solarbird: (banzai institute)

Thinking towards the future – I don’t make resolutions, but I’m trying to figure out what I want out of 2014. In my 2013 summary post, I talked about thinking my tools are in pretty good shape; let’s work less on tools and more on using them. And that’s fair. But I don’t think that’s complete, and it’s still bouncing around in my head.

What do you you want out of 2014? I’m seeing a lot of people on different blogs being very, very tired of the status quo. If that’s you – what’re you wanting out of the new year?

While you’re thinking on it, please enjoy these two new 2014 Shatterdome drinks I experimented up, working off of tereshkova2001‘s basic research:

Siberian Honey:
2x vodka, 2x barenjager, 1x grapefruit juice (dirty). cold, shaken. pour strained; very sweet. Too sweet for me but the favourite of the shatterdome floor crew.

Kuril Islands Chrysanthemum:
Prepare tippy assam (black) tea, allow to cool, do not adulterate. Then:
2x vodka, 1x barenjager, 2x fresh-squeed grapefruit juice (dirty), shake hard, pour unstrained, add 1x tea, stir in. Unexpectedly delicate; flowery without excess sweetness; tastes of chrysanthemum, hence, the name. I really liked this tonight; hopefully it’ll hold up once repeated.


Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

solarbird: (pingsearch)

Do you read in two quick F-shaped scans? That eyescan study says most of you do. It’s an important question if you’re trying to gain notice on the web – which, as a musician, I of course am. I have two lines, maybe one phrase each, to grab people passing by, before they’re done and out.

Fancy formatting doesn’t help; you’ve learned to think that means ads. Honestly, I think that’s positive adaption, even if it leads to amusing results like 86% of test subjects being unable find the US population on the US Census’s web page, despite the fact that it was bright red and the largest text on the page.

Almost everybody threw it away as an ad, because, frankly, it looks like one.

Two months ago, I rebooted this website. I cleaned it up, simplified some pages, improved organisation, added post collections – lots of starch in the collar. Plays are up, hits are up, revisits are up – all those good things.

But I have enough data now to see that there are two audiences here. You? You’re one of them. You pop in, read an article, and you’re done – particularly if reading on an echo. Some of you use the players on the left; some of you read more posts. A small but cool percentage of you browse collected articles. That’s awesome. Go you!

The other audience will never see this post. They’re like dark matter; there, and massive, but invisible.

In two months, hundreds of people have visited the front page of this website. They play music – primary reboot goal attained! – they look at videos, glance at reviews and press pages, and once in a while hit the contact form. They explore more pages per visit than you do.

And they never come over here. Ever. Unless Google is lying to me, not once in two months has even one of these visitors clicked on “Blog of Evil” in the navigation bar. Not even once.

It’s an astounding result, really. I’d like to get them over here, too; get them engaged.

I don’t know how, yet. I’ve made one small change to the front page of the site, tonight – I’ve changed ‘Latest Schemes from the Blog of Evil’ to read ‘This News Just In from Supervillain Central,’ and linked it to the blog front page. Given the special-text-gets-ignored result in the second study above, I’ve also dimmed it from bright yellow to slightly-less-bright and slightly-more-greenish yellow, to blend in a little more. It’ll take a while to collect enough data to know whether it matters, but the theory is sound.

Maybe I need to change it to “news” or something boring like that. Gods, I hope not. (eta: After some feedback on Livejournal, I realised that whether I like it or not, people weren’t hitting the Blog of Evil link. Let’s try “Blog.” Also “Home” instead of “Story.” I mean, one of the bullet points in the article is Clever phrasing drives away clicks, just as effectively as ad-like text.)

Meanwhile, if you’re in this audience, if you’re here off a search, or a trackback, or you’re just new, I’d like to get you engaged in the other direction.

In some ways, you’re a bigger challenge. Most new posts are read on echos – Tumblr, Livejournal, Dreamwidth, via RSS, and so on. But collections and semi-viral articles like Power and Supervillainy have large numbers of readers on the band site itself. Those people – you – you’re difficult to keep. And while I’m thrilled you – whoever you might be, reading this, in the future – you like my writing enough to get down this far… my art is the music.

That’s the goal.

i know what it means
to work hard on machines
it’s a labour of love
so please don’t ask me why

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come listen to our music!

solarbird: (pony-dj-pon-3)

Anna and I were in Victoria last week, and she picked up a mammoth at the provincial museum. (And, by the way, I had no idea how fucking big those animals were. Holy hell in a handbasket those things were big. I know, I know, they’re called mammoths, but ‘jumbo shrimp’ are called ‘jumbo’ and that’s not true now is it?)

I posted lots of pictures to Twitter about ADVENTURES! And now, mammoth needs a name. And she was debating whether mammoth was male or female and I said not to force mammoth into a false gender binary, and now we just need a name.

The post is over on her blog. Go vote to name our genderqueer mammoth! Also, respect genderqueer mammoth’s identity, or they will trample you into viscera. Just see if they don’t.

Name me!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come listen to our music!

solarbird: (Default)
The problem with self-selecting surveys are that they come pre-loaded with a substantial bias that you may and may not be able to analyse, in part or in entirety. In the case of the survey I posted on the 25th, there are at least two biases which seemed obvious to me even at poll creation:
  1. People who participate are more likely, rather than less, to engage me than average, biasing towards approachability
  2. People who participate are more likely, rather than less, to find me emotionally approachable, since those with no emotional engagement at all are unlikely to spend time on surveys like this
There were a total of 21 responses (polling software says 22, but that includes my null response set so I could see the results directly), or 7.3% of average unique post views. (286 unique IPs, discounting bots, as reported by viewing statistics).

Even given these biases, a third of those responding find me intimidating enough that they are less likely to engage with me than they would be otherwise; of those specifically finding me intimidating, that number was a clear majority at 54%. The most common reason for intimidation cited by those who feel intimidated is intelligence, by half the respondents (50%) across the two questions.

This analysis probably isn't helping. XD

Also common were a collection of words around intensity, drive, and busyness; also mentioned were creativity, variations on "high partial continual attention," and an assortment of single-occurance answers.

Perceived egotism did not include a significant finding beyond a lack of widespread perception of substantial egotism (mean 3.0, median 3.5, mode 5.0). I do worry a bit about the clarity of the scale, but that's purely hypothetical at this point.

Emotional opacity provided a clear response: of 21 respondents (presumably biased towards engagement, by self-selection in poll), 10 found me emotionally confusing or outright opaque. Discounting two who stated they didn't attempt at all, that would lead to 10 of 19, or 53%. That's disappointing, since I've worked so very hard on this, but good to know. This does not carry over as strongly to my music, however, where only 3 of 18 (discounting three respondents who specifically stated not listening), or 17%, found my music emotionally opaque or confusing.

The last question diverged sharply from all recent experience, wherein of 20 respondents, only 1 (5%) said they might ignore the email, and they noted they might also respond, depending upon their state at the time. Over the last several years, this non-response/ignoring-the-issue response has been the standard response when I've raised an issue over social treatment; I've come to expect it as mostly the norm. Of course, as was pointed out in comments, "...the people who [would] say 'ignore the mail entirely' will not respond to this." That is a confirmed finding. XD

So, of those who responded, a substantial minority find me intimidating, and around half find me emotional confusing or opaque. I hypothesise that those who did not respond (eta: on average) find me more so, not less, due to the nature of the questions and the self-selecting response set. The survey is now closed; thanks to everyone who responded!
solarbird: (Default)
Look, it's a poll! About emotional crap. This is, of course, triggered by things which have happened recently, and, to a lesser degree, by things which have happened often over the last couple of years, and to a still lesser degree, by things I've been working on since forever. But it's been a while I've done any surveying like this.

These are all questions about how others see me and my attempts to communicate my emotions. I can't make polls anonymous, or I would. I hope you'll answer honestly despite that. No one who reads this journal is involved in the most recent thing which prompted this survey, so this isn't a SEKRIT MESSAGE to anybody.

[Poll #1745043]

LJ cleanup

Mar. 18th, 2011 11:34 am
solarbird: boring bit (boring bit)

I'm going through and doing a bunch of LJ cleanup. If this affects you in some way you care about, let me know.

eta: The mobile client disabled comments for me. Fixed now.

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