Happy Birthday Uke Hunt!
A year ago today was this blog’s first ever post. I thought I’d take the opportunity to be completely self indulgent and have a look back at the first year.
Most Popular Posts
1. While My Guitar Gently Weeps Tutorial
My plea for people to stop aping Jake’s version and come up with their own. Lots of people read it. They all ignored it. Oh well, I tried.
2. Beirut – Elephant Gun
3. Beirut – Postcards from Italy
One of the main reasons I started this blog was to spread the good news about indie ukulele acts like Beirut and Magnetic Fields which I thought were being overlooked a little in the online uke world. But I had no idea so many people were looking for Beirut chords and tabs. Still, I think it might have been a little obsessive of me to work out their entire back catalogue.
4. IZ/Jason Castro – Somewhere Over the Rainbow
I woke up one morning to an email from Jeff telling me about this guy who had played the uke on American Idol. I decided to knock together a quick post about it. Since the minute it went up, it’s been the most visited post on the blog.
7. Daft Punk – Harder, Better, Strong, Faster
Terrible song to play on the ukulele (Spencer, what were you thinking?). Why the hell are so many people looking at this? Gave me an excuse to watch that video over and over, though.
Most Overlooked Posts
I toiled and laboured through endless nights. Spilt blood, sweat and tears on my uke. If you build it people will come. Or not.
These posts took hours and hours to come up with and didn’t make it into the top 100 pages:
1st Spike: Christmas Day. I decided to take Christmas time off. “Who’s going to be on the computer on Christmas Day?” I thought. Two conclusions to draw from this. One: I’m an idiot. Two: This blog is much more popular when I’m not here.
2nd (Mini) Spike: Jonathan Coulton mentions Molly winning Online Ukulele Video of the Year.
3rd Spike: Jason Castro on American Idol.
4th Spike: This happened just a few days ago. The number of direct visitors (people typing in the address or using a bookmark) tripled and it was my biggest day ever. I have absolutely no idea why this happened. Anyone any ideas?
Absolutely No Change: Getting mentioned in the NME.
I’m really grateful to everyone who has linked to me in the last year (no matter how big or small your site is). Thanks everyone.
Nobody – “Seems that you’ll put anything up on this site just for content. Or maybe you’re doing favors for your special friends to rake in lots of freebies.”
Note to freebie givers: I’m a very cheap date.
The Next Year
As you might have noticed, I’m moving towards making this place a bit less bloggy. There’s a whole lot of stuff here now and the blog layout isn’t the best way for people to navigate it. I’m also doing more long term, permanent stuff like the Buy a Ukulele section (which still needs a lot of work).
People have started turning up at the blog after searching for just the word ‘ukulele’. I assume these people mostly aren’t hardcore ukulele nerds like you and me. So I’ll be doing a few bits that might be helpful to them as well as uke players (such as the Ukulele Songs bit). The plan is to turn vague browsers into hardcore ukulelists.
From the start, it was my plan to post once a day until I had enough posts on the site to make it worth people visiting. When I hit that point, I thought I’d slow down. I’m now doing 8 posts most weeks. I’m still planning on slowing down a bit. It probably won’t happen. One thing I will have to do is start saying ‘no’ to some requests. I’ve got a huge backlog and feel guilty about it. Also, it’s amazing the number of people I do requests for who never thank me. I’ll be much more likely to do your request if I recognise your name from comments and messages and if it’s the sort of thing I usually have on the blog. (Oh, and double check your email address if you’re using the contact form).
Ultimately, I want Uke Hunt to be the best ukulele website around. I think I have a long way to go before that’s the case. The first year has gone far, far better than I thought possible. So I’ve set some aims for next year which I think are also impossible:
– still number one on the top 50 uke sites (I think Ukulele Underground will overtake me sooner or later).
– number one on Google for ‘ukulele tabs‘, ‘ukulele chords’ and ‘ukulele’. The last one definitely is impossible (thanks to Wiki-frickin’-pedia). Type ‘search engine optimization’ into Google; even the experts can’t beat Wikipedia. If you want to help, you could link to Ukulele Hunt with the word ukulele on your website/blog/LiveJournal/whatnot. The other two might be doable.
– 1 million visits (not page views)
– 1,500 subscribers. There can’t be that many people in the world who feel the need to read this site every day of their lives.
A massive thanks to all of you. I’m massively grateful to the people that have commented, messaged and got involved. If it wasn’t for you people, I’d have given up a long time ago.