Photocritic celebrates 1st anniversary!


balloons.jpgI’m not one for lame internet acronyms, but I think OMG is in order in this case. Photocritic – also known as the very page you are reading right now – is about to celebrate its 1st birthday! Keep reading for statistics, tidbits, big thank-yous, and other soppyness.

Follow me, if you will, for a quick stroll in our archives, and note in particular the oldest entry, about Photo Matrices. The year was 2005, the month was November, and the date is a little bit fuzzy, because I have since imported all the posts into WordPress – the blog software powering Photocritic – but give or take a couple of days, Photocritic in its current inception was born a year ago today.

How it all began

First of all, I started collating the write-ups I had about photography from Everything2 (quite a task, I’ve written more than 400 write-ups on E2) and from my personal website (again, massive sorting task, I’ve got 170 articles on there), into Photocritic. Instead of dumping everything I had over onto Photocritic, I decided to start posting them one by one, with some space in between, proper blog-style.

Soon afterwards – less than a month later, in fact – I ended up in the quirky position of being both slash- and digg-dotted, which sent absolutely insane amounts of traffic to my blog. It was the kick I needed to try and build Photocritic into what I wanted it to be, and I started to try and update the website every week, with fresh content.

Already in mid-june, Photocritic hit 100 posts, and other exciting things started happening, too. In August, I was approached by a publisher who liked Photocritic, and in particular some of the articles we did. They wanted me to write a book for them. It was a life-long dream come true, and I was overjoyed.

The status quo

Fast forward to today (if you do want the full history with more backlog, check out the about page, it has some fabulous factoids, screen-shots of our old design, and all that loveliness). We now have an amazing 177 blog posts, which have attracted 622 insightful, funny, and incredibly useful comments from all of you. Oh, and in case you were wondering (you probably weren’t, but I’ll tell you anyway…) The Akismet spam filter that’s installed on the server has eaten 10,344 attempts at spamming comments to the site (phew, otherwise, deleting spam would be a full-time job).

Over the past year, Photocritic has received nearly half a million unique visitors from 189 countries. Considering that the UN only has 192 members, I think that’s pretty good going (I don’t have the brain power to figure out which countries are missing. Here’s a full list of the countries that have paid us a visit). I dunno ’bout you, but personally, I think that’s rather impressive.


Of course, the vast bulk of the traffic is centered quite a bit more – between the US, the UK, Canada and Australia, about 70% of all traffic is covered.


The traffic graph looks like this:


… which of course is completely useless due to the slash+diggdotting of the Pringles Macro article in December and the Diggdotting (along with a wave of attention from other photography sites, blogs, etc) of the Concert Photography article which happened at the end of May.

So, instead of showing you a completely useless graph, lets crop it at 3500 and have another look:


Predictably, along with every wave of attention, our traffic has climbed higher and higher, and overall, more people are reading this blog now than ever before.

So, what’s the future?

It’s really hard to tell, actually. The Photocritic blog started off as a showground for my personal musings, but has rapidly developed and taken on its own life. Starting off as a photography DIY blog, it has expanded into more of a general photography blog. I still don’t really cover camera launches or product launches – unless it’s something supremely exciting, and for the most part, I ignore the big news stories that are floating about.

Photocritic is all about becoming a better photographer, by any means possible: Building your own equipment, finding inspiration, learning new tips and tricks, and just generally having a good laugh while you are doing it.

The advertising and occasional affiliate links on the site, along with some very generous donations from fans of the site, have recently managed to help Photocritic just about break even (hosting and bandwidth costs at Layered Technologies), which means that financially, the Photocritic blog is secure for the foreseeable future.

I’m quite busy with the whole work and writing a book thing, but I love working on this blog. I’m not going anywhere.

Thank you all for your continued support, appreciation, suggesting new topics to talk about and the hundreds of comments to the articles.

Here’s to the next year.

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