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Deeker's Message of the Week

October 27, 2002

Why So Few Stories Lately?

I realize that things haven't been business-as-usual with this site lately. I was away from home over Labor Day weekend and as a result of my absence there was no update for this site that week (9/1). Just this past week I was away from home again and several people missed the update that they were expecting. This non-update week came on the heels of a week in which no stories were submitted at all, and it seems that several people have been concerned about this site or even my well-being. I received several emails from people asking me when (or if) the site is going to be updated again and if I was okay. I do appreciate the concern from everyone, thanks.

As some of you have undoubtedly noticed, there seems to be a lull in the number of new stories and story updates received as of late. While I cannot conclusively determine why the dropoff in submissions, I can point out a couple of factors which may explain why there aren't as many new stories and updates posted in recent weeks:

Executables Available for Download

I have added two new executable programs to the site, the first such files available, in fact. They are:

Both of these files are listed in the seldom-updated Miscellaneous section.

Making This Site My "Life"

I realize that not everyone reads the MOTW, and as a result there are visitors to this site whom, in spite of my efforts to inform them, are not informed of when this site will not be updated or when it will be updated at a different time than usual. Still, most people are understanding of the occasions for when the site is not updated or when the activity in terms of story submissions drops off. Unfortunately, one particular individual chose an uncivilized and woefully indecent approach in expressing his dissatisfaction with the way things have been on this site lately. He posted a very rude message to the Guestbook. Some of you probably saw the offending message before it was removed. Before I left town last Saturday I meant to disable the Guestbook's automatic nightly update in which all approved guestbook entries are posted (after rejected entries received that day, if any, are deleted). Unfortunately, I forgot to do this before leaving, meaning that the guestbook was being automatically updated each night without me being home to moderate it. Even more unfortunately was that my reasons for moderating the Guestbook were further validated. Sure as shit enough, as luck would have it, someone chose to use the Guestbook to communicate his unwarranted complaints about the site. Since it has already been seen by some people anyway, I am going to copy his ill-intended post here:

- Monday, October 21, 2002 at 03:13:41 (EDT)
none of your bussiness

Country: USA

Comments: HEY!!Listen up--I am sick and tired of visitign this site every day and there being nothing new. If you're gonna have this website make it your life or quit.

I originally wrote some very scathing remarks directed towards this individual when writing this piece, but I have since recanted such remarks and I chose not to include them here for the sake of civility. I realized that these remarks were only written as a reaction to how my personal feelings were affected by his post, so I will just stick to the points where I have issues with this particular person.

First, He he says he visits this site every day and there's nothing. Of course there's not going to be new material every day! For the past several years this site has not been updated daily, but weekly! If you visit the site each day and expect new material, you're going to be sorely disappointed. Actually, come to think of it, there is a place on this website where people can check for new material each day, and the person who posted the offending guestbook entry should already be familiar with it, because, well, he's actually used it. That's right, the Guestbook! As I described above, all the approved entries (funny how his entry didn't seem to make it after all) are posted each night at about midnight eastern time.

If the person who wrote the offending Guestbook entry is reading this, and he took the time to read what I wrote above, yes, I realize there has been nothing new (stories) added to the site lately. Perhaps I should enlighten him to the fact that I mostly rely on others to submit material for the site, I can only speculate from within the scope of my conjectural analysis the reasons why the number of submissions has been fewer. I cannot conclusively substantiate my findings. In short, fuck if I know why there has been fewer stories! I try to make a reasonable effort to encourage and inspire writers to submit their own stories to the site, but I can only do so much. So if there has been a decrease in activity and he's all bummed about it, then-- hey-- join the club! It's not like I'm not concerned about it!

Oh, and I just love the part where he says, "If you're gonna have this website make it your life or quit." For the record, I do put several hours of my time into the web site. I don't keep track of how many actual hours I devote to the site on an average weekly basis, but I'd say at least 15-20 hours, depending on how many stories I have to review and the lengths of said stories, in addition to the volume of survey responses received. Please be aware that this site is a one-man band (okay, I have gotten some help on more technical matters beyond the scope of my own skills). Each week, this is what I have to do to keep the site going the way it is:

Some features of the web site have been discontinued because of the time it takes to do everything else. For example, I no longer post the data for all of the stories. There used to be neat and pretty and colorful bar graphs and everything, but priorities dictated that this task be subordinated to the Top Ten lists that I now do. I would also like to post summary data for the surveys, but-- surprise-- I haven't had the time to work on this project that has been put off for well over a year, since the inception of the surveys. I've also been wanting to include content codes with the stories (like the ones DPF uses for their stories to let people know what kind of material to expect in the stories they order). As much as I would like to finish this task someday, I don't expect it to happen any time soon, that is, without outside volunteer help.

Beyond maintaining the web site, I spend time writing emails to the people who contact me, usually a couple of dozen or so per week. Let's not forget that I have my own stories to write, plus all of the drawings that I have been working on.

There are probably several other little tasks that I didn't think to include in the list, but my aim is to make it abundantly clear to this person that within reason, I more or less do make my web site my life! I am very dedicated to what I do on this site and I am very proud of what I have accomplished. If anyone is thinking that I look at all of this work as a chore, it isn't. It's a labor of love and I wouldn't do it if I didn't get something out of it in return.

I have made lots of friends from my web site, which I consider to be the greatest of the things that I get out of my web site. In fact, the reason I was gone last week was to visit one of these friends (my third time visiting with him). He's a very special friend who is good enough to be a brother to me and worthy of my vacation time from work and flying halfway across the United States to see him for a few days. While I realize most people probably don't care where I went or who I visited, the point I am making here is that I deserve vacation time just as much as the next guy. Sometimes I spend time with my family and have to leave early on Sunday mornings for these functions. If I know about these activities in advance I will make a note of how these activities will affect web site updates in my MOTW.

Not all of my Internet activity even pertains to this site or to diapers. I am a frequent visitor and regular contributor to the message board at The Straight Dope, for example. I like to get my weekly dose of laughter from The Onion. Since I like to keep my MP3 collection from getting stale (even several hundred or a couple thousand MP3s can get old after awhile) I like to keep my music collection fresh by downloading from my WinMX software. (yes, I still buy the CD if I really like the band). There are lots of other sites outside of diapers that I visit that I have not listed here.

The point I am making is that I can't tend to my web site all the time as I have nobody else available to do this. To familiarize someone with how to maintain my site would be an enormous undertaking involving many, many hours. Sometimes it's just easier to hang up the ol' GONE FISHING sign.

Even when I am home I still have other obligations to meet. I have a full-time (40 hours a week) job that pays fairly well, and I'd be damned to lose the job. It's a great job for various reasons, and whether I have a great job or a shitty job I still have bills to pay (one of which is my web site). So, if you want me to make my web site my "life", it's important that I satisfy the expectations of my employer first.

Lastly, I very much value the time that I spend with my family. I also like to have some leisure time to visit with my local friends and participate in activities with them (going to movies, bowling, going out to eat, etc.). As mentioned above, if I have a girlfriend, it's especially important to me that I spend time with her, and if I start dating again it may mean making some changes to how I run the web site. Once again, if I expect such changes to occur, I will announce them in the MOTW.

In closing, I should remind the person who posted the message above that he is getting what he sees on this site for free! There aren't even any memberships required for this site, free or otherwise. There are no annoying banner ads, pop-ups or other obtrusive distractions interrupting the enjoyment of the material posted here. Besides making visits to this site more pleasant, the absence of banner ads and pop-ups means that there is no revenue being generated for this site from such ads. There isn't even a link to Paypal or anything which requests making donations to pay for the site. The entire site is funded by what comes out of my pocket (when I am wearing pants, that is, as diapers don't have pockets ). Not to brag, but I personally feel quite proud to be able to offer the contents of this site to so many people without expecting anything in return (submitting stories is about the only sort of "donation" I solicit). With all of this said, he still has the choice whether or not to visit this site, and if he doesn't like the fact that it isn't updated absolutely every week or that each update doesn't always include lots of stories, well, then he can always just leave.

One Million Hits and Counting

Someone on the Bravenet Diaper stories board reported that as of 10/20/02 my site has attained one million hits! Figures that I would be out of town when this happens . Doing the math, this works out to about 873 hits a day, or 37 hits an hour, or about one visitor every minute and 39 seconds! This shows that the site has become more well-known since its inception at its current location on September 1, 1999. Before this, the site was hosted on Geocities and before that on the free web space provided by my then-ISP (a whole five megabytes back then!). Having picked up 305,000 hits during this time (June 4, 1996 to August 31, 1999) this amounted to about 251 hits a day, or one hit every 5 minutes 44 seconds. This change represents an increase of 347% between the two time intervals, which is likely due to the advent of the Internet itself.

In case you're wondering, I cheated on making the screenshot shown above by copying over the rest of the zeroes. I just wanted everyone to see what it looked like when it actually happened.

No Top Ten This Week

Since there were no new stories posted on the last update (10/13) I won't post any story stats. As there are stories to post this week, I will report on the results of these stories next Sunday (11/3).

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Stay happily and thickly diapered! Have a safe and sane Halloween.s

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