Bold New Move with Pixar’s Brave

If you aren’t aware by now, Pixar is releasing a new film called “Brave” which hits theaters this summer.  Unlike traditional Pixar films with the exception of Up this one is based around humans and is follows the story of a princess Merida who is tired of traditions and stands up for what she believes in.

This Scottish tale looks dazzling and has many of the elements that make hero films, the fact that this film portrays a heroine rather than your typical “shy guy come hero” is welcome.  The elements of the film however don’t appear to be specifically portrayed to the same audience mark as say Cars 2 or Monsters Inc, but I will certainly be there on opening weekend.

Watch one of the latest trailers and share your voices:

-Justin Germino

White Collar Finale Tonight

Tonight is the White Collar Season 3 Finale and we find out what the verdict will be regarding Neal getting commutation of his sentence.  The trailer indicate things go poorly and once again we see Neal appears to be going on the run.

Many say White Collar is one of the most underrated shows on television and I would agree, this show is classy, fun and has an amazingly talented cast.  I have been hooked since the first episode and Mozzie is my wife’s favorite character by far.

Are you a White Collar fan yet?  If not you don’t know what you are missing, make sure you catch up as you can watch the first seasons on Netflix now!

-Justin Germino

Magic at the Oscars?

So wound up watching the Oscars last night as I was looking forward to seeing Billy Crystal host but though I enjoyed seeing the nominations, winners and presenters I didn’t think the host and show itself was any more notable this year compared to the golden years of Billy Crystal.

Maybe it is just me but I thought it was played a little safe and I think the Grammy’s set the bar high for award shows this year.  I will say the Cirque Du Soleil performance was one of the highlights between the award presentations.

I was glad to see Hugo pick up a bunch of Academy awards and congratulations to Christopher Plummer being the oldest recipient of an academy award at 82 years old for his work in Beginners as best supporting actor.

I did think Rango was a great movie and it was no surprise that it took the academy award for animated feature.

Here was a summary of some of the top winners:

Actress in a Leading Role: Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady

Actor in a Leading Role: Jean Dujardin, The Artist

Directing: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

Original Screenplay: Midnight in Paris, Written by Woody Allen


Adapted Screenplay: The Descendants, Screenplay by Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash
What did you think of the academy awards this year?

-Justin Germino

Read more:

Do Not Get Discouraged By Traffic Loss

In a great article by Evelyn over at she talks about the effects of traffic loss and how it can make a blogger feel.

I can completely relate seeing that my blog has had peaks and valleys in traffic over the years and I am not talking about going from 2200 to 2000 visits per day, but from like 3000 visits per day to 1500 per day, 50% traffic volume loss over a long term period.

Dealing with Traffic Loss

When dealing with vast traffic fluctuations, staying positive is important, remain optimistic and don’t get discouraged.  Honestly, when I fell 60% for 2 months going from 1000 visits per day to 200 per day from June/Aug 2010 I almost thought about quitting.  I did some research and found it was relating to testing a new SEO plugin at the time and once I put the AIO SEO Pack back all my traffic came back.

Trends and patterns also cause traffic shifts, my write wrote Pottermore articles in July/August 2011 that brought over 100,000 visits to my site in the same month, then the traffic faded as the trends became less potent and I slid back to 60k visits per month, this is a 40% drop in traffic but the traffic spikes were to specific articles.

Traffic ebbs and flows, know what patterns produce and try to keep bringing readers interest, finding new things to write about and creating posts with long term traffic building are important.  Writing about recent trends that won’t have lasting information 6 months or 12 months from now are guaranteed to bring traffic loss, try to write for near permanency, write articles that solve problems or provide insights that people searching for it will find beneficial 1 year from now, not just at this very moment.  I take this approach to as many posts as possible now, while still trying to capture short term trends.

Huge Traffic Spikes

Huge traffic spikes may not be as much a boon as you thought anyway, when reading about WordPress plugin Fake Traffic Blaster I learned that some competitors will spam your blog with non-browser traffic to hurt your SEO performance and your bandwidth usage.  This plugin which is free and written by Hesham from claims to help eliminate and redirect non-browser fake traffic to help keep true user traffic on your blog.

I did learn a lot from visiting this plugin page and reading more about it, I am also in the review process of testing the plugin to see if it lowers traffic showing up in analytics for my blogs and if it makes a difference in some way to performance.

Bottom line is not to let yourself get discouraged when your traffic drops, take a breather and look for what may be the source, look for drops in specific pages or posts and if you can’t find any then look to see if referral traffic from another site is the reason, often StumbleUpon will give huge traffic bursts that may vanish or an article will trend on Reddit or another network and then suddenly won’t be trending anymore.

Never stop writing and never let a thing like traffic loss make you feel like you should quit, always learn, always refine and always continue to make your mark in the blogosphere.

I encourage you also to read Evelyn’s full article here:

Tell Evelyn I sent you.

-Justin Germino

Livefyre Commenting Issues

Having some Livefyre commenting problems on my two smaller blogs and I haven’t been able to isolate the cause of the problem yet.  I figured it would be some sort of conflict with a WordPress plugin or something but when I disabled all non-essential plugins the Livefyre code still wasn’t working.

I am still attempting to find where the issue lies and have a GetSatisfaction ticket open with the Livefyre team.  This issue had been going on for about 6 days so I am hoping it gets resolved quickly.

One thing I realized when considering temporarily moving to Disqus is it looks like you can’t have more than 1 blog hooked up to the same Disqus account, this means to have Disqus on 3 blogs you need 3 separate Disqus accounts?  That can’t be right, but I couldn’t figure out how to setup a 2nd or 3rd blog on the same Disqus account.

-Justin Germino