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Saturday, 17 February 2007
Big Brother is Watching You - Google
Topic: Putting up a website

Your Google's search results are now personalized, as of Feb 2, 2007, according to this article by Danny Sullivan.

One of the pleasures of my day is to review  my 'website traffic logs' to see how visitors have found my site, ie. what Google search terms did they use, what were they looking for. I often replicate such searches to see how accessible my site is - how close or far from the top of a search it is. I come upon other interesting sites along the way, sometimes completely unrelated. The magic of serendipity gives me the most useful answers and creative triggers and ideas.

It would seem that could end with the coming of Google's personalized search results. Google is tracking each individual user's search histories and returning results related to  previous searches and sites visited by the user. This seems to me to lessen the probability of finding new results. My site traffic may or may not benefit from the change, but I fear that I, as a user of Google, will be the poorer for it. I thrive on the chance findings, just as I love the unforseen meetings and moments in life.  And you, dear visitor, what do you think of all your Google search histories being tracked, stored indefinitely, and used to give you search results based upon your previous use/history? 

Posted by Catinka Knoth at 12:39 PM EST
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Thursday, 1 June 2006
Coloring Pages
Topic: Putting up a website
Just a brief note here: I've finally started a page, on my site, of links to my coloring pages. They are illustrations from some of my pen and ink animal notecards I did several years ago. There are a few birthday cards, a get well, and a thank you. The 'cats doing winter sports' and the 'halloween cats' are also there. I will continue to add to them.
Coloring Pages

Posted by Catinka Knoth at 3:33 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 3 June 2006 9:41 PM EDT
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Sunday, 19 February 2006
I get my first official website customer
Topic: Putting up a website

I finally got my first official live customer to/from my website last week - someone in search of Maine notecards. Someone not looking for my work by artist name. She had had to make an effort to find what she was looking for. She and her husband had been to Maine this fall with inlaws and fell in love with it. They are from Kansas City. She was looking for special notecards to give the inlaws. She told me she'd found me by googling 'midcoast maine notecards'. I tried the search and saw my site didn't show up til the fourth page of results. There was nothing really relevant before my listing though. I knew my site wouldn't have shown up anywhere close with the search 'Maine notecards'. When I finally confessed to her that she was my first who came via a search for content without knowing of my work, how thrilled I was, and that I was lucky she hadn't tried 'Maine notecards', she told me she had indeed tried that search as well. (See my Maine notecards here.) And here I am even more thrilled - she said there had been plenty of nice notecards that reminded her of the area but nothing was quite what she was looking for, until she finally found mine. What a special endorsement. She also told me yes, she'd be sure to visit my blog. I only hope she doesn't visit the blog right away because of what I just put up there.

In all my excitement about getting her order I felt prompted to investigate further what is involved with taking payments online via PayPal. I've seen where people have this set up to even take donations. So decided I'd start small and just set it up for donations. (Later note: updated Make a donation page.) I did that and then made a blog entry about it, basically an appeal. Now I've been worrying whether that is just too crass, and thinking I must put a little story on top of the donation entry to hide it a bit! I set up my website as a contact point for people, hardly expecting to get orders from it. It had to start somewhere. And now I've taken the PayPal step I will have to figure out how to integrate it with how my products are already set up here. I know this is a patchwork site, but then so is life. There is nothing really wrong with that as long as it works in whatever capacity. Well, several hours later and I've added a crude order/feedback form to my site. The best I can do right now with the PayPal is to have it as an option to pay with once an order comes through. We shall see. You can take a look at my Maine notecards order form and see what you think.

Posted by Catinka Knoth at 8:15 PM EST
Updated: Monday, 30 July 2007 2:11 PM EDT
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Sunday, 21 August 2005
Found the answer to a problem previously described
Topic: Putting up a website
Well fancy that, I've made some more sense out of the options offered in the Tripod photo albums. I found out one can put links on the page to other pages. So I've now got "Home" links on each of my album pages. Must put "contact" or "to order" links as well as "next album".. links.

I find it interesting that I knew this was a problem, I tried to find an answer, found none; but when one of my siblings told me this needed changing and I defended myself saying there was no way to fix it just now, I felt prompted to
a) write about it
b) look again to see if I'd missed the answer
Sure enough, I had. The lesson being 'How we do affect one another whether we think so or not!' I'm sure there are other lessons in this too (besides the practical one of how to add a link to a Tripod photo album).

Posted by Catinka Knoth at 11:44 AM EDT
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More thoughts on web authoring
Topic: Putting up a website
I'm adding here some thoughts I just sent to one of my siblings:

I know there are problems with it (my website), things that are not kosher in site design practices, but the circumstances of the whole thing just taking too long took precedence over perfection. For instance the pages that show the card sets are really photo album pages that I'd put together (using the Tripod/Lycos templates) as a 'let me try it and see if I like this' when I first started this whole process and had no idea where to start. The photo albums are part of the free services Tripod/Lycos offers and have their limitations, such as, as far as I can tell, putting links on the pages. So connecting them to the website means the visitor can get to the albums from the link on the website but can only return to the site by using the back button. And these album pages show up on google searches for my name so a visitor getting to an album thru a search would only be able to get to the other albums and the site by returning to the Google search results. But the only people googling my name are people looking for me and they would probably have more patience and or curiosity (I think). And I'm basically doing this so that people looking for me can find me.

It has surprised me how much I'm at a loss as to what to write in the blog. I thought I knew what I'd do with it but everything I think of seems either too personal or too big an issue that needs far more careful consideration before going in a place for anyone to see. Of course ANYONE seeing it is just in theory, not practice, (having so few visitors so far). I did write a list of ideas in my journal, must transfer it so its in my hand here. Let me see what I remember: wc lesson of the past week as long as it is from my own photo or art, events I've been at & pics, animal tales and sitings, big questions I'm always pondering, recipes I make up that are really only very simple fast cooking, projects in the works,...What else? Ideas?

I don't know if the following will show up. I was doodling with type this morning after having come across a lovely pattern created in ascii or just from a keyboard. I realized there are all kinds of connections between this, digits, music, patternmaking, weaving, knitting/beading etc., .Well, it doesn't exactly work because it isn't in color and this font lines up differently, but one gets an idea. And maybe it will trigger someone else to play around.


Posted by Catinka Knoth at 10:53 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 5 September 2005 9:36 PM EDT
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