2012 (This Blog) In Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

They have created this annual report for me every year, ever since I first started blogging with WordPress.com.

And so I share their report here… and this really is likely to be the last entry for 2012.

Happy New Year everybody, apologies to the trisdecaphobics for whom it’s going to be a terrible year.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 24,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 6 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

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The Other Ben Sugden

Sugden Coat of Arms

The Sugden Coat of Arms

I’ve recently taken an interest in SEO, Social Media and the like; this interest is encouraged by a work colleague but is probably fuelled by my recent blogging.

My interest in SEO has led me to take more of an interest in the back end statistics of this blog.  I already monitor the monthly statistics for my employer’s website. Every month I get a pdf detailing the various search engine terms used to find our website; these are drilled down to specific search engines and countries, which is nice.

The WordPress statistics are much more concise but just as interesting. For instance, the “Top Searches” leading to my blog at the moment are:

i buy – killing joke – tim burgess, ben sugden computer games, dragon age origins mods xbox 360, i buy – tim burgess & killing joke, tim burgess i buy classic rock

“i buy – killing joke – tim burgess” has been the number one search since I blogged about the collaboration weeks ago.

What is noteworthy today is the new entry, at number two, of “ben sugden computer games”. Some people would be a little worried at the thought of people googling their gaming activity. I have no need to worry though, as I know the real reason; you see Ladies and Gentleman, I am not the only Ben Sugden in the world, nor in the United Kingdom.

I have long been aware of several other Ben Sugdens in the UK, some are even employed as techies. The greatest of these is a Ben Sugden who works for Lionhead Studios, famous for games like Fable and Black & White.

I first came across Ben in relation to Black & White 2; like most people my attention is instantly grabbed when I notice my name in print. What are the odds, two people named Ben Sugden who work as Software Developers? I’ve since been contacted by people wanting to get hold of Lionhead’s Ben Sugden and thinking that I am he, naturally i corrected them and pointed them in the right direction.

Since then I have looked into social networking sites like facebook and LinkedIn to see how many other Ben Sugdens I could find. I’d already been added to facebook by a Benjamin Sugden across the pond.

It is interesting to note that as I gather the links to embed in this post, I see that Ben Sugden from Lionhead is 3 degrees away from me. LinkedIn shows you if you know someone who knows someone you are looking for. A chap I worked with over a decade ago has somebody in his own contacts who has Ben Sugden in theirs. Fascinating!

Three results in LinkedIn, all techies by trade and nineteen results on facebook. A google search has my own facebook profile at number one, a 123people.co.uk listing for all of us at number two and my twitter at number three.

It used to be that I’d maybe show in the first page of google results due to forum posts or details of old LRP games; add Huddersfield to the criteria and I now dominate the first page. I suppose that this all shows that I’ve been unwittingly using SEO without realising it. All those forum posts and facebook friends must be upping my relevance to google.

I wish the other Ben Sugdens well of course, a part of me wonders what kind of people they are; do we share anything in common other than our names? Are we related, way back down the geneology tree? It seems a little too stalker-esque to actually contact them and ask though.

Blogging

Well “Hello World” indeed.  I’ve written my fair share of “Hello World” applications (or should that be “Apps” nowadays) and so I appreciate the way WordPress offers that as my first post title.

I’ve felt pressured to start blogging for some time now, I even half attempted it a while ago with my first personal website but I never really had the time or subject matter.  That being said, I’ve read a few blogs over the years and can see the attraction to some people; not that I share the attraction.  I’ve always tended to share the view of the Despair.com de-motivational poster – “Blogging: Never Before Have So  Many People with So Little to Say Said So Much to So Few”

That rule doesn’t always apply. My Father is a prolific blogger on both a personal and professional basis. He has a good number of followers with whom he shares anecdotes and professional information. This itself is no surprise to me, my Father has always been one for keeping a journal; early trips to Europe are no doubt still recorded in those notebooks with either a red cover or that kind of blue marble effect cover that I never seem to see anymore.

For myself I’ve often remarked, to those who suggest I write a blog, that I have very little to say to the world; let alone anything of worth. My grammatical education was as poor as any other attendee of my Secondary School (starting in 1986) with a C in GCSE English Language and what prose I do squeeze out tends to ramble off at odd tangents (excepting those cases where I exert a great effort of will).

I struggle to even select a single topic on which to write a blog – and yet (here’s the crux of this whole post) when I do select a topic, I find myself suddenly of an opinion that can be shared. As personal as that opinion may be, I reflect on other opinions I have held and find that some of them may be of use to somebody.

At the time of writing I am a 34 years old IT Manager with Type 1 (or maybe it’s Type 2 – the Specialists change their minds frequently) Diabetes and almost 14 years experience in the fields of: Business/Systems Analysis, Relational Database Design, Object Oriented Programming, Data Mining and Enterprise System Support. In my time I’ve operated as a code monkey, had code monkeys operate under me, designed new systems, migrated existing systems and even operated a full on software support desk. And that’s just the day job!

The blog-worthy material from my technical life could probably fuel a whole site of its own. Why should it end there though? I mean if nobody reads it then nobody reads it – no harm no foul.

After dark (office hours aren’t what they used to be) I have worn so many hats that, the more I think about it, the more ridiculous it seems to me that I haven’t turned to blogging as a means of tracking all the hats. Maybe 7 years ago (or more) I used to post on a paranormal research forum, I’ve had a lot to say on that and a great many other subjects

There you have it, I’m convinced that it may well be worth having a go at blogging. I will hold back my doubts and treat it as an exercise in personal exorcism; if I can offload my opinions here then maybe I’ll free up brain space for new things.