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Day One Hundred Twenty NineSo as I mentioned in my previous post, it’s been pretty quiet around here this week as I’ve eased in to a new project.

So quiet, in fact, that I never realized that this blog’s one-year anniversary had come and gone on September 30.

To be honest, it doesn’t feel like a year. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing, but it seems only yesterday I decided to go full-on self-hosted blogging as opposed to the Blogger and WordPress.com ones I’d run before. Guess it’s true that time really does fly when you’re having fun. And it sure has been fun so far!

Looking over the archives, the blog’s evolved since the very first post. So here, in no particular order, are some of the highlights of the last 12 months.

Stats and Facts

  • 354 posts (including this one) with 4,598 approved comments so far
  • At time of writing, 3809 subscribers either by RSS feed or email
  • 5 theme design changes, with the most recent moving from Thesis to Headway
  • Google Page Rank of 5 and Alexa Rating of 75,598 (at time of writing)
  • Featured in the AdAge Power 150 list
  • Syndicated through the iEntry, WebProNews, Newstex and Social Media Today networks

While I’m nowhere near the big numbers and lists that other bloggers have or are featured on, I don’t think it’s too bad a start. Besides, numbers are just to keep calculator makers happy. I’m also only too aware and grateful of how big a part you guys have played by visiting, reading and subscribing, so thank you sincerely for continuing to pop by.

Favourites, Funnies and Fights

Of course, a blog’s made up of three main things – posts, readers and comments and there sure has been an eclectic mix of all three over the last 12 months. Again, in no particular order, here are some of my favourites from over the course of the year. Be warned – some comments include fruity language!

  • Favourites. Probably one of my favourite personal posts was Pale Blue Dots. I’m always looking to be inspired and the video inspiration behind this post is a prime example. The same would go for Celebrating the Mountains, I guess, where I suggest we all encourage each other. I’m also really grateful for the conversation that opened up around Virtual Stalking – A Real World Problem. A viewpoint can instigate change and there are some great ones on display in that post. Speaking of viewpoints, the ones that were shared on Are You Abusing Your Social Media Voice? were brilliant, and another reason why companies need to look at the bigger picture in this space.
  • Funnies. Life can be a serious thing – we can be swept up in our work, personal issues, financial worries and more. It’s good to laugh now and again, and Sue Murphy offers that with You Know You’re Not a Social Media Guru When… Back in July, you could also take part in the Social Media Drinking Game (which could get you very drunk, very quick!). There’s also some decidedly obvious bullshit at play when someone says My Gift to You – Hurry, Offer Ends Soon! Be wary of the sales pitch…
  • Fights. I guess a blog isn’t a blog unless there are some scraps along the way, and this one’s no different. One of the first was when I asked Does Twitter Monitor Its Brand? The comments came flying in, and are (I feel) a good example of open comment policy. People have points of view – if you’re going against something, offer supporters of that something to have a voice too. The most recent was my Response to Barbara Talisman’s Misinformed 12for12k Post, which saw an amazing show of community for which I can never say thank you enough.

Combine guest posts from amazingly talented people, interviews about social media, videos, and even a Blog Talk Radio addition, and it’s been an eventful first year to say the least! So, where’s this present for you, I hear you ask?

To celebrate the first year (and hopefully many more), I want to offer a little thank you. As I mentioned, I now use the Headway Theme for my blog. I’d like to buy someone a copy for their blog (note – it has to be self-hosted and on WordPress). Just leave a comment why you’d like Headway for your blog and the best reason gets the theme – simple! I’ll also help you get it up and running on your blog.

I’ll leave this open for a week from today. Additionally, the second best comment will receive a copy of Chris Brogan and Julien Smith’s Trust Agents, and the third best comment will receive a copy of Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation.

Thanks for joining me on the ride so far, guys, I really appreciate it, and hope I can keep you coming back for more of what you’d like to read.

Cheers!

Creative Commons License photo credit: Dustin Diaz

Note: This blog no longer runs on the Headway framework. Instead, it’s a custom WordPress design by Lisa Kalandjian of SceneStealer Graphics.

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19 Comments on "Happy Birthday and a Present for You"


prudat
5 years 6 months ago

Happy Birthday!

As luck would have it I just found your blog while trying to find out if Headway would be the right theme for me to move to and as usual may be late for the contest.

I would like a headway theme to end this line of being late to the party.

I would like to try a leading edge theme that could change this trend and may in some small way stop robots form taking over the world.

Good site.

wchingya
5 years 6 months ago

lol.. I got too excited to greet you birthday without even noticing the Giveaway! Although I doubt that I'll outbeat all those great answers before me, but to show my support, I'll do it:

Your catchy blog theme caught my attention as soon as I landed on it months back. Not only the drag & drop design, but mostly the smooth social media integration. Having to synchronize Twitter and other social network is what I need for my site — professionalism & visibility, the reason how I found & connect with you in LinkedIn.

Best wishes to all participants! ^^

wchingya
5 years 6 months ago

Happy belated birthday to your wonderful site, Danny. Although I'm quite new to your blog, but I must say your insightful, talented way of expressing issues in social media just caught my attention instantly. I got to know you from John Haydon, and glad that I gave your site a visit, and now a loyal subscriber. Just to let you know you've reached a wide range of audiences and I'm sure many will agree with me the quality of your work. Wish you a many more blog-birthdays to come! Cheers!

@wchingya
Social/Blogging Tracker

Jon Buscall
5 years 6 months ago

Happy Blog Birthday, Danny!

You really make a difference. When you linked to a post I'd written a couple of months ago I saw a major spike in traffic and plenty of those people stuck around, according to Analytics. So I appreciate the work you do and the conversations you get involved in.

I'd love a copy of Headway for the non-profit site I'm running for Engelska Gymnasiet, a high school in Stockholm. We're using the blog to promote the work of the kids and the unique atmosphere of an international state school in Sweden. You'll find the site over at http://www.engelskagymnasiet.se

Even if we didn't win Headway, we'd love the book by Mitch Joel. The school principal is trying to get her head around social media and I think that would really help :=)

DianeCourt
5 years 6 months ago

Happy Blogaversary ;), Danny – An achievement in community building and forward social thinking!

Congratulations! and Thank you for adding such great thought and thoughtful value.

knealemann
5 years 6 months ago

Happy Anniversary Danny!

Although it's been a year since you started this space, without your kind sharing ways all the aniversaries and plug-ins in the world are irrelevant.

The community you are building is paramount. You are honest, you share constantly and you show by your actions how we should carry ourselves with class while truly being helpful.

Congrats, mate! Here's to decades more!

@knealemann

Danny Brown
5 years 5 months ago

Cheers buddy – it's being part of communities like yours that make it all happen. Now let's get your WordPress gig up and running! ;-)

Charlotte
5 years 6 months ago

I'd love a copy of Headway because – while I AM a pretty decent coder – I'd rather get on with writing for my blog than coding for it. I've been using the Thesis theme to set up a new project that's in the works (a fiction experimentation blog that I'm going to call “Shitty First Draft”) and am finding that my enthusiasm is flagging the longer it takes me to work around Thesis' quirks.

I'm definitely looking forward to exploring Headway, especially the drag and drop design and quick text/media box addition features.

Since I also do some WP coding/development for paying clients, I'd also like to get to know Headway from the point of view of making it easier for them to set up and maintain their own blogs – so the benefits of a free copy of this theme would extend to more people than just me. The opportunity to pay this forward by helping other people with the theme would be fantastic.

Keren Dagan
5 years 6 months ago

Happy blog anniversary Danny. This is a lot done for one year.
For many more years, higher page rank and alexa love.

If there is one key lesson that I’ve learned from blogging is that there is no way to predict the possibilities and results of being active online.

Keep it cool,
Keren

Danny Brown
5 years 6 months ago

Test

swhood
5 years 6 months ago

Well, I'll put this out there, I'd like to have a copy of Headway for my blog-to-be since you've highly recommended it and I've been too busy/cheap to invest in it with everything else going on in my crazy life. Cheers, Danny…here's to another year.

Jamie Favreau
5 years 6 months ago

Happy Birthday/anniversary!! You are full of knowledge so you I can see why you have so many people subscribing and you are always there to help. Thanks for always helping!

jamesrhayes
5 years 6 months ago

Congratulations on a successful year with your blog! I think what you have done in a year is impressive and there will always be someone else doing much better and much worse (I think I have 9 RSS readers at the moment). Some day when I get my act together I will have to post a listing of which posts of yours I have found the most insightful.

I like Thesis and am going to stick with it but Headway does look like a viable alternative. Thanks again for what you do!

Danny Brown
5 years 5 months ago

Couldn't agree more, James – numbers are fine and dandy but it's the people around the numbers that is the real story. Thanks for being one of them. :)

grantgriffiths
5 years 6 months ago

Happy birthday my friend and many, many more.

CathyWebSavvyPR
5 years 6 months ago

Danny – Happy blog birthday/anniversary and congrats on your stats, but mostly congrats on the community you have built.

I'm interested in the Headway theme, as I would love to explore it/use it myself so I can consider recommending it for my small business and non-profit clients.

I have so many small businesses that want a sophisticated, yet simple theme, with some bells and whistles, but that they can customize to their business look/feel/brand. And from all of the reading I've done, including your review, as of this writing, Headway seems to fit the bill.

I like the Thesis, but it is a bit too technical for non-techies to feel comfortable with it. In these tight economic times, it would be nice to be able to recommend a WordPress self-hosted Theme that a small business/non-profit without a big budget can really use it comfortably. that way we can concentrate on strategy, content and connecting to a community, rather than spending too much time mucking around with the look of the blog.

My only worry is that Headway might be so flexible, that we may get some blogs that are like the initial newsletters that came out right after desktop publishing – 5 different fonts, too many colors and call out boxes…a bit disorganized ;~). Again, playing around with the theme and using it myself will help me be more helpful to my clients.

Thanks for all you do for the PR, non-profit and social media community – You Rock!

Cathy Larkin

Michael Schechter
5 years 6 months ago

I'm just curious if you felt that Six Pixels was an inferior book and is therefore third place over Trust Agents… :)

By the way, in year two, can we finally have your follow up post regarding mobile devices and Social Media ;)

Congrats on a year of blogging, I've felt luck to have stumbled upon this blog and have learned a lot from it.

One of these days I hope to get my act together and start bringing half of the A game you offer us almost every single day.

P.S. We want the 11 posts you stiffed us on last year :)

Danny Brown
5 years 5 months ago

You're asking me to put these books in positions? Sheesh…

Funnily enough, I've been playing with different mobile apps. for BlackBerry recently, so your wish may well become a reality very soon… ;-)

vikdug
5 years 6 months ago

Happy Birthday Danny Brown's blog!