Friday, November 6, 2009

Happy Birthday To Just A Car Geek - Part 1

A Quick Note: Whenever I send a long disjointed e-mail to someone, I'll usually write "Long & Rambling" in the title. Pretend the title of this says "Long & Rambling".

It's Just A Car Geek's birthday. It was a year ago today that I wrote the first post.

I put a little invisible stat counter on the site that day and waited to see how many people read the post. At the end of the day the tally was exactly 0. Excellent.

Even though it seemed like no one was reading the blog, I kept writing. It was fun. I figured there had to be at least a few people out there who would enjoy it. I guess there were... After awhile the number of "hits" started to rise.

From that first day of 0 hits, I'm now up to around 9000 - 12,000 per month. I use a different stat counter now and it shows me from what parts of the world my hits are coming from. It's pretty amazing to see who's reading this. There are very few countries I haven't had a visit from. After the US, the Top 10 are (in order) Great Britain, Canada, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Mexico, Switzerland, Australia, Sweden and Romania.

What's been truly incredible is that I've done absolutely nothing to promote this blog. Everyone has found out about it via an internet search or the cyber equivalent of "word of mouth".

I've been surprised by what posts have gotten the most hits. A post I wrote about a Saab Sonnet is the most popular. Oddly, the second most popular post was about an ARO. That vehicle wasn't supposed to be in the country and a reader corrected me on that. The post about the 1975 Fiat Giannini is popular, too. That was a car I knew nothing about until I wrote the post. The recent Corvair Fitch Sprint post got more hits in one day than anything else I've ever posted. It should soon blow away the Saab post as the number 1 read post.

Not every post has been a winner... I wrote a post titled "What The American Automakers Really Need To Do" about my experience a few years ago at a new car dealership. Very few people read that post, which is probably a good thing, as it wasn't very good. I wrote a post about some cars made of wood. I thought they were pretty interesting cars. Since 1/1/09, that post is the all-time least read post. Lesson learned. There will be no more posts about dealerships and cars made from trees. (Probably.)

The most controversial (not that anything I write is really controversial) post was the Delorean post I wrote on June 16. I mentioned that I wasn't a huge fan of the car. Delorean owners are a loyal and fanatical bunch. I got numerous e-mails about the car, and, as I said in a later post, I respect it now more than I did.

More recently I wrote a post about an artist, James Kitchen. I love this man's work, but I wasn't sure it would go over well in an automotive blog. I got a dozen or so e-mails saying that it was a great post and I should do more like it every now and then. Cool.

I probably will write a few more pieces about people like James Kitchen and I probably won't proofread them. Yeah, I know, there are all sorts of typos, grammatical errors, punctuation errors, etc. in this blog. I don't proofread. I say what I have to say and hit the "Publish Post" button. It's not that I'm lazy (OK, I am a little lazy), it's just that if I read what I wrote before I published it, it would never get published. I'd keep changing the content. I'm just that way. I guess I could write less posts and spend more time with each one, but I like doing this blog on a daily basis, so for now you'll have to deal with the mistakes. If you are a typo, grammar, and /or punctuation freak, I apologize. Maybe I'll buy myself one of those combination spell check, punctuation check, grammar check programs this year. It will be my Christmas gift to me and to the JaCG readers.

One of the interesting things I've noticed with my stat counter is that the blog gets less hits on the weekends and holidays than it does the rest of the time. That makes me believe that many of you are looking at this at work, using it to take a break from your routine. That's great, as that's what the original "Car Geek Breaks" (the e-mails that inspired this blog) were all about. It's very cool to see that, in a new way, they live on.

More tomorrow...


m4ff3w said...

Congrats on 1 year!

Richard said...

Happy Birthday! I remember I discovered your site through one of your eBay auction questions, great form of advertising. Been reading your posts every morning since then. Keep up the good work!

greyintheusa said...

I don't remember how I found your site (maybe a link through bringatrailer?), but it was early on and I've been a daily reader since. Turned a few people on to the site, it's like you said: a car geek break from the routine. Thanks!