Iain Cameron's Diary
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2004-01-02 - 10:41 a.m.

More content found its way to the Music Making page at www.kwase-kwaza.org . (The Highveld link at the top of the page.) Peter and I put an introduction and some links to two pages on Robin’s site on how to get started writing songs – plus some material about imagery in music – visual and verbal. We started to analyse the ratios between the inputs and outputs of the most popular pages - in the hope of developing the “weaker” pages which yield fewer referrals than their relative share of traffic suggests they should. Essentially these are the pages that absorb rather than sustain traffic.

One example would be the News page which is the third most visited. Both the page about the Musicians and the page about the Projects yield more referrals although they attract less traffic. My guess would be that many visitors go to the News page to see what we think the latest news is. When they have found that out they don’t feel any need to look at anything else. Not a very sophisticated behavioural hypothesis.

A few months ago, we concluded a while ago that we ought to make more of the News and the Editorials were a first shot at this – but we could certainly do a more to try and shift the interest in the news into a deeper interaction with the site. We started the News section because we wanted to draw people to the site for interesting and up to date material – if that is being achieved then we have to push our thinking further forward. Maybe using the Links might be a way of doing this. Links yield more referrals in proportion to traffic than the News does.

Going through the pages in this way highlights a couple of other frequently visited pages where we need to think harder about the action we want visitors to take and adapt the design of the site accordingly.

Peter has started work on the page for the Bishop Simeon Trust and the work it does in South Africa. Clearly this needs to be factored into the traffic flow thinking about the site.

I started to tidy up the CDs from my car – which is a bigger task than it might sound. This threw up Live Evil – a Miles Davis recording mostly done in Washington at the end of 1970. The band includes Keith Jarrett and Jackie DeJohnette as well as Aretha Franklin’s former Detroit bass player Michael Henderson. Paul Tingen goes into the recording of this music in some depth – John McLaughlin is sitting in – whereas the band had been touring without guitar and this new element disrupts some of the grooves. Some people think that on a good night this was the best ever jazz rock band. Listening to Jarrett made me start to experiment with funk atonal chording on the keyboard – I got that feeling which sometimes comes over me that it would have been nice to play jazz piano.

I started to think about my presentation in just under two week’s time and to write down the first sketch of a plan – maybe about the links between skills, innovation and productivity and the nature of the available evidence at international, national, regional and local level.

We went to see Cold Mountain – violent but with some great Appalachian music. Cold Mountain reminded me of the Smokies which gives me an excuse to remind the world that I am a honorary citizen of Knoxville Tennessee – unfortunately not for any musical reason.

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