After four years of writing happy birthday posts, it’s hard to come up with something new. The novelty of year one has worn off, the impressiveness of a continued sophomore effort is gone, and the stability realized by a third birthday celebration has grown stale.
(Maybe that’s why I accidentally missed the site’s real birthday one week ago on January 4th. Oops.)
However, the excitement of somehow being around (and being read) for another year has never left.
I know it might sound insincere when I say I can’t believe it, but it’s truly astounding for me to think about. This website was birthed as something small. In the beginning, I was lucky to have 10 visitors per day stop by to read a post. Gratefully, it has grown to be much larger.
And after four years of writing, the only thing I find myself drawing a blank on is the happy birthday posts. I still have tons of ideas for articles designed to inform, teach, challenge, and entertain. My drafts queue is full of writings that will eventually make their way onto the website and, before we know it, I’ll have to find another novel way to talk about a 5th birthday celebration.
Until then, I’d like to discuss what’s happened over the past year at The Black and Blue…
10 Fun Facts About The Black and Blue in 2013
I try not to spend too much time obsessing over web stats, but the end of the year is a great time to look at them for meaningful trends. I can happily report that, as in years past, things have been moving positively for The Black and Blue despite the prolonged break I took to work on the website’s redesign.
Here are ten notable stats from 2013:
- December was the most visited month ever
- December 17th was the most visited day ever (this post helped)
- There was a 37% increase in overall Visits compared to 2012
- There was a 26.92% increase in Pageviews compared to 2012
- Likes on The Black and Blue’s Facebook page went from 5,892 to 11,547
- Visits from mobile devices increased at over 100%, tablets at 90%, and desktops at 22%
- Though desktops still make up the majority of all visits with a 73% share
- 100% of all third-party advertising was removed in the redesign
- Ten new pocket guides were released
- One Vimeo channel was launched
I could go on listing more stats, but the point is that things are going well.
And that’s not just shown by the numbers, either….
A Sampling of Your Words that Keep Me Writing
If you’ve ever emailed me before, you may have realized that I’m not always the quickest to respond (it’s something I’m working hard on fixing). But that doesn’t mean I don’t read everything sent to me.
Among the usual comment notifications and Kickstarter pitches, sometimes there’s an email that helps me realize why I run The Black and Blue – like this one:
I am a semi-retired DP & operator now teaching. Just wanted to let you know that I find your offerings quite good and, as I am of the “old school” variety, I appreciate all the new apps, etcetera, that you keep me appraised of. I can imagine that it must be difficult at times to toil in the void that cyber space can seem to be. I wanted to let you know that your work is not going un-noticed. So keep “fighting the good fight”.
Or this one:
Thanks for sharing so much. I’ve never worked on a large film, and only do very small-scale work for fun, but nonetheless your advice and tips translate very well from Hollywood to no-budget. Someday it would be nice to have to worry about the stresses of the job on a real set, but until then, I appreciate being able to take advantage of your organization tips and etiquette.
I just got out to LA as part as a program my university has to offer. I’m an incoming Junior, and with the help of your guide I was able to pick up a lot of tips before heading out onto sets. I moved up from PA to 2nd AC, and was able to know ahead of time what was expected of me. I’m still learning a ton both on set and through your blog, so it really helped me get by. Just wanted to say thank you for all the tips for production, and please keep adding more.
This is just a sampling of the kind words readers send my way. Sometimes via email, sometimes via Twitter, and sometimes in person. Each message means so much to me. I genuinely appreciate them.
I work tirelessly to provide a useful, practical resource for camera assistants and below-the-line crew in The Black and Blue. During the redesign, there were times I felt overwhelmed and distraught. And sometimes when I go to write a post, there’s a thousand other things I’d rather be doing.
But knowing that The Black and Blue is having a real effect on readers like you and helping others on set who share my passion is the best motivation I have to push through the slog.
So Thank You, Because I Can’t Say It Enough
This celebration is as much about The Black and Blue as it is about you. As I wrote on its first birthday:
The film world is, and always will be, a small group of interconnected crew and I am pleased to find my tiny blog plugged into the fabric of that community.
Without you, there’s nobody to read the posts, nobody to leave informed and thoughtful comments, and nobody to share the links on Twitter or Facebook. As much as this website is tied to me personally, I believe it’s built around a community of filmmakers that – whether you know it or not – help guide what’s written, what’s shared, and what The Black and Blue is.
You may have been around long enough to remember the first birthday or you may have recently discovered this site. Either way, I’m extremely grateful for your support and your readership.
So, want to help me blow out the candles?
A happy belated birthday to The Black and Blue and an enormous thanks to you for being here to celebrate!