And now, judging by the numbers, my instincts were right.
Can you believe it’s been two years? It sure doesn’t feel like it.
Three Two is a Magic Number
While it’s not a good idea to get caught up on web stats, they are great for examining “big picture” growth — which year 2 was full of. Check out these interesting stats:
- The number of visitors last year rose a whopping 1,290% from the year before
- The average visits per month rose 120% from this time last year to last month
- About half of you have already visited the site before
- 54% of visitors use a Mac (about 10% use an iDevice)
- TB&B had no Facebook page this time last year — it now has almost 2,000 likes
Of course, in between all the big numbers, there were tons of different mini milestones. It’s always about the tiny victories along the way and the journey those small steps take you on — that’s true for filmmaking too.
A Transformed Philosophy
When the site first started two years ago, I used to stay up late hounding forums to publish news about RED cameras or the (then still upcoming) EPIC-X. Those articles got the most hits — which was good for my ego — but they weren’t that fun to write.
The articles I enjoyed writing were less newsy and more about my personal experiences and what others could learn from them.
That’s why, within this past year, I heavily tweaked The Black and Blue and focused the manifesto that drives this site forward:
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.
And this has been the driving force behind The Black and Blue for the greater part of 2011. It will be an even stronger point of focus for 2012.
Perhaps this rebirth of The Black and Blue is why it’s hard to believe it’s been two years — The Black and Blue you and I know today is far different from the one that first made its way to the Internet so long ago.
For example, here’s an evolution of what the site used to look like courtesy of The Wayback Machine:
Design doesn’t represent everything, but it is a good visual indicator of how the site has changed over the past two years. In the first screenshot, you see the tagline is “Student. Camera Assistant. Badass,” then “a blog for camera assistants,” and now it’s “Tips for Filmmakers and Camera Assistants.”
The philosophy and my approach to the site changed with each new iteration of the design, but this transformation isn’t a bad thing. It’s been great for me, for the site, and (I hope) for you.
You Are My Motivation
I’m in love with The Black and Blue now as it matures to age 2 and I only envision it growing further and helping more people. I have ambitious goals for the site, but I don’t think they are impossible. My ambitions and intuition have pushed me beyond what I thought was capable to where I am today.
And along the way, my motivation has been you. In fact, my motivation is still you.
You’re the one who reads my posts, comments on the articles, shares them on Facebook, and sends the emails I find waiting in my inbox. And while these things seem innocuous, they are the reason I devote as much time as I can afford to publishing new posts.
It’s an incredibly rewarding feeling to receive an email like this (yes, this one is real):
I truly found my profession yesterday (2nd AC is only the starting point I hope…) and I’m not sure if I would have done this without exploring your great website some months ago.
I sincerely thank you for taking time to read this site, watch the videos, follow me on Twitter — whatever! However you choose to support The Black and Blue, it all makes a difference. And I’m constantly overwhelmed and proud of the tiny community this site has carved within the film industry.
So, with that said, let’s raise our glasses to two years gone and at least two more years to follow!
Now, do you mind helping me blow the candles out?