Uke Hunt is Three

The site is three years old today. I was originally going to do a review of the year but I decided to give that a post of its own and stick with the annual self-indulgent post.

Stats

The number of people visiting the blog continues to make me feel woozy whenever I think about it. The third year of the blog saw 2.1 million visitors and 10 million page views. There are over 3,500 subscribers. All of which are well up on last year’s stats which you can see in last year’s round-up.

And it looks like I might be heading back to the top of the ukulele site list.

A massive thanks to everyone who visits the site. And thanks in particular to everyone who gets invloved by commenting, emailing and mentioning the site around the net. Knowing that people appreciate the site and find it helpful really makes the difference when I feel like packing it in.

Visitors by Country

1. United States (more than all the others put together)
2. United Kingdom
3. Canada
4. France
5. Australia
6. Germany
7. New Zealand
8. Sweden
9. Japan
10. Ireland

Coming Up (Or Not)

Will Happen

More ebooks: I’ve been promising How to Play Classical Ukulele and How to Shred the F**k Out of a Ukulele for an age now. I had blocked out the Christmas break for writing How to Shred… but events took over.

In the spirit of getting things done, making commitments and scaring the crap out of myself, I’ll set the release dates:

How to Play Classical Ukulele – July 1st 2010
How to Shred the F**k Out of a Ukulele – November 3rd 2010

Feel free to kick me in the arse if I miss these.

Fewer Posts: Cutting down on the Monday posts hasn’t caused a single protest so I’ve decided to stop posting on Sunday as well (for now).

Might Happen

More Uke Hunt T-Shirts: The nightmare of finding a decent site to put the last batch of Uke Hunt t-shirts has made me hate the idea of t-shirts. But since the redesign I’ve had a lot of requests for them.

Taking How to Play Ragtime Ukulele off the market: I’m not sure if it’s up to the standards of the other ebooks any more.

Ukulele Applications: I’ve never bothered to properly learn any computery stuff. Along the way I’ve picked up enough HTML, CSS and PHP to break things but nowhere near enough to fix anything. So I’ve committed myself to learning these things (I might even tackle Ruby on Rails but only because I have a man-crush on David Heinemeier Hansson).

If I manage to get any good at PHP, I have a bunch of ideas for apps I want to make – most of the uke related. If any of them are actually any good, I’ll share them here. And if anyone has any advice on learning this stuff, let me know.

A Real Life Book: Not for the first time, there are talks of me working on a real life book. This one I’m really excited about. Although it’s very early days and, on past experience, it’s very unlikely to happen.

Definitely Won’t Happen (Probably)

EUkulele: I had a great idea: travel around Europe and meet a ukulele player in every country in the EU. Then I remembered I hate traveling, am terrible at meeting people and am organisationally incompetent. Idea ditched.

Sponsorship and Ads: I get offers for these but there’s no way. Mostly because I piss everyone off sooner or later. The one exception is the search page. Since the redesign I’ve been using Google Site Search because it’s far better than the usual WordPress site search. The down side is the ads. I could pay to have them taken off but, with it being a big site, it’s a pretty hefty cost. I don’t make any money off the ads myself, so don’t click them to do me a favour or anything like that.

If you want to sway me on any of these or you’ve got any good ideas for what I should be doing, let me know in the comments.

View Comments

47 Comments

  1. Bossarocker May 13th, 2010 6:15 pm

    Fina-bloody-ly. Welcome back, Al. I’ve really missed Uke Hunt these last 3 weeks. And congratulations on your well earnt successes. Don’t ever pack it in, ever.

  2. Andrea May 13th, 2010 6:39 pm

    Congrats!!

  3. Bossarocker May 13th, 2010 6:41 pm

    I forgot to say – happy blooming birthday!

  4. Ian Emmerson May 13th, 2010 6:59 pm

    Congratulations! Yeah, the EUkulele idea isn’t very you!

    I

  5. kurtuke May 13th, 2010 7:01 pm

    how was the break!?!? cant wait for some more stuff for uke!

  6. Armelle May 13th, 2010 7:11 pm

    Kudos to you for another awesome year of Uke Hunt posts !
    Never consider packing it in! You can’t make 2.1 million unhappy people!
    I am not sure we’ll let you off with not posting Sundays anymore. No posts 2 days in a row is a bit tough on us I reckon ;)
    Best wishes for many more years of Uke Hunt !

  7. David Barnes May 13th, 2010 7:30 pm

    Pardon me if this is cheeky, but are the ebook’s Uke Hunts only source of revenue?

    I’d never even NOTICED the lack of ads here… I was surprised when you said you didn’t have any.

    Congratulations for lasting 3 years. That’s about as long as I’ve been playing, I think. I’ve enjoyed having you around as I learned, Uke Hunt.

  8. UP May 13th, 2010 7:54 pm

    Haaappy Birthday. Three is a great year. With a new site design you’re cooking. For posterity sake, how about posting the different “looks” of the site over the years? Did you take screen caps? That’d be cool.
    On a different note — the books (classical in particular) sound great. And “the” book — when can we get it on our iPads?
    Best, UP

  9. Emily May 13th, 2010 8:10 pm

    Guilt trip: If you pack it in you’ll make me cry. Do you want to make me cry? I’m an Alaskan and we don’t eff-around…

    Welcome back. Hope you had a lovely holiday.

  10. Peter May 13th, 2010 9:34 pm

    Thanks a lot for all the hard work, Al.
    I’ll be sure to purchase your new books when you’re done writing them!

  11. Foinnse May 13th, 2010 9:45 pm

    Congrats woodshed! Happy Birthday Ukulele hunt!
    I am very new to the Uke, about 3 weeks in or so but I’m really loving it, such a lovely simple sweet sounding little instrument. And thats not to take away from the ukes standing as an instrument at all! Finding your website has been a real help to me gaining some progress in learning this instrument and for that I’m indebted to you. Keep up the good work, hopefully you will stick around for a while yet and I can continue to improve with your help, I’m looking forward to it! -F

  12. musensmile May 13th, 2010 9:56 pm

    I love your site! I also love your books :-) I recently bought myself an ukulele and am in love. Can’t wait for your new books!

  13. Fuke May 13th, 2010 10:09 pm

    I hope at least one other person read this post and played happy birthday on their ukulele :)

  14. 0R4NG3 May 13th, 2010 11:02 pm

    After hearing (reading) this post I absolutely got my Uke out and played the Birthday song of Happy. Also read your previous books… Hope that this will always be the best site to use!~

    Woodshed: YOU! ARE! THE! BEST!

  15. Jimmy May 13th, 2010 11:04 pm

    Happy birthday, you remain the cool guy. I liked Sunday theme tunes, but you do your thing.

    Here’s hoping for another fine year

  16. Josh C May 13th, 2010 11:06 pm

    so glad you are back.
    how was the holiday?

  17. Richard May 13th, 2010 11:09 pm

    Happy Birthday Ukulele Hunt!
    I’ve been playing uke for about 6 months now and your site has been an awesome place to get ukulele news, find all the ukulele tabs I could wish for and to drool over the ukes on ukulele window shopping! Thanks Woodshed!
    Hope you enjoyed the Lakes :)

  18. Woodshed May 13th, 2010 11:27 pm

    Bossa: I don’t plan on packing it in. But I do worry if I’ll be able to keep doing it once the uke boom is over.

    Andrea: Thanks.

    Ian: No, it really isn’t. I wish it was.

    kurtuke: Great thanks.

    Armelle: Thanks!

    David: I do make commissions from eBay (and, technically, Amazon but it’s peanuts and I’ve never collected from them). But ebooks are the main income.

    UP: Damn, I don’t think I have any screenshots. But I do still have the themes hanging around.

    Emily: Of course I don’t.

    Peter: Thanks very much.

    Foinnse: I’m looking forward to it too!

    musensmile: Thanks, really glad you’re enjoying it.

    Fuke and OR4NG3: Good job on the Happy Birthday playing!

    Jimmy: I think there’ll still be plenty of theme tunes knocking around.

    Josh C: Great, thanks. Now I just have to get back into the swing of things. Which isn’t easy.

    Richard: Thanks so much. Glad you’re enjoying the site.

  19. J-Hob May 14th, 2010 12:01 am

    Happy birthday! Uke Hunt has been around since I started on the uke 2.5 years ago, it was first site I went to then and still is now. You’ve done a marvellous job with the site and I know it’s hugely appreciated by so many people, and now it’s even gone all snazzy to boot!

    Reduced post count is fine with me, it’s quality not quantity.

    Now skidaddle and go play happy birthday on your uke to yourself ad infinitum.

  20. CharlesHugh May 14th, 2010 12:33 am

    Congrats on (almost) getting Uke Hunt back to No1!!

  21. Rob NY May 14th, 2010 12:40 am

    Quiting your job and starting Ukehunt was a balls out thing to do. I hope you feel fulfilled. Ukehunt is the 1st thing I look at when I turn on the computer.I look foward to see what you have for us everyday.I want to thank you for all the enjoyment you have given me. I appreciate a your instruction, insights, and sense of humor.Congratulations on your 3rd year.

  22. skulleigh May 14th, 2010 1:55 am

    Wowsers! Congrats, those are some impressive stats.

    Heck, I would take it as a personal challenge to try and piss off all 2.1 million of us. Extra points for getting everyone at once. ;)

  23. Marcelo May 14th, 2010 2:04 am

    Happy birthday from Brazil.

    I hope the uke never stop booming – nevertheless, Im sure there will be people who will aways love to play it and, therefore, to visit ukulele hunt.

    Best!

  24. L.bo Marie May 14th, 2010 3:11 am

    1)happy birthday to uke.
    2)so glad you didn’t drown in the lake.
    3)I wish I could steal your EU idea.
    welcome back :)

  25. Shobs May 14th, 2010 8:20 am

    Happy Birthday!

    Yeah to the T-shirts. Worth the hassle. I’ll buy presents for everyone I know and a great way to spread the word.

    I’ve become obsessed with some uke players and have even invested hard earned cash into buying their CDs. Thanks Al for the great intros keep them up!

    What else do I love? Sat uketube! Al’s chords and tabs – always work and obviously transcribed with massive amounts of care and attention.

    Finally, general uke news and an intro to the uke community.

    Al, although you say you’re socially inept, you must be doing alright to get so many people visiting your site. You mentioned an interview with yourself on twitter last night – any more details?

    Keep up the stunning work.

    Lots of love on behalf of everyone who checks out uke hunt xxx

  26. Phredd May 14th, 2010 9:42 am

    Happy Birthday and Welcome Back!

  27. dakotayellowred May 14th, 2010 9:47 am

    My compliments ,ciao!

  28. jerika May 14th, 2010 9:49 am

    I missed you. But I guess it’s convenient that you were missing all through finals week. Thanks for giving me nothing to procrastinate with.

  29. +one May 14th, 2010 10:11 am

    welcome back & congrats on the stats/birthday thingy.

    FYI – I totally LOVE my ukehunt hooters t-shirt – I was on the verge of tears the other day when I thought I’d lost it! I reckon its worth the effort.

  30. Elle May 14th, 2010 11:02 am

    Happy birthday!

    I’m really enjoying your blog as I’ve just started (attempting) to teach myself the ukulele. Just bought your Ukulele 101 ebook.

    Thanks so much for publishing this blog. It’s fantastic!

    Elle x

  31. UkePeas May 14th, 2010 1:23 pm

    Uke hunt is deffinatly my number 1 site, ive onl been playing since the beggining of this year but i dont know how i could cope without you in my life now :) also is the joke in the title intentional or a coincidence? uke hunt… you c**nt… it made me giggle a bit though :P much love x

  32. LonnaB May 14th, 2010 3:37 pm

    So glad you’re back. Seems like you’ve got some good ideas kicking around for the site. I, for one, would love to see a book deal in your future. I get tired of looking at Jim Beloff’s picture on all the ukulele books I own. :)

  33. HumbLE uKer May 14th, 2010 3:39 pm

    Al:

    I was working on a passage from John King’s Banjo Schottische this morning. I think his book for ‘Ukulele Solos and Duets is one of the greatest books available for the ukulele.

    I was pondering who could carry this skill further and now think that your arrangements carry on a bit of John King’s arranging genius. OK, I know you’re saying some British explative right now but I do think your book idea is a really good one.

    So I do hope that you seriously consider it.

    Happy Birthday to UH from HU.

    Jeff in California

  34. Sunny Jim May 14th, 2010 5:07 pm

    Yup, me too. UkeHunt’s been a constant source of information and inspiration for the last nine months since I first picked up a uke. Many thanks and congratulations – do keep it up.
    I nearly came over to thank you in person at BelperUke Day but I’m fairly socially inept myself and feared some sort of awkward social ineptness face-off, so much easier to type my thanks!

  35. Narciso Lobo May 14th, 2010 5:28 pm

    Happy birthday, Uke Hunt! (to be read aloud)

  36. mirmingi May 14th, 2010 8:20 pm

    congrats!!
    if you’re still looking for (ethical/organic) t-shirt sites: have you checked http://www.sandbag.uk.com and http://www.spunky.co.uk? (i usually recycle and/or print my own stuff, but they’ve been recommended to me)
    and as for the EUkulele trip, i think it’s a great idea! you could probably find people very easily via http://www.couchsurfing.org, there are several ukulele groups and millions of really cordial, welcoming and open-minded people out there. do it! ;-)

    in any case, keep up the great work! i love your site, thanks so much for everything…
    cheers from vienna, austria
    mirmingi

  37. Issy May 14th, 2010 8:21 pm

    Hey! Wow! three years? That’s really impressive! I just want to say thanks because without this website I’d still be fumbling around between a C chord and a G chord instead of mastering the mysteries of tab!
    I taught myself off your tabs and well… just thanks! I’m teaching Ukulele now and without this I wouldn’t be anywhere…
    The Ukulele is by far my favourite instrument to play! This website is the best.
    Really.
    It is.
    Issy x

  38. Cat green Bike May 14th, 2010 11:34 pm

    Congratulations Al!!! Please don’t ever pack it in. If you ever get so far down the giving up line it looks fatal I will personally come to Derby with copious amounts of cake to persuade you otherwise. I would also love a Uke Hunt T-shirt. If you make some in a (healthy) girls size I will purchase one quick sharp and wear it at gigs. Ukuleles for peace rocks. Cheers for the heads up.
    Take it easy, I don’t think any of us will chastise you for having two days off a week.
    Xen xx

  39. Jeff May 15th, 2010 4:14 am

    You are growing up so fast!I’ve had you bookmarked for 2 1/2 years. I had no idea you were so fresh when I started following. I’ve learned so much from Uke Hunt and from your E-books. I’m thankful everytime I visit the site(daily if I have the chance). Keep up the good work!

  40. Woodshed May 15th, 2010 6:35 pm

    J-Hob: Thanks so much for all your help over those 2.5 years.

    CharlesHugh: Thanks. Might be there by Monday.

    RobNY: I do feel fulfilled. And very grateful. It wasn’t really a balls out decision. I didn’t feel like I had any choice.

    skulleigh: When you put it like that it sounds like a challenge.

    Marcelo: And thanks straight back to Brazil.

    L.Bo Marie: You’re welcome to steal it.

    Shobs: It’s for Bossarocker’s radio show.

    Phredd: Thanks!

    dakotayellowred: Prego.

    jerika: You’re welcome. Hope they went well.

    +one: I love my hooters too.

    Elle: Thanks, you’re very kind.

    UkePeas: Shamefully, it is intentional.

    Lonna: I’ve never chased a book, but this one is very exciting.

    Humble Uker: I’m very influenced by John King’s arrangements but I can’t pretend to be anywhere near his league. I think a lot of the stuff in my classical ebook is going to be a long way from his stuff. Just because I can’t better the way he did it.

    Sunny Jim: Thanks. You would have done well to catch me at BUF. I wasn’t there long.

    Seeso: Thanks, you twat.

    mirmingi: Thanks for the links. The EUkulele isn’t so much a logistic thing as my own anti-social side.

    Issy: Thanks. Glad you found it useful and congrats on your progress.

    Cat green Bike: Cake! You know the way to a man’s heart.

    Jeff: Thanks very much. I shall endeavor to keep it up.

  41. Redmond May 16th, 2010 4:37 pm

    Welcome back! Nice to see this site is on/towards the top of the pack (like there’s really any competition =P )

    Keep up the good work! I’ve gotten my fellow ruggers into ukulele, 3 so far, we expect to be kicking arse and making music in no time thanks to you!

  42. Alison May 16th, 2010 4:48 pm

    Wow – who knew Uke Hunt and I shared a birthday (though I am, unsurprisingly, significantly older than three – we won’t get into how significantly)? As a new ukuleleist (got my first uke for Christmas last year), your site has been an invaluable resource to me. Thanks so much, and keep up the good work!

  43. tenaciousflea May 18th, 2010 7:46 pm

    can’t wait for the classical ukulele ebook! maybe you can consider including “Study in E – Minor by Francisco Tarrega”. there’s a nice tab of it here http://www.microshare.net/tri-tabs/tabs/STUDY_IN_E_MINOR.pdf but just tab, no real instruction. thanks and great site you have!

  44. Woodshed May 18th, 2010 9:58 pm

    Redmond: Well done spreading the word.

    Alison: Many happy returns!

    tenaciousflea: I definitely agree it’s a nice tab. More on that later in the week.

  45. Hello Jodi May 19th, 2010 5:09 am

    I send everyone who talks about learning ukulele to your site – I wish it were around when I were first learning. I think you’re just the bee’s knees, but you already know that.

    So, if you are a shut-in and won’t travel, how about playing host?

  46. Woodshed May 22nd, 2010 5:52 am

    Jodi: I expect that too would be an even bigger disaster. But I might be willing to give it a try. Once.

  47. David Barnes May 22nd, 2010 9:27 am

    You’d be a fool not to play host to Jodi, Al.

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