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UtterlyBoring.com is produced by Jake Ortman (e-mail, resume), a 30-something-year-old dad, percussionist, sysadmin, Web developer, IT consultant and jack-of-all-trades geek, living in Bend, Oregon. He created this so that his expensive journalism and technology degree isn't getting totally wasted. In addition to editing this site in his free time, he is the communications manager at Weston Technologies. He has LinkedIn and Facebook profiles if you're trying to stalk him. He will not be posting on Twitter.
Opinions and comments on this site are the opinions of the author, not the author's employer, family, friends or pets.
This site is powered by Movable Type and is hosted by orty.com. Since December 1st, 2002, there have been 6475 entries. Visitors to this blog have posted 21307 comments.
If you're reading this, you have too much time on your hands.
After last week's storm of traffic (which is still coming just not as hard), my server's finally recovered a bit. I know I've pushed at least 50 gigs of traffic in the last few days on that video (can't get good stats on the old server, so I don't know for sure). I've been pushing about 10,000-20,000 page views for the last few days. I had to shut off BlogAds for part of the weekend as it wasn't responding to the traffic (Google's Adsense servers were responding just fine). It's since been reenabled with two ads that came in over the weekend.
Speaking of ads, you might notice the ad up in the upper right for our local cable company. In full disclosure, yes they are paying for that spot, but I do still reserve the right to criticize them if I feel the need (they know they're not allowed to touch the editorial on this site). Why are they doing it? Because my traffic rank is higher than bend.com and near to the Bulletin's (many days I'm higher) and they're no dummies.
Bend Broadband Offering Phone Service, But Is It Worth It? from UtterlyBoring.com on 01/05/06 @ 02:52 PM:
As I mentioned before Bend Broadband does sponsor this blog. They have an ad right up there on the top right of this page (which is now linked to the... (Read More)
It'll Be A While Before I Link To Bend.com from UtterlyBoring.com on 01/29/06 @ 10:02 AM:
As we all know, the quality of the content on Bend.com has pretty much gone downhill since Barney left. They went from the leading source of breaking news in the... (Read More)
Mark Turner said on 12/05/05 @ 11:44 PM:
Nice to see the traffic starting to grow.
Spencer Dahl said on 01/28/06 @ 05:01 PM:
Google Page Ranks:
Jake said on 01/28/06 @ 08:36 PM:
Wow, spencer, tell me something I didn't know. Why do I have this gut feeling that you had something to do with this?
But since we're throwing around meaningless statistics:
Traffic Rank for Bend.com: 303,217
Traffic Rank for Bendbulletin.com: 139,768
Traffic Rank for utterlyboring.com: 117,565.
With these stats, lower is better, just in case you didn't know.
Spencer Dahl said on 01/28/06 @ 08:59 PM:
Actually, only the Alexa stats are meaningless…
Google page rank denotes the ranking of a webpage based on its popularity and quality of links, among other factors.
Alexa traffic ranking is not a true statistical estimate of the Internet as a whole, but only an estimate from Alexa toolbar users.
Jake said on 01/28/06 @ 09:33 PM:
And if you had actually read the story I linked to, you would've understood that I already know about the Google page rank problem, and how I was at a Page Rank 7 before. The thing is, though, I'm not losing sleep over it, but you seem to want to dig up a post that's nearly two months old and post this? Whose the bigger man here, Spencer? The man who actually allowed the comment to be posted (as it was moderated since it was an old post) or the guy who wants to try to aggrevate somebody, just for the hell of it?
Page rank is dead (among these other articles).
Obviously, I've hit a nerve with you, and that certainly isn't causing me to lose sleep, either.
Spencer Dahl said on 01/28/06 @ 09:39 PM:
What hit a nerve with me is that from your post it appeared that you were using the Alexa stats to sell ads.
Jake said on 01/28/06 @ 09:44 PM:
I'm not going out and actively selling ads. I don't have that kind of free time. They're coming to me -- am I to argue?
Spencer Dahl said on 01/28/06 @ 10:18 PM:
What I meant is that you're using the Alexa stats to claim utterlyboring.com has more traffic than bend.com.
Jake said on 01/28/06 @ 10:26 PM:
Guess by your reaction to this, you're obviously concerned about this FAR more than I. If you have a better comparitive analysis tool, I'd love to hear about it. But I know advertisers are happy with the stats and click throughs they're getting.
Spencer Dahl said on 01/28/06 @ 10:48 PM:
What concerns me is that, based on the Alexa stats, someone might actually be stupid enough to believe utterlyboring gets anywhere near the traffic of bend.com.
Jake said on 01/28/06 @ 10:52 PM:
Like I said before, I'm not actively selling these stats as truth -- I think any marketing person with a head on their shoulders knows to take EVERYTHING they hear from a site owner as well as site stats like Alexa's with a grain of salt. If somebody is -- without my knowledge -- looking those up before contacting me, then the problem is not mine, but Alexa's.
pril said on 01/29/06 @ 04:44 AM:
There's a Bend.com?
Sandy said on 01/29/06 @ 11:04 AM:
Ad space on utterlyboring.com is part of our marketing plan. As for Bend.com -- bend who? Bend what? No offense to your hometown Jake ;) but the ad dollars are far better spent at UB than at Bend.com.
Aside from the fact it took Mr. Dahl 2 months to actually notice this post. And the fact he can't take 3 minutes to actually read the links provided so he doesn't look quite so *cough* ignorant *cough* in his "commentary?" Mr. Prompt, he's not.
Takes all kinds. Don't sweat the small stuff, Jake. Obviously business is slow or he wouldn't have time to be dicking around on the competition's websites. :)
Jake said on 01/29/06 @ 11:08 AM:
HAHAHA -- thanks for the laugh, Sandy!
Spencer Dahl said on 01/29/06 @ 01:26 PM:
I'm curious why you seem to really dislike me. We don't know each other. We've never met. But still I feel the hate.
I'm the first to admit that the quality of the news content on Bend.com has suffered since Barney's departure. Barney is really a special kind of journalist.
I would have loved to have kept Barney writing and editing the news for Bend.com but the simple truth was I could no longer afford it.
A little history...Bend.com came to life in the fall of 1999...in the spring of 2000...just months after Barney joined Bend.com, the Dotcom bust happened. This wasn't to deter us...we kept right on bringing you the news in a fresh and timely manner and giving you a place to vent or comment on local happenings.
As you know until recently most advertisers have placed little value in online advertising. This made it extremely difficult to run a profitable online ad based business.
I had a choice to make...be your "leading source of breaking news" or be able to provide food and clothing for my daughters. (I am a single parent.)
You're a parent. The choice should have been a simple one. But, it wasn't. Barney had worked for me for nearly five years. He was a highly valued employee and a friend. He had already heard the "you're the best guy I ever had to let go" line once in his life. It's a decision that literally brought me to tears.
I was very happy when Barney landed at Z21 and he knows I wish him the best.
As for the content on Bend.com, it will get better. Financially 2005 was the best year ever for the company. It actually was profitable. I found out that with a name like bend.com even I couldn't screw this thing into the ground.
Ad sales are way up...even without a salesperson. Additionally Google Adsense is really taking off as more and more locals signup. Being profitable means having a news budget again.
Jake said on 01/29/06 @ 01:42 PM:
It's not that I really dislike you, Spencer, as I don't really know you, either. I've heard some things about you that aren't really nice, but it's all hearsay, so I generally take it (like I would with anybody) with a grain of salt.
But I just get agitated a bit when somebody comes on my site and starts bad-mouthing it and my content. When folks do that on the bend.com forums, their posts magically disappear. That is your right, as it is your site, but don't expect people to stick around when that happens, and don't expect me to be gleeful and happy when you come on here, kicking around a pagerank number that I already know about (and have posted such) and can't control without being in bed with someone from Google.
I also know all about BendNet's/Bend.com's history. Heck, I remember when Bendnet was a dial-in BBS (a paid membership one, if I remember correctly). And then it moved up to the First Class system, and we had graphics.
Again, I'm not actively out trying to steal ad revenue from you, but if folks approach me to advertise, I'm not going to argue with them.
I do also understand you wanting to feed my family -- that's why I don't make utterlyboring my full-time gig (I have two kids myself). I do hope, however, that you put that money you're making on bend.com to good use and get a real reporter back up there writing news so I have more than one source to look for for local news (currently ktvz, as everybody else is either slow on the ball or you have to pay for it).
Spencer Dahl said on 01/29/06 @ 02:14 PM:
Honestly I wasn't trying to badmouth your content and never knew you were blacklisted by Google when I quoted our current page ranks. I was trying to point out in a very brief message that there are various tools to measure a webpage's rank.
josh said on 01/29/06 @ 02:36 PM:
Seems like spencer is kind of a pecker. We'll put Bend.com on the Do Not Visit list. Oh, wait. I never had a reason to visit there anyways.
Jake said on 01/29/06 @ 02:51 PM:
This is pointless. We're going back and forth on this, and it's just pointless. I won't go into how stupidly pointless your original brief message was (if you weren't trying to incite something, I don't know what would). Next time, just do a bit of research before you start posting those things, as you know good and well that any site that's been around as long as mine will have a page rank more than zero and will certainly have a reason if it is listed at zero.
But that's the last comment I make on this. Feel free to go ahead and put in the last word, I really don't care. I'll let the community have at the rest.
Sandy said on 01/30/06 @ 11:25 PM:
Mr. Dahl, here's a clue ... I don't care about your story or your problems or whatever. Blah, blah, blah... you thrust yourself upon the folks here here, uninvited and unsolicited, to criticize the site and the people who run it. Now you can't understand why you're not getting a heart-warming welcome and a cake full of candles?! ROFL... is this guy for real?!?!
Mr. Dahl, you're a guest here. As my Momma says, "Always be gracious and don't criticize the hostess, no matter how bad the food tastes."
That you chose to tie your business to your smear campaign, well that was just old-fashioned stupid. Business 101 -- he who slings mud, loses ground.
For a supposed seasoned professional, Mr. Dahl sure does seem pretty clueless.
Mark Turner said on 01/31/06 @ 03:52 AM:
oops wrong site.
I honestly dont understand what advertisers are spending money on over at Bend.com. It looks like a large ad for selling movie tickets and pronghorn property.
I have not checked out bend.com for news since...about the time barney left. I hope that Spencer gets a journalist soon.
In the mean time NewsChannel21.com is doing great(thanks to barney).
Spencer Dahl said on 01/31/06 @ 06:27 AM:
Businesses advertise on Bend.com for several reasons.
The two primary reasons are: It's cheap and/or it's free.
The third (and forth) is our niche and our name.
Online advertising has a good ROI and Bend.com is no exception.
Realtors like advertising with us because we limit the number of real estate display advertiser and Bend.com simply works for them.
There are businesses like rentalsinbend.com and RentBend.com that advertise on Bend.com probably because it's free.
Anyone can place ads in the classified section for free.
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