Meet Your Guest Admins
As I mentioned earlier this month, today is my first anniversary, and to celebrate, my wife and I are taking a vacation abroad. (We'll be going to Spain, where hopefully I'll be able to avoid the vicious hordes of elderly Catholics.) We'll be away from this coming Friday until Memorial Day weekend, and I'll probably have limited internet access. But never fear, Daylight Atheism won't go dark while I'm gone. I've found some guest editors to keep an eye on the site, approve comments, and write new posts to keep things lively around here.
There'll be three guest administrators minding the store this time. Returning from last time are SuperHappyJen and Ritchie, who did a superb job while I was away on my honeymoon and whom I have no doubt will do so again. For the third, please welcome Leah, whom you may already know as the author of Unequally Yoked. Be sure to thank them for volunteering! I'm eager to see what they come up with.
Call for Guest Admins
As regular readers might remember, I got married last May. Well, I'm fast approaching my first anniversary (holy cow, it's been almost a year already?!), and MissCherryPi and I are planning to go on a trip to Spain later this month, the week of May 22, to celebrate.
Since I'll likely have very limited internet access and less time for writing while I'm away, I'd like to find a few capable individuals who can write guest posts, approve comments, and generally keep Daylight Atheism lively in my absence. The last time I did this, during my honeymoon, it worked out splendidly, and I'm hoping to repeat that success. There are only a few simple administrative things that need doing, which I'd be glad to explain, and in exchange, you can post here as often as you wish (and in fact the more often, the better). Anyone interested in volunteering?
Poll and Open Thread: Social Media
A while back, I put a social media widget from AddThis on the site (the "Bookmark/Share This" link at the bottom of each post). I've been checking its analytics and found that it hardly gets any use at all, so I think it's about time to terminate that experiment.
However, I haven't decided what to replace it with, and I'm wondering if you all have any opinions. What social media sites do you use? Which ones have the largest atheist communities generally? I've had some success with StumbleUpon, Facebook and Reddit, but there are probably others I don't know about.
Also, if you have an opinion on this, where's the line between making it easy for people to discover/spread a post they like, and being obnoxious with self-promotion? I've considered putting up one of those widgets that tracks the number of Facebook/Twitter/etc. shares a post gets, but I wonder if that would be hypocritical since I personally don't like Facebook or Twitter. Would you make use of a widget like this? Would you find it distracting and annoying? Your thoughts would be much appreciated.
What do you think of social-networking widgets?
- I use the one that's currently installed (4%, 9 Votes)
- I don't use this one, but might use a different one (6%, 12 Votes)
- I don't use them (90%, 193 Votes)
Total Voters: 214
What social-networking sites are best for atheists?
- Facebook (56%, 63 Votes)
- Reddit (36%, 40 Votes)
- Digg (10%, 11 Votes)
- Twitter (23%, 26 Votes)
- StumbleUpon (11%, 12 Votes)
- Other (please specify in comments) (17%, 19 Votes)
Total Voters: 112
Daylight Atheism: Anniversary #5
As of today, I've officially been doing this blogging thing for five years. Hard to believe, isn't it?
An anniversary seems like a good time to reflect on statistics, so here are some numbers. Since February 2006, Daylight Atheism has had 1,265 posts, 42,573 comments, and 7.8 million total views, representing about 1.2 million unique visitors. So far this year, I'm averaging over 11,000 total hits and over 3,000 unique visitors per day, which is well above the historical norm. As of today, the single most-viewed post of all time is September 2008's Ten Questions to Ask Your Pastor, with over 70,000 individual page views.
I realize this is far from the most heavily trafficked weblog out there, but in my completely unbiased opinion, it's one of the best, and I think most of the credit goes to the guest authors and the commenters. There are sites with much greater hit totals that don't have nearly as vibrant a community of contributors, and I'm grateful to every person who's taken the time to write a comment or a guest post. (Yes, I'm even grateful to the proselytizing trolls. After all, without them to practice on, how would the rest of us keep our rhetorical sabers sharp?) It's all of you, not me, who make Daylight Atheism the lively place it is and keep it from being just me shouting into the wind. I tip my hat to all of you, and thanks!
If you all don't mind indulging my curiosity, I'm interested to know some of the demographics of my readership. I'm giving this poll plugin a test drive, and I'd be much obliged if you'd cast your vote below [UPDATE — I've belatedly added a third option to the gender poll. Thanks to the commenters who pointed this out]:
What is your gender?
- Male (81%, 516 Votes)
- Female (18%, 118 Votes)
- Genderqueer (1%, 6 Votes)
Total Voters: 640
What is your age?
- < 18 (2%, 14 Votes)
- 18 - 21 (10%, 66 Votes)
- 22 - 30 (34%, 224 Votes)
- 31 - 40 (19%, 125 Votes)
- 41 - 50 (14%, 95 Votes)
- 51 - 60 (12%, 82 Votes)
- > 60 (9%, 52 Votes)
Total Voters: 658
Finally, consider this an open thread. What's your opinion on the way Daylight Atheism is run? What do you want to see more of? Less of? Are there any issues that should be getting greater mention that I've overlooked?
New Translation on Ebon Musings
Several of the major essays on Ebon Musings have been translated into French and Spanish by much-appreciated volunteers, but I'm really pleased to announce this new one: a Greek translation of "A Ghost in the Machine", contributed by EvanT of On the Way to Ithaca. Thanks, Evan, for your dedication and hard work!
Evan also informs me that he's translating Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason into Greek; you can see the results of that effort here. We have reason to believe that this is the first time Paine's masterwork has ever been made available in that language. Considering that Greece was the birthplace of Western skepticism, it's a long-overdue reunion.
Anyone else interested in helping write translations of this or any other essay on my site? Send me an e-mail and let me know - volunteers are always welcome.
As you all may know, I try to make my blogroll a list of sites that I personally know, like and recommend, not just the equivalent of a telephone directory. Usually, I don't even consider adding new sites until they're at least a couple of months old, because I like to get a feel for the author's voice and see if their beliefs resonate with mine. But I have to make an exception just this once, because the author of this new site happens to be the person I'm married to, and I'm pretty sure our views are in harmony. Yes, I've finally transmitted the blogging virus to her - and it only took about five years...
So, if you're inclined, go visit Political Flavors. It's not an atheist blog, but I'm told you can expect an eclectic mix of politics, food, science, book reviews, and maybe some other stuff as well. Check it out, and tell them Daylight Atheism sent you!
Please Hold for Technical Difficulties
Daylight Atheism was down most of today due to technical problems with my host. Sorry about that. All should be back to working order now. Since I couldn't log on to the site during the day, I wasn't able to put up a new post. The one I had written for today will be up tomorrow.
In the meantime, I'm wondering if any technically savvy readers could help me untangle a mystery. In the first three days of December, I've gotten a huge amount of traffic - about one-third of what I normally get in an entire month. From looking through my traffic logs, the overwhelming majority of these new hits look the same: they have an empty referrer string, they visit the index page of my site (and no other page), and the IP addresses are from all over the world - doing reverse DNS lookups, I've found Sweden, Russia, India, Australia, the U.S., Israel, Estonia, Canada, and more. Also, they all have user-agent strings like this:
Reeder/1000.02.02 CFNetwork/454.11.5 Darwin/10.5.0 (i386) (MacBookPro5%2C1)
Reeder/1.2 CFNetwork/485.12.7 Darwin/10.4.0
Reeder/2.2 CFNetwork/485.12.7 Darwin/10.4.0
Reeder/1000.02.01 CFNetwork/454.11.5 Darwin/10.5.0 (i386) (iMac8%2C1)
Reeder/1000.02.01 CFNetwork/454.11.5 Darwin/10.5.0 (i386) (Macmini2%2C1)
Reeder/1000.02.01 CFNetwork/454.11.5 Darwin/10.5.0 (x86_64) (MacPro5%2C1)
Does anyone know what's going on here? Reeder is the RSS feed reader for Apple's iOS, I think, but an RSS reader should be fetching my site's feed URL, not the front page. On the other hand, if these are live users, I don't understand why some of them aren't downloading archives or individual posts. It's not enough traffic to be a distributed denial-of-service attack, but then where did all these hits come from, and why did they start arriving in this volume so suddenly and with no referring URL? Can anyone explain this?
Important Site Note
I'm aware that Daylight Atheism was unavailable for some time earlier today. I'm looking into the cause with my site host.
In the meantime, is anyone finding that they're getting mysteriously redirected to a site called b.scorecardresearch.com when trying to connect to Daylight Atheism? Several people have mentioned this to me in e-mail. If you're seeing this, I think it's caused by browser-hijacking malware on your computer and isn't related to the site outage, but I'm not completely certain.
If you're having this problem, I'd appreciate it if you could run some simple tests and let me know the results. Does it only happen with this site, or does it happen with others? What about if you switch browsers, or use a different computer?
Also, if you're having this problem, I recommend trying a malware cleaning program like Spybot Search & Destroy or Ad-Aware. If you're able to download and run either of these and if it resolves the problem, please let me know.
Meet Your Guest Admins
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm getting married tomorrow and will be away on my honeymoon for the following two weeks. I have a few posts written which I'll schedule for publication, and I may check in from time to time, but it's likely I'll be absent most days.
However, Daylight Atheism won't be left to languish. I'm happy to introduce four regular commenters who've graciously agreed to step up as guest administrators while I'm gone. They'll monitor the site, approve comments, and maybe even write some guest posts of their own, if they're willing. Please welcome them: SuperHappyJen, Teleprompter, Thumpalumpacus and Ritchie. I have full faith in them, so treat them nicely and be sure to thank them for volunteering!
Find Me on Facebook
So, if this is the sort of thing that interests you, I've created a page for Daylight Atheism on Facebook. If you'd like to sign up as a fan, do so with my blessing, and help spread the word!
At the moment, the page contains nothing but the RSS feed for this site. That may change, if I can think of any worthwhile information about me or about the site to put there. Suggestions welcomed.