A "Blog of Note"

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.


  1. its a cool, moderately intelligent blog, you deserve it!

    now you'll start getting loads of 'first post' posts.

  2. p.s. that 'moderately' was supposed to have a wink after it :)

    p.p.s second post!

  3. Woohoo!
    Way to go Ward! Your Polar Express posts are quickly becoming a part of pop culture, like the swatch watch and the slap braclet... but much cooler.

  4. I was one of those people who saw your blog on Blogger.com when I was at my dashboard. It was one of many others, but I found the name "Ward-O-Matic" intriguing and thought maybe an employee at Montgomery Wards had started a blog ...

    When I first visited, I really liked your blog, aesthetically and otherwise, had no clue as to its popularity, but referenced you as one of my "blogger heroes" (sepsblog.blogspot "So much to say...") in my fledgling personal blog, where I was just experimenting with linking.

    Today, I visited your blog again (thru the link in my own post) and read "Blog of Note" about the Ward-O-Matic wildfire. "My Hero ..."

    Ok, so maybe my blogging is still way obscure (I kinda like it that way, for now), but at least I know how to pick 'em!

    Best wishes for more and more success!

  5. Congratulations! I enjoyed the chronology of how your links flew around the net. I'm one of the many who found you on the Blogger Dashboard page. I'm not an artist or animator, but your writing is smart and entertaining, and we can't have too much of that in our lives.

    For now, I'll keep dreaming of the day when Blogger chooses me for Blogs of Note...

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. mrs. ward-o-matic here. thanks for the correction, doc. I pride myself on having superb spelling skills and am often called upon to proof each entry. however, I am extremely busy raising two small children these days and not always able to scan each entry. before you call me out on the lack of proper capitalization in this comment, you should know that I am holding a baby in one arm while typing with the other. desperate circumstances earn me the right to break some rules from time to time.

  8. Congratulations! A Hometown Boy Makes Good!

    I'm new here, given up my lingering love with my AOL friends (note:I said FRIENDS, NOT AOL), and have been feeling my way around. When your head stops spinning, drop by and say hi, would you? It's depressing, starting all over, with zero's seemingly everywhere.
    (She Said What?)



  9. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Congrats man... I feel so lucky to hyave had the opportunity to have a personal audience with such a noted film/animation critic!! Cheers man and keep up the good work!

  10. Congratulations on becoming one of the new breed of pop culture heroes! Its amazing how ideas get seeded and spread so fast on "the internets". Maybe your Polar Express posts actually made it to Zemeckis himself over his morning coffee. Think about that, huh? Well, keep up the good work! I enjoy checking in and seeing where the conversation is going.

  11. Amazing story. And well written. Congrats!

  12. If anyone thinks that I am showboating here, then you have it wrong. Dead wrong. If anything, I am a very modest and humble man. I always give credit where credit is due and I try my best to not get a big-head about anything. Just check out my other posts, if you don't believe me. I am a very grateful man, and I will thank endlessly anyone who I feel has greatly influenced me or has given me support in any possible way.

    Being a blogger yourself, Preacher (a title that you have given yourself, apparently), you then understand the situation that I'm going through here. To even start a blog is already a pretty self-centered action to a certain degree, and thus when a fluke like what happened to me crashes into your blogging world, you can't help but take note. I am just letting my peeps know what was going on. That's all.

    And on a side note, this is for everyone who are commenting on The Ward-O-Matic: If you post a comment on this blog for no apparent reason other than to post a link to your website or blog, then I will delete said comment. If there is no merit connecting to what has been said on The Ward-O-Matic, then I reserve the right to delete it promptly. Also, any offensive or rude language is unacceptable either. (And I will use judgment on this matter, as well.) I am allowed to do this because, after all, it is my blog.

    Anyway, thanks for the comments and the accolades, people. I really appreciate it!

  13. That is totally crazy that soooo many people would check out one site. This is my first time ever using blog. I had to register for it for a class that I am taking. Your post was the first one that I read and at first I thought that blogging was gonna be a drag, but now I have found that it might just be ok. Well, congradulations!!

  14. So I kinda forgot my promise to come back and read that Iron Giant post we discussed a while back. But I was smacked upside the head with a reminder today when I saw a strangely familiar name sitting atop the Blogs of Note sidebar...

    I guess there's no way I'm going to be absentminded about your blog anymore! Certainly not when it's the talk of the town, you rascal. I think it's safe to say that your blog has been a roaring success, eh?

    Hey, this is kind of like an award for a Ward, right? Sorry, I couldn't help myself there. Hope you have fun with your newfound celebrity!