard about WordCamp then check this out. I’m going to WordCampNZ in August.

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Google stats. – yeah well!!

Idle curiosity, on my part, as michaeljeans.co.nz lurches toward 50,000 page views in 19 months. Here are the page rankings (Google) of selected Cambridge NZ related and / or based websites (a stab in the dark guestimation – there are somewhere between 500 – 1,000 ‘Cambridge NZ’ websites – probably closer to the lower number).

  • ew.govt.nz | Google PR 6 | Google index 7210 | Age 11/5/2000
  • waipadc.govt.nz | Google PR 5 | Google index 2110 | Age 1/3/2000
  • cambridge.co.nz | Google PR 5 | Google index 180 | Age 6/12/1998
  • stpeters.school.nz | Google PR 5 | Google index 243 | Age 28/11/2000
  • quoteunquotenz.blogspot.com | Google PR 5 | Google index 269 | Age n/a (at least 10 I think)
  • cambridgemuseum.org.nz | Google PR 4 | Google index 349 | Age 12/12/2002
  • shoof.co.nz | Google PR 4 | Google index 157 | Age 20/5/2000
  • michaeljeans.co.nz | Google PR 2 | Google index 839 | Age 30/8/2000
  • accommodationcambridge.co.nz | Google PR 2 | Google index 109 | Age n/a (3 – 4 I think?)
  • yourcambridgenews.com | Google PR 2 | Google Index 7 | Age n/a (< 2)
  • quemagazine.co.nz | Google PR 2 | Google Index 8 | Age n/a (< 1)
  • cambridgerealestate.net.nz | Google PR 1 | Google index 283 | Age 28/2/1989

Tracking Google stats., for a variety of reasons, is both frustrating and, well, more frustrating – I’ve been following Cambridge’s internet profile for some time – but what it really, really means I truly have few ideas.

That Environment Waikato‘s site is the most SOE friendly is of no surprise. No surprise, also, for one of the lowest ranking; Your Cambridge News which is almost completely PDF based and essentially invisible to Google. Que‘s site while most probably well engineered does not feature enough unique material to rank. But then I can’t explain Cambridge Real Estate at all as Google Alerts delivers listings almost daily, from this site, depending upon the configuration used.

Looks like WordPress.COM does SOE better than Google’s own Blogspot platform as Stephen’s blog has a much higher profile than mine.

Cambridge Museum publishes its visitor figures; the most recent being for March 2010 (3491 visitors with 41,226 page views) – michaeljeans.co.nz for the same period (1500 and 2500) – so no comparison really. But, and this is the bit I fail to grasp fully, in this admittedly biased and skewed ‘sample’ I come in 3rd in terms of page indexing – though it is page indexing I am looking for.

My mission (obsession?) to put Cambridge NZ stories (OK, so most of my stories are photographs) on the web stands at: Cambridge (485), Lake Karapiro (109), Leamington (197) not to mention other Cambridge catchment related material (800+ pages). In early 2010 I’ve temporarily eased off Cambridge (as I work on other projects). BTW my website also has a significant Taranaki focus and a recent spike in traffic is related to the recent women’s surfing tour – something I have had absolutely nothing to do with – and photographs I published 15 months ago. If you are interested the most popular list down the right hand side of my site gives you a quick snapshot of what is currently popular here.

So what am I saying? I’m saying the slog – and it has at times been a huge slog – to provide variety and depth to the Cambridge ‘stories’ permanently available on the web is evolving – but slowly. My score ‘Could do better’.

BTW my website costs are approximately $1300 a year – (breakdown: website including domain name $50 pa, image server $170 pa, video server $100 pa, broadband $960 pa (250GB). Content: priceless :) I dare not think!!

Everything is hosted in California.

If anyone has any thoughts I would love to hear.

Notes Google PR 0 = not good, 10 = best. SOE = Search Engine Optimised / Optimisation. For the purposes of this discussion I am completely ignoring website linking – which I currently do not pursue.

Blogging Cambridge NZ

Visitors. Gardeners, sellers of art – though mention of Main Street and Victoria Park suggests zero local knowledge. Wings over Cambridge and it’s associated forums. This seems popularself promotion. Oh and this chap – I guess I mention his name from time to time is following me on Twitter. That was him this is me. Our local wedding video empire – with an oh so cute Maungakawa road trip – short but sweet. And last but not least this – though I think we are merely the random location in someone else’s masterpiece.

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Marketing Cambridge NZ badly

Not sure where this literary gem escaped from but have seen it off and on recently. I assume it is harvested by links spammers and regurgitated to increase visitor numbers for said spammer(s) – but not the Cambridge New Zealand hosts, vendors and service providers.

Cambridge is a slightly smaller township in the New Zealand’s Waikato region of the North Island, located 24 kilometres southeast of Hamilton, on the Waikato River. Cambridge is known as “The Town of Trees” and the town is now also renowned for its thoroughbred horse stables, many which have produced champion horses in international racing and showjumping competitions.

Google found me ninety-five references using the same text. And what about this confusion?

While visiting Waikato or Cambridge, NZ there are many holiday attractions to experience. Other items of interest within Cambridge, New Zealand, include the New Zealand Horse Magic show, farm tours, or browsing art, craft and antique shops. See New Zealand’s largest collection of dolls, toys and teddy bears at The Castle or the Kiwi House and aviary in Otorohanga, a location where the kiwi is bred in captivity.

Besides the lost in translation style, the original source appears just a little suss as well.

Source: Google Alerts

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World famous in Cambridge NZ

Yes, it’s those blokes with the ‘elevated’ ride-on mower.

I mean, the manual for the ride-on lawnmower did not specifically state that you couldn’t raise it up with a crane to trim the top of a very large hedge, so that’s just what two lunatics from Cambridge New Zealand did.

gizmodo.com gizmodo au

Update: The original story

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Tracking visitors


We are trying to work out what Google is up to. I’m trying to understand page ranking as distinct from page indexing. It’s a bit of a mystery. The past fifteen months has seen a steady climb in daily visitor numbers here and to another site for which I am responsible. A few days ago the other site hit a blip – a sudden dive in visitor numbers. A quick look around confirms that while Google continues to index the other site (2000+ for Google and 1000+ with Yahoo – similar numbers to mine) page rankings enjoyed over the past six months have all but disappeared. We have a number of theories and intend to workshop the issue with an SEO expert tomorrow morning. I monitor both sites with the page view info that comes with WordPress.com and with Site Meter. Today I embedded FEEDJIT Live which tracks current visitors, into my sidebar. If you click the image above you can watch it in action. All of which tells me all I really need to know about visitors but little about how to maintain and indeed increase visitor numbers. Both sites are updated regularly (at least four times a week) and feature almost exclusively, original material. As always there is much to learn.

Update: Google is currently showing about 330 indexed pages from michaeljeans.co.nz ??Yahoo remains at 1500+.

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Ephemeral whimsy in willow at Wisley

Photo Abbie Jury

From what I can see from his list, Rangitikei artist Steuart Welch from Cannock Forge is bringing to us pieces from both ends of the spectrum – big bold statement pieces which require a truck to move and some which represent the whimsical aspect of his nature. We are really looking forward to seeing the effect of placing such strong pieces in our garden and learning first hand how to tread that line between enhancing a vision and dominating it. The works will remain in place throughout our Rhododendron Festival until the second week of November.

Abbie Jury: Sculpture in the garden

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Shoof Cambridge NZ at World Dairy Expo

Geoff and Beverly Laurent and their Shoof International Company came from Cambridge, New Zealand to exhibit their animal equipment.
“We first came to World Dairy Expo in 1983,” Geoff says. “The show and our company have both grown a lot over the years.”
Geoff was a dairy farmer in New Zealand and started his company with one product, the Shoof. Their catalog calls it a shoe for a cow’s hoof. The Shoof protects the hoof when medication and a bandage are applied to treat lameness.

Cross Country: Innovations in farming big part of World Dairy Expo

29 September – 3 October 2009 Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

World Dairy Expo

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The Keys and Obamas

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama pose for a photo during a reception at the Metropolitan Museum in New York with T.R.H. John Key, M.P. Prime Minister of New Zealand and his wife Mrs. Bronagh Key, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

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