It’s exactly one year ago that I posted my first article for this here blog. I think that is cause for some reflection and maybe some celebration. Has it been worth the effort? Am I on the way to achieving what I set out to do?
According to my “About This Blog” page, my concrete goals were to
…talk about insights gained or problems encountered while writing software, comment on things others have said, discuss my own opinions on how to do things the “right way” or the “wrong way,” post updates on software development, comment on new VR hardware as I get my hands on it, etc.
I guess I’ve done most of that. I have talked less about software development and the problems encountered therein as I had anticipated, and more about new VR hardware than I had thought. It has been an interesting year in that aspect: Leap Motion, Oculus Rift, zSpace, all have become “things” in the last twelve months (Holovision has not), and have made inroads into the mainstream to varying degrees. So there was a lot to talk about in that regard. I’ve only recently started talking about Vrui, and then mostly in relation to the Oculus Rift.
It’s not that surprising: the imminent release of the Oculus Rift was one of the main reasons behind me starting this blog — primarily to have a soapbox to talk about things that could go wrong, to do the best I could to make sure that this VR renaissance (at least as far as the general public is concerned) doesn’t repeat old mistakes. So, hubris really. 🙂
But if nobody’s listening, I’m just an old guy yelling at clouds. How have I fared in that regard? Well, in the last year I’ve made exactly $0.00 in revenue from advertisements and merchandise sales, if that’s what you’re asking. And I blame all of you who don’t turn off their adblockers when visiting.
But joking aside, since I don’t have any point of comparison to see how my little corner of the blogosphere is stacking up, I’ll just lay out some raw numbers. As of 08/28/2013, 5:12pm, I have published 64 articles (not including this one), and my total view count is 67,676 (I’m not making that up). My most popular article is First impressions from the Oculus Rift dev kit, with 12,651 total views, followed by the front page with 10,221. A perennial favorite is my post describing how the GeForce’s rendering performance is gimped by the driver to prop up Quadro sales (that’s my story, at least), GPU performance: Nvidia Quadro vs Nvidia GeForce. It’s up to 6,938 views and going strong; more on that in a moment. I also have 228 comments, and that is not good. I had hoped to use this blog as a way to engage in constructive discussions with visitors, and that hasn’t taken off. Makes sense, though: if an article is linked from, say, reddit, the discussion happens over there where people already have accounts and reputations and can gain karma. That’s what those sites are for; can’t compete with that.
But back to my GeForce/Quadro article. Why has it been among the top posts every day, ever since I published it? It’s part of a larger mystery. Considering that my blog isn’t exactly popular, its rankings in Google searches seem wildly out of whack. When googling for “GeForce Quadro performance,” my article is the top result — above even Nvidia’s site. When googling for “GeForce Quadro comparison,” it’s the fourth result, right after Wikipedia, Tom’s Hardware, and Nvidia. And it appears a good number of people are curious about comparing performance between GeForces and Quadros.
Is this just Google messing with me by showing me results it thinks I want to see? Most probably, but I just tried this while online in a coffee shop, with private browsing enabled, and it still happens. How does Google know it’s me? Is it time to put on a tinfoil hat?
Anyway, more Google fun. I’m number 1 with the search terms “Oculus Rift rubbish,” and I’m totally sorry for that. Talk about unintended consequences. I’m number 2 for “Holovision kickstarter,” right after the Kickstarter page itself, and number 1 for “Holovision kickstarter scam,” somewhat unsurprisingly. I’m number 3 for “Kinect resolution,” right after Wikipedia and Microsoft. For “Kinect calibration,” however, I’m only on page two. That really smarts. 😉 With “Kinect 3D video,” on the other hand, my YouTube channel and research page pretty much monopolize page 1 (but this blog isn’t anywhere close). For “toe-in stereo,” oddly, none of my articles about (bad) stereo show up, but my tag archive for “toe-in stereo” is the number one result. Huh.
If anyone can explain this to me, please do.
But back to the topic at hand. Will I keep doing this? Sure, why not. It’s not costing much (mostly registration fees for the domain name), and I do have a few subscribers, and sometimes my stuff gets linked somewhere. So on to year two. I think it’s going to be another interesting year for VR.