Today the Ward-O-Matic is one year old. It's hard to imagine, isn't it? In the world of blogs, this is called a "blogiversary," but I can't seem to work up the nerve to actually use this term. It seems rather forced and gimicky. But I don't mind saying that today is my blog's birthday. Because it takes up a lot of my time, at times wearing me out, as well as forcing me to stay up late at ungodly hours in the night, I'd say that The Ward-O-Matic is essentially my third child. I'm just happy I don't have to change its diapers. That'd be rather odd.
To mark this wonderous occasion, I've redesigned the template. This is something that I had been dying to do ever since I started this thing. The image you see up in the header there was done in late November of last year. It's taken me that long to figure out the silly coding to the Blogger template that I currently use. Amazing.
I also have a new background pattern. I was always a bit bored by the basic greenish-grey background that I had, so I found a pattern courtesy of Squidfingers, altered the color and tone a bit to fit the look of my blog, and then plugged it in. I'm kinda happy with it. The entire redesign thing is a bit of an accomplishment for me because I tweaked some items that I was really unsure of, plus I could never find the time. But it works, I think. I am a bit worried that it may look wonky in various browsers, so if anyone is experiencing some quirky glitches, please let me know. Nevermind all you feed readers because you never see the blog the way I intend it anyway.
Let me know what you think of the redesign, though. I figured that since this is an art and animation blog, there should be some sort of artistic flare in the look of the site, don't you think? I hope it looks okay.
Because it is my blog's birthday, I figured I'd do a little year in review for you all. The past year, by the numbers:
1. There have been 182 posts (including this one).
2. There have been 1,953 comments, give or take a few.
3. Top commenter (not including me): Jared Chapman with 86. (Andrea a close second with 82. I have 231, by the way.) Jared, do you want a cookie?
4. Based on my Technorati profile, The Ward-O-Matic is currently ranked #7,170 (but changes daily), with 412 links from 160 sites. (Big ups to all of you who do link me. I really appreciate it.)
5. Busiest day: January 18th, when I was mentioned on Boing Boing, with 11,081 unique visitors and 14,814 page loads.
6. Averages per day since January (when I started using StatCounter): 594 unique visitors, 872 page loads. (Although it's much lower if you check out the last couple of months.)
7. My current Google Page Rank: 6/10.
I wished that I kept a list of all the countries that every single visitor to my blog was from, but alas, I did not. I do know that I have readers from all over the globe -- from Denmark to New Zealand, from Iceland to Malaysia, from Alaska to Peru, you name it. The world is a smaller place for me now, all thanks to the wonderful world of blogging. It is simply amazing.
The connections that I've made throughout this past year have been tremendous. To be able to have friends that I've met only through my blog is quite an intriguing thing for me. All I have to say is I wish that I could meet each and every one of you in person! If we could somehow organize a Ward-O-Matic convention where all my readers and commentors could meet up, I'd be totally down with that. It's amazing for me to know that if I were ever to venture off to another city there could be a Ward-O-Matic reader there. I can't seem to wrap my brain around that, it's too wild of a notion for me!
To say I'm honored to be a part of your daily internet entertainment is a grand understatement. It is overwhelming for me to know that hundreds a day come around to check out the latest rant and rave, the latest Ava Thursday, the latest ephemera find. I am completely amazed by this community and I love how it is contantly evolving, always on the go. This is a great, wonderful time now, to experience the goings-on and everyday minutia of the Everyman and Everywoman, through blogging. The wealth of knowledge and experience, of talent and resources that are available for you find on hundreds of blogs now is unprecedented. Enjoy it, people. This is a good time to live in. Enjoy.
Some thanks are in order. I must thank first my family: Andrea, Ava and little Ezra for the constant source of support, inspiration and humor you give me on a daily basis. I have plenty of material to write about, all thanks to you three. Andrea, thank you for being so patient with my ongoing late-night typefests. I'm just kicking myself now for introducing you to the glorious world of blogging, but then again, I am not. You kick some serious blogging butt with your amazing way of writing and pictures. Seriously. Please don't ever stop. You have a gift.
Thanks to my mom, dad and sis for your great supportive, and often quirky, comments. I always enjoy getting a comment from one of you guys. Thanks for being so understanding of this odd little fascination that I have here. And thanks for laying the groundwork for what would become The Ward-O-Matic. Don't think it goes unnoticed.
My Atlanta peeps, you guys rock. Thanks for your support. You know I'll see you later.
To all my internet and blogging friends, buddies, and supporters, I can't say enough about how cool it is to get to know you all through this crazy computer world. It's astounding to know just how many friends I've met through all this. To Jared, Amid, James, Jerry, Johnny, Claire, sThig, Jay, Matt, Patricia, Jen, Paige, Eric, Jan, Cin, Roque, Lindsay, Glen, Joleen, Allan, Liz, Fyse, Newsquirt, Gemma, Jamie, JMorrison, (Slim, you're on an entirely different level) the list could go on and on... thank you all for your time and energy, whether it be through comments, or through emails -- you name it. Like any artist, I crave feedback on my work, and all of you do so with gusto. I really couldn't go on without all of you guys giving me your thoughts, your suggestions, your patience -- you could say that all of you have made The Ward-O-Matic what it is today. Thank you.
One last thank you goes to God, for giving me the talent and desire to create in the first place. You are the Ultimate Artist.
So, what's in store for the next year? Oh, don't you wish you knew! Well, so do I, actually. I do know that it'll be more of the same fun and games that you would expect, plus a few surprises. You never know.