Syrup & Tang has been in existence for about 10 months now. I've been buoyed by the enthusiasm of my readers and encouraged to continue this project. Most of it has been fun, though it hasn't all been roses — there were three abusive commenters this year (one slapped down, one edited, one completely censored)… the downside of the internet's lack of social constraint. And there were all those miscracked eggs and macawrongs to deal with late at night!
For much of the year the site attracted rather a lot of search engine attention for the phrase 'women showing undies'… An unintended consequence of one of my early en passant pieces. I'm also perplexed by the number of hits I get for the search term 't'. Yes, 't'. Go figure.
Most visitors are in Australia — I've yet to break into the international scene, alas — and the type of browser you guys and gals use is interesting: about 30% Firefox, 32% IE6 and 23% IE7. That middle figure frustrates me because Internet Explorer 6 is both aesthetically unfulfilling (it doesn't do some of the fancier visual elements of my site) and also a security risk for the user (IE6 has had more security patches than a quilt, and if you haven't automatically been upgraded to IE7, the likelihood is that many of those patches have never been applied either).
About 65% of you use a fairly standard screen (approx 4:3 ratio), with 1024*768 pixels being the most popular. 27% are using a wider screen format (probably laptop, 1280*800, etc), and then there are some lucky people with enooooormous screens: (2560*1600!). I'm relieved that less than 2% of visitors use small screens (800*600).
The most commented article was my brief mention of the Bloggers' Banquet — no surprise, as I think most Melburnian bloggers found it generated a big buzz. Readers' favourites seem to have been the book reviews (Botanical, Secrets of the Red Lantern, Maggie's Harvest, but not the one for Fast Food Nation).
I was surprised at how little traffic/comment was generated by the travel or restaurant articles. And not a single person clicked on one of my links to Amazon, so no income for me! (Not that I expect any food site in Australia earns much/anything from Amazon affiliate links.)
And my favourite article (the one I most enjoyed writing) languished, unloved but for one comment by my friend Harry: Amazon tastes bad. Meanwhile, the article series La Macaronicité was possibly one of the most interactive, nagging, complaining, encouraging, swearing-inducing, happiness-evoking, egg-cracking affairs around! Waiter, I want more!
So what comes next?
Syrup & Tang will go into hiatus for the rest of January. I've been working through some ideas for a modified design and need time to work on that. Naturally, I still encourage comments everywhere and will respond as usual. In fact, I'd also like your comments right here:
- What would you like to see more of?
- Is there anything about the site that doesn't work for you (technically, visually or conceptually)?
- What new stuff would interest you?
- Do you use the RSS feed, the email subscription, or just pop by when you remember to?
I'll certainly be exploring new types of content, expanding the link list (a weak point so far, sorry) and testing some new layouts.
Comment away o readers, regulars and lurkers. (Private comments can also be sent via the contact page if you feel the need.)
And remember, no-one has yet guessed the flavour of the macaron in the final macaron article!