Last summer my wife and I took a four week vacation to Europe and chronicled it at http://andrewanddonna.blogspot.com. I really enjoyed writing about the different cities we visited and experiences we had, which was not surprising considering I began college as an English/Rhetoric & Communications major. Due to the constant traveling, I didn’t have much time to play around with the site design and infrastructure which is something else I enjoy. Aside from editing the page’s template with the help of my lovely wife, I simply used what Google’s tool blogger provided.
In the last year or two I’ve started playing around with widgets and scripts. I’ve used them on my former blogger site http://ahelms.blogspot.com and an account my university provides: http://www.student.gsu.edu/~ahelms2. I use them to post ancillary stuff like pictures or school projects.
In the last month or so I decided to use ahelms.com, which I registered as part of an MBA project, to build out a blog so that I could have a consistent forum to use to enjoy doing what I enjoy to do. I’m learning more about website hosting, mysql, php, WordPress and widgets each day. The goal of the site is to simply enjoy myself. I’ve always been interested in who is interested in what so naturally I added the Google Analytics scripts to my pages so I can keep track of where visitors are coming from. Getting visitors to the site is pretty galvanizing. Just hearing from a couple of friends that they enjoyed a particular post or had subscribed to the RSS feed is really nice. So last night I registered the site on technorati and added the technorati buttons in the sidebar. I also built a sitemap and ping plugins to the WordPress installation so the site can be more easily found by web surfers.
This morning I got an IM from a fellow in Thailand who wanted to know more about the meebo chat widget. We had a nice chat. He is working on a Master’s degree in Information & Communication Technology so his interest in the meebo widget is not surprising. I’ve noticed a steady stream of visitors (at least compared to last week) since I decided to promote the site to visitors other than friends and family. My sister has been traveling in Europe so it’s been cool to track her on Google Analytics map overlay. When the analytics are updated tomorrow, it will be cool to see at least one dot in Asia.