A Stats and Traffic post

This is going to be one of those stats and traffic posts, so if you don’t like graphs and speculation, look away now. I confess to not having bothered looking at my stats for several months until Scott K posted a very interesting conversation not too long ago about his stats and how he analyzed them to determine how the Typosphere blogs tend to affect many other things in the typewriter world, and how our audience is quite a lot larger than we generally think it is. One thing that jumps out at me in taking these screenshots is my readership hit a bump when I re-did the look of the site the other day.  Maybe people don’t like the new look, I dunno. We’ll see.

munk.org 1 A Stats and Traffic post

My stats from Google Analytics for the past month for my blog. It shows about 80-150 people dropping by every day. Over 2000 people came by last month, and a rather pleasing number are repeat customers. That green slice has grown slowly, but I’m happy that 1/3rd of my visitors come back for more.. Let’s see – 33% of 2,143 is a tad over 700 peeps. I would take a wild stretch and say that maybe 100 of them could be classified as “Typospherians”, or the people who actually comment and engage socially on the site. Who are the other invisible 600?

munk.org 2 A Stats and Traffic post

Curious about my reader’s demographics? Well, you’re mostly male and generally not a teenager. Blog seems unpopular with the YA crowd.

Where does my traffic come from? Well, like everyone else, the overwhelming amount of traffic comes from Organic Google searches, ten times the number for any of my “referral” sources. However, an interesting thing has happened to my referrals. For years, most of my referral traffic came from The Typosphere Blogroll and a half dozen key Typospherian blogs. In the handful of months since I last looked at my stats, a new 800-pound gorrilla has stomped onto the stage – and that gorilla is the Typewriter Database.

munk.org 3 A Stats and Traffic post

Here’s just my top 10 referral sites. The Database has surged ahead of the Typosphere Blogroll as a traffic generator, bringing in twice the traffic. The Thrift Shopper Forums is another surprise. I occasionally post nice thrifting finds to those forums, and they seem mostly dead to me – very few posts in any given month, but man, it brings in some eyeballs. The old stalwarts Writing Ball and oZtypewriter are still contenders, and StrikeThru has vanished.

Now all this is interesting, especially since I’ve been assuming that the Typewriter Database wasn’t a really high-traffic site. That assumption turned out to be really wrong. Really, really wrong.
On April 5th, I got around to installing Google Analytics on the Database, just to see what was up. Well, traffic is what’s up. Let’s take a look:

tw db 1 A Stats and Traffic post

The Database gets about 300 to 480 visitors a day, 32% of whom are repeat customers. That sucker is more popular than my blog now. Bounce rate of 53% is crazy low. People don’t come just to look at one page, they stay and browse around.

The audience of the Database is significantly more diverse than my blog – still mostly male, but by less of a margin, and the ages are distributed much more evenly.

tw db 2 A Stats and Traffic post

Hmm, ok. So where does the Database get it’s traffic? Again, mostly organic Google searches, but The Typosphere Blogroll and the powerhouse blogs are the main drivers of referral traffic. My own blog only shows up at #10.

tw db 3 A Stats and Traffic post
And I dunno if you’ve seen Google Analytics “real-time” stats view, but it’s pretty awesome:

tw db 4 A Stats and Traffic post

Fun with the Anscoflex II Pseudo-TLR

IMG 6667 Fun with the Anscoflex II Pseudo TLR

The Anscoflex II, a fixed-focus (f11), fixed-shutter (1/60) pseudo-TLR. I picked this one up in a batch of stuff I got from Craigslist for $15. Primarily I wanted the daylight film loader that came in the batch, but this camera was one of the added bonuses.

Anscoflex1 Fun with the Anscoflex II Pseudo TLR

168320 loewysharpener adrianwinter slide Fun with the Anscoflex II Pseudo TLR

The Anscoflex was designed by Raymond Loewy, who also designed this nifty pencil sharpener, the Coke Bottle, the Zippo Lighter, the Studebaker Avanti (below) and loads of other very attractive things.

1963 STUDEBAKER AVANTI R2 Fun with the Anscoflex II Pseudo TLR IMG 6669 Fun with the Anscoflex II Pseudo TLR

IMG 6666 Fun with the Anscoflex II Pseudo TLR

Huge, bright viewfinder – apparently one popular use for this camera is to shoot through the viewfinder with a digital camera, which gives a vintage instagrammy look.

IMG 6663 Fun with the Anscoflex II Pseudo TLR

My first test was to open up the camera in the darkroom and cut a strip of 35mm film from one of my rolls & scotch-tape it to the inside of the camera. First, had to tape up the red window in the back of the camera. Apparently 620 film has a paper backing, which prevents the film getting exposed through this window. 35mm film has no such protection.

IMG 6662 Fun with the Anscoflex II Pseudo TLR

Here’s what it looked like (using scrap film to demonstrate – all this has to be done for real in pitch blackness) . This actually worked, but I’ve since found a blog post describing how to modify the camera to take an actual 35mm roll.

2014 04 14 1 Fun with the Anscoflex II Pseudo TLR

Here’s my single test shot, from inside my garage of the place across the street in bright sun. Not too bad. I will use the built-in yellow filter next time for more B&W contrast.

The Anscoflex II seems to be a pretty popular “toy” TLR, due to the huge viewfinder and spiffy design.  Lots of reviews and posts in photo blogs:

http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Ansco_Anscoflex
https://sites.google.com/site/contraptionsinphoto/ansco-anscoflex-ii
http://danielleruth.wordpress.com/2011/02/23/anscoflex-ii/
http://westfordcomp.com/foundfilm/anscoflex/
http://junkstorecameras.com/anscoflex.htm
http://connealy.blogspot.com/2012/08/anscoflex-ii.html
http://mwpfilm.blogspot.com/2011/03/anscoflex-ii.html
http://phil-are-go.blogspot.com/2010/02/anscoflex-camera-hideously-beautiful.html
http://shootfilmridesteel.com/?p=133
http://www.jollinger.com/photo/cam-coll/cameras/tlrs/23601_Anscoflex2.html
http://malcolmchalmersphotography.weebly.com/2/post/2014/01/anscoflex-built-to-last.html
http://tazmpictures.com/site/?p=2468

These pages review the Anscoflex II and mentions an interesting technique where you shoot pictures with your digital camera *through* the viewfinder of the Anscoflex II, as the viewfinder is so unique and bright that it is essentially like using a “vintagizing” filter on the digital camera. I’ll have to give this a try soon.
http://mconnealy.com/vintagecameras/anscoflex/index.html
http://btoewsphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/10/day-285/365

Designed by Raymond Loewy:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_Loewy
http://susan-fama.blogspot.com/2010/05/raymond-loewy.html

Typewriter collector Mr. Martin has one:
http://www.mrmartinweb.com/medium.html

I just loaded a small strip of film for a single shot to test, but here’s an interesting blog post describing how to adapt a 35mm film roll to the 620-size Anscoflex II:
http://blog.kellysamuelson.com/2012/06/how-to-use-your-obsolete-620-film.html

Manuals:
http://www.cameramanuals.org/agfa_ansco/anscoflex_ii.pdf
http://pdf.textfiles.com/manuals/CAMERAS/VINTAGE/anscoflex.pdf

Tutorial on how to completely disassemble the Ancsoflex and clean it:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shaneblomberg/sets/72157630846801082/with/7688158708/

Adventures of the Typospigeon: Part 1

IMG 6467c Adventures of the Typospigeon: Part 1

IMG 6467d Adventures of the Typospigeon: Part 1

The Typospigeon outside Deseret, bringing Key Snap and I together like a powerful magnet…

IMG 6467a Adventures of the Typospigeon: Part 1

IMG 6467 Adventures of the Typospigeon: Part 1

Yeah, I shot the Typospigeon’s adventures on film, developed it and scanned it all in one day. Typecasting is not for the weak! The Hanimex performed flawlessly!

IMG 6467b Adventures of the Typospigeon: Part 1

IMG 6467f Adventures of the Typospigeon: Part 1

Bill Wahl lets the Typospigeon try out his Bennett

IMG 6467e Adventures of the Typospigeon: Part 1

The Typospigeon roosts for the weekend among a Densmore 5 and a Hammond.

The Ballad of the Second $2 Garmin GPS

2014 04 02 1 The Ballad of the Second $2 Garmin GPS 2014 04 02 2 The Ballad of the Second $2 Garmin GPS

IMAG1259 The Ballad of the Second $2 Garmin GPS

Brought to you by the Lettera 32/35 – “Artoo Livetti”

Lettera 32 35 1200 web The Ballad of the Second $2 Garmin GPS

Speaking of which, look what Nick Beland over at x over it made for me! high-resolution artwork so I can have a new nameplate made for Artoo. Thanks Nick! :D

Fun links for infos:

The Garmin Nuvi 1450 LMT at Garmin.com

Nuvi 1450 Manual

GPS Insight, a fleet tracking service

Nick Beland’s post showing off his typewriter artwork rubber stamps

Fun with Atomic-Age Electro 35

IMG 6122 Fun with Atomic Age Electro 35

IMG 6107 Fun with Atomic Age Electro 35

1968 Yashica Electro 35 Rangefinder

IMG 6111 Fun with Atomic Age Electro 35

IMG 6112 Fun with Atomic Age Electro 35

IMG 6114 Fun with Atomic Age Electro 35

IMG 6115 Fun with Atomic Age Electro 35

2014 03 29 7 Fun with Atomic Age Electro 35

Double-exposure tests, Expired Ilford HP5+ 400 ISO, Developed in Caffenol-C 18 minutes.

2014 03 31 2 Fun with Atomic Age Electro 35

indoors, dim lighting

2014 03 29 2 Fun with Atomic Age Electro 35

Inside, testing out flash sync at various apertures

2014 03 31 4 Fun with Atomic Age Electro 35

This is not normally what I keep in my camera bag. You’d think that a bagful of camera gear would make an uncomfortable bed, but #6 doesn’t think so.

2014 03 29 1 Fun with Atomic Age Electro 35

wide open at f1.7 with flash creates an interesting solarized effect.

2014 03 29 3 Fun with Atomic Age Electro 35

I visited Key Snap last week to pick up an M42 macro bellows he found for me, and to deliver one of the Marantz’s so he could listen to the tapes he found along with his recently acquired Olympia SM-9. When I arrived, he was testing out a Polaroid Land Camera that he’d gotten working again.

2014 03 29 5 Fun with Atomic Age Electro 35

Erik’s Polaroid photo of me!

2014 03 29 4 Fun with Atomic Age Electro 35

I wish I’d brought the flash this day. difficult lighting for taking pics in the shade with strong backlight

2014 03 29 6 Fun with Atomic Age Electro 35

Another of Erik’s Polaroids. There seems to be a ghost that follows me around, that only the Polaroid process can see. (or maybe a light leak in the bellows?)

IMG 6132 Fun with Atomic Age Electro 35

Untitled 1 Fun with Atomic Age Electro 35

Brisket! This time, while visiting a different Eric, who makes amazing barbeque!

The TWDB so far, Visualized in Tableau

Ok, well this trend of making nifty circle charts out of your collection data seems to have caught fire, and you guys know how I am about jumping on the latest Typospherian trend, so here you go:

This is a chart showing the best-represented manufacturers in all the gallery entries of the Typewriter Database. Size means more entries, darker greens mean more photo representation. From this chart you can easily see the heavy American influence, and oddly the fact that while there are more Royals in the Database than Smith-Coronas, it’s the Smiths that have more photos uploaded. Make of that what you will. (:

Of course, to get the data to make this chart, I had to do something to the Database to make it easy for me to download a formatted CSV file. Because I abhor redundancy and making a tiny tool when a much more comprehensive tool would be just as easy to make, I re-purposed the script that feeds JSON to the search tables so that it now instead outputs a formatted CSV file when it is simply given the “output=csv” flag. This is in addition to the flags for the searches it already does when outputting JSON. The clever among you should have light bulbs hovering over your head right about now, because this means that any query that can be executed on the normal database search can also be invoked so that it outputs a nice CSV file of the result, ready to download and import into Tableau or Many Eyes, or whatever tool you see fit to play around with.

Now, since use of this tool in its full capacity is something that requires the equivalent of command-line knowledge of the syntax, I’ll have to wait on a full reveal until I can write up something on how to use it. In the meantime, know that it’s built, it works, and it’s ready to use – assuming you’re clever enough to figure out how to find it and use it on your own given the clues I’ve dropped. :D

UPDATE: ahh, fuggle it, I just went ahead and added links in a lot of places in the database. Look for a little folder icon that says “Download CSV file of…”. enjoy!

A Steampunk DJ Desk, Adventures in GPS Hacking and a Pen & Ink report

IMAG1249 A Steampunk DJ Desk, Adventures in GPS Hacking and a Pen & Ink report

Here’s another interesting thing I spotted at North Goodwill, can you guess what it is?

2014 03 25 a A Steampunk DJ Desk, Adventures in GPS Hacking and a Pen & Ink report IMAG1248 A Steampunk DJ Desk, Adventures in GPS Hacking and a Pen & Ink report IMAG1254 A Steampunk DJ Desk, Adventures in GPS Hacking and a Pen & Ink report 2014 03 25 b A Steampunk DJ Desk, Adventures in GPS Hacking and a Pen & Ink report

IMAG1255 A Steampunk DJ Desk, Adventures in GPS Hacking and a Pen & Ink report

Turntable, Amp and Speakers already removed. If I had the room, I’d totally turn this into a Steampunk DJ Deck. Alas, like the Leslies, the Sherman Clay Radiola had to be passed up.

2014 03 25 c A Steampunk DJ Desk, Adventures in GPS Hacking and a Pen & Ink report

Found this in the case lining of a Hanimex (Cosina) SLR that Key Snap clued me onto this morning. This little camera shop is long gone, but was just down the street from the Mesa Typewriter Exchange.

A Typecast Blog by The Right Reverend Theodore Munk