Thursday, September 13, 2012

Traffic Driven by Pretty Pictures and Information about Old Wars

It never ceases to amaze me that three of the most popular posts on my site are:
  • George Jarvis and the Second Opium War. People arrive at this post from all over the world. Just today, someone from Australia spent awhile reading the post. I assume many of them are students, and hope they're finding what they're looking for. If students do use this post, they should cite it as a source. In Chicago Style, the citation would read something like:
    Thiriot, Amy Tanner. "George Jarvis and the Second Opium War." TheAncestorFiles. October 31, 2011.
  • Early Salt Lake City Flowers. People arrive at this post through Google Images while looking for a picture of hollyhocks. One of my sisters noted in the comments that she arrived at my blog while looking for a picture of hollyhocks.
  • Christopher Columbus and Me. The picture of Columbus drives the traffic for this post. This one was a throw-away post for Columbus Day a year ago, so it irks me that so many people visit this post. Come on people, the picture's from Wikipedia! Just go to Wikipedia and use the Creative Commons-licensed pictures there!
The substantial Google-images driven traffic has convinced me of two things:
  • I know how to find legally usable artwork online, and 
  • People like some of the pictures I've chosen for my posts.
Too bad I can't turn these skills into a paying job! (Not that I can imagine where I'd find the time.)

Here are some hints about finding images online.
  • First, go to Wikipedia. The pictures there are out of copyright or available for public use under various Creative Commons licenses.
  • Second, go to Flickr. Many of the photographers have made their pictures available for public use. Do an "Advanced Search" and select whichever Creative Commons restrictions fit your intended use. (Commercial use? Need to edit the picture?) Most of the pictures require attribution, so when you use a picture, list its source. I always copy the Creative Commons license information into the file information on my hard drive so I have it available in the future and don't have to go looking again.

Photo of the hollyhocks provided under a Creative Commons license by knottyboy at The picture is available for sharing and remixing with attribution.


  1. I love the picture as I am an artist and love to paint hollyhocks. I am interested to find information on George and Ann Jarvis history in St. George. I am looking for any pictures or information about the Jarvis grapes that George created in St. George. I have a whole story about them but I am trying to find out if the grapes still exist in St. George so I can get a start of them and also if anyone has a picture of them so I can paint them. If you know anything about them I would love to hear. Thanks for your blog. Debra Stevenson

  2. Hi Debbie -- Thanks for commenting! There was a major problem in the 1880s with some form of wilt, and a number of the grape varieties may have been lost at that time, but I really can't say one way or the other about the two Jarvis grapes.

    To track down whether the grapes still exist, I'd suggest you start with the local extension.

    The USU/Washington County horticulture expert is Rick Heflebower, 435-634-2690. If he doesn't know, he may be able to refer you to someone who does. You might have to talk to half a dozen people before you find an answer. Let me know if you track that down -- I'd love to know the answer to your question!

  3. How funny. My hollyhock girl paper doll post jumped to the top of my standings this week. Are hollyhocks in the news? Why are they suddenly so popular?