The first group of virily influencers, the impactors!

The first group of influencers I am releasing is wholly based on numbers. The numbers I have collected are based on the following collection points.

  1. When that person comments on a post, does the number of views increase?
  2. How many guest views are related to that person reading>?
  3. When do that person comments others also tend to follow along (i.e., do they increase the rate of comments)?

My system isn’t perfect. If I had access to the admin portals, I could very quickly determine these numbers. As it is, I have watched these specific users throughout 10 or more posts each. Of the ten posts, I had four people’s posts as the control group (I checked them every day in the process). The rest I followed the people on the list by checking to see other posts they either shared (social media) or I checked their profile to see where their last comments were.

Without further adieu, if one of the following people comment on your post, you will gain between 20 and 40 views for that post. I would also note that these authors tend to post in certain categories or topic areas. I haven’t seen them post outside, or comment outside those areas, so I don’t have enough overall data.

Now each of the initial five influencers on the site has their areas of interest. If you start or have a challenge going on – get Kim involved! If you ask questions in your posts and someone to provide exceptional insight, you want to get Albert posting on your post! Alex gives great feedback and asks great questions of authors. (PS, call out for (Ghostwriter and LaJenna who always bring positive comments when they comment on a post. What that means is when they comment, all the comments after theirs tend to be positive. I will also call out Alibi, who brings a lot of views when they comment on a post. Finally, I know my name is on there, but in fairness, I do drive the most views when I read technology posts. The names are not ranked and I’ve included the links to their Virily profile page. More influencers are on the site, and more is coming, it takes time to pull all the data together.


influencers change by site, but are interesting always

of influencers and influencing

First off I wanted to continue on my path of yesterday, talking about the influencers on Virily. One of the most positive things you can experience on a writing site is discovering the attention of an influencer.  I first noticed influencers when I was on Niume. There were two other writers HarypingbyaPixie and CarolTaylor that when either of them read my posts, I suddenly had 30 or other readers. I can tell you that while neither of them is on Virily often, they continue to influence at least for my posts. An influencer is someone that in their reading of your post, brings other readers with them. Sometimes an influencer on Virily doesn’t comment although, for the most part, the top influencers leave comments.

Influencers are post changes, and by that let’s break down what an influencer is not. Looking at the current top 10 on Virily regarding authors not many of the top ten are influencers today. Again an influencer doesn’t break even or end up ahead when they read your post.

  1. An influencer generates more external points (that you don’t get credit for) that actual Virils for themselves.
  2. Influencers bring other readers along with them.
  3. Influencers impact your posts across categories but normally are strongest in one category.

The easy to start tracking is the relationship between comments and your post. When you publish your post or checks your posts, Virily tells you on the right side the most commented stories for that day. That is one mode of influence. Does the first person that commented bring other comments with them. There are a few people on the Site that do that.  Now we get into the issue. I’ve found that there are people who don’t read your story, I would love it if team Virily could share time spent per post. I suspect the time some people spend on posts before commenting isn’t enough to read the post even if they are speed reading institute graduates.

I will continue studying this on the site. Personal interest yes, but also it is important to know who helps your posts get read!


wondering who really moves the needle!

On blogging site influencers…

First off there are lots of frustrating things that have come, some are gone, and some remain about being an author on Virily. I do truly understand that there are negative things on the site. The fact that the dashboard hasn’t updated in a month is frustrating. But I would you ask you this, what can you as an author do?  I’ve called out a number of the writers on the site for being too negative. Their response? They stopped reading my posts. That is wholly their right. I encourage people that don’t like being called negative to not ready negative posts about themselves. But then I would also say if there isn’t anything positive to be said be careful. For example last January I was worried about Virily. I was experiencing some issues, and frankly, it was a little frustrating.

I decided to watch five authors on the site to see what their traffic was (I was not one of the authors watched). But I also started looking for influencers. For ten days I checked every post the five authors put up on Virily. From Jan 1 to Jan 11, 2018. The average for all five authors for all posts over the ten days was 64 views. Fast forward one year and one of the author’s measured in 2018 doesn’t post on the site anymore or at least not in the ten-day window. So I evaluated with the 4, from Jan 1 to Jan 11, 2019. Average views for the ten days was 84. Views are up, considerably this year. In part because the Cloudflare and other usage issues have gone away. The site is more stable we don’t have the social media or log in issues, and overall the site is significantly faster.

We do have one huge negative (the dashboard). The other negative that is floating around is that of guest views. Back at the beginning of the Virily site, you got credit for all guest views. Now you get credit for the sharing of a social media link, but you do not get credit for guest views past the initial one viral for sharing. Let’s think about this for a second. On an average day on Virily, I share between 10-15 posts on Twitter. I average 2000 views per day. I do tweet other things on Twitter than just Virily. Let’s just say normally I would generate between 200 and 500 guest views per day based on sharing the information from Virily on Twitter. That occurs throughout 12-15 hours in the standard day. The complexity of capturing the initial share, giving a Unique ID (UID) and then maintaining that across two separate platforms (Twitter and Virily) is tough. Plus, that tweet from some people remains visible far longer than one day. That means you have to create a UID for every single social media share on Virily. I do share Facebook and Tumblr as well as GooglePlus. That means I can share between 50 and 75 different shares a day. There are between 3000-4000 active users on Virily. Let’s say I am on the high end of sharing via Social. Let’s say the average is 4 per day. That means that the site has to track between 9000 to 12000 social shares every day of the week. The admins shared that the reason that they stopped giving Virils for all guest views of social posts was site performance. It is conceivable that the performance issue would get much worse if that feature were turned back on. Hey honestly at some point I understand why it is off. But let’s be fair, I am one of the big losers when it comes to not tracking guest views.


tech wiz

Why emergency weather tech!

I grew up in Chicago and then southern Indiana. In southern Indiana, you watch thunderstorms because of the hot and cold air meeting often swirls. Swirling air is the environment in which tornados flourish. Knowing what a storm was going to do is critical. The fact that my father was before I am one of the reasons why I am a weather gadget geek. I know there are many instances where I am the only one in a room, at a party, or at work that has the weather gadgets. I get that. Weather isn’t one of those things that people care about. Well, they do but on a different level. They care if the weather impacts them, changes their plans or makes them do things differently than expected. Many people adapt to the weather and don’t even think it. Cold outside, fill the bird feeder!

That said I am not a storm chaser. I was watching a little of that on the weather channel the other day. The people that have specially built vehicles with incredible weather tech outfitted to chase the heart of a storm are impressive, but that is not something I will ever be a part of.  That said, many people today have smartphones, there are some applications you can download that are just a couple of dollars that will put you ahead when it comes to weather.

  • If you are in the EU, the EU has a wonderful weather radar application that works very well. eWeather, Weathercube, Weather and Radar and many others do a good of presenting live reader feeds of weather
  • WeatherBug is a great US tool (they may have non-US weather stations) that allows you to see the weather shared locally. Often a school or the television station broadcast the weather. You can often find something in your backyard.
  • NetATMO has a home station you can install but you can also just their app to see local weather.
  • Bloomsky – fun app, same NetATMO there is a weather station, but you can also use the app to see local weather

Most of these applications offer weather radar. Now, I hear the fear. I don’t know how to read weather radar. The fun thing about using weather radar systems on your smartphone is that they are also smart applications. Interested in lightning strikes? Or volume of lighting you simply select that filter from the application, and you see lightning strikes. Same for rain or snows, simply switch the view. Weather alerts are great, critical and I highly recommend you have an emergency weather radio in your house. The Oregon Scientific weather radio is a great radio for starters.

The reality of climate change is the severity of the weather. Weather professionals talk about a century and five hundred year storms. In the last ice age, roughly 10,000 years ago, the Anantara cores that have been lifted show that they had throughout the 1000 years of the last ice age 28 100 year storms. In the resulting 10,000 years, there have only been 100 of those storms a million or 1 a century. We have had 23 100 year storms in the past 30 years. In other words, the worst weather the world has ever seen before humans and our grand ability to change the climate was significantly less extreme than the weather we have today.


get a weather advisory radio!

The internet of everything…

The number of devices most people have at home today is two connected in the house on average with a global average of one device per home. While I do understand that outside the US or the old RoW argument is invalid (Rest of the world) I will undo that original statement with a more proactive view.

US 2 devices per house

EU 2 devices per house

China 2 devices per house

India 2 devices per house

The total currently being a little north of 3 devices per person globally, but the reality is that other than the areas listed above the numbers drop radically. There is no need for connected devices in places that don’t have the infrastructure to support that today. Now if we break this into a more realistic distribution, we will find that many organizations, government, and commercial have many more devices per employee. If we don’t count cellular phones the numbers drop, but they are part of the internet of everything (IoE). We also don’t’ count devices that don’t have their connection (I have a speaker that connects only to my phone or tablet. It is not a connected device, it connects to a device to connect).

Today the number of devices that are connected has continued to expand rapidly. The number of connected devices has gone from less than 7 billion globally to more than 21 billion globally. These devices include remote sensors, cameras, and other security devices and weather stations.

No, not all 21 billion devices are in my house.

I do, however, know thanks to Fing, how many devices are connected and when new device connect. I have one network in my house that doesn’t connect to anything other than the internet and IoE devices. You can’t log into that network and print or look at files. That is one purpose, to separate and firewall the IoE devices. I don’t have security on that network other than Fing watching connections, on purpose.

The future of IoE is the reality of networks. Without a solid network, you can guarantee your IoE systems are going to become useless slowly.


Tech Wiz

I am so tired of the negative information floating around the internet

In listening to the recording of the two political addresses made last night/ I won’t share my opinion of the veracity of either side. Let me just say that the Department of Homeland Security publishes the data both sides used. The site is here I highly recommend that you not turn on CNN, Fox News or any other news organization, nor listen to either side speaking last night until you go and look at the facts first. My father always taught me to understand both sides. It makes conversation much easier if you know where both are.

An interesting personal fact from last night, both sides were incredibly negative. I cannot tell you how much that makes me stop listening. If you only have something negative to say, then consider why you are speaking. There are always positive things to be found even if you have to look for them. If you can’t be bothered to find something positive to say alongside the negative things, then I can’t be bothered to listen. It seems such a simple rule but so many people trip over that particular problem.

Following up on my negativity post, I did want to point out that there are times when you have to present negative information. I can tell you, as a former educator that how you present negative information is more important than how you present positive information. There is never a situation that isn’t legal, that has only negative information. In legal situations, it can be the case that there is no positive to be shared. But when it comes to the world around us, there is always something nice to be said. There is another side of course, as a long time software professional I will tell you this. It is something that can be argued. It is something that I have seen, done and have documented for more than 30 years. If you only present negative information to me related to my software product, I ignore what you are saying. You can scream from the mountaintop, but I don’t care. You see, you didn’t remember that even IT developers are humans. Everyone is a person and if you present only negative information about me or to me, and we are not in a court of law, shame on you.

I will pledge to the Virily community. If you go back and look at your posts, and your discussions of Virily are they negative only? If you have made the point to bring up things you like (for example I love polls, gallery mode and I love quizzes well other than Norman’s Quizzes because I just can’t ever seem to get all of his rights)! Load times and site stability have improved throughout the last eight months. We had Cloudflare issues that were a huge problem for many non-European users. Those issues are gone now, and the site is more stable. I wish the admins communicated more, but I do, based on all the negative posts by many writer sons the site understand why they don’t.

My grandfather used to say “if you leave your house every day at 9 am, and your neighbors yell at you, every day what do you do?” The easy thing is to leave at 8:55 and hope your neighbor isn’t watching. The hard thing is to walk over and say why you are mad? Let’s open the positive side of the site communication so that the Verily team feels safe asking us why we are concerned.


being positive takes time

Tech Wiz on simple security….

Connections, both Bluetooth and wifi are interesting. Look, the most important thing you as a person can do is understand what the two mean. Wi-Fi or Wireless Networks represent a section of the bandwidth available from a router. WIFI is strong but decreases the more walls it encounters. Walls tend to have wire, power and other things that interfere with WIFI signals. Bluetooth also has issues with walls. But unlike WIFI it is a much smaller radius than WIFI. Bluetooth, named for the Norwegian Viking Lord, (Harold Bluetooth) has a range of around 30 feet. WIFI can go as far as 300 feet. Hackers can Bluejack your Bluetooth device, and they can hack your WIFI access point.

Let’s talk reality and let’s talk about what you need security wise and bandwidth wise going forward:

  1. Equal upload and download speeds. Remember your home router only has a small amount of RAM. You don’t care about that except that if your uploads aren’t equal to your downloads, you end up caching data on the router. That cache fills both upload and downloads. It makes your router less responsive. The more you cache, the more issues you will have over time.
  2. Bluetooth devices suck the battery, but they provide some additional valuable services (headsets, speakers) so balance that carefully.
  3. Bluetooth and WIFI don’t compete for bandwidth.
  4. WIFI bandwidth decreases the further from your network you get. Around 300 feet it begins to fade. That said, 300 feet is most likely beyond the edges of your yard.

The reality of the connections is you have to pay attention! I highly recommend the Fing Box. Fing Box is an easy to use internet security device for your home. There are three easy to follow the rules for your home network that will help you be safer. These rules won’t guarantee safety, that requires a lot more hardware and a lot more time.

  1. Walk the edge of your WIFI and know where your network ends.
  2. Know (use Fing Box or other tools) what your network does when you are gone, and when you are home.
  3. Make sure you have a notification system when a new computer joins your network.

Just those three simple security rules will help you.

simple is the new orange