Showing posts with label mascots. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mascots. Show all posts

Friday, August 12, 2011

Three Years of Wasted Time

A Product of Wasted Time is officially three years old today, which means I have wasted yet another year of my life writing up posts that fewer and fewer people read. Maybe it's time to call it quits.

The three blog mascot power-ranger girls but in casual clothing. If you don't bring mascots out for special posts then there's no point having them.

I wanted to draw something nicer, but it ended up being just a roughly colored sketch, and as always the sketch took longer than you can imagine something this crummy would take. I had better coloring done but then PS decided to die on me and I forgot to save along the way. Oh well.

I kid of course, but maybe it's not as much as a joke as in the last two anniversary posts. Anyways, once again thank you to all the people who visited in the past 12 months, and special thanks to those who stuck around to comment once every so often. Thanks to you, this blog received its 1,000,000th unique visitor two weeks before this anniversary. 1 million was an unfathomable number when I started this blog, and this little blog has far exceeded any expectation I had for it.

Let's start the obligatory stats dump:

Stats courtesy of Statcounter

This is the 1256th post on this blog, which means I made 345 posts this year, which is a decrease in output compared to last year's 398.  As of right now, A Product of Wasted Time has had 1.01 million unique visits and around 1.7 million page views in total. That means the blog has draw approximately 510,000 visits and 865,000 page views in the past 12 months. Daily traffic has been fairly steady in the past year for the most part, averaging 2400 page views and 1400 unique visits. Recently traffic has been on the decline, but that probably in part reflects my declining effort especially in the area of covering anime series. There are around 6700 comments in total, which means that last year the blog received 1,900 comments in the past 12 months. This is actually a significant decrease compared last year's 3200 comments. I encourage readers to leave more comments, but on the other hand I understand summary posts (especially mine) aren't exactly comment-inspiring.

Here are some other interesting stats related facts:

  • Most visited post in the last year: Tenjou Tenge 136 with over 17,500 page views. Tenjou Tenge was... unique for the lack of a better word, but it still had a good following and also didn't have good scanlation coverage, and thus my post on the final chapter drew quite a few readers. It is also the most commented post of last year and second most commented post on this blog with 72 comments at the time of writing. The comment thread turned into a bit of a flame war, but I chose just to let the fire burn itself out.
  • Top (non-search engine) referrers: Random Curiosity (still the king of the hill), the MangaFox Forums (mostly spoiler threads that link to my Rosario + Vampire manga posts), and the trusty Anime Nano.
  • Top three blog referrers: Random Curiosity, Sea Slugs! and Star Crossed, just like last year.
  • Top commenter: Once again, it's Anonymous. Blogger did introduce a comment administration interface (thank goodness), but it's only rudimentary and nearly impossible to use to pick out the individual (named) visitor who made the most comments in the past year.

In the past year, A Product of Wasted Time received a makeover with a new base theme and some automatically switching graphics of the the blog's female mecha power ranger mascots. Currently there are only Red, Blue, and Yellow (click to switch theme), but I plan on adding Green and Pink and perhaps more... when I get around to designing them.

Now that we have the fun stuff out of the way, it's time to talk about the state of this blog. It's sad to say this, but I think A Product of Wasted Time is past its prime and on the decline. The blog has been around for three years, and in anime blog years this is getting to the tail-end of middle age and wading into "old blog" territory. I'm no longer one of the excited new kids on the block and actively trying to engage in the community as I did in the first year and a half. Instead, I'm more content to just sit back and wait for people to come to me, but that's obviously not a strategy for growth. Checking out new blogs and getting to know other bloggers are important parts to growing a blog, but I just don't have enough energy these days. It doesn't help that I'm a grad student now, which basically means that I'm a student with a half-time to full-time job doing research. Free time is harder to come by these days, and I'm not just as motivated as before.

So am I going to call it quits? No, at least not in the very near term. I still enjoy blogging anime and manga, and I'll try my best to keep the blog alive. Looking at the long term though, I doubt I'll be doing anime and manga summary posts any more once I get my PhD and get a real job, but that's still a couple of years off, so in the meantime I still get to indulge in my time-wasting blogging habit haha.

If you read up to this point, big props for bearing with me and thank you all again for the support. Hopefully I'll be writing another one of these posts the same time next year.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Yellow Version of Blog Theme

I haven't posted anything artwork related in more than half a year, but finally there is something I can show. Being a grad student and having to take care of myself really cuts down on the time I have to draw stuff. Anyways, there is now a yellow version of the blog theme featuring the Yellow Ranger "mascot". The new banner image is the same style as the others: quick and rough pencil sketch colored in Photoshop with a very, very liberal usage of the dodge and burn tools.

Yellow Ranger Banner
(click picture for larger version at DeviantART)

The yellow theme should kick in automatically as the the theme and banners rotate by day (for those who enabled JavaScript; those who don't see nothing). But for those who can't wait, you can click This Link to switch the theme.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Blue Version of New Theme

This blog switched to a new theme about a month ago featuring images of the Red ranger mascot. The theme is still a work in progress though, and here is the first of the alternative versions featuring the Blue ranger Audrey. The new banner is similar in style to the one for the Red, which meant it was a quick coloring of a pencil drawing, but it didn't turn out too badly. Switching to the blue is somewhat appropriate as winter is coming, and blue is more of a winter color than red.

Blue Ranger banner image
(click picture for larger version at DeviantART)

My ultimate plan for this theme is for it to switch versions automatically. Not sure if that's feasible or not though, and it might be a while until I get around to making that happen.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

New Theme is Ready... Sort of

After playing around with Blogger for the better part of the last 24 hours, I have managed to put together a new look for this blog. Most of the time was spending on making images and making sure they looked okay on the blog. It's funny that I spent about 3 hours studying for my midterm next week but spent at least double (if not triple) that time working on this makeover. I sure have my priorities straight lol. It's why I call this blog A Product of Wasted Time.

Anyways, my three goals for this makeover were:

  1. Move on to Blogger's new batch of themes.
    The main reason for this is because the new themes have more widget areas and I didn't want to code them into my old theme, so might as well start anew. The Template Designer (an interface for customizing the color scheme of the theme) looks sleek, but to get any real customization you still have to dive into the template code.
  2. Incorporate mascots into the look of the site.
    I spent so much time drawing that stuff. Might as well put those drawings to some use.
  3. Rearrange the widgets to help with the layout/make site easier to navigate.
    Double widget sidebars were a bit cluttered.

I am happy to say that I have accomplished all three, although whether the site is easier to navigate should probably be judged by the visitors. In terms of the layout, the content column is wider than before, and I plan to take advantage with wider pictures. There is now only one (wider) sidebar for widgets, and some of the widgets have been moved to the footer. In terms of the look, images of the red ranger mascot Naomi has been plastered in three locations, and I even made a new picture of her just for the "banner" (see below). Why the broken visor and tears? I dunno. Just kind of felt like drawing something other than a happy face. The random artwork window introduced in the last theme is still around on the right side of the banner area (refresh page to see a different piece of artwork).

Red 06 Banner
(click picture for larger version at DeviantART)

So that's about it for this makeover. Unless Blogger pushes out a really really cool must-use feature in the near future, I'll probably be sticking with this look for a while. There are some small issues to work out in the future, but at least the theme appears to be in a working state right now. Am I 100% satisfied with the new look? Of course not, but it'll suffice for now. Future additions include incorporating the other mascots (rangers/super sentai always come in a team right?), but I have to get around to drawing banners for blue and yellow and designing the other colors, and that's going to be an ongoing effort. In the meantime, Red will be the dominant color.

Oh, and Happy Halloween.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

First Red, then Blue, now Yellow

Yellow 05

A new piece of artwork. I like to save these posts for the days I have nothing to write about. Anyways, this is part of the continuing series of female mecha Super Sentai/Power Ranger characters that I've been drawing for the last year or so that may one day become mascots of this blog (posts on Red and Blue). Yellow 05's name is Rebecca. Coming from a rich family, Rebecca is usually easy going and composed but sometimes suffers from rich girl/ojou-sama tendencies. Primary weapon is a heavy broadsword that can split open in the middle to reveal a beam cannon.

As usual, this began as a pencil drawing that was lined and colored in Photoshop. I like how the face came out, but the body pose looks a little strange but it's too late to change it. I also got lazier with the background compared to the blue ranger. Overall I like the blue one better, but this isn't bad by my (low) standards. This is probably the last piece of artwork I'll produce in a while, since next month I'll be leaving home to go to grad school and I won't have time to do much else.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Possible Blog Mascot - Take Two

Blue 07

It took two months, but I finally completed another piece of artwork. In continuation of my attempt to create a team of mecha power ranger girls as mascots for this blog, here is the blue ranger (post about red ranger here). According to Wikipedia, blue is the only color other than red to appear in all Super-Sentai/Power Ranger series, so it makes sense to draw the blue after the red. Blue 07's human name is Audrey, and she is the outdoorsy, active, and talkative type. She likes to tease, especially the red ranger. Primary weapons are two boomerang blades, one large, one small.

This drawing took very long (as with most of my other pieces because I am terribly slow at both lining and coloring), but I'm pleased with how it turned out. Slight improvement over the red one, or maybe I just like the color blue more than red. Blue's left forearm seems a little too long though... wait, I didn't mention that. I can probably fix it, but I'm feeling too lazy right now.

The next one I draw will probably be either green or yellow, because we all know pink is always last ;).

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Possible Blog Mascot?

Red 06

With many anime blogs having their own mascots, maybe it's time I got in the game too. The above is my latest artwork, which is a girl-mecha-power-ranger character (the red ranger obviously) armed with dual katanas. I refer to her as Unit R-06, but I haven't thought of a proper human name for her and her human name is Naomi. She encompasses the two things that I like: mecha and hot girls. Armored girls are kick-ass. Of course, Power Rangers are pretty awesome too... in a hilarious kind of way. Anyways, Unit R-06 is possible candidate for my blog mascot, but I haven't really decided yet.

Picture was several pencil sketches CGed in Photoshop. It took more time than I could afford, and is probably the best artwork I have produced thus far. I don't know if I'll ever get around to drawing the other rangers lol.