Thursday, April 22, 2010

Website thoughts, Idol Gives Back, reading to preschoolers

I am thinking a lot about my websites lately, mainly because I have to start my final project for my Internet Presence class this week, which will involve revising my writing site. My Graphic Design class assignment that was assigned this week is about Poster or, alternatively, web page design. So I have it on the brain.

With summer coming up, I will have time to really work on my sites since I'm not planning on taking any classes (most of my web design classes aren't being offered, and the only one I feel comfortable taking over summer that is being offered is only being offered at night). I hope I can buckle down, learn some more code via the W3 Schools site (which is a great site btw), and make my sites more appealing.

These thoughts also came on because during history class the other day I was double-tasking as usual, taking notes on my laptop and surfing the web at the same time (I know, I shouldn't do that, but sometimes there's not much to take notes on), and I had my GoDaddy account with my writing site open because I had just uploaded something to the file manager. So I decided to check my site analytics - something I paid to get and which can be quite useful. I found out some things. First, people are coming to my writing site and not staying very long. The "depth of visit" stats were rather indicative of this. 29 of the 31 site visitors my writing site has had just in the last week spent only 1 minute on the site. Ouch. Second, I need to write my site content in more international-friendly English, because people are somehow finding my site via search engines from Russia and China. (Plus a lot of other ones I found last time, like Google Slovenia and Google Finland). Third, my site's just not getting a ton of hits (although oddly my hits spiked way up on April 18th and 19th, maybe because I had to post a thing about my site on the discussion board for my Internet Presence class on April 17th).

I also need to improve my sites in other ways. I need to WooRank my sites again because I lost the reports. I also tested several of my sites on ReadyMobi to see how they'd do on mobile devices, and they all scored abysmally low. I personally use my iPod to surf the web a lot, so I can see the benefit of creating a mobile-friendly site (fortunately .mobi domains are on sale right now at GoDaddy. I should get one; if you buy one from there, it comes with a mobilizer that helps you make the site mobile-friendly).

Ugh, I'm tired, more on this tomorrow.

Last night was Idol Gives Back 2010. There were a lot of musical performances, which I mostly ignored because I was doing homework. I did notice Josh Groban was shown saying a few words (the guy who does "Primetime in No Time" on Yahoo called Josh Groban "one of the Jonases - I don't know which one" -- and I'm like, is he serious? How can he not know who Josh Groban is?!). George Lopez judging the judges and Wanda Sykes's bit were funny. The Black Eyed Peas performed with a crazy stage setup as usual, with the usual fare - Fergie wearing something ridiculously revealing and really strange backup dancers. Every time I have seen the Black Eyed Peas perform live on TV there are those two elements - Fergie will show a lot of skin and there will be very strange backup dancers. This is practically a given with them. Sir Elton John's song was cool. Annie Lennox was also there - no surprise there, I think she's done Idol Gives Back before. They played numerous videos of kids in Africa suffering from malaria, lack of education, HIV/AIDS, or something like that, asking for your help (this is a charity drive, after all), as well as clips of Ellen DeGeneres visiting a Los Angeles food bank with David Arquette, Ryan Seacrest interviewing Bill and Melinda Gates about their contribution to the drive, and Simon Cowell visiting a traveling pediatrician's setup in Arizona that was started using previous Idol Gives Back donations. The usual stuff. Then after running majorly over its timeslot, the results finally came out and "Telfon Tim" Urban was eliminated.

I had to go read to preschoolers today as part of the volunteering requirement Sigma Tau Delta has. One other girl also showed up today. It was actually quite fun. The other girl and I took turns reading. She read a book called Bunny Race, then I read a book called Ruthie and the (Not So) Teeny Tiny Lie, then the other girl read a book called Are You a Butterfly? (which sounded rather complicated for a preschool-age book), and then we each read a special-request book that two different boys picked out - I read Goodnight Goon (a parody of Goodnight Moon) and the other girl read The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!, which was an absolutely hilarious book about a pigeon who just wants to eat this hot dog he's found but can't because he's getting pestered by a very curious duckling (who he eventually ends up sharing the hot dog with). Overall, it was a good experience and I'm glad I did it. And it was cool to see that my school has an actual full-on preschool on-site. I thought it was just a childcare place - I knew there were childcare services of some kind because I pay for them every semester through my student fees, though I never use them - but I was wrong. I guess it makes sense since Education is a big major at my school (it's always been known as a good school for teachers).

Ok, I'm going to go to bed now. Goodnight!

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