Archive for November, 2007
In a story that received almost no airplay, given what a media sensation this man once was, Rodney King was shot on Wednesday evening on a street corner in San Bernardino, California. The article says he was hit two or three times in the face, arms, back and torso by birdshot fired from a shotgun from a distance, and that his wounds were not life-threatening. It reminds me (and several of the stories commenters) of the time Dick Cheney shot his friend in the face with birdshot during a quail-hunting trip earlier in the year.
What I find most interesting about this is how Rodney King has “fallen from grace” in the eyes of the media. Back in 1991, he was an iconic victim – an African-American man who was savagely beaten by white police officers in Los Angeles, touching off a series of riots in the city that left 55 people dead and caused more than $1 billion in property damage. He received a $3.8 million settlement in the ensuing lawsuit, and would occasionally pop up in the press to reiterate his rather inspiring tag line, “Why can’t we all just get along?”
Since then, though, he’s had many run-ins with the law, including a 2004 jail stint for driving under the influence of PCP (the drug he was high on when he got beaten by the LA cops). After this week’s shooting, police officers found it difficult to get information at his home because his house guests “appeared to be drunk and few cooperated with officers by providing information.”
While no one’s justifying the beating he took, I think perhaps the media has realized that Mr. King has some serious problems, and that while he was a victim, the term “innocent victim” is probably too much of a stretch. I’ll also note that no one has even mentioned the skin color of the person who shot him. I’m not sure what that means exactly, but I think on the whole, it’s probably a positive thing.
Yesterday afternoon, I tried something I hadn’t tried before. I went to Technorati, searched for “Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree” and then posted a comment on the Top 5 resulting blogs that basically said, “Hey, I have a photoblog – come take a look!”
(Actually, I posted to the Top 6, since one of the Top 5 was Simple Tricks and Nonsense, where my online friend Jason Bennion did a post specifically about my page).
As of last night, the results were poor. Three of the five blogs had removed my comment altogether, probably mistaking it for comment spam (or, maybe it is comment spam? That’s a philisophical discussion, I guess, although I’d argue that while self-promoting, at least the link was to a relevant topic. Plus, I’m not collecting IP addresses or selling anyone anything). But, I digress…
Anyway, this morning I checked my Google Analytics stats and found that the volume to my site had increased 100% over the average volume for the month (201 pageviews, as opposed to an average of just over 100). Seventeen of those hits came from Simple Tricks, and thirty-eight came from one of the two blogs I posted to. The other blog generated no hits at all.
Two interesting thoughts:
1) The blog that generated traffic is run by the New York Times. So while blogging is all about the little guy having a voice to compete with big media, we once again see that big media is correctly named – even a very small percentage of their much larger audience can move the needle on a small site like mine.
2) Self-promotion works. The photoblog page had been averaging around 11 pageviews per day since I started it, so only ~25 of the extra 100 views came directly from the link. Pages/Visit yesterday was 1.97, as compared to 1.60 the rest of the month – a 23% increase. This further exemplifies Scalzi’s Bacon Cat Incident Effect which recognizes that when you get someone to your site for a particular reason, they often look around a while before they leave. Hopefully, a few of them come back from time to time and an audience builds.
This concludes today’s random observations about the Googleverse. You may now return to your regularly scheduled lives.
Oh, and P.S.: If you’re here because you viewed the photoblog yesterday and came back to check out the blog, welcome! Please come back often and tell your friends!
All I can say is, that was definitely worth the wait. Check out the completed Photoblog for all the latest pictures.
One administrative note: now that the tree is lit, I’ve put the pictures back in chronological order, as opposed to reverse chronological order, as I had them throughout the process. For those who have been reading all along and just want to see the latest, click the double-right arrow to go to the end, and the click the left arrow to see tonight’s batch (13 pictures from tonight, 55 in all). I figure this is a better way to organize the pictures for those hundreds of people who will Google-stumble across this page in the months and years to come.
So all that’s left to say now is Merry Christmas to you and yours. There’s no denying it now – the turkey is eaten, the tree is lit, Black Friday has been blackened, and Cyber Monday has been processed. It’s Christmas season, boys and girls! Deck the halls, roast the chestnuts over an open fire, and jingle all the way!
As Monica said to Chandler, “This. Just. Got. Interesting.”
Check out today’s daily update. We’ve got large screen monitors, performance stages in various, well, stages of readiness, as well as behind the scenes pictures of the technicians and equipment required to put on this kind of shindig. And then there’s that beautiful full-frontal shot of the tree as seen from in front of Saks Fifth Avenue. Definitely not to be missed!
Tomorrow, I’ll post more pictures, of course, as well as a review of the show itself. Scheduled to perform, according to NBC.COM are Celine Dion, Josh Groban, Barry Manilow, Taylor Swift, Ashley Tisdale and Carrie Underwood. I know the Rockettes are in the show (they are every year), so I’m sure this isn’t a complete list. Like I said, I’ll keep you posted.
One final bonus today. A live web-cam of the tree, taken from a camera posted somewhere high up in 30 Rock. I assume this will be active during the show, so it might be something worth popping up on your screen.
The national show takes place between 8pm and 9pm Eastern time. If you get New York TV, there will be an extra hour of performances and various other merriment from 7pm to 8pm on WNBC-TV (Channel 4). Two hours of Al Roker! Who could ask for more? ;-)
Today’s daily update almost got rained out, but the photoblog perseveres! Neither rain, nor snow, nor gloom of night will keep this blogger from his appointed rounds!
Seriously – today’s update has both rain and gloom of night. Check it out.
I hope everyone had a nice Turkey Day. The weather in the New York area was fantastic, so we got up early in the morning, hopped on the 7:09AM train into New York City, and took in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!
This, of course, put me just a couple of blocks away from Rockefeller Center, allowing me to add another couple of pics to the Photoblog. Click for a Macy’s Parade balloon and some small children posing in front of a big tree.
That is all…
The daily deed is once again done. Today: More lights, handsaws, a Fotomat for crystal jewelry, and Spongebob Squarepants!
Curious? I thought so.
Hat tip: Lisa Fiorenzo
Another daily update in the books. Not much going on with the tree today, but there are some cool pics of the Ice Rink, and some classic New York City midtown shots.
As always, click here to join the fun.