Celebrating four years of Apple II blogging

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Four years ago today, on Wednesday, April 28, 2010, Jon Stewart briefly featured an Apple II on The Daily Show. I wanted to share that video with the Apple II community, but I didn’t feel like I had a good outlet for it. Despite having been on Twitter for three years, I wasn’t a prolific user (and, by some degrees, I’m still not); the Apple II Enthusiasts group on Facebook is easy to get lost in; and my only WordPress blog about the Apple II, launched a year earlier, was the Juiced.GS site, which didn’t cover non-Juiced.GS aspects of the community.

I needed a platform, fast. Fortunately, I’d already built one: in August 2009, I’d built this site, with consultation from Peter Watson and Mike Maginnis. That Thursday, without knowing my focus or publication, I pushed out that first blog post and rushed off to attend ROFLCon II at MIT.

The next Monday, I posted a story about Charles Mangin’s Mac Mini in a Disk II drive. So far, I’d happened to publish posts on Thursday and Monday. I decided to let that be my schedule. Two years later, I narrowed it down to Mondays only. And two years after that, here we are.

A lot’s changed since then: I helped launch the Open Apple podcast, providing yet another community voice; Juiced.GS‘s subscriber base has grown by leaps and bounds; I’ve resigned from the KansasFest committee. With all those changing outlets, I’ve enjoyed the stability and reliability of knowing I had to come up with something to say about the Apple II every Monday — a frequency that surprises my friends outside the community, who would expect a monthly or quarterly post to suffice. (Ha!) It’s a tradition I intend to continue.

Celebrating four years of apples at Apple II Bits.

Another tradition is the annual reflection of the site’s demographics, analytics, and statistics. As I did in 2011, 2012, and 2013, here is a look at the site’s scope and growth.

  • As of today, the site hosts 315 posts (52 more than this time last year), TK tags (+209), TK comments (+52) from 129 readers (+10), and 1 blogger.
  • Year-to-year, our pageviews were down 25% and unique visitors down 22% in our fourth year. This is the first year we’ve not experienced growth, and I’m surprised to find the drop so dramatic. Is the the site loading too slowly for the casual visitor?
  • Our busiest day was March 3, 2014, when Twitter sent a small influx of users to the "Eye of the Dot Matrix Tiger" video.
  • Our top posts in the past year were all from 2011:"Selling to Pawn Stars", "Best computer games from the ’80s", "Taking the Apple II online with Uthernet" and "Jeri Ellsworth, TWiT". Oddly, the tag for a 2012 joke post about Chris Espinosa also saw a surge in traffic. That page is among the first page of search results for "chris espinosa net worth".
  • Our top referrals were from A2Central.com, Twitter, and StumbleUpon.
  • Traffic from mobile devices was up 24%, and from tablets, up 22%
  • In the past year, we blocked 121,301 pieces of spam, a 46% increase, with a third of all that spam coming from December 2013 and January 2014 alone. (March 2014 was slow, responsible for only 0.6% of the year’s spam.)
    1. Congratulations, and your diving into the blog-o-sphere was one of the influencing forces of my jumping into the online world as a contributor.

      I look forward to many more years of your entertaining and informative contributions to the A2 blogging world.