Man, oh man. There's been quite a bit of new activity here at The Ward-O-Matic. (Understatement of the year. I'll explain.) For all of you who have been there from the beginning, you may have to be patient as I try to clue the new visitors in on what all the hub-bub is all about.
Blogger has mentioned The Ward-O-Matic on their "Blogs of Note," recently. That means that every single blogger who goes to their Dashboard (the main page that you go to when you want to post something new on your blog) will see a link to this very blog. That's quite an honor! However, those of you who are visiting for the first time via Blogger are probably missing out on why exactly this blog has seen so much traffic this past week.
About a month ago I wrote up a two-part commentary on THE POLAR EXPRESS, titled THE POLAR EXPRESS: A Virtual Train Wreck, Part 1 and Part 2. They received modest attention from several animation circles that I frequent, most notably Cartoon Brew. The first installment was mostly my review of the film and my concerns as to why the filmmakers even decided to go the motion-capture route and could it have been done otherwise. The concluding installment was the more popular one, however. In that, I went so far as to see why exactly the children in the film look so creepy, and tried to "fix" the characters by touching them up in Photoshop. Nothing too fancy, just an artist doing a little experimentation.
Well, the stats for my blog were modest in the beginning, hitting around 30 to 40 a day. Not big numbers, but enough for me to enjoy the fact that there were people actually reading my rambling words. When my blog was mentioned in the Brew, as well as other animation blogs, the hits for the day topped 400, then 200 the next day, and eventually averaged out to be over a hundred hits per day soon after that. I was estatic.
This past Tuesday, the 18th, I was cruising my usual sites, and I stopped at Boing Boing, probably the granddaddy of all "cool" blogs. They always have the most interesting items to read every day, and as I was reading through some of the links, I thought, "You know, they might get a kick out of my commentary on THE POLAR EXPRESS." So I filled out a short submissions form on the site and went back to work.
About 30 minutes later, I checked on my stats, and within the last hour 400 new visitors had checked out my blog. I thought, surely that's a mistake. So I went to Boing Boing, and sure enough, there was a blurb about my blog and my commentary, complete with a pic of one of my "fixings." You can check out the post HERE. That was just the beginning. As soon as it was posted on Boing Boing, it seemed to spread across the internet like wildfire. It was immediately picked up by various news blogs, feed aggregators (I'm still not sure what that is exactly), and the like. Soon, I was seeing on my stats that people from Russia, Uganda, Croatia, Bulgaria, Argentina, were visiting the Ward-O-Matic! At the highest peak, there were over 2,000 hits in ONE HOUR. By the end of the day, there were over 11,000 hits tabulated for my lowly little blog. I was speechless.
The next day was just as wild and crazy as the post got passed around to other feeds and weblists across the globe. It was listed as one of the top pages on Blogdex, mentioned on del.icio.us (still not sure what that is), Hot Links, and even mentioned in CG sites, and CG animation forums. It even got a nod on MSNBC.com (you have to scroll down a bit). By the second day, I was being linked by various other blogs, and some even felt that my blog was worth putting into their blogroll columns. Again, I was speechless and very honored.
So now, things have subsided. A bit. There are still over a thousand people checking out The Ward-O-Matic, which is incredible. I'm enjoying all the new-found attention that this blog has been getting lately (I'm driving Andrea nuts, by the way), and it's great to see so many people come on board and give such insightful and thoughtful comments. I've always wanted a a strong dialogue between artists, animators, programmers, CG artists, painters, and other artisans, as well as the casual viewer, and that's why I began this blog. The concept of blogging and having a strong blog community works best when good-minded people across the globe interact with each other and have fun at the same time.
I must say THANKS to everyone for making The Ward-O-Matic a blog of note lately. And thanks for making The Ward-O-Matic a part of your day. I'll have lots of fun new stuff to talk about soon, so please come back. I promise it'll be worth your while.
This is supposed to be fun. I hope that you are enjoying the trip thus far. I know I am.