A hundred bits of Apple II


Filed under Musings;
1 comment.

This month marks the first anniversary of the launching of Apple II Bits. It went live with little fanfare and hardly any self-promotional message board posts or emails to friends. Although I hoped it would be of interest to the Apple II community, I primarily wanted to use this space to explore different topics about the Apple II, in formats and with a regularity that would not be possible in my other retrocomputing writing outlet, Juiced.GS.

To that end, I consider this experiment a success, and one worth continuing.

I've had a variety of positive experiences by engaging with this blog. The post "The return of interactive fiction" directly contributed to the cover story of the March issue of Juiced.GS. An unpublished post, written last September, was folded into another article in that same issue, while another post queued for September was instead printed almost verbatim in that month's issue. I guest-blogged for Apple II History and had some neat complementary posts with 6502 Lane. Three posts have each attracted seven comments — a small number, perhaps, but they represent conversations among friends within and without the Apple II community, as well as strangers whose insights I'd never have otherwise encountered.

The content has been as diverse as the results. Sometimes I report news that's of interest to me, especially gaming-related; in those cases, unlike the objective stance that befits a more news-oriented outlet like A2Central.com or Juiced.GS, I'm able to add my personal take. Other times, the entire blog post is more egocentric, offering reflections and reminiscences. And perhaps unnervingly frequently, the site serves to stalk Woz, the man who brought us together in the first place. Other than being about the Apple II, there's been little consistency to the topic or approach of my writing, which I hope has not been too frustrating for readers.

Rather than wait for Apple II Bits' actual first birthday, I thought I would use this, the site's 100th blog post, to share these musings. To quantify things a bit better, and because I'm a data junkie, here are some objective measurements:

  • • The original intended domain name for this site was the more generic Geekbits.net. In the week between when I queried its availability and when I tried to register it, I was sniped.
  • • I built this site in August 2009, with consultation from Mike Maginnis and Peter Watson.
  • • The first post went live on April 29, 2010, the day between when Jon Stewart featured the Apple II on The Daily Show and I left to attend ROFLCon.
  • • The site's three busiest days have been:
  • • The top referrer of traffic to this site is Computerworld.com. The #1 social media referrer of traffic to this site is StumbleUpon, followed by Facebook then Twitter.
  • • Almost every single day, the site's most popular landing page is "Escapist News Network's unmarked Apple". I have no idea why it is perennially popular, but altogether, despite being 1% of this site's content, this one post has generated 17% of its traffic.
  • • Search engines produce roughly 25% of the site's traffic.
  • • The #1 search engine query that leads people to this site is, simply, "apple ii", despite being the 50th or 60th result in that search.
  • • The search queries that have returned Apple II Bits near the top of the results include:
  • • Akismet has blocked 11,951 spam comments, with the busiest month being Jan 2011 with 2,128 comments.
  • • As of today, the site contains 100 posts, 722 tags, 77 comments from 34 readers, and 1 blogger.

I never thought I'd commit to this blog for as long as I have. I first envisioned it as keeping me busy through the summer of 2010, and that when I resumed my graduate studies in the fall, the site would go on the back burner. But there's never a lack of material about the Apple II, and I can't help but share and comment on much of it. I hope to continue being able to do so, and that somewhere, someone out there gets a kick out of it.

Thanks for reading!

  1. Martin Haye says:

    Congratulations! It's been fun reading the posts (even if I don't get a chance to comment on each one). The stats are interesting too…

    You deserve cake, and that's no lie. The cake is a lie, but the deserving is not.