Less than four months after creating our “Pupating Monarch” imageblog, the new posters are ready. We first mentioned these four years ago in Teacher’s Special – Laminated Poster Of “Emerging Monarch” Is Ready!. They are the same size, specifications, and price as our original poster ($15 for 17″ by 28″ signed poster, laminated on both sides). Like the “Emerging Monarch” poster, they can’t be displayed in our booth during art festivals so you may have to ask for them (or you can contact us directly anytime and we will mail them).
The August 8th announcement about our return to Maitland was our 200th blog post, and it’s time to do a little reflection.
First, Some Statistics
Our first post was on January 25, 2011, two weeks before we had a website (I have no statistics about our first website to bore you with). It took 44 months to publish the first 50 posts, 40 of which were about upcoming events. We moved the blog from Blogspot to our own website on October 10, 2015, and published our hundredth post in May 2016. That second 50 posts took less than 20 months to produce. By then, the overall proportion of our posts that were about upcoming events dropped to 66%. Our second 100 posts took just 27 months. Our overall upcoming-event percentage is down to 53% (and dropping). At the same time, 15% of our posts have been about our images and 14% had website news. The categories of recognition, post-processing, and business were each discussed in over 6% of our posts. The other nine categories were covered in fewer than ten posts each.
So Now What?
I expect that our production rate will level out at less than four posts a month. I’d like the overall proportion of upcoming-event posts to drop toward 40%, while each of the other 14 categories gets good coverage. I keep coming up with new ideas but have trouble finding time to develop them. I’m working on that. Stay tuned.
Three months ago, I invited you to critique my new homepage and offered a rewardblog. The offer has closed and the results are in. But first, a recap. We received twenty suggestions from six people. Each suggestion received three virtual tickets. We received no votes of preference between the new and the old homepage. Each of those would have received one ticket. While some of the questions in the original post were not addressed, and some of the suggestions apply to the other parts of our website beyond the scope of this contest (which will still be considered in my next round of changes), half of our commenters thought the slideshow needed to be larger and more prominent, with more features. While two commenters didn’t like the black background and bright fonts, one (with vision problems) did, so now I need to explore how to make the site more appealing to all viewers. The suggested larger font might help. Some viewers wanted an easier but more comprehensive menu system. These were the suggestions that received multiple votes. The other suggestions were no less valid, but this is only a summary, so feel free to check them out in the comment section of the original post referenced above. While I may not be able to make all the changes, I will be working on this project over the summer. Stay tuned.
Not surprisingly, the winner was the one who made the most suggestions. Robert Sullivan received ten dollars off any print, either one of Nancy’s or his own (you can see his work at www.robertsullivanphotography.com). This award is transferable and may be combined with any other awards and promotions. There is no time limit. Congratulations, Robert, and thanks for your help. I would also like to thank our other contributors.
For the fishermen or naturalists among you, the next contest is already underway. Check out our last blog post, Name This Fish. And I still have a math question which I may get to by the end of the summer. Don’t go away.
We mention on our webpage Sandhills On A Stroll (and possibly other places) how we learn from our visitors. We also have in our booth a 37″ by 68″ canvas print of our Osprey Family image. At the latest Melbourne Art Festival a controversy about the identity of the fish in that Osprey image was renewed.
When she got the image, Nancy knew the fish wasn’t a mullet, which is a common osprey meal, but thought it was a yellow-tailed snapper (and may have been a bit envious). The problem with having an image that is so good (and detailed) is that your story has to be just as good. Shortly after hanging the large canvas version in our booth a ‘real fisherman’ (we consider ourselves amateurs) pointed to the faint yellow stripes on the tail and said the fish was not a snapper, but a grunt. I remembered that grunts had stripes and thought the issue was settled.
In Melbourne just recently, I was recounting this history as another example of how we learn from our guests, and another gentleman told us that wasn’t a grunt; it was a menhaden. Several other identifications followed for the rest of the weekend.
So now I want to use one of my “lifelines” and “ask the audience” (as on the game show “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire”). Here are your choices (in the order we received them):
- yellow-tailed snapper
- grunt (give the specific species)
- lane snapper
- Bermuda chub
- other (must tell species to receive credit)
Vote with a comment to this post before June 1, 2018. Up to three winners will be randomly selected from the entries with the correct answer.
Winners will receive ten dollars off of any print (either Nancy’s or your own). Prizes may be combined with other promotions or coupons. Entrants need not be present to win. Good luck!
Nancy took this photograph at the second of two giant panda breeding research bases we visited around Chengdu, China on a tour with our second favorite tour group, Natural Habitat Adventures. It was at the first base that we got our Giant Panda in Tree and Giant Panda in Tree, which we made available a couple of years after the trip. We made this red panda image available just recently. For more information, go to Red Panda.
While at this research base, we also had the opportunity to hold a red panda. Here is a picture of Nancy taken by our guide, Philip He.
I started a live test of a new Bee Happy Graphics home page, and I’d like your comments. Comments on such things as “Is the slide show at the bottom much help?” or “Is there some other criterion besides subject, location, and primary color that one might use to find images?”. Are the priorities correct? Is it effective? Is there something else that should be here or is important information missing? Can you get to the good pages quick enough from here? Of course, there are still other corrections and possible improvements to the whole website pending, like fixing the menu system for smartphones, etc, but I hope those will come soon enough; they are not part of this test.
All of the comments with viable suggestions for improvement will receive three (virtual) tickets to a drawing for ten dollars off any print (either Nancy’s image or your own). All other comments stating a preference for either the old or new page will receive one ticket. For comparison purposes (and possible reinstatement), the old page can be found here. The drawing will be held sometime after March 11, 2018. You need not be present to win. This reward may be combined with other promotions.
You hear that a lot in South Florida every hurricane season. It, like most slogans and sound bites, is meant for people with simple minds and simple plans. Since “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry”poem & translation, real-life planners and leaders need to do more than just hope. They should routinely have backup plans allowing for success as well as initial failure, and they regularly update those plans as situations unfold.
With that in mind, we just applied for enough art festivals to finish up the season, even as we contemplate the need to cancel another festival next week (this morning’s surgery went pretty well, but it’s too early to know how long the recovery will take). Stay tuned.