December 13, 2003: NYCJPG edged past another 5,218 sites to reach #647,773 in the worldwide rankings, prompting chairman Harold Parlenchin to reward all employees with an extra dollar in their Christmas bonuses. "If we can continue to move up 5,000 places per week," said Parlenchin, "we will be at the top in just a little over two years!"
December 6, 2003: NYCJPG moved up to 652,991 in the latest Alexa rankings, passing 24,000 other sites in just one week, and far surpassing our goal of moving up one or two places by year-end.
"It's possible there were a couple of ten-thousand way ties in there somewhere," said NYCJPG board president Harold Parlenchin. "A few loyal users clicking on a couple of extra pages per week obviously make a big difference."
November 23, 2003: NYCJPG now ranks 676,778 out of all websites, reaching 7/10's of a person out of every 1,000,000! (source: Alexa)
Please help us meet our year-end goal of moving up to 676,777, or maybe even 676,776, by making the commitment to visit more often, and clicking on more pages. A LOT more.
November 10, 2003: The "Submit A Photo" page has been renamed to "Do a Feature" and is now both less confusing and more inspirational.
November 2, 2003: We awoke this morning filled with desire to redesign the Current Feature page, and so we did.
Gone are the 1-jpg, 2-jpg, and 3-jpg buttons -- we think some of our audience never understood that clicking on them produced other views of the subject. They are now called #1, 2, and 3, and are image thumbnails. And there are six more thumbnails below for Today, Next Day, Last Day, Month, Quarter and All.
This is the way they do it over at fotolog.net, and it lures you into clicking on "just one more thumbnail" until, before you realize it, you are halfway around the world from where you started.
By looking at the page hits, we appear to get ten times as many people visiting NYCJPG through the "back" door, via a Google Search, to a particular Feature Page, then we do through the "front door", which is this Home page. Then these back door customers typically continue on their way, without further exploring NYCJPG. But maybe, if they get tempted by "just one more thumbnail", they will get lost amongst the devious paths of NYCJPG, eventually forgetting what they were looking for in the first place. That is our hope, anyway.
November 1, 2003: We have renamed the "Today's Picture" page to "Current Feature", because there may not be one every single day, and also it is usually multiple pictures with notes -- that's a Feature in our book!
Also, now when you click on its thumbnail, it will open in a new window, sans top- and side-bar, to leave more of the picture and notes visible without scrolling... If you don't like this particular feature, you can bookmark the Current Feature page itself, once you get to it, and then jump to it directly through your bookmark.
We also are planning a redesign of both our main and feature pages, so if you have any suggestions ... anything's been bothering you ... now's the time to about it!
October 24, 2003: Responding to the Roving Rube's recent request for more time off "to be with friends and family," Mark Lentz, webmaster of NYCJPG, has announced that he will be contributing lots more photos and writing to the site.
"What's so hard?" Lentz asks. "You just stand in front of the thing and press the button. And then later you just jot down whatever comes to mind."
Lentz hopes other lovers of NYC will be moved to follow his example, and quoted Kubla Khan's immortal song, Revolution II: "Now if you're waiting on the politician, it will not get done. And if you're waiting on your next-door neighbor, he won't be the one ... There's got to be an NYCJPG!"
Although the Rube and Lentz share the same cameras, locations, and subjects, and moreover are identical cousins, the latter's work, like Pierre Menard's Don Quixote, is infinitely richer. This is because the Rube has only seen the sights a guy can see from Brooklyn Heights, and is satisfied by a hot dog and a frozen custard, whereas Lentz has lived most everywhere, from Teetertown to New Times Square, and adores a minuet, the Ballet Russes and crepe suzette.
Friends sometimes compare Lentz to Nick Charles of the "Thin Man" movies, with perhaps a dash of Hemmingway thrown in.
October 22, 2003: Congratulations to Maria Clark of Poughkeepsie, New York, for being the winner (and sole entrant) of yesterday's NYCJPG birthday contest. She will be receiving a signed Roving Rube print and an uncirculated 1961 "D" penny.
Maria also sent NYCJPG a birthday card, which it appreciated very much.
October 14, 2003: At the last NYCJPG shareholder's meeting, it was agreed to grant the Rube some time off, because he is starting to look a bit peaked.
This means there will be some days -- sometimes several in a row -- when NYCJPG will not be updated, unless we can find other photographers to take up the slack.
On the bright side, the Rube says he will be using to the extra time to develop some long-promised multimedia projects for NYCJPG, which we can look forward to posting in the near future. And also to do some general tidying up of the site.
He also advises us that he plans to keep updating his pbase.com site every day -- that's the middle thumbnail above. Because it is just one picture with no notes to worry about.
September 27: We had been leaving the body text of this site unformatted, with the idea that the default browser text style would work best for people -- after all, they may have set it to something they liked. But it turned out that on many machines this made the text appear too large and also in a different font which clashed with our design. So today we are making it the same size as the picture captions, and will be going back to past pages to do the same.
September 21, 2003: The Rube has started up a new gallery of his favorite NYC photos -- many of which have not yet appeared here -- on www.pbase.com. He is still maintaining his gallery on www.fotolog.net, but has figured out the latter is more geared for people to keep up with their friends with "here I am" and "look at what I just did" type-photos. (And as such, it works great and is highly recommended). Now, with pbase, for just $23 per year, you get 100 megs of space and your photos can be a lot bigger. And it is just as easy to use as fotolog.
Our goal with both sites is to lure more visitors back to NYCJPG -- we'll let you know if it seems to have any success. Right now we consider it a good day when we get a dozen hits on this page.
But, also, we will post a thumbnail of the Rube's pbase "picture of the day" here, in the second panel above, to help enliven this page.
Our other experiment of posting a page with "NYC Photography" repeated over and over was successful in getting us listed on the first page of Google results for that topic. However, we are way down on the 969,000 item list for "NYC Photos" and will have to see if the same trick works there.
September 7, 2003: We reluctantly bid farewell to our "Waterworks" series -- there are still a bunch out great ones out there just begging to be photographed ... maybe next summer!
Also, we are holding off for a week on starting our series on tourists, which is now shaping up to be more about them and less about the the landmarks they visit. We have decided to call it "The New York Experience" in honor of an early and wonderfully hokey multimedia extravaganza that used to play down at the South Street Seaport. The Rube may be the only person to ever see it twice. Actually, come to think of it, that one may have been called "The Seaport Experience" -- there was another one that played in Rockefeller Center that he (to his subsequent regret) never made time to see.
In the meantime, it was been a great year for Outdoor Art lovers in NYC and we have a few things to catch up with here.
August 20, 2003: The Rube would like to report:
August 14, 2003: Don't miss the Milton Rogovin exhibit at the New-York History Society (right next door to the American Museum of Natural History). It is great!
Our favorite were photos Rogovin took of people living in depressed areas of Buffalo (his home city), whom he would try to find again, five to seven years later, on subsequent visits over more than twenty years. Some he found three times, some four, and these are presented as "trios" and "quartets". The two guys below he found four times, still friends after all those years. In a "trio", there is a man pushing a little girl in a carriage, in the middle photo, she is a teenager, standing beside him, and in the next he is in a wheelchair that she is pushing. These are about basic human relationships and quite easy to relate to.
For more information, see the New-York Historical Society web site.
August 7, 2003: Despite the fact that we have been on-line for almost two years and have, as of this writing, 1046 pictures of NYC on the site, we are STILL not listed either on Google or Yahoo as an NYC photography site. Yahoo we are particularly disappointed in, as we have always hosted it on their servers, and submitted it for listing a long time ago. When you click on "submit your site", they also try to sell you on paying $300 to "expedite" the review process -- this would be like the Rube charging people $300 to give their movies a favorable review. We don't like it!
On the other hand, Google is great at picking up on any particular subject we do; i.e., our "Pale Male" page has gotten 1,500 hits and is even listed above www.palemale.com! And the "googlebot" is one of our most loyal visitors.
So, as an experiment, we will try what some other sites do to move up in the listings, in the manner of that scene in "The Shining" where Wendy happens upon the manuscript Jack has been working on the whole time:
NYCJPG is a website about NYC Photography
NYCJPG is a website about NYC Photography
nycjpg IS A Website about NYC Photography. more
July 17, 2003: We have reimplemented a "Current Feature" page; that is, if you click its link, and bookmark that page, subsequent visits will take you directly to the current picture of the day (bypassing our home page), and you can work backwards until you get to where you left off last time.
June 20, 2003: Continuing with our latest redesign, we are now giving more weight to our archived collections on the Home Page, instead of just to the "picture of the day".
So we are now presenting three options, the picture of the day at left; in the middle a featured theme; and at left, 9 thumbnails of past jpgs, chosen as the spirit moves us.
Also we are adding more navigational links at left.
June 5, 2003: To serve you even more better, we are first aggravating you by changing our layout again. Sorry! We mean well.
First, the "splash" page (accessed by typing "nycjpg.com") will still have the "picture of the day", but otherwise will differ from its "archived" version. It has been simplified -- one picture, no notes or caption -- to get those, click "through" the picture. We want to give viewers the option of going to other locations on the site (admittedly few at the moment), and to explore the pictures by other methods then the Daily Archive.
Then, as you will notice, the Daily Archive has been redesigned to match this page, as has the current Monthly Archive. This layout will eventually be applied to all the existing content, so that everything will stay put as you page through the archives, instead of the current Mexican jumping beans effect.
Also in the Daily Archive, we've replaced the "theme" thumbnail and icon links with text links. The thumbnails and icons seemed too distracting from the main picture.
There are six buttons: the first three, 1-jpg, 2-jpg, and 3-jpg are our new name for the "figures". There will always be exactly 3 pictures on each day. They will always be 378 pixels high so what's below them doesn't shift up or down.
The navigation is forward, reverse, and "up". "Up" currently goes to the Monthly Archive; from there we plan it to go to a Quarterly, Yearly, and perhaps even Overall Archive before arriving at Home.
Oh, yes, finally there's this fixed, scrolling text box. We really want you to be able to continue glancing at the picture as you read through the text, rather then to have the picture slide out of sight while it is being described and hopefully enriched.
It seems to work fine in Explorer 6.0+ and AOL 6.0+. Also, in these, if you have a wheel mouse, you can scroll down quite conveniently using the wheel. Not so in Netscape 6.0+, where you have to drag the scrollbar. Also, Netscape 6.0+ aligns it about a line low, and it balks completely if it gets "moved" by a picture above it changing size, another reason for our 378 pixel rule.
May 13, 2003: To serve you better (but mainly to save server space), we are in process of deleting the large versions of older photos on . You can still request them individually from the webmaster.
April 11, 2003: One of our design consultants, commenting on our new design, suggested the pictures would look better on a dark background and that getting rid of our beloved paper texture background might give a "very clean and fresh" look. We have tried it out and agree with her.
Aside from that, it will probably be another week before we fix some of the broken links caused from having content spread across two servers -- we are sorry for any aggravation caused.
April 7, 2003: Firstly, we would like to thank our loyal viewers for their patience as we continue to keep changing things around in our search for better ways to display pictures on the web.
We have instituted a major page redesign in which the picture caption and navigation buttons have been moved to the top and left of the picture. This is to allow differently-sized photos -- wider or taller -- to be used without having the caption and buttons "jumping" around on the page.
Also, the main picture has been made a little bigger, although the size of it will be kept to 60K as to not to cause more waiting for people with dial-up connections. We think the picture looks better if it is bigger, even if a little more compression has to be applied to the image.
All new content for NYCJPG will now be hosted at "nycjpg.com", instead of "". The latter will be eventually be devoted to the increasingly eccentric productions of our esteemed colleague.
Our technical support team inadvertently discovered that if they just left the Width and Height measurements of the main photo blank, then our long-time pain-in-the-neck procedure of cropping all the supplemental figures to match the main image is completely unnecessary. We don't know whether to fire them or give them a promotion.
However, we can't fire them yet as they also just discovered that since adding in a layer to allow swapping of the picture caption along with the picture, neither feature works in Netscape 7.0. Hopefully they can find a workaround, if there is one. In the meantime we can only recommend using Explorer instead.
February 16, 2003: Yes, we have been fiddling with the sidebar again.
New feature: gray NYCJPG "bonus blocks"! These are so we can add even more pictures, sounds, or links relating to that day's subject. When they turn ORANGE, it means there's a new picture or link to be explored, and rolling over them provides a pre-click pop-up description for the bandwidth-challenged. Or they may be described in the main page text as Fig. N, etc.
For each orange block you click on, you will have a bit of extra good luck that day. When all 6 blocks are lit, this activates the "Moto Special": your CD drive light will come on and money, tokens, or the disc that has been stuck in there will come out.
New feature: Featured site banner. Our original plan was for the "picture of the day" to be the front end of a vast library of NYCJPG content -- you may remember the "JPEG Journal" idea, the Pixibition Galleries -- did we mention that last one yet? -- anyway we have still have big plans. But with current staffing levels, just keeping up with the picture of the day is about the limit.
Nevertheless, it occurred to us that NYCJPG is still a perfectly good front end -- there's something new there every day, with a loyal audience -- averaging 65 viewers a day so far this month -- it's like running an off-off-Broadway show! -- anyway, why not use it, on the right occasions, as a front end for other sites that already have rich content that our viewers will be glad to know about, or be reminded of. There are a lot of great NYC sites out there ... then hopefully we will send some viewers into them, and they will kick some of their content back out for us to use -- pictures, writing, research ... we ... must ... have ... more ... content ...
We also might be to weasel some great pictures and writing out of the author/photographers/publishers of some of our favorite NYC books this way.
January 19, 2003: If you haven't been here for a while, then there are at least ((n * (the number of days you haven't been here)) new photos for you to see. Our goal is for that statement always to be true.
A new "themes" page (see link in sidebar) has been created. It describes the current and upcoming themes, as an aid to photographers who wish to submit photos.
In the near future, "past" and "proposed" themes pages will also be added, both as a further guide to contributors and also to start a kind of index to the site. A text-based index/table of contents is also envisioned to make the increasing amount of content more easy to access.
We welcome and thank some new contributors to the site:
Craig Jennings: Demonstration in East Meadow; NYC Marathon Front Runners; Central Park Panorama.
Tara Catalino: View from Pier; View while rollerblading along Hudson River Park.
Dennis Delima: Snow Lion.
Tour guide Justin Ferate has also helped out with notes for some of the topics, such as the Lights of Dyker Heights series. Note that his Cooper Union Tuesday evening walking tours start up again on February 4th -- register for the series at Cooper Union's Adult Ed site, or take them a la carte -- call 212.685.3827 for the week's tour and meeting place. The cost is $15 per tour.
A couple of months ago, we started publicizing the site more aggressively, and viewership has increased from 15 people per day in the first half of '02, to 34 per day in the fourth quarter, to 51 YTD. We are grateful to our viewers for supporting the site in the best way possible -- looking at the pictures. And knowing you are there helps encourage the contributors to help build the most fun, useful, and innovative NYCJPG we can.
August 18, 2002: The navigation system for the site has been revamped in accordance with suggestions from users: all pages now have a forward and backwards button, and a way to to get back to the home page.
After considering "new improved" names for "NYC JPG Picture of the Day"-- NYC JPG Now, NYC JPG Today, NYC JPG Pix -- we ended up shortening it to "NYCJPG". The accent is on the C and G -- "N Y See J P Gee". It's short, it rhymes, and it contains the subject (NYC) and method of the site -- "jpg", or jpeg-compressed pictures, without which digital and web-based photography would still be impractical.
June 24, 2002: We are happy to announce that NYC JPG has its first non-Rube contributor, John Shiflet of Fort Worth, Texas. Examples of his "digital re-creations" can be found by clicking on the numbered icons over the JPG of the Day for 6/2, 6/3, 6/8, 6/11, 6/14, 6/16, 6/18, 6/20, 6/21, 6/22, 6/23, and 6/24.
We encourage all to see more of John's creations at his . Also, for those who are interested in Victorian architecture, John moderates on the subject.
June 15, 2002: The thumbnail of the "JPEG Journal" entry has been kicked out of the left sidebar, along with the "What's New" button. With these changes, We finally feel content with the NYC JPG page layout and will leave it alone for a while. All else to do with NYC JPG and its future siblings will be found under the "About NYC JPG" button. The "JPEG Journal" is now formally divorced from NYC JPG (though they're still good friends). We are still tinkering with the Journal's design -- the plan is to nix the whack-a-mole pop-up windows, and just have a scrolling text box on the left, with all the pictures swapping out with each other on the right.
May 16, 2002: The archives have been done over in a calendar/thumbnail format, rather than as a simple text list. It gives the Rube more of a sense of accomplishment to see all the past pictures laid out in a grid, plus it should be a little easier for people to find the picture they were thinking of.
May 13, 2002: Argh! After posting our first combined NYC JPG Picture of the day/JPEG Journal:NYC entry earlier in the day,we ourselves became completely confused as to which picture was which site and what was the difference. So from now on, pictures from the one won't appear on the other, and the "star" icon has been put out. However, the JPEG Journal thumbnail will maintain its toehold on the JPG of the Day site.
May 11, 2002: The new format has led to some unanticipated new editorial approaches -- no longer able to explain the pictures with captions and notes, we are tending to pick shots that are more interesting as standalones, and cropping them differently, either to contain more "narrative", or to make them more of whatever we think they're "about" -- a pattern or a contrast or novelty or whatever.
Also, thinking that most people come to the site every few days, and then start hitting the "Back One" tab to see those they've missed, we have started choosing themes for consecutive days, to increase the possibly of making connections between them while flipping through. The last few days have been "women on billboards". Ideally, the last shot of each series would have something in common with the first shot of the next series, like dominos.
May 1st, 2002: Our original intention for this site was that it be a "picture of the day", but as our definition of what makes a "complete" picture of the day became more elaborate, it has changed into a "picture of the every other week or so".
Our solution is to go back to a simple no-frills "picture of the day", and to create a second site, "JPEG Journal: NYC", for the deluxe treatments. The picture of the day will get a "star" icon when it is given a fuller treatment in the JPEG Journal, and the most recent JPEG Journal entry will be thumbnailed on the picture of the day page, so that people know when it's changed.