Monday, August 14, 2006

found stories

Remember that poetry idea I stole from Sharon Hurlbut a while back? Well, Fringes has since stolen it from me, and taken it a couple steps further: rather than poetry, she built a story, and she also made each piece of the story happen in the order that the blogs appear in her sidebar. Zoinks! As if that wasn't enough, FlashFlood took it one step further yet: she made every phrase in her story link back to the posts in the blogs from which they came. Yowza! Now I'm thinking I might have to do this again with the new rules. But first, I gotta write this week's review for SLQ.

Update: Fringes and Flood are holding a contest. Or an experiment. Or both. Jump in, see how you do.

Monday, August 07, 2006

latest review is up

Latest review is up. I love the personal angle in this one. Thomas White reviews Visit Home: March 2006 by Kevin Walters.

In other news, E and the kids and I all went up to Canada over the weekend to hang out with writer friends Patricia Parkinson and Phil Jones and their family. Lots of fun, although the border crossing takes way too much time. I'll post more about it once I've found the cable for my camera and can post a few pix.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Buy a book for a soldier.

If you know me, you know how I feel about the war. And if you don't know me, going through early entries in this blog would probably clue you in pretty quickly. That said, there's a program that I think just about anyone, regardless of political stripe, can support. Buy a book for a soldier. The list of titles is fairly limited, but I can vouch for the writing of one of the authors, Tom Sheehan, as we published his work in SmokeLong. I'd love to see some larger book retailers undertake such a program. Kudos to Press 53, and thanks to Clifford Garstang for pointing it out.

a deeper look at July stats

It looks like July was a really good month. I don't know how much reviews did or did not contribute to that beyond the raw numbers for the reviews, i.e., I don't know how many people came to read a review and then surfed to other parts of the site as well. Here are some numbers for July, though:

Analysis for the Month of Jul, 2006.

Total pages tracked during period: 568
Total page views recorded: 51817
The average number of views per page: 91.23

I don't know why I've never really looked at that whole section of the stats before beyond the total number of page views. It's pretty interesting. For example, I knew we had a lot of pages, but I had no idea it was anything like 568! That's a really deep site. It's also really interesting to me that on average a page gets viewed over 90 times a month. That means the average story gets viewed over a thousand times a year!

As far as raw numbers for the reviews, here's the dope:

reviews index: 274
071006 (Blood): 173
071906 (After My Nephew...): 126
072406 (Remember): 104

073106 (Disintegration) was posted too late in the day on the 31st to register much, but I assume its numbers will reflect similar average views per day. Breaking out the reviews by average per day looks like this (I'm giving each a one-day period of assuming it wasn't live, because I think most of them were posted at night of the date indicated, so didn't get a full day's worth of data for that day):

071006 (21 days): 8.2 views per day
071906 (12 days): 10.5
072406 (7 days): 14.9

So the average continued to go up, probably as more people became aware that reviews were being posted on a regular basis. And they're already getting higher averages than the overall site average, which is pretty impressive for a feature that was launched somewhat on the down-low. I'd say it's a pretty great success. :)

Top Ten Page Views for July

I'm going to follow this post up with another about the overall stats for July, because in answering a question Randall Brown had about how the reviews are doing, I took a much deeper look than usual. July's #1 and #2 look very familar, and most of the rest of the list is from the latest issue, with the exception of #9, which was published almost two years ago! I'll evangelize over and over and over again the power of online mags to put stories in the hands of readers, and this is one more example.

1. Pornography by Steve Almond (6/15/05)
2. Five Fat Men in a Hot Tub by Jeff Landon (9/15/05)
3. How the Broken Lead the Blind Until They Both Become Something Else Entirely by Matt Bell (6/15/06)
4. Prey by Myfanwy Collins (6/15/06)
5. A Foreign Woman by Roberta Allen (6/15/06)
6. Memory of Sky by Jai Clare (6/15/06)
7. See Odi Naked by Lisa K. Buchanan (6/15/06)
8. Daffodil by Kathy Fish
9. Axl Rose Is My Dog by Scott Ford (12/15/04)
10. Tough Act by Steven J. McDermott (6/15/06)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Ellen Meister

Previous contributor, guest editor, staff member, and continual good friend Ellen Meister's debut novel, Secret Confessions of the Applewood PTA is in stores today! Patricia Parkinson interviews her about the book, and you can also read an earlier interview by SLQ here (and read her wonderful story while you're at it). More about Ellen on her web site.

the latest review is up

Katrina Denza reviews Kelly Spitzer's Disintegration this week. Great review, fascinating story. Go read 'em both.