Well, it’s goodbye from me …

Bunny finger puppet

As Spandau Ballet once sang, “Why do I find it hard to write the next line?”

My last post.  Continue reading

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10 most popular posts of the past 90 days

mbv

1. Skyrim – Constructive criticism at its best

People are usually unable to express their opinions without coming across like toddlers stamping their pudgy little legs and screaming, “But I want …”

2. First impressions: Arx Fatalis

I’m not very good at wielding a bone. Hell, I’m not even good at throwing them for dogs.  Continue reading

Most horrifying fan art ever

Nicolas Cage Jurassic Park t-rex dinosaur

This made me laugh a lot. See, I can sympathise. My own attempts at fan art have suffered a little in the execution. For example Continue reading

10 Most popular posts of 2012

skrillex-earmilk

These are the most popular posts published in the past 12 months

1 Is it OK to think Skrillex is OK?

I didn’t put too much thought or time into an offhand musing as to the relative merits (or otherwise) of the wub-wub guy, so I was surprised by its popularity. Did the post’s 63,000 readers join Team Love or Team Hate?   Continue reading

Where did your picture come from?

Sofia Hassen has a point. The eagle-eyed among you might have spotted that the British wildlife photographer left a comment here earlier: “Don’t forget to credit photos and videos by others on your blog”. I was mortified to note that the feature on which she had commented didn’t have any attributions at all.

It’s something I’ve become more keenly aware of over the months, since I’m so pro-copyright when it comes to music but have been woefully neglectful when it comes to the pics I use on this site. I’m sure many of us are the same – we need a photo for a post, we’re in a hurry, and just nab something from Google without thinking where it comes from. For the past few months, I’ve been attributing images using the mouseover because the layout isn’t really conducive to actual captions: hover over the image for a second and you can see a brief description, the name of the author and where I found it. It’s not the best way of handling things, but it’s better than nowt.

Prompted to think a little more carefully, I realised that though I had dilligently credited the “tiny gypsy” picture by Shana Rae I used a couple of days back, I hadn’t checked to see whether I could use the image. As it turns out, the $5 usage fee was less of a problem for me than the 7-day turnaround on the usage request, so I nixed the pic and replaced it with a public domain image from WikiCommons. I don’t like it as much as the Florabella Collections pic, but that’s why Ms Rae is charging money for its usage. She’s got to eat, hasn’t she? That and pay for the equipment she uses. It’s all fair, so I feel a bit bad about being unfair to her by swiping her pic without permission.

Wikipedia is a quick, easy way of finding free, useable images without treading on any toes, but even that leads to some pretty interesting complexities.  Continue reading

10 most popular posts of the past 90 days

skril collins (via Tumblr)

1. Is it OK to think Skrillex is OK?
“It’s Diet Aphex Twin! Derivative, sure, but not dull enough to be offensive.”

2. How Kim Kardashian’s tits prove Obama’s anti-feminist agenda
“Well, that got your attention …”

3. Red hot: 25 carrot-haired cuties
“If the mere mention of Daryl Hall’s name doesn’t trigger the memory of catchy-but-cheesy tunes from the 80s … you’re obviously younger than I am.”

4. Dumb & Dumber
“I took my mother to see Dumb & Dumber at the cinema. She told me that if she was a 13 year-old boy, it would be her favourite film in the world.”

5. Beowulf
“The first thing to say about the film is that it looks absolutely gorgeous. Video games – even cutscenes – are years away from this fidelity.”

6. Skyrim: constructive criticism at its best
“In this age of entitlement – our me, me, me culture – people are usually unable to express their opinions without coming across like toddlers stamping their pudgy little legs and screaming, ‘But I want …'”

7. 10 sexiest nerds
“Wil Wheaton: He’s come a long way since he played Wesley Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

8. Really realistic Disney princesses
“Finnish art student Jirka Väätäinen has ‘shopped together photographs to recreate impressions of what Disney’s princesses would look like in real life – and he’s done it very well.”

9. 10 actors who are older than you thought
“Frankie Muniz was 15 years old when the first episode of Malcolm in the Middle aired, and 21 by the final series. He was about the same age as his “older brother”, Justin Berfield as Reese.”

10. Offsetting the Uncool Footprint
“What’s the difference between the embarrassing records you’re quite proud of, and the ones that actually make you cringe? You know how people are trying to offset their carbon emissions. Can you do that with music?”

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White Swan Event: why success is impossible to predict

Although the term had been floating around for a while, the phrase “Black Swan Event” only recently reached general usage. It’s a random, unpredictable and catastrophic event – so called because of the Old World presumption that all swans were white, which was scuppered when Willem de Vlamingh found a black one.

What anyone writing a blog or playing in a band (etc) will encounter are White Swan Events: random, unpredictable and fortuitous events. Why white swans? Because even though we don’t think of swans as being particularly rare, most people could go a number of years without seeing one. So imagine that you are on a boat and you see a white swan. That’s the kind of serendipity you can expect when being creative: things that you can reasonably expect to happen, can happen at any time, aren’t particularly weird, but are surprising and unpredictable nonetheless.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about Skrillex that I didn’t put much time or effort or thought into, but has had more views each day than all the other posts that day combined. I quipped to Him Indoors that this post had more readers than the magazine in his hand – in fact, double – and it would be easy to see the now-consistent traffic charts as being the new average. But then, what happens when people tire of Skrillex? That there will come a point when the freakishly high hit count for that one post tails off, and with it, the traffic for the site as a whole. It’s not the first time it’s happened, either – there was a massive spike, for example, when I live-blogged my Radiohead review, or mentioned the Pottermore website.  I’ve seen the phenomenon elsewhere, too. At Collapse Board, it’s Shut Up About Kreayshawn Being Racist, at Brainwashed, it’s the Peter Christopherson interview. Posts that are phenomenally popular in comparison to the rest of the site. It’s not just blog posts, either. The most obvious white swan event is the one-hit wonder.  Continue reading

10 strangest search terms on Reinspired

 

You readers are a weird bunch. Whenever I glance at the site stats for Reinspired, I always do a double-take at the search engine terms, because much as you might think nobody’s paying attention to the words you type in to that search bar, they’re ranked and counted and categorized like anything else.

Here are some examples:

Continue reading