What brings searchers to this blog

I thought it might be interesting to look at the traffic that comes my way from search engines. Here are the top 5 posts that consistently bring in searchers:

I’ve written about 4 posts on styling fieldsets in response to the continuing interest that I see in the posts. They are all popular and get constant visits. Strangely, the one about the wrapper div is perennial favorite. One would think that information was totally widespread already. I think the popularity of the Tumblr post reflects the inadequacy of their Help information.

Now that I think about it, a great deal of what I do on this blog is try to explain something that is badly explained elsewhere. A recent example, of course, is the e-book explaining how to use media queries in Dreamweaver.

Wow. I got an award!

WIT Award, take two

Wow. I got a recognition award at the New Mexico Technology Council’s Women in Technology awards celebration.

It was an exciting honor to get an award in the same ceremony as 9 other women who are doing things with technology like saving lives, creating clean energy, desalinating water, and managing tech companies. Yeah, PhDs and MDs all over the place. And me. It was surreal.

Now I even have a label. I’m a ‘web evangelist.’ I may be the first of the breed, but it feels like a good description of what I’ve been doing for the last 15 years.

The WIT group also gave 10 scholarships to high school senior girls from all over the state who are interested in technology.


Here’s a local news report about the event: New Mexico Business Journal.

Writing, Typing, Keyboarding, Texting

There was a lot of off-line conversation among BlogHer editors a while back about the fact that today’s kids cannot read or write in cursive. I have more decades of experience will all forms of writing than any of those relative youngsters at BlogHer. Here are some reflections about how technology has affected me as a producer of words.

Everyone learned cursive when I was a kid. You weren’t allowed to print. As a public school teacher for a gazillion years myself, I taught cursive to my students. I can tell you exactly how to perfectly form any cursive letter. I was always one of those people who had “good” handwriting. Yet, now, when I do something like attend a writing workshop with Natalie Goldberg, where she won’t allow computers, I find it really difficult to write by hand. My cursive quickly turns to unreadable scribbling. And if I do write something worth using later, I still have to input it into my computer!

When I was in high school, we took Typing – with real typewriters. I was terrible at it. I think I still hold the record for the most mistakes on a 10 minute timed writing test for my high school. And correcting mistakes was very difficult. Anybody remember Wite Out? I had inch deep globs of Wite Out scattered over everything I typed.

When I made it to college and took journalism classes, my instructor insisted we compose at the typewriter. Thinking at the keyboard turned out to be easy for me and I’ve been composing at the keyboard ever since, unless forced to do otherwise. I was still a terrible typist, but I could correct my mistakes.

Later in college, I attempted to help my husband type his doctoral dissertation. On a typewriter. And it had to be perfect. No corrections. I had nightmares about that particular stress. That was before the self-correcting typewriters came along with built in white correction stuff on the ribbon.

I was out of college and busy teaching kids to write in cursive when the Apple IIe came into the school. Remember that? 64K of memory? The Oregon Trail on a big floppy disk? Yeah, that. I was hooked immediately.

When you type on a computer keyboard it is so easy to correct your mistakes. So easy. And it is so easy to edit, move, rearrange, and manipulate the words to improve them. That was it for me. I was sold.

Now I’m troubled when someone, even someone so wonderful as Natalie Goldberg, asks me to write by hand. I want my keyboard.

Texting is another art completely. The skill you develop depends on the type of phone you have. If you change phones, you may have to relearn the keyboard all over again for the new phone. The problem isn’t so much bad typing as fat fingers. Then there are the self-correcting smart phones, which can be hilariously wrong about what you meant.

My daughter talks to her Android phone and it sends text messages for her. That’s probably coming soon for computers. I’m not sure I’d be good at that. I’m not a good speaker. I’m somewhat more accomplished as a writer. I don’t have much luck saying what I really mean when I have to say it out loud. I can say it better with my fingers.

Writing, Typing, Keyboarding, Texting. Hand Hand Fingers Thumb. The technological progress of writing sounds like a Dr. Seuss book.

I’m talking about categories and focus, people

I was cleaning up categories today, deleting a few that didn’t have many posts associated with them. I figure if I’ve only used a category a few times, I don’t really need it and would be better off with an appropriate tag every now and then.

I noticed that web-education is the category I’ve used most, with 315 posts associated with that category.

This post will be post number 1700 on this blog. That means that over 18% of my posts are on the topic web-education. Add in the 111 posts that are in the category webdesignbookreview – about 7%. Then there’s another 7% that are categorized webteachertips. Adding in the usefullinks posts bumps it up another 18%. Which means that at least 50% of the time I’m fulfilling the promise in my tagline: Tips, web design book reviews, resources and observations for teaching and learning web development.

That’s a lot of staying focused on one subject for a lot of years.

That focus doesn’t bring in huge traffic numbers, but it did result in book deals, several paying gigs on the Internet and other jobs, plus speaking opportunities. Never underestimate the power of an individual voice from an individual blog, even a small niche blog.

Big Personal Announcement

blogherBlogHer is changing the way they curate, promote, and celebrate women bloggers. Part of that change is to hire Section Editors who will be in charge of finding and promoting the best of the female blogosphere (and some of the male blogosphere, too).

I’m the new Section Editor for Tech at BlogHer. This is an upgrade from my former status as an occasional Contributing Editor in the technology area. It means that I’m going to be the person in charge of finding great posts about technology. The posts will either be featured with a link, syndicated (for money!)  as articles from technology blogs by women, or promoted as tech posts that appear on BlogHer through the normal blogging system they have in place. I’ll be looking for good tech videos to feature, for interesting women in tech to write about, and for interesting people and ideas from all sorts of tech topics.

I’d like to hear from the women tech bloggers. Tell me about your blog and pitch me about posts you’d like to see featured or posts you think are worthy of syndication on BlogHer. You’ll be able to contact me through my BlogHer Profile.

I’m not interested in product pitches, PR people. If a blogger has written a review of a product, that might interest me, especially if it’s something hot that a lot of people are talking about – for example a new game or app.

Just so you know, these are the blogs I’m already subscribed to. If you’re a woman with a tech blog that I don’t know about, please contact me through my BlogHer Profile or at virginiaATvdebolt.com.

  • .51 – Geekspace for Women
  • A Blog Not Limited
  • A Tech Geek Mom’s Nerd Paradise
  • Aliza Sherman: She Knows Social
  • ATMac
  • Backup Brain
  • Blogging Basics 101
  • But You’re A Girl
  • carrie actually
  • Cindy’s Take on Tech
  • CompSci Woman
  • Cool Mom Tech
  • danah boyd | apophenia
  • Digital Diva
  • Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt
  • Geek Feminism Blog
  • GeekMom
  • GeekSugar
  • ginger’s thoughts
  • Jolie O’Dell
  • Mac Tips
  • Momathon Blog
  • momswithapps
  • Ms. Beane’s Brain
  • PHP-Princess
  • PINGV Creative Blog
  • rare pattern
  • RoniNoone
  • Scenario Girl
  • SheGeeks
  • Sims 3 Gamer
  • Social Media Design
  • Standardista
  • Stubbornella
  • The Background Fairy
  • The Female Perspective of Computer Science
  • The Hacker Chick Blog
  • The Mary Sue
  • Tiffany B. Brown
  • Veronica Belmont

This just started, and I’m not really into swing of it yet, but I will be soon. I’m trusting that I can take this on and still keep up something of value here as well. Crossing my fingers.