Saturday, November 19, 2016

A can of worms, and something fluffy to cover it up again

With daily blogging, I've taken occasionally to having a look at my stats information, something I've not done for a very long time. I don't place any importance on or faith in them at all, of course. I'm sometimes a bit curious about referring sites and URLs though; many of them seems to be weird kind of feed, aggregation sites whatever, things I've never understood. A really odd one though, that in the last week, I've had thirty-three referrals from the Spectator, specifically, it seems, their blogs page. This led me to follow the link back to try to find out how this might have happened, how on earth Box Elder could have been linked to from anyone involved with the publication in any way shape or form. This in turn led me to spending rather too much time reading there, which has left my soul abraded*, and I am none the wiser as to how the link came about. I won't put in a link to the Spectator as I feel that would only make things worse. Fortunately they have just told me I need to subscribe to read any more, which will put a stop to my masochism. Though of course there's always the incognito window option, which is a useful way of getting round subscription-free limits (though don't tell anyone I told you and please spare me the moralising about paying for content, mea culpa, etc) and also those times when you can't quite resist reading something somewhere like the Daily Mail or Breitbart but you don't want anyone, not even an algorithm, to know. But be warned, you will still feel dirty. Also, you can't get Adblock.

So, I think I will just raid my Pinterest miscellaneous board to cheer myself up:

Foot Stones. So cute! Now I'll be on the look out for rocks:

always mean to make some of these when I go to the beach, but never remember. We don't have many pebbles like this on our local beaches mind. These are set up and taken by Scottish photographer Iain Blake.

Sagrada Família, Barcelona, Spain. The most incredible artwork in every bit of the construction. Don't skip this if you go to Spain!:

Sagrada Familia. Never been there, may do one day but I don't have much yen to go south any more. (Came via tumblr, but watermarked by the photographer).

Samuel Salcedo:

Samuel Salcedo, apparently.

Street Art:

Street art, can't seem to track this one's origins down. There's some wonderful street art on Pinterest. I wish I had the kind of mind that could see the potential in things like this.

And finally something really cuddly and heartwarming. Hope they've both had their flea drops.

* liberal cry-baby, and proud.


Zhoen said...

Crying along, liberally.

I remember waves of visits from sites like that. I think they are, if not spam, certainly spam-ish. May be useful for those who want a lot of traffic on their sites, for political or commercial reasons, for individuals, not so much.

Love the Samuel Salcedo.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Lucy, I completely empathise regarding the stats thing. I've become quite suspicious (paranoid?) about strange links and referrals which appear on my stats from time to time and trying to find out who or what they are can become quite obsessive. My investigations did, however, lead me a couple of times to discover that I was being ripped off (someone stealing some of my images and trying to sell them) and other things I won't bore you with. Anyway, it's not entirely a waste of time to look into anything that looks rather dodgy or puzzling. Your Spectator visitor might have been a journalist looking for copy?

I recently met a poet (Ira Lightman, très sympathique) who became an expert at tracking down people who were/are plagiarising poets, sometimes passing off entire poems from various authors as their own. In one case, the culprit had to admit his guilt and apologise publicly - it's on Google if you type in Lightman's name. Not that this is necessarily relevant to the topic of mysterious stats...I just got carried away. As one does.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Lucy, I've never read the Spectator. So I've just read some of their articles and OMG, I see what you meant about your "soul abraded"! And it suddenly dawns on me that when I wrote above that one of their journalists"might have been looking for copy" you might take this to mean they'd find like-minded material on Box Elder! No no no no way! I didn't mean that and apologise for the un-intended inference.
Foot is now out of mouth.

Julia said...

Love the pebbles!
Unusual art always fascinates me as does conventional art for that matter I am, I am told, too cerebral to make art but I think that was just an attempt at kindness

Lucy said...

Cheers dears.

Z - clearly that's so with a lot of these feed site things, I never quite understand how they work or who, if anyone, uses them, or if they're just sort of randomly generated. But the Spectator one was odd because it is a very mainstream publication, and I can't understand how there could have been any kind of link. Funny heads aren't they; as always with Pinterest, especially with the new layout, there were lots of other beguiling similar things that came up alongside; I could spend forever there, so many distractions.

Natalie - please don't worry! I was somewhat amused at the idea of any Spectator journalist or even blogger finding any copy of any interest to them at Box Elder! I often have read isolated pieces there, and have sometimes found them interesting; indeed, I think the depressing thing about it is that it is by no means an unintelligent magazine, not some scurrilous or dumbed down rag you can just dismiss. There are some genuinely respectable and formidable people involved; Nick Cohen, the token leftie there is worth reading, I've sometimes had time for the editor, Toby Young, on some subjects when I've seen him on telly, and have even enjoyed watching and listening to Rod Liddle on occasion when he's been speaking and presenting; the piece he wrote in the magazine after Jo Cox was murdered (which oddly I found through a Ravelry forum!) was decent and honest and showed genuine outrage and humility and even the possibility he and his side might have got something wrong. Generally, I do try to read and listen see the other side of anything, and not just reject things because they aren't what I want to hear and don't reinforce my own beliefs and opinions. It just seems to me there's a real nastiness creeping in there, less and less reason and more and more of a kind of spiteful paranoia and grievance about being put upon by some repressive liberal elitist pensée unique that really doesn't quite seem to chime with reality as I've perceived it, and that consequently they're in danger of falling in with some very dodgy company.

Tom's been reading up and getting quite worried about copyright and on-line stuff lately, and queried my re-posting the stuff off Pinterest. I've tried to credit it where I can and obviously I'm not making anything out of it. I suppose one of the appeals of the street art is it's just there and anonymous and free for all.

Julia - hello dear, nice to see you! I think perhaps I'm too linear and literal to make much art, I lack the ability to seem what's not immediately there and bring it out, or to see things slantwise. Some of the street art on the sites dedicated to it is the big, presumably officially sanctioned murals and trompe l'oeuil pavement work which is brilliant and beautiful and impressive, but I just love the ones where someone's seen some small and unremarkable detail and made a whole scene and a story out of it. I might seek out some more.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Lucy,a P.S. re The Spectator:

I notice that they've got a competition running and the email given as a contact for it is: lucy at....(I didn't copy the address). So could this be an explanation for the Spectator refs you found in your stats?

the polish chick said...

since the day of the election, i have not read any actual news, online or elsewhere, and with the orange hued human stool sample glaring from every imaginable newspaper cover page, it's getting hard just staying sane (or whatever passes for sane these days).
i want to stay informed but damn, i don't want to feed the beasts of fear, anxiety, depression, and hopelessness! they are plenty well fed enough, methinks.
thanks for the links! i have a whole board on pinterest (urban nerdism) devoted to just street art. some astonishing things out there!