Uke Hunt is Seven: My Thoughts

Since I started the site on 12th May 2007 there’ve been 1,858 posts, 20 million visits and over 90 million page views. And I’m still amazed that I get away with writing about ukuleles for a living. It’s such a privilege that I get to do something I love and care about every day. I can’t believe my luck.

This is the self-indulgent ramble post I sometimes allow myself on my blog-birthday – covering my general thoughts, plans for the future and goals. If you want something more useful read the Review of the Year post.

Thanks!

Thank you for reading: It’s such a thrill for me that people find the site useful. I know playing the ukulele helps me relax and – when I really practice a piece – accomplished. And I hope this site helps you feel the same way.

Thanks for commenting and emailing: Makes me feel like I’m not screaming into the void.

Thank you for spreading the word: Telling people about the site is absolutely the best way to support it. I put the success of the site pretty much entirely down to people recommending it to other ukers.

Thank you for buying: It’s my nightmare that one day I might have to get a proper job. So I can’t thank enough those people who spend hard earned money on my stuff. There’s no way the site could exist without your financial support.

Thank you for playing: It’s a huge inspiration to watch people playing and listening to the records. Just watching random YouTube videos gets my brain firing. If you do something cool I’m very likely to steal it.

Coming Up (Or Not)

Will Happen

Another T-Shirt Run: I’ve had enough people complaining that they missed out on the last t-shirt run to run it again this year. It’ll be the same deal: a limited time to pre-order, they all get printed at once then that’s it.

Blues Ebook Update: After updating these three ebooks the blues one is next on the list.

More iPad Friendly: This one is a pain. It’s going to take a lot of video code updating. And audio plugins are causing a few problems. Hopefully I’ll be able to sort something out.

Might Happen

Project Monkey Butter: Every year I try to do one big, top secret project (like Ukulele for Dummies or the Uke Hunt app). I’ve started work on this year’s project (code name: Project Monkey Butter). I’m very excited about it. Some times these projects work out better than others. So we’ll see how it goes.

Chord Progressions Update: I’m not entirely sure what to do with this ebook. I think really it needs splitting into two. One focussed on the practical aspects of chord playing and one on the theoretical aspects.

Coding Projects: I’ve been learning some JavaScript and jQuery recently (as well as brushing up on my CSS and HTML). It’s entirely possible I’ll never make anything good enough to be actually used. But I’m having a lot of fun messing with stuff and have attempted a couple of ukulele related things so far: a strumming metronome that only works in Chrome and a very early stages ukulele-selector.

Won’t Happen

Three things I get asked about regularly but have no intention of doing: ads, video tutorials and looking cheerful in my videos.

Now I Am Seven

According to the child development websites, seven year olds are supposed to display an increased vocabulary and greater attention span. Which is very good news for me because those are two things I struggle with. And I’m looking to improve them in the next year.

Procrastination

I have struggled with motivation and procrastination the whole time I’ve been doing the blog. Particularly when it comes to big writing projects. It’s a constant source of frustration for me. If I knuckled down I could get the day’s work done in the morning and spend the rest of the day staring at mountains and twirling my mustachios very independently.

The problem has been worse since Ukulele for Dummies. I knew I only had one shot at getting it right and that a lot of people would be relying on it to get them playing. So I felt under pressure and put a great deal of work into it. Afterwards I was burned out and I fell into bad habits.

It’s not just laziness – although that certainly helps – it’s based in anxiety. That I’ll screw something up so mightily I’ll have to leave the internet forever. Of the pain of actually making an effort. That I’ll put in the effort for no return, have to ditch it and I’ll have wasted precious time that could’ve been spent watching OSW Review or playing Mini Metro.

Writing

I’d also like to improve my writing. With any luck spending less time procrastinating will mean more time for editing.

Thanks Again!

Thanks again to everyone for their support over the last seven years. I look forward to the next seven years at which point I expect we’ll all be playing futuleles.

View Comments

28 Comments

  1. Carrie May 21st, 2014 7:43 pm

    Happy Internet Birthday! I’m sure we’re all very, very grateful to have you around.

  2. Angela May 21st, 2014 8:13 pm

    I love this site! I’m not very good, but I know a lot of chords and can play a lot of the songs on the chords page! Yay!! Thanks for everything!

  3. Alistair May 21st, 2014 8:59 pm

    Well done Al. This is a great achievement and I am always amazed at how you keep it all going.

    Thanks also for the introduction to so many good musicians and ideas. Here’s to another seven years!

  4. cardboardfrog May 21st, 2014 9:38 pm

    congratulations on seven years of quality content Al,
    So good to see the site keep going and keep having high quality tabs/chords/well curated videos/links which i think is more impressive now considering that the blog is old enough to get to use scissors, i’d of gotten bored in week one.
    Thanks for all the songs you’ve taught me!

  5. david beckingham May 21st, 2014 10:11 pm

    Ukehunt is the most useful, entertaining and certainly the most intelligent uke site around. You’re feeding the habits of a lot of weird junkies around the world. Thanks a zillion.

  6. Phredd May 21st, 2014 11:59 pm

    Congratulations on Seven Wonderful Years, Al. Ukulele Hunt is the BEST Ukulele Resource on the internet. Thanks for taking us along for the ride.

  7. coyote May 22nd, 2014 12:14 am

    You might want to look at http://fitvidsjs.com for your videos. And happy birthday!

  8. s2art May 22nd, 2014 1:54 am

    Happy Birthday, and many happy returns. What a great source of inspiration, music, weirdness, good stuff, bad stuff, advice all with a touch of humour. Everyone on three….1…2…3…”UKEHUNT”

  9. Lizzie May 22nd, 2014 2:25 am

    Hi Al – You are never muttering into the void! At least not when you are posting on Ukulelehunt.

    This is always the first place I recommend new ukers to visit.

    Thank you also for the great pleasure of being able to answer the question, “Are there any good ukulele websites?” with, “Uke Hunt!!!”.

    Always cheers me up!

    Best wishes and long may you prosper and thrive,

    Lizzie X

  10. pinta_vodki May 22nd, 2014 10:43 am

    Whoa, congratulations! It blows my mind when I think that if I bought my uke in 2009 and found Uke Hunt shortly after, it means I’ve been reading the site for 5 years already.

    Time sure does fly, so let us all use it wisely!

  11. Allan May 22nd, 2014 1:47 pm

    Happy Birthday!!!
    btw Strummer works in Opera to!

  12. Woodshed May 22nd, 2014 1:52 pm

    Carrie: I’m very, very grateful to have you around too!

    Angela: That’s excellent! Thanks.

    Alistair: Thanks very much!

    cbf: It’s been a pleasure! Thanks for commenting.

    david: Thanks very much! And double thanks for all your contributions.

    Phredd: Thanks so much!

    coyote: Thanks for the link. I think I’ve got the video problem under control, it’s just going to take work.

    s2art: Thanks very much!

    Lizzie: Thanks very much for spreading the word. I really appreciate it.

    pinta_vodki: I know! I was surprised when I realised it was seven years.

  13. LizJ May 22nd, 2014 3:36 pm

    Congrats on 7 years and thank you for running this site. I’m coming up on my 1-year anniversary of ukulele playing next month and this site has been my #1 resource.

    For my birthday last month my boyfriend bought me 3 of your ebooks, they’ve been a great help and I’m learning a ton from them.

    Anyway thanks for doing what you do. Here’s to 7 more years!

  14. Andreas May 22nd, 2014 7:52 pm

    Congratulations. Hippo Bathday! Hope this site lives long and prospers so that you won’t have to look for a proper job.
    BTW the uke strummer works perfectly well in firefox, as far as I can tell.

  15. tripleM May 22nd, 2014 8:46 pm

    Thanks Al for keeping the blog up. Even though I’ve only been here for a few months, it’s my favourite website for everything ukulele! :D

    Happy Birthday!

  16. Woodshed May 22nd, 2014 9:52 pm

    LizJ: Thanks! And belated Happy Birthday. And congratulations on having a super-cool boyfriend!

    Andreas: Thanks very much! That’s good to hear. When I try it on Firefox the timing is all out.

    tripleM: Thanks very much! That’s very kind of you.

  17. Alec May 24th, 2014 10:18 am

    What David B said! Thanks heaps.

  18. Mark May 24th, 2014 3:35 pm

    Congratulations on your seven years. I have been an avid follower for all three years that I have been playing and always find something good here.

    On your writing/anxiety/procrastination thing, I absolutely get where you are coming from as I write a lot myself. Remember, though, that good writing comes from good thinking, and good thinking takes time. It is an indirect process that often involves daydreams, breaks and cups of tea, just like any interesting journey. I suspect your procrastination makes for a better read, so don’t be so hard on yourself. There are plenty of us out here who love what you do.

  19. Shelley May 24th, 2014 7:29 pm

    SThank YOU, and Congratulations. You’ve put so much work into this site and it is very very much appreciated! Happy 7th!

  20. Woodshed May 25th, 2014 8:53 am

    Alec: Thanks!

    Mark: Thanks very much! I’ll keep that in mind.

    Shelley: Thank you!

  21. Readie May 28th, 2014 10:45 am

    Happy 7th, Al! Many congratulations – what a great achievement. And I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: thanks for a great blog.

    [I'm not sure if you'll recall, but I e-mailed you a while back as I was thinking of going freelance and was looking for some advice. You kindly replied with encouraging words which really helped and, as a result, I've just celebrated my own second anniversary of going it alone. So thanks for that too. Oh, and I'm a writer and editor, so if you're ever looking for some writing advice, happy to oblige. Call it a favour returned.]

  22. Woodshed May 29th, 2014 8:36 am

    Readie: That’s fantastic! I certainly do recall. Congratulations on your success!

  23. kwokkie June 2nd, 2014 2:32 pm

    Belated Happy birthday, and thanks for you hard work on this website! Uke hunt has taught me a lot about the ukulele, and I still learn from it. Keep up the good work!

  24. Woodshed June 3rd, 2014 8:17 am

    kwokkie: Thanks very much!

  25. todd June 4th, 2014 6:24 am

    Dear Al,

    Happy Belated Birthday!

    what a great work!

    Todd

  26. Woodshed June 4th, 2014 7:23 am

    todd: Thanks very much! And I’m really glad to see your new videos.

  27. Matt June 5th, 2014 6:26 pm

    The chord theory book idea is a great one. I can play any chord you throw at me and I know the basic mechanics of music theory, but chord theory (the stuff that helps you turn a simple 3 chord tune into a 18 chord jazz masterpiece) confuses the crap out of me.

  28. Woodshed June 5th, 2014 8:42 pm

    Matt: Thanks!

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