Back in 2006 when I started this blog on Typepad, one of the top values delivered was using my analytics to better understand how and why new customers came to my web site. If those new customers / readers spent significant time on my site, it was always both intriguing and useful to learn what key words brought them onto NorthStarNerd.Org. However in the increased world of online data privacy Google now encrypts and makes private almost all search queries. Thus, upon browsing my blogs analytics, or a more extensive review via Google Analytics, the words "not provided" appears in my keyword search tables over 67% of the time. Thus, for more than 2/3 of my users I now have zero intelligence in terms of what attracted them to my blog.
Thankfully, there is also Google WebMaster Tools. What Google takes away with one hand is returned with the other. This service is provided at no charge, and can even be dynamically linked to your Google Analytics account. Please take a few moments to review these screenshots from both my Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools accounts. You'll see that although my analytics account provides little or no value as it relates to keyword results, my Google Webmaster Tools account provides a wealth of information.
NorthStarNerd.Org - Organic Search Results
Three screenshots (click upon to view at full size)
NorthStarNerd.Org - Google Webmaster Tools Results
Six screenshots (click upon to view at full size)
---------- Search Queries ---------- Links to Your Site ---------- Internal Links ---------- Index Status ---------- Content Keywords
Savvy cities should follow Duluth's example. Our Destination Duluth campaign is really starting to yield benefits. Just like hot consumer items, our team has developed a strategy which helps market our city. Understanding that many people might perceive Duluth as the "frozen tundra", we realized that a marketing campaign was necessary to communicate how Duluth had transformed itself from an old rust belt economy based upon iron ore (we still love taconite!) to a new community which includes a such attributes as a vibrant Aerospace industry, a busy college town, and a connected workforce which plays in the beautiful northland wilderness at the end of the day. What could be better.
I am personally the head curator of a team which recently brought online our own magazine. Destination Duluth (the magazine) celebrates what is fun and vibrant about our lifestyle. Better yet, it's free and one may read all content via your PC, via an Android or iOS app. We are using the leading news platform, Flipboard.
Our team did not stop with just an online magazine. We also just launched a new web site, and have a Facebook page with over 27,500 likes as of today. Is your community as online savvy as Duluth?
Everyone needs to constantly improve their skills. If you never challenge yourself to push beyond your personal comfort zone, it is guaranteed you will perform at best average in life.
With respect to photography, I have started a year long project named 365 Days of Birds. Via this effort I often give myself photo assignments which force me to experiment and improve. Two recent assignments have been: Frozen Harbor and First Bird of the Day. Here is a photo I took on Day #3 of the project, a Snowy Owl at sunset (low light conditions are difficult). Learn more via my project site at 365DaysOfBirds.Com.
For years I have used SnagIt for screen capture, and occasionally capture web pages and then saved that content as a pdf file. While I will still continue to use SnagIt for many screen captures, this dog has finally learned a new trick. For saving web pages to pdf, using the Google Chrome web browser yields a much better result. There are two options:
Directly save a web page using Chrome's native pdf support (or)
Try the basic Chrome functionality, but if ... like me ... you want to expand text of a web page without expanding the corresponding graphics, use Print Friendly & PDF. Here are some screenshots, and a resulting PDF file from last Summer's Upper Mississippi River - 30th Wedding Anniversary Tour Bike Tour. The pdf file was generated using Print Friendly & PDF, not Google Chrome's native print capabilties.
Google Chrome allows one to expand/decrease text and graphics, but only in tandem ... not seperately
If one only wants to save text, Print Friendly & PDF enables one to strip out graphics
Click upon any screenshot to view at full size and resolution.
Adobe Reader Settings: Set <View><Page Display> to <Single Page Contiuous>