'The View Through The Windshield' consists of things that interest me (especially automotive stuff), including the occasional news article which I find significant, humorous and/or ironic.
Staring at my computer screen: May, 2016
When this blog began in May 2004, I had no intentions of making it a commercial venture; there have never been outside ads on my site nor have I accepted money for a posted opinion.
This blog is strictly a one-man voluntary operation; I have neither co-writers or a comments section. This blog is my journal, not a collaborative or a community forum. That's how it's going to stay, too. I write for me.
Amazingly, I have a following of loyal readers who seem to enjoy my postings. That's a pleasant surprise and I thank them for their 'patronage'.
My memory isn't as good as it used to be, so - instead of cutting out old newspaper clippings and stuffing scribbled notes and statistics into my wallet ... or having ceilingscraper stacks of newspapers filling the house with the obligatory narrow canyons for traveling from room to room - I post things on my blog.
If I ever want to find - for example - something I wrote about Lionel Trains but can't remember where it is, I can simply type 'site:www.joesherlock.com Lionel Trains' into Google and I'll get back 70 or so different postings.
Since I don't sell ad space, blog traffic changes have no impact on my life. I don't do any promotional work and religiously avoid all those 'Ten Ways To Drive Traffic To Your Site' articles.
There are no plans to expand my online presence. No Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, RSS feeds or podcasts - too much of a pain in the ass, in my opinion. I do not want 'Facebook friends'. If you want to be a real friend, fly out here and buy me a few drinks.
It's always a pleasure when readers compliment me about something I wrote. Each month, I post 12-15,000 words. A concession to readers is that I sometimes post newspaper comics and editorial cartoons on the blog, for a change of pace. Because I don't have reprint rights, I remove them after a week or so. So ... if you want to see 'em, you better stop by frequently. Everything else can be found in the Blog Archives (listed chronologically by month) or the Greatest Hits/Essays section, which showcases more lengthy articles and in-depth observations on various subjects.
Over the years, a lot of new blogs have debuted with much noise, fanfare, acerbic wit, outrage and fireworks. I have enjoyed them but am disappointed when they sputter and die. You can't sustain anything - a blog, a business, a show, a relationship - on hype and ambition alone. You must make a commitment and then work at it, putting one foot in front of the other on a regular basis. A lot of people don't understand that. Running is impressive but plodding along is better than standing still ... or being defunct.
There are still many exceptional blogs out there. So many that I struggle to keep up just with the ones I've bookmarked on my browser.
Thanks for stopping by. (originally posted 7/1/12)
New & Improved: Recently, I spent some time thoroughly studying my website's traffic patterns and popularity of various pages. Here's what I learned:
• The joesherlock.com website gets 800-1,400 visits per day, depending on the day of the week (Sundays are quietest) and time of the year. Summer is slow; November is busy.
• The current blog page is the single most popular page on the website. The blog page averages 240-370 visits each day or about 22% of all site traffic.
• The second most popular page of the site is the main page, getting about 13% of site traffic. I suspect new visitors go there after they've found what they wanted through Google and want to find out what else is contained within the universe of joesherlock.com.
• Of the various portions of the website, the model train layout section is by far the most popular section of the site. The Philadelphia Memories pages are the second most popular section. Combined, the Philly and the train sections represent about 5% of all site traffic.
• On a daily basis, the current page of Book Reviews is popular as are the 1939 Plymouth pages; each accounts for a little over 1% of visitors. The Oldsmobile and Edsel pages get significant visits each month; combined they account for just under 2% of traffic each month.
• What about the other 56% of traffic? Well, it goes to the 500-plus other pages on joesherlock.com. As a combined group, the AutoSketch pages are somewhat popular as are the Model & Toy Car pages. and Car Musing pages. The archived monthly pages of the blog don't get very much traffic, nor do the business and finance sections of the site, including the small business advice pages.
• Google directs 17 times as many referrals as does Bing. 6% of Google referrals come from Canada. Other search engines offer negligible referrals.
As a result of the aforementioned data analysis, I've made changes to the site, hence the 'new & improved' tag:
• Images which are only used once on the blog pages will be removed at the end of each month. Current archival blog pages, going back to May 2004, have already been scrubbed of most single-use images. New blog pages will be scrubbed of single-use images at the end of every month. I already do this with most cartoons. This is primarily a housekeeping issue and will have negligible effect on most readers' experiences.
• Pages which no longer have value have been removed. No one cares about the 2006 and 2008 Washington State voters' pamphlets and my humorous take on some of the wackiest local and state candidates of that era. Begone, ye!
• When I permalink something, I'll now send the link to one of the more popular sections of my website. There's no use having something that I consider important consigned to a dusty unused closet.
I hope you continue to enjoy my website. (posted 11/17/16, permalink)