photo credit: Kevin McShane
How long is 3 years in Internet years? It’s hard to say.
For some of you, this website is fresh, new, and there’s a lot left to discover — the fact it’s been around for 3 years is irrelevant. You’ve stumbled upon 3 years worth of posts and articles, sure, but the site might as well have been born yesterday for you.
But both new and old readers — and everyone in between — all share one thing: they come here to read, talk, learn, breathe, and explore the craft of filmmaking.
So forgive me while, for a brief moment, we take the time to reflect on The Black and Blue — what it’s become and where it’s going — and wish it a Happy 3rd Birthday!
One Million Pageviews and a Few Other Records
A website’s popularity can be volatile. Several times this past year I was met with large, unexpected, exciting traffic spikes, but also disappointing lulls. I have high standards for this site and while statistics can sometimes show I’m meeting them, it can also bluntly show me that I’m not.
(Still, I enjoy the ride and thank you for taking me on it!)
While I try not to get too caught up in web analytics, it’s fun to look back and see how the site has grown year-over-year. Here are some stats that stuck out to me:
- The number of visits doubled compared to last year
- June 12, 2012 was the highest day of traffic ever for the site
- For the first time, The Black and Blue had 1,000,000 pageviews in a year
- The pocket guides and Becoming the Reel Deal have over 12,000 downloads combined
- Finally, last year, this site moved to its own private server because it grew so much
I remember the first blog post I ever put up and how it was read by the same amount of people as fingers I have on my hand (more likely less). Now you could count my fingers, toes, ears, eyes, and bones and there’d still be more readers. Ahh, progress!
What’s Ahead for Year 4
As we enter year 4 of The Black and Blue, it’s hard to escape the feeling that it’s all been covered. But I know there are so many more topics about camera assisting, the industry, and filmmaking that are untouched. They may not be the most exciting topics, but because of that, they are subjects other sites shy away from.
This philosophy, that I laid out back in 2011, is something I like to remind you of each chance I get:
I write because I want to make you benefit from what I can pass on, but I haven’t always reflected this philosophy 100% in my posts.
Specifically, I am referring to some of the more “Newsy” items that I have put on this blog. While it drives traffic, I have found myself less and less interested in discussing the latest news about film gear, and more wanting to create and craft original posts that can teach you how to become a better camera assistant or film professional.
Basically, I want you to learn for a lifetime, not for a product cycle.
My goal in 2013 is to put an even stronger emphasis on content that nobody else chooses to talk about and present it to you in a way that is fresh, informative, and entertaining.
I also have more plans to provide you with additional in-depth resources like the digital cinema pocket guides and Becoming the Reel Deal, though there will always be a place for equally in-depth articles published on the site.
Finally, for the first time in the history of the site, I’ve reached out to a designer and web developer to help me transform The Black and Blue into something even greater.
(I’d love to share more, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise!)
You Keep Reading and I’ll Keep Writing
There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t hear from a reader of The Black and Blue. You tweet to me, comment on the site, and email me your questions, feedback, concerns, problems, and solutions. And it’s incredibly rewarding.
I can’t thank you enough for supporting The Black and Blue!
I know it’s cliche for websites to acknowledge their readers, but I sincerely appreciate the fact that you come visit my little corner of the Internet and give it a moment of your busy life. I’m being as genuine as I can be when I say that you’re the driving force behind this website.
I’m so proud of this website, its community, and how it has grown in 3 years.
And, most importantly, I’m trembling with excitement for what lies ahead in 2013.
Now excuse me while I head out for a celebratory drink — care to join?