A child about to touch his first birthday candleIt’s hard to believe, but today marks the one year anniversary of my weblog. That’s right, it’s been one year to the day that I posted my first entry. Since that first short and timid post, I’ve really gone wild! I’ve created a moblog, a photo gallery, a workout log, and I’ve even taken a stab at writing travelogues. All that typing translates into 429 individual entries averaging 417 words per entry for a grand whopping total of over 179,000 words. It just blows my mind when I look at all these stats. :O

Speaking of stats, here’s a few others. Not only have there been three color changes over the past year, in the past 12 months, mashby.com has served up 171,829 individual pages and had approximately 28,576 unique visitors. It’s been steadily increasing since the launch of this site. Since the first of 2004, I’m currently averaging 1505 pages served per day (14,319 per month) and 132 unique visitors per day (2,381per month). Never in my wildest dreams did I think that people would actually read this silly thing!

These stats may only mean something to me, but in the event you find this interesting too, here’s one more. The following is a graph from my web stats for the past 12 months.

Web Stats Graph For The Past Year

Although looking at stats and numbers are kind of fun, they never tell the whole story. As I look back over the past year, what I see most is what a strange (in a good way) trip it’s really been. If anything it’s been a journey of discovery of not only of my writing style, but of myself as well. I really had no idea where I was going with this weblog, but given the wide array of topics I’ve covered, I’ve learned a lot about myself along the way. Recently I saw that my local YMCA is doing a class called “Creative Writing for Inspired Living.” The course is 6 weeks long and “Participants will study the creative process and strive to discover their ‘inner writer’ in order to enhance creativity in daily living.” I’ve never taken the course, but after doing 52 weeks of posting to my weblog, I can definitely see the merits of creative writing.

I now laud the merits of weblogs, but it wasn’t always this way. I used to think that weblogs were nothing more than self-serving, ego-centric loads of crap. However, thanks to friends like Mike Rohde, I learned that although some weblogs may fall into my pre-conceived ideas, many are quite a lot more. I was curious to go back and read that original chat between Mike and I on IRC, to see how he convinced me to change my way of thinking. For those of you that are interested, the following is the original log of our conversation:

Session Start (quark.oftc.net:MikePing): Thu Mar 13 09:33:03 2003
[10:51] [MikePing] I understand you dislike blogs? 😉
[10:52] [mashby] As a whole, I think the whole blog thing is stupid. I really don’t care about the ramblings of most people.
[10:52] [mashby] That being said, there are a few people that I respect and I WOULD like reading their blogs
[10:53] [mashby] So, I guess what I’m saying is that I have to know someone before I’m interested in a blog.
[10:53] [mashby] and most of the time it’s the other way around.
[10:53] [MikePing] i agree there.
[10:53] [MikePing] I just posted something in my blog about this — that the biggest hurdel facing blos are there are so many of them out there.
[10:54] [MikePing] and that there is a fad nature to blogs — everyone can start one but the test is how good is the content and how long will it be maintained.
[10:54] [mashby] I didn’t know you had a blog
[10:54] [mashby] Where is it?
[10:54] [MikePing] http://www.rohdesign.com/weblog/
[10:55] [mashby] damn
[10:55] [mashby] you put a lot of work into your blog
[10:55] [mashby] a LOT of work.
[10:55] [MikePing] it was a way to keep in touch with Tipsheet readers after selling the Tipsheet off (which is in progress). Also, I plan to keep family and friends updated on us and Nathan there.
[10:56] [MikePing] you know what’s funny — I like it better than the Tipsheet, because I’m free to write on many topics (not just Palm) and it’s at my discresion… there’s no looming monthly deadline to work to.
[10:56] * mashby considers starting a blog
[10:56] [MikePing] some days I might do a graphic like that one for the Treo vs. TG50 other days just a post about blogs.
[10:57] [mashby] I didn’t know google purchased blogger
[10:57] [MikePing] depends on time and interest. I’m thinking for really busy days of jkust slapping a good quote up there.
[10:58] [MikePing] it’s a bit more like a mass email on a web page I think. At least for me. I can write one relatively polished post and those interested can visit. I don’t have to worry so much about research and fact checking as with the Tipsheet — i just write what’s on my mind, or about what I’m reading, etc.
[10:59] [MikePing] and I needed something that let me be more than a Palm dude. This way I can explore books, music, design, Macs and mobile computing too. It opens up the possibilities so that it doesn’t get tiring so quckly.
[11:00] [mashby] and that’s really cool.
[11:00] [MikePing] but we’ll see… maybe my blog will be a ghosttown in a year! I don’t think so, but who knows. Never thought I’d stop or sell the Tipsheet either. 😉
[11:00] [mashby] I’m afraid that mine would be more of a personal journal about what I’m doing more than anything else.
[11:00] [MikePing] and that might be interesting for us PUC members and your fam and pals.
[11:01] [mashby] Yeah, I’m going to have to give it some thought though.
[11:01] [mashby] Your blog really raises the bar.
[11:04] [MikePing] anyway, blogging isn’t for everyone… but if you can see a practical use for one they are cool and kinda fun. 😉
[11:04] [mashby] Yeah, I guess I’ve just been kinda gun shy.
[11:05] [MikePing] I think you are a writer like me — so it might suit you. But I’d suggest to have a clear idea what you want it to be and what readers and you will get out of it. Mayb bloggers just post stupid stuff like finding lint in their belly buttons, which is not terribly compelling. 😉
[11:05] [MikePing] Mayb = many
[11:06] [MikePing] but if you could see a value for your family in LA to see what’s up with you, then that’s cool.
[11:06] [mashby] Yeah, that’s kinda what I’m thinking.
[11:06] [MikePing] you can post pics of your house rehabs, trips, etc.
[11:06] [mashby] I put up a photo gallery of the current project I’m working on.
[11:06] [mashby] but it’d be nice to flesh it out a bit more.
[11:06] [MikePing] and that could be all it is. Since blogs are pretty easy to update it woldn’t be like building a whole website just to show your pics.
[11:07] [MikePing] I saw the bathroom pics on there I think…
[11:08] [mashby] Yeah, I’m going to try and get the vanity pics up this weekend.
[11:08] [MikePing] so you could put a teaser pic on the blog with a link to your gallery. if you add to the gallery with other stuff, just do another post with a direct link to the set of new pics.
[11:11] [mashby] the only ashby.foo domain available is ashby.bz
[11:12] [MikePing] what about mashby.com?
[11:12] [mashby] yep, it’s there.
[11:12] [mashby] good thinking!
[11:13] [MikePing] no prob.
[11:14] [mashby] I own mashby.com

So that little conversation was the start of it all. Gee, all I needed was a nudge huh? Well it’s been a real interesting ride thus far and I don’t see any signs of slowing down anytime soon. I enjoy these little daily rants, so I think I’ll keep doing them for a little while longer. Who knows what will happen over the next year? All I do know, is that I’ll have fun writing about it and time sure does fly when you’re having fun. 🙂

By the way, if you’re enjoying reading my weblog, I would LOVE to hear from you! I’ve been so surprised to see just how worldwide my little audience has been over this last year. So please post a comment to this post saying where you’re from if nothing else. 🙂