One year birthday


Posted by Louis Brandy on 10 August 2009
No one can start reading until you start writing. It is a very real chicken and egg problem and the only solution is to, well, lay an egg.

Me, 52 weeks ago

So I've written something every single week for a year. Some weeks I seriously phoned it in, other weeks I spent way too much time. Some posts were better than others, and sometimes when I thought I was phoning it in, I was hitting it big. In fact, my most popular post, by far, was something I did when I was out of ideas. It was alright but front page of digg? Almost 300k hits? Ha.

On my one-year anniversary I pretty much wiped out my todo list. I did a fair bit of work cleaning up and upgrading the code. I fixed my buggy logo -- safari users saw the badness. Check out my 5-minute graphic design skills -- I'll probably change it again after I look at this one enough to hate it. I added a feedburner widget, and reworking the typography a bit. I've gone sans serif. I have a few other tweaks to make still, and will do that this week.

Here's some of the lessons I've learned:

  1. It's pretty much impossible to say anything without someone finding some unexpected angle on which to disagree.
  2. It's painful and futile to write "defensively" to avert possible criticisms. You end up with a lot of weasel words.
  3. I'm a sucky proof-reader.
So, 52 weeks later, I must say that this little experiment has been an unmitigated success -- far beyond what I thought would happen. The best post to read, these 52 weeks later, is the first. That was, by far, the hardest one to write.

So here's to another 52 posts.

Some statistics

*635,491 *page views

579,655 uniques

700+ RSS subscribers

I've had a visitor from virtually every country in the world (missing a few African countries, North Korea, Turkmenistan and Serbia). If this was Risk, I'd be collecting armies for North America, South America, and Australia. And if Serbia would get their act together, I could collect Europe too.

Most visited posts:

  1. 284,050 - My first and last web comic (JPG v PNG)
  2. 57,417 - An almost perfect hack
  3. 53,941 - How we made our face recognizer 25x faster
  4. 29,293 - Demotivating a good programmer
  5. 23,311 - More cache craziness
  6. 21,984 - Algorithms in real life
Best traffic sources:
  1. 202,337 - reddit.com
  2. 118,441 - digg.com
  3. 33,579 - stumbleupon
  4. 25,879 - hacker news
  5. 15,588 - wykop.pl (surprised me too. Apparently I'm huge in Poland.)


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