Dane. Designer.

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Two Year Anniversary

Bonsai

Turn page. Big bold letters: YEAR THREE

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, friends, family, geeks, freaks, 1337’s and fellow bloggers. Today marks the beginning of Binary Bonsai’s third year as part of the blogosphere. What a ride this last year has been. Holy crap.

Let’s take it from the top

The Kubrick Effect

Where the first year cemented my relationship with the idea of blogging, this second year has rocketed it into the stratosphere. The B is a site about nothing in particular, which yesterday peaked at 9th place on Technorati’s Top 100! Keeping in mind that Technorati at the time of me writing this, tracks well over 7.8 million sites!

I can’t grok that.

Makes me proud of course, but I’m not sure what the usefulness of it is. The only difference I feel from before before and after I became a popular blog is in the amount of people who write me support mails with the line: “I know this is a support question, and that you don’t answer them, but…”. That’s a blatant lie of course. There are many upsides as well.

Now Technorati’s Top 100 list says nothing on popularity, just incoming links. Which brings us to the first topic of this anniversary entry: Kubrick.

I hadn’t hoped for, nor expected the unbridled success of Kubrick, when I made it last summer. I have no idea how many Kubrick’s are out there, but they number in the thousands; kind users have adapted it for use with 15+ CMS and blogging systems out of charity and now of course WordPress 1.5 carries it as its default theme.

So to all the users, distributors, word-of-mouthers, flickr supporters, pool posters and porters: You made this possible, I salute you!

Lesson learned: Be the first to fill a niche and many good things will come of it.

Contentment and Stagnation

Now if you remember (and if you don’t, here’s the first anniversary entry), I promised to shape up (and in no small words either):

“Life has perpetuated itself against odds of meta-biblical proportions. Intelligent life twice so, and I would hate to believe that we crawled down out of the trees so that I could waste your days with something that I cannot stand by fully. So enough of that. From here on in I won’t let myself off that easy.

I have opposable thumbs dammit; hear me roar.”

The question is, did I manage to improve the content I’ve been throwing up here since then?

I’d like to think so; at least I count 50 noteworthy entries since last anniversary (up from 38 the year before), which means that I’ve put something, which in my humble opinion is worth your time, up here about once a week. I hope that in a year’s time I can look back on an equally impressive amount of memorable entries.

Where the challenge has previously been in dealing with a growing and ever-changing audience as well as trying to find my own voice. The problem now facing me is that of contentment and stagnation.

Now I can’t make a whole lot of predictions, since my content has a tendency to change focus about once a month. But what I can say is that in terms of my Apple entries, I’m propaganda’d out. I’ve put my money where my mouth was and you can take that to the bank. I don’t really have anything to add that I haven’t already said, isn’t blatantly obvious and not being said by one of the thousands of Apple-centric blogs out there…

So expect considerably fewer Apple entries in this coming year (though I do owe a Mac mini review I believe.)

That however, is a central theme in what I’ve learned over the last year. It’s such a simple thing, but like so many other simple ideas, it’s not something you will necessarily learn by having it told to you: The only interesting thing about a blog is its author(s).

You don’t have to to be a ‘personality’ to write a good blog. All you have to do is find out what makes you unique from the next guy.

I can’t personally communicate what makes me unique, but I can point you to the entries that define me as a blogger, the entries that put distance between me and they next blog over.

I’m not the most interesting blogger out there; hell I’m not by a long shot the most interesting person you’re likely to ever meet. But I’m passionate.

Obvious, right? You’d think so.

Blogging Zen

I’ve got a shitload crappy entries in the archives. Entries that will never and should never again, be read by anyone. I didn’t know it at the time, but I think it was a necessity to get them out of my system in order for me to properly find my own voice.

Now that I’ve found it, I can calm down a little more, and concentrate on writing the entries that I know from experience will live beyond the one week mark. I am also for the time being at ease with the format of Binary Bonsai (though I am aware of a few bugs here and there that need ironing).

The result is a less hungry and more satisfied blogger, who no longer suffers from withdrawal syndrome when he misses the ‘one entry a day’ rule.

Getting Things Done

I used to not understand people who would close down their IM, mail and feedreader to get things done. It just struck me as slightly anal and a bit too productive. But then again, I always was something of a slacker.

Lately however, I’ve found it a great relief to do just that. Or rather, I’ve upped the refresh time on my mail and feedreader to 60 minutes, and I only run my IM every now and then. The result is a much improved noise to signal ratio with less “How’s it going?” messages.

(Allow me to just fill in the blanks on that one: It’s not that I’m not interested in small talk, but if you’ve ever wondered how I manage to find time for everything I do, there’s your answer. So a tip: If you want to ask me something, don’t message me a ‘hi’ and wait for an answer. Just cut to the chase. No offense, I’m just trying to get things done).

It’s my hope to get even more things done this year, as I throw myself into various odd projects, which I will tell you all about shortly.

And with that, I welcome the third year.