Take the Shtick to the Masses
We're going to need a bigger server

I've read many times during my years of reading shtick that SSI has had too many or too few readers.  Some say that it is difficult to find SSI.  Other people remember the Klat servers melting down periodically from over use and aren't anxious for a repeat.

(The SSI server in 2013)

So: Is SSI hard to find?  I ran a few experiments.

Experiment 1: Type "Mariners Blog" into Google:

Results: After searching for 14 pages, SSI does not appear,in any form.  At no point would any person using the key words "Mariners Blog" ever find SSI.

Experiment 2: Type "Seattle Mariners" into Google: 

Results: SSI does not appear in any form.

Experiment 3: Type "Seattle Sports" into Google.

Results: SSI appears on page 1 of Google, item 5. It is clear that Google views SSI as important but does not know how to classify it. Many humans have the same reaction.

So: What are the Page 1 sites, Seattle Times, Mynorthwest, Seattle PI, USS Mariner, and Lookout Landing doing differently?

1. Blog name.  All professional Mariners blogs have the words Mariners and blog somewhere in the title.  This is because it makes it easy for Google web crawlers to categorize and rank the site based on its title.  But title isn't the end all be all for web optimization, as evidenced by Lookout Landing.  Lookout Landing does not say "Blog" anywhere on the site, but it is listed as a top search result under Mariners blogs.  SSI is a fine blog name, and should never be changed.

2. Meta Data.  Now we're cooking with Peanut Oil.  Meta Data is a HTML Code that is written for web crawlers to categorize what a Web site is about.  

For example:

Web retrieved from Lookout Landing, 8/7/14

Web Retrieved from USS Mariner 8/7/14.

Meta Data is a line of HTML code that does not appear on a browser, but is a guidepost to Web crawlers to help them categorize a Web site.  It can be easily written into every post at SSI by clicking the button "disable rich text" and then typing in

SSI does not have a meta data line for description or content anywhere on the front page.  If it did, it would improve its Google rankings a millionfold in a matter of weeks.  This is a five minute fix with the Klat team.  I've taken the liberty of adding a description line of metadata to this post, calling it "The best Mariners Shtick in the Universe. (It isn't).  You don't see that on your screen, unless you are reading by metadata, but it is there, and Google is watching.

3. Tags.  Tags are meta data that can be, and frequently are, texted with one thumb by sixteen year old girls while driving.  Twitter, Google+ and the SSI shoutbox and post box support tags.  How is a tag made?  As follows: Make a hashtag sign, and type your subject. Use a comma after every tag.  #Mariners, #Shtick, #SEO.  Web crawlers now use tags as an important way to determine subject matter.  I've vested this post with the tags #Mariners, #Baseball, #Blogs.  I'm not sure if any of these tags accurately describe this post, so advanced apologies to anyone who is looking for those subjects and finds this.

4. Twitter.  Twitter is used by exactly two sets of people: Millenials (What those young people who tweet call themselves), and businesses catering to Millenials.  Here's how Twitter could be used for SSI: Tweet: "New 7 part series on James Paxton's Pitching Mechanics and Zen.  (Hyperlink) #Mariners, #Paxton, #POTD."  Young people generally search twitter by hash tags.  That is, they type in #Paxton, and look for all the shtick on a subject.  New tweets are added every second.  If a twitterer likes a tweet, he re-tweets it for the benefit of his followers.  If a re-tweeting happens a few times, a subject is said to be trending. Trending is a nearly perfected state of Twitter.  The highest state of Twitter is going viral.  This occurs when a trending subject takes over Facebook, Twitter and Youtube all at the same time and is discussed on TV.  I think.  All Mariners professional writers, and Lookout Landing publish a link to their latest article on Twitter.  Many have developed followers.  Only the video of Bartender and Rick Waits break dancing has gone viral.


If SSI wanted to multiply readership into the many thousands, it could easily do so.  The Shtick is as good as any I have read.  The Klat server is already strained, and may not be able to handle exponential readership.  SSI definitely wants to invest into some sort of liquid cooled Dell power tower before it starts trending.






bsr's picture

I am all for spreading the SSI gospel to the masses, as I think there are many folks out there who don't know about the site and would enjoy it if they did. Kind of like Hawkblogger.com, which is the absolute best Seahawks analysis by far, but a pretty unknown site compared to FG (nothing against FG, it's great too).
I guess it just depends on whether the admins want to deal with an influx of said masses who may disrupt the proceedings here. I mean there is really not another site on any topic I can think of that has such a good community of intelligent and civilized commentary...it's a really great quality of the site.


Thanks Mojo.  That's super appreciated.
I forwarded to the admins ... 
As far as I'm aware, a Mariners site is something of a "niche" subject to begin with.  Am unaware of any M's sites, other than LL and USSM, that get traffic much above this one (I think 70-some thousand visitors in July).
But!  What a show-stopping point about Hawkblogger vs Field Gulls.  Heavily networked sites - especially SBNation type sites - get 10x the traffic we do, and they're just about the M's, right?
I think the assumption was that we had topped out, given our subject and networking, and the fact that we are persona non grata with a lot of folks ...  but that assumption (on my part) appears to be wrong on 2nd reflection. 
We owe yer :- )

Merrill Danford's picture

Yar, that's really the key, isn't it? (Your last comment.) I guess it all depends on how Jeff defines "sucess."
For me, as a musician, I have always defined success by whether or not I'm productive at home alone, not by playing live or being in a band or making money. Not that I wouldn't like those things, but writing was always the goal, trusting the sharing would come along one way or another.
So by my lights, this here's uber successful, having long ago graduated from regular productivity to sharing.
The community you guys have built is uber-UBER success.

Merrill Danford's picture

...just remember the cautionary tale of Derek Z, who "retired" because it cumulatively became overly tiresome dealing with jerks like me.
(Derek: "... and don't give me a link defining 'arrogant!'"
Me: "")


What gracious words.  :: blinks ::
That's worth a post or six, itself, your comment on success based on your own assessment of your music, home alone ... wowza...
For me personally, 2,000 visitors a day vs 9,000 visitors makes no difference whatsoever.   Exactly as you point out, the community here is the success - if we multiplied the traffic by 10x, but the threads were contentious and unhappy, the site would be devalued ... good call bro' ...
1,000 extra visitors a day are not worth one Mojician (to name one).   Online friends are, oddly enough, sometimes as cool or cooler than next-door friends :- )
So we surely hope that you dig in as a regular, Merrill -
For the admins, though, extra traffic is what it is about and they provide another part of my definition of "success," that being an actual gig vs. pro bono work ;- )
Also Spectator deserves, richly, to get his site rolling on his own terms, and SSI's traffic could theoretically help with that...

Merrill Danford's picture

I hadn't noticed that you could use html tags--stupid, the notes are right below here--and the last part of my last post was supposed to indicate me posting a link to the definition of "arrogant," as Derek seemed to be suffering from some sort of cognitive dissociation, in not recognizing his behavior as such.
Thanks, Jeff, I'll be around as much as possible. A privilege and a pleasure!

IcebreakerX's picture

Heya Doc, could you also pass along that their mobile site is 9 parts down?
It's been fixed every time I've requested, but it also goes down about 5 minutes (ok, maybe a few days) after I say it's broken.
It looks like a bad DNS or .htaccess redirect whenever you visit with an iPhone and sometimes on an iPad.
I haven't tested with an Android phone or tablet, but I assume it's an issue with the site redirecting to the mobile version of the site.


The folks who HOLD us persona non grata would have their own checklist, much different from mine.  LOL.
Mine include:
Took on Cameron and USSM at a time when 90% of the blog-o-sphere were their friends
My politics/worldview (never met many people inside baseball who shared them)
Insecurity; does the TNT (or other major media site) really want to compete with the Think Tank :- )
My own foibles (unlike RockiesJeff, I'm not careful to avoid alienating people)
One time I ran into a major media person -- both of us were "hosting" the same out-of-town celebs -- with who we walked around Safeco for a half hour chatting.  The person's insecurity was palpable.  After just a couple of minutes, the mini-celebs were focusing on our shtick and waving off the media amigo.  Combine that problem with the fact that for them, baseball is a career; for you and me and Mojo, baseball is a pleasant little joke.  Would YOU hustle to get Dr. D into the circle?  ;- )
That's one of the things I loved about Geoff Baker, the lack of insecurity.  He is a bada** -- his bite is worse than his bark -- and he is not intimidated by other hardcore types.
The foes' complaints would read differently, but I'm guessing their complaints about the Dr. D character would also be true of Blogger X, who they like.  Dr. D therefore narrows it to politics and past flame wars.
Many SSI regulars do NOT agree with my world view, that is for sure ... but neither do they cover their ears and hum, at the slightest exposure to that which is outside their views.  They're tolerant people.
Klat itself is this way - it started with satire blogs like "Sarah Palin's Diary," but they were quick to appreciate blogs on Christianity as well.  They'll sit and talk with you nicely and reasonably.  They're very likeable folks.
Don't mean for all that to sound quite so ego'ed out, but it's been our actual observation.
That's my opinion I could be wrong,

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