Friday, December 2, 2016

My New WordPress Blog: PotatoHack.com

I've been playing with a Wordpress blog for the past year, and created www.potatohack.com to coincide with the release of my book back in March. While I like some of the features of Blogger, I find that WordPress has more features and the comments are easier to manage, and don't disappear like they do here. I've also been plagued with loads of complaints that some people cannot leave comments at all here.



Yesterday was my last day of classes for the master's degree I've been working on the last 2 years! Just waiting for the diploma to be unceremoniously mailed, not even sure I'll open it when it comes. Having a master's degree opens the possibility of a promotion at work, or a complete career change should the opportunity arise, and might look good in future writing gigs. Did I mention I ended up with a 4.0 grade point average?   

My plan is to revive my most popular posts from here and re-post them at potatohack.com until Christmas. I'm leaving most of the comments "off" as I populate the new blog, but eventually I'll start back with new content and comments there.

What the blog statistics analyzer shows me is that I have about 200 regular readers, but another 1000-2000 people find me each week through web searches, the most popular being "potato diet." These readers land somewhere in the middle of my blog, click an average of 2.5 other pages, and depart. When I write a new blog post, about 200 people read it in the first couple days, then it lays fallow until random strangers stumble across it. My new blog is going to be aimed more at these 2000 people, trying to keep them engaged and coming back, and building the number...I'd like to see if I can get 20,000+ visitors a week.

As 90% of my readers never leave a comment, it's apparent that the comments are not what draws readers. However, I have really enjoyed interacting with everyone here and developing a very intelligent audience who help each other out and add tremendous value. I know that when I started my health journey in 2010, I would trawl 15 or 20 popular blogs, reading through 100's of comments to find nuggets of information that pertained to me. I see that same pattern around here, and I love it when someone comments on a long-dead blog post with a question, comment, or more information. Sad to say, I can count on one hand how many blogs I've commented on in the past year. But it was a fun journey!

In some ways, the "old guard" blog commenters are what kept the blogging community alive. Who remembers seeing lengthy comments by ItsTheWoo everywhere?  Gemma, Tatertot, DuckDodgers, et al?  I've noticed a distinct downturn in the number and quality of blogs, preferring now the blogs of friends over the mainstream media blogs which seem more interested in getting you to sign up for package deals, courses, and special offers. In many ways, the blog posts I've written here the past year have been written specifically for the handful of people who regularly comment, and I felt I owed it to you all to dig deeper than most readers care to delve into the topics. I've also come to realize that I don't know nearly enough about biology and science to dissect some of the topics we discuss.

I've thought about ways to monetize my blogs, and it turned out to be a real goat-rope. The Amazon links I put up are attached to an affiliate account, and I get gift cards I can use on Amazon that average about $100 a month. I think this is fair compensation for what I do in my spare time, and it lets me advertise only the things that I actually use, and it lets me illustrate what I'm talking about by showing real-life examples. Then of course links to my book, which, by the way, is still selling well nine months after release. In November, almost 2000 copies sold, which tickles me to no end. The royalties are terrible, and the publisher and Amazon are the real winners, lol, but that's fine. People are being exposed to gut health and maybe there will be a second edition or cookbook one day.

Anyhoo. Go check out my new blog and let me know what you think. I'll start writing new content there in 2017 with comment sections, maybe we can all get back together and have some fun threads again.

Veggie Pharm will be here until the internet burns down, feel free to leave comments if you want to discuss anything here, and I'll answer as quick as I always do. Seems kind of sad to be leaving here, but I'm not really going anywhere, lol.

Most of you already have it, but feel free to email me at akman2014 (@) live.com. I always enjoy hearing from you guys.

A special thanks to Wilbur, Christine, Barney, Gemma, GabKad, Terri F., Navillus, Dr. Ayers, Mycroft Jones, Lauren, and the numerous "Anonymi" who've graced the comments over the years. And everyone else whose joined in the comments and helped me with blog posts from time to time.

Happy Holidays!
Tim

37 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you very much, Rosiee, I value your contributions to the internet. And thanks for making my point, lol. Or are you trying to tell me something?

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    2. "This is the just legal energy storing in addition powerful, formulated to achieve muscles."

      All your potato are belong to us!

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  2. Thanks Tim! My experience of blogging since 2000 was that comments aren't what draws people in. But it does encourage them to stick around, and I also found it a useful source of links and "further information" which in turn fueled more blog posts. I used it to break the mental blocks in coming up with new content. Although I never actually enabled comments... I let people email me. But I do find value in reading the blog posts, then also what people read. I never enabled comments because I know that daily monitoring is a big job, especially if a troll comes in.

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  3. The one issue I have with comments these days is, Google no longer indexes them. Used to be, you post something in comments, you could Google and find the comment. Or you could google all your past comments by using your username. That has gone the way of the dodo, so now comments are pretty much a tarpit. :(

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    1. I thought that was my imagination! Yes, I used to find lots of comments by Googling them.

      I've noticed several blogs use Facebook for commenting, that's kind of cool, I guess. The things that draw the most traffic to this blog and potatohack have been Facebook shares. Mark Sisson shared my "Gut on Potatoes" post to FB once, and it got like 10,000 views that day, and has since become the #1 viewed post on VeggiePharm with over 36K views.

      Actually, you guys might like reading my reposts in the next couple weeks, I will be updating and cleaning up my most popular blog posts from here, using the comments to add clarity. But some of the comment threads were 100's long, I hate seeing all of that lost forever. I've had people tell me they've spent weeks just going through the archives here.

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    3. Tim, keep this blog up. I've been meditating on how best to make a blogger/wordpress replacement that let's Google index the comments again. I think I can write a script to save all the comments.

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    4. I just Googled "mycroft vegetablepharm" and got 10 hits, from here, FTA, Grace's blog, and Mark's Daily Apple. I'm sure you've left more than 10 comments!

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  4. Tim,congratulations on finishing your master's Degree. See you on Potatohack.com in 2017. I'm off to India until March 2917.

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    1. Ashwin! 2917? Have you found a secret key to immortality?

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    2. Gemma, I'm working on the secret ingredient to immortality but 2917 might be a stretch too far!! A typo.....

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  5. Add congratulations to the new grad, with a 4.0, too! Impressive, with everything else you do! Will follow you on your new blog.

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  6. Congratulation, Tim! Good luck with the new blog!

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  7. So all your comment threads will stay on VeggiePharm, right? Because those comment threads that I found in 2012 (and after) on so many blogs, yours included, when changing my lifestyle/diet, well, I couldn't have done it without them! I scoured them! I found them, personally, even more helpful than the main posts!

    Will you leave a last post here saying something like, "I've moved. Click here for my new site."? Or maybe add that in your side bar here?

    Congratulations on the degree and GPA! That's great! And best of luck with The Potato Hack website. Keep finding new ideas and bringing them to us! (Well, if you like that and want to!)

    I've really enjoyed your blog environment and comrades here. I hope they come have coffee (or tea or mineral water) at your new place. :-)

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  8. A job,a blog,grad school and a 4.0,most impressive! It must be the consumption of all those potatoes! A job well done, see you on potatokack.com.

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  9. I hardly ever comment myself but I'm frequently checking in here to see if there are new comments. The regular contributors are such a knowledgable lot, I've learnt so much from you all. I think this is my favourite blog. Everyone is so helpful. I hope you get the comments up and active at the new blog pretty soon Tim, and congratulations on those results.

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  10. I'll be reading your new blog and perhaps leaving an occasional comment. Thanks for all the great info you provide!

    "mysterious, reclusive commenter"

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  11. Congrats Tim! Looking forward to the new blog!

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  12. Congratulations Tim. Best wishes on the new ventures.

    Barney

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  13. Congrats Tim, I'll see you at www.potatohack.com!

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  14. Well done, Tim! See you in 2017 on your new site.

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  15. I don't often comment on the blogs I follow but I do often read some or all of the comments. I second the nomination to leave this blog up.

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  16. No worries, this blog will be here until the internet goes away, in fact, I may even put a blog post up every now and then for those that are still subscribed. I want to keep "me" out of my new blog, "just the facts, ma'am!" But, I did like it here where we all got to know each other quite well. So, we;ll see, but, yes, this blog and it's comments will always be here for future travelers to find.

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    1. Tim, I can completely understand your desire to make your new blog objective - I'm an academic so my natural tendency in all my writing is to keep myself out of it as much as possible. However, I think people come to regularly follow a blog (or twitter stream, etc.) because a kind of relationship develops, and I believe that happens because they find the character / personality of the blogger is appealing to them as well as the subject matter being of interest. The latter, on its own, may not be sufficient. Your personality engenders a real sense of trust, so please don't excise it completely. Finally, congratulations on completing your Master's - it was a brave undertaking and has been inspiring to read about and follow. Well done!
      Richard

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    2. Richard - Yeah, I get torn between want to just be a "sciency news outlet" and a "blogger." I hate to give people the false illusion that I know everything, but I like to share the knowledge that I find. We'll just have to see how it goes, lol. I may continue posting more personal type things here at VeggiePharm, and more news/potato hack related items at PotatoHack.

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  17. I agree, Blogger has its limitations. Commenters couldn't hyperlink to other sites and/or pages. Wordpress will let us do that. And I hated the anonymus button. In Wordpress you fill in your ID (in my case Jo TB) and email address and away you go.

    Tim, I think you will find that more people will join in commenting, as I'm sure Blogger put a lot of people off.

    Congratulations on your degree. I hope it brings you unexpected/unforseen opportunities that you will enjoy.

    I'm off to the new site......

    Jo tB

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  18. Tim - I agree with Terri F: I've found great stuff going back through your posts and the comments...you yourself sent me off to Garbling the Dandelion, and that has been wonderful (but that's another story), and when I thought for a moment that it was all gone away I was no end distressed. So thank you ever so for keeping it up; there's just a whole lot of posts and comments I need to go back to - including Mycroft's, btw. Congratulations on the degree and GPA -- hope they serve you well.

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  19. Congratulations Tim! Well done on the degree!

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  20. Funny, but I just got the uBiome results from a test I did last summer. I did a before and after sample of my mouth after swishing 20 minutes with sesame oil (oil pulling). I'll try to write that up for here since there is other talk of oil pulling and it really does not fit the "potato hack" theme of the other blog.

    This blog is my repository of information, you would not believe how many times I search through old posts looking for links to studies or a comment someone left.

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    1. A write-up on that would be great -- and really timely, at least for me. Looking forward to it.

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    2. Next week! But it looks like oil pulling made quite a short term impact on the bacteria in my mouth. Hard to say what it means, but at least it shows it's doing something.

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    3. I think I just committed myself to keeping up two blogs, lol.

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    4. Tim - I think you just did that, yes. But you have time - that is until you decide you'll go for a Ph. D. ;-)

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  21. Tim:

    I am on day 14 of the Jillette/Cronise "Potato Famine." Went from 308.6 to 290.4. No hunger, actually still enjoy potatoes! I'm not actually signed up with Mr. Cronise, so I am playing it somewhat by ear, but tomorrow I have my ears of corn, and start playing with green leafy salads.

    I plan to keep potatoes as part of the diet--I am going to experiment with some allowed flavor enhancement, tabasco, pepper, etc. I did the 14 days without any of that--potatoes and water only, exception being a couple cups of green tea.

    Enjoying your book very much--it's astonishing a) how effective this damn hack is and b) why it isn't widely known. This is literally the "one weird trick" that Facebook ads promised us with all their clickbait titles, except it's real.

    One question, asked you about a week ago on another thread that I am not sure if you still maintain--what are your thoughts on "rare and appropriate" days, aka "cheat days" once you hit maintenance weight?

    And can you do this hack with something besides potatoes (JUST KIDDING)


    Alex

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    1. Alex - Great job! I hear the same thing over and over, how could this stupid idea work so darn good? I think cheat days are fine, but don't plan them and don't go crazy. For instance, if you go out to eat with friends or get an invite to dinner, don't be a spoil-sport, but eat well of the best things offered and have some dessert. I think there is never a good excuse to eat the very worst food offenders, ie. candy bars, deep fried foods, etc., but a few bites now and then won't kill you, either.

      At your starting weight, you need a good, long run of healthy eating, being mindful of overall calories, and a good lifestyle overhaul to ensure you are as stress free as possible, exercising, and sleeping good.

      I think that you have kickstarted your diet really well. Consider using a 3 day per week potato hack for a couple months to really keep things moving.

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