One Year of the Ward-O-Matic

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.


  1. First off, I'm really digging the new redesign of the site.

    Has it only been a year? It seems like the site has been around longer than that. Thanks for a years worth of great thoughts, links, art work, and stories. As hard as it is to imagine, I know that this next year will be even better than the first.

    ... and this makes 87. Make my cookie chocolate chip.

  2. I want a cookie too... Just cause...

    Hey man, I really love the new design as well! You need to keep this up mate! It's such a joy to read and a great way to keep up with what's going on! Also, it's a great creative jolt to start the day with!

  3. Superb new updates, Ward.

    I make this place a regular stop on my routine of digital procrastination each day. Thanks for the entertainment. You're celebrating one year of good times and I'm just now launching my baby blog. One day I might spruce mine up too.

    Probably not.

  4. Way to go! I really enjoy my visits to your blog. When I find all the leaves on our family tree, I will drop by more often.

  5. well, yer all GROWNS UP. and I will again apologize for giving you so much grief when you first started up the ol' wardomatic. I was just jealous. and I don't know about all that 'kicking blogging butt' or anything but I thank you for introducing me to this crazy little world because I do believe writing has saved my life in about a thousand little ways. thanks for sharing the beloved mac with me everyday and every night.

    happy bloggedy-blogging blogiversary... and yes, I DO love the new look, the new banner. as always, you inspire me, love.

  6. new look works for me
    looking forward to another year [ though I started late and it isn't really a year for me]

  7. Thanks for the comments, guys. Again, me sheepish.

  8. whole other level ... hope that's a good thing

    dude, I think it was jtruss that said you are a favorite part of her daily digital procrastination. I love that. It's oh so true.

    This'll sound weird folks, but I'm going to say it anyway ... I have a strange sense of pride for you - all that you've accomplished - all that you've become - all that you've created - all that you've nurtured and grown - and ... it makes me happy.

    You rock, Wardlaw. Keep at it.

  9. Congratulations from all of us at Moleskinerie.com!

  10. Blappy Blogiversay, Blard Blenkins!!

  11. one stop in the digital procrastination is right Jtruss! hehe

    I as well like the redesign, and think the banner is great. Looks very clean and nice. Great stuff. I as well thank u and your wife for all the good reads Ive read from you guys. The internet is something grand! Connecting people who would never have the chance to chat and see what is outside of themselves. Congrats!


  12. Ward-

    My hat's off to you, sir. Happy Blogday...or whatever (anything with "blog" in it's name is so awkward...like "blah" or "frog").

    Ward-O-Matic continues to be an inspiration and a pioneer in the world of animation blogs. I think that's testament to the honesty and heart of it's author. Thanks for putting yourself out there on a daily basis for all of us to enjoy.

  13. Love the new banner! And a HUGE Amen to the Ultimate Artist! He is why I do what I do too. Creativity for My Creator!

  14. Congrats on a year! Not long after myself hey? Though I didn't get a big blog spruce up like you! Keep entertaining and informing us netizens!

    Best to you all!

  15. Happy Ward-O-Mativersary! Always fun to read. Keep up the cool stuff!

  16. Aww, another lovely post. Your blog is awesome, Ward- every time I visit and read something new, I feel better than I did before, and very often, inspired :)

  17. Ward, Congrats on you 1 year Blogday...we visit often! Thanks for the compliments on Hootchy Kootchy Haiku, too. We've just linked to you on our blog.

  18. Congrats from just another of your daily readers for half of your first bloggin' year!

    Roberto (from Argentina)

  19. Hey. Congrats on your one year mark. I'm jealous that your technorati rank is higher than mine. Keep up the good work, I hope to be linking to your blog for years to come.

    The Disney Blog

  20. Congratulations Ward! Love the new redesign... and it's been great getting to know you this past year too. Here's to many more.

  21. The redesign looks really nice. And congrats! Won't be long until you reach (choke) five years.

  22. awk! I'm late on this, Congrats Ward! Great way to kick off another new year for your blog. ^^ Thanx so much for putting up this blog in the first place,otherwise I'll never ever to get to know the artist behind it(ahem),to meet new inspirations online, to get feedback from all over the places you've visited which I know I'll never get a chance to. And you definitely have a Ward enthusiast right here in Malaysia. If you're ever in the neighbourhood,please do drop me a line,yea? XD Stay cool,Ward!

  23. This is great, guys! Thank you all so very much for taking the time to post your nice comments. I'm astounded by the responses. Really. And it's nice to see some of my favorite bloggin' bloggers here, too!

  24. And of course there was the day you turned me on to what I will call visual blogology. Mine hasn't been the same since!


  25. Hi Ward, Happy Be-lated Blog birthday! I'm so grateful for blogging and all that you've shared here, it is a joy to visit and read about you and your family, congrats on your success!

  26. And a very belated blog birthday wish to you! I tend to lurk, but enjoy it much!

  27. LOVE the new banner! and redesign!

    i've come late to this birthday party and i'm so sad i missed it! so sorry. happy belated birthday!!!! it's amazing it's been a year - i guess i jumped in around january and i must say i never knew what i would be up for after actually visiting here. to meet you and to meet such a wonderful friend, andrea. if someone would've told me that before i would have never believed it. anyway - thanks to you i have the coolest friend and also thank you for all your support and helping me with all my blog coding issues. ward-o-matic is a fun place to visitand to be inspired!

  28. The new redesign is just great! i've been stopping by here for a little bit now, hope the next year will be a grat one for you! Cheers!


  29. that should have read ' great one'....oops!

  30. Way to go, man! The new template is stupendous (of course, I'll be e-mailing you on how to change mine).
    Reading your blog has been both cool and inspirational. Keep doin' what you're doin'!

  31. One year already? I feel like it was just the other day I heard about this blog... I'm glad to see that you're still going at it with such gusto! I know I definitely don't get a free moment often enough to update my blog and that's only been up about a year, too. Not that it would've been so interesting anyway. Here's to a second year of great posts and pictures out the Ward-O-Matic.