Uke Hunt Is One

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.

5. Beirut – The Penalty
6. Britney Spears/Sweetafton23 – Toxic
Molly linked to this post in her description. It still sends a bunch of people here every day.

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.

8. Guns and Roses – Sweet Child o’ Mine
9. Arcade Fire – Keep the Car Running
10. Sean Kingston – Beautiful Girls

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:

1. Carl Ray Villaverde – Tears in Heaven
2. Danse Macabre
3. Brian Hefferan – Sailors Hornpipe

The Stats

Page Views: 1,143,624
Visits: 236,808
Subscribers: Around 600 (half of them by email, nearly half by RSS and a smattering by Twitter).

Visits Graph:

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.

Referrers

1. YouTube
2. KDUS
3. Boat Paddle Ukuleles
4. Richard Gillman
5. Ukulele Cosmos

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.

Best Comment

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.

Thank You!

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.

View Comments

41 Comments

  1. Richard Swandel May 12th, 2008 6:34 pm

    Last July we got our daughter a red Mahalo uke for her 4th birthday. I started playing the next day. At Christmas, my wife got me an Oscar Schmidt OU5 so my daughter could have her ukulele back. Your website has fed my hunger everyday. Thanks to you I can now play 12th Street Rag, I’ll See You in My Dreams, One Note Samba and a dozen other tunes from your site or that your your site has pointed me towards. I’ve also discovered the music of Beirut, Noah and the Whale (and Laura Marling), and the genius of GUGUG. I’ve also embarassed myself at work by talking about Uke Hunt. People stare at me blankly and wonder why I just said “You c**t!”

    Can I make a request for tabs of Elvis Costello doing “The Scarlet Tide.” I can’t figure out his picking pattern.

    What about a post on how to start a Ukulele club. I tried here in Ottawa but I think it was a weak effort on my part. Any Suggestion?
    Thank for everything. Keep up the great work.

    Richard Swandel
    Ottawa, Canada

  2. West May 12th, 2008 7:02 pm

    Happy Birthday! Keep up the good work and to paraphrase Jimmy from Southpark: “You’re a cun…cun…continuous source of inspiration”

  3. newbie May 12th, 2008 7:27 pm

    Congratulations and keep it up

    (And I’m with Richard in the Scarlet Tide thing, tried to figure out the picking pattern watching the video over and over with no success)

  4. Olly May 12th, 2008 7:47 pm

    Happy Birthday Uke Hunt!!!
    *plays happy birthday on uke to celebrate!*

  5. moocher May 12th, 2008 7:49 pm

    Many Happy Returns! The coolest uke site in the world and you sir have impeccable taste (or at least seem to like some stuff I do!). You have been inspirational and also helped nurture my UAS and obsession of all things uke. Ta very much!

  6. Mike May 12th, 2008 7:51 pm

    I fully support Ukulele Hunt’s ambitions of world dominance. Couldn’t happen to a nicer site.

  7. Gary Peare May 12th, 2008 8:15 pm

    Happy Birthday from all of us at Ukulelia. We will bury you in the next 12 months bwah hah hah!

    As for the most recent spike, we saw one, too. I think it might have been Warren Buffett’s playing Dave Talsma’s DQ Uke.

    Seriously, Cheers!

    Gary

  8. iain May 12th, 2008 9:05 pm

    Yaaaaay, happy birthday!!
    I’m on here every day, and I’d put this site as my favourite ukulele resource. My flatmate and neighbours would prefer you not to make it to 2 years old, but I most certainly would. Boo to uke-haters and all their creed.
    Thanks again for a ridiculously good site.

  9. MC Safety May 12th, 2008 9:14 pm

    I’ve been checking this site religiously since I found it (I honestly think I’ve visited this site more in the past week than I’ve prayed. Jesus would be ashamed). I had failed to subscribe by now, if only because I knew your update schedule well enough already that I didn’t need FireFox to tell me when you’d posted something new (that’s not meant to sound as creepy as it does).

    But, if it helps this website (and consequently you) achieve world domination, I’ll subscribe to the RSS Feed. And…..done. Subscribed.

    Keep up the good work!

  10. Heather May 12th, 2008 9:56 pm

    I appreciate your site and all your help so much, Woodshed. You’ve really helped me w/ my ukulele journey this year.

    Thanks!

  11. Braden May 12th, 2008 11:04 pm

    Happy birthday Ukulele Hunt! This has to be one of the most accessible and community-oriented uke sites I’ve found, and it’s definitely my favourite. Keep up the great work, and here’s to many more years of Uke Hunt!

  12. Kristen May 12th, 2008 11:13 pm

    Happy birthday! I’m proud to share a birthday with the best uke site on the web!

  13. Woodshed May 12th, 2008 11:35 pm

    Thanks everyone.

    Richard: Scarlet Tide has been added to the list. I don’t have any experience with uke clubs at all, I’m afraid. There’s an article about it on UK Uke. I’m sure they’d be happy to furnish you with more info if you ask them.

    West: LMAO

    Newbie: Thanks. Scarlet Tide on list.

    Olly: Thanks.

    moocher: If you like some of the same stuff as me, you obviously have impeccable taste too. Well done with that.

    Mike: It’s been great having your support from the off. Up with indie ukulele.

    Gary: Bring it on ;) I owe Ukulelia a really big debt. It was one of my inspirations to start the blog and I pretty much lived off Ukulelia traffic for the first few months.

    iain: Don’t listen to them, they’re just jealous.

    MC Safety: Thanks for subbing. The subscriber count is mostly just for ego boosting. And you’ve done your share of that by saying I’m better than Jesus (you might not have used those exact words).

    Heather: It’s been a pleasure.

    Braden: Thanks. I hope so.

    Kristen: Many happy returns! It’s obviously an date.

  14. Albert May 13th, 2008 2:02 am

    wow… Am I the only one that looked at that sailor’s hornpipe post?!? I must have looked at that thing over 100 times…

    Love your work! Keep it up!

  15. Ian May 13th, 2008 3:44 am

    …and thank you for running the most amazing uke blog on the internet! You’ve done a great job in the first year, and I look forward to what the next has in store.

    I know you put a ton of work into it, and I really appreciate that!

    So yeah… happy B-Day, uke hunt!

  16. Minamin May 13th, 2008 6:07 am

    Happy Birthday! I haven’t been visiting from the start, but it seems like you’ve been around much longer.

    This post has somehow also made me feel guilty about not being more active at YouKulele. I’ll try and remedy that.

  17. Rilrod May 13th, 2008 7:05 am

    Wicked site! Happy Birthday!

  18. Brian May 13th, 2008 7:15 am

    Happy Birthday Al “Uke Hunt” Woodshed,
    thanks for all the great tab and for the obscure ukers such as Jason Borshard & the Ukulady
    and thanks for boosting Archie Bester “the Ukuladdy”-making him the best dead 1930’s comedy uker.

    Brian

  19. Ritchie May 13th, 2008 9:06 am

    Well I’ve been known in the past to miss Birthdays and Anniversaries (missed my first wedding anniversary some 35 years ago …well start as you mean to go on I say) so it’s no surprise that I missed ‘yours’.

    I first ‘fell in love’ with ‘ukehunt’ on MY birthday when my number one son sent me the link … best present I got … I still use it ;-)

    so Al, a belated happy birthday, may all your wishes come true.

    regards

    Ritchie

  20. John May 13th, 2008 9:42 am

    Happy Birthday!

    Since first picking up the uke in August your site has been my top go-to for all things uke.

    I can honestly say that your site has made my first 9 months in the ukeiverse a much more enjoyable and productive one. It’s great when I hit a bit of a wall with where I’ve got to learning the uke and just come on here, check back through a few posts in my reader and find something new that inspires me and takes me off in a new direction. This site is, for me, an invaluable resource.

    Your ebooks are great too! Can this man do no wrong?

    Well done on the success of this blog anyway, you’ve put an awful lot of effort in and fully deserve it.

  21. Phredd May 13th, 2008 10:21 am

    Happiest of Birthdays Ukulelehunt. I have been enjoying your posts for a full year? Wow! I can’t believe it. YOU ARE DOING A FANTASTIC JOB!!!!

    Congratulations, and may we grow old together.

  22. Rayan May 13th, 2008 11:36 am

    Happy Birthday to UkeHunt and congratulations to Woodshed. This is an awesome resource for uke players everywhere!

  23. maduke May 13th, 2008 2:10 pm

    Thank You! I learned so much here! keep on posting!

  24. Earlyguard May 13th, 2008 3:12 pm

    Happy Birthday to UkeHunt and a big Thank You for your fantastic support!! Let’s meet up in 2017 to celebrate UkeHunt’s 10th Anniversary! Haha!

    Best wishes for the future!
    Thomas

    ..

  25. p9000 May 13th, 2008 3:36 pm

    Happy Birthday, Uke Hunt! It’s been a great year! Thank you. Now get back to work. ; )

  26. Howlin' Hobbit May 13th, 2008 3:37 pm

    Happy Birthday!

    Thanks much for all the support and link love and such. You wouldn’t believe the frisson I got when I first saw one of my vids in your Saturday UkeTube!

    Here’s to more Uke Hunt successes in the coming years!

    HH

  27. zymeck May 13th, 2008 3:59 pm

    3, or is it 4, theme changes later?!!

    Happy Birthday and congratulations on all your success. You’ve give lots of us plenty of impetus to keep on pluckin’ :D

    But whats this? No tab of ‘happy birthday’?

  28. Nelson May 13th, 2008 6:03 pm

    Hey righteous my man!
    My birthday is today! (13th)
    See, awesome things happen in May, just how it goes.
    Though I’m 18 years older than Ukehunt…

  29. Woodshed May 13th, 2008 7:02 pm

    Albert: I love that tune as well. I love playing anything fast.

    Ian: Thanks. When is Uke Thingy going to be back on the road?

    Minamin: Don’t worry about it. Youkulele has pretty much died. Somethings work, some things don’t.

    Rilrod: Cheers.

    Brian: Always happy to resurrect those lost heroes.

    Ritchie: I let you off a few hours.

    Phredd: Time flies. I can’t believe I’ve been at it that long either.

    Rayan: Thanks.

    maduke: Happy to help.

    Earlyguard: I hope it will still be going then.

    p9000: Don’t mention the ‘w’ word around these parts ;)

    Hobbit: Glad to hear I’m capable of giving someone a frisson.

    zym: I think it’s three that people have seen. I paid for this one, so I’m getting my money’s worth out of it. Happy Birthday

    Nelson: Happy Birthday! That’s three ukulele birthdays. Spooky.

  30. Ian May 13th, 2008 11:21 pm

    I don’t know when uke thingy is going to come back.. I’ve been out of driver’s ed for a week now…and that was why I originally stopped working on it. I’m just really unmotivated as of right now… it’s towards the end of the school year, things are crazy, and I’m just not feeling like sitting down to work out posts. Hopefully in a month, when summer starts, I’ll devote time towards it again… for now, it’s pretty much dead, sadly…

  31. seeso May 14th, 2008 8:03 am

    Happy birthday, Uke Hunt!! This sentence should not be read aloud.

  32. Alexa May 14th, 2008 3:46 pm

    Hey Ukehunt, I wanted to say happy belated birthday and thank you for existing. This website has basically taught me how to play the uke and I am very greatful for that!

  33. zymeck May 14th, 2008 3:51 pm

    I reckon at least half of all your page views are from Ian :D

  34. Woodshed May 14th, 2008 4:57 pm

    Ian: I know how it is. I look forward to its resurrection.

    Seeso: Thanks. It’s strange. People were saying that to me on my birthday years before I even started the blog.

    Alexa: Thanks. I’m very glad I could help. I’ve just checked out your blog. Good luck with the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea performance. Let us know how you get on.

    Zym: And the other half is me. Which makes it one person reading the blog. That’s a sobering thought.

  35. pam May 14th, 2008 6:23 pm

    [F] Happy birthday to you
    [C] Happy birthday to you
    Etc.

    You’re a public service to the ukerati. Uke shaped cake for all!

  36. Woodshed May 14th, 2008 10:13 pm

    Thanks, Pam. I’m making a wish right now.

  37. Sukie May 14th, 2008 11:39 pm

    Happy Anniversary (even if I am late)! It’s a great website and fun to peruse.

  38. LonnaB May 15th, 2008 2:10 am

    Woodshed- I wasn’t paying attention.

    We’re both not surprised.

    “The plan is to turn vague browsers into hardcore ukulelists.”

    This works well with my plan which is to get everyone interested in and aware of ukuleles. I’ve been canvasing wherever I go. Some guy tried to sell me a vacuum earlier last week and I started talking to him about ukuleles. I got another guy at a concert wearing a Black Sabbath t-shirt into a lengthy ukulele conversation (between sets, of course) When I can get people to listen long enough I always throw out the “UkeHunt”.

    Maybe I should make a few fliers:)

    I’ll catch ‘em and you can reel ‘em in!

    Happy Birthday plus two days!

  39. Nick May 15th, 2008 2:53 am

    Happy One Year Anniversary! I’m so happy to see this site getting bigger and bigger every day, you definitely deserve all the success! I think I started following the site 6 months ago, so I haven’t been here from the beginning, but almost! I actually found you just by searching for ukulele sites in Google. I only visited casually at first, but once I noticed that you had posted Beirut tabs, I knew I had found my numbero uno Ukulele blog. But now the site is turning out to be much more than a blog, which is awesome. It’s clear that you put a ton of work into the site, and so like I said, you really deserve all of the success and growth that this has seen.

    By the way, now that I’ve buttered you up, can you PLEASE point me towards either a site or a video, or anything really, that has a walkthrough on how to restring a ukulele? I haven’t played mine in over a month because when I went to restring it with the new Aquila strings I ordered (from a recommendation on here), I totally flubbed it. The strings get out of tune really easily, and every time I try tightening the A string it breaks off. I looked around, and the best I found was something HowlinHobbit posted on some forum years ago. Please help! You haven’t done a post about that, have you? Or is it assumed that it’s very easy to do and I’m just a complete idiot for needing help? :(

  40. Nick May 15th, 2008 2:55 am

    I totally meant to say numero uno, by the way. =/

  41. Woodshed May 15th, 2008 7:18 am

    Sukie: Thanks!

    Lonna: Better late than never ;) Thanks for spreading the love.

    Nick: Don’t worry, restringing is tricky to get the hang of. Aldrine has a top video showing you how to restring. I hope that helps you. Thanks for the kind words.

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