I want to thank all of you who have visited my blog and helped it just reach the milestone of 250,000 page views. Many of you have become regular visitors, so I like to think we’ve become a burgeoning Internet community. Times change, and so do our mobile phones; we won’t always own a BlackBerry Pearl. So, I’d like to share with you my future plans to continue our relationship after our Pearls have become a past love. It might actually pay you to read this post.
The Brief History of This Blog
In late 2007, I took a new position at my job that required I be able to teach blogging (among other things). I had never had the least interest in blogging although I had done extensive work on other types of web sites. I thought the best way to learn was to just start blogging. But on what topic? No way did I want to blog about myself!
About that same time, my Verizon Wireless “New Every Two” plan allowed me to upgrade to a new phone at a big discount, and I thought I was ready for a smartphone. Obviously, I chose the BlackBerry Pearl 8130, which had just been made available to VZW customers.
I quickly realized that if I was going to use this sophisticated device, I needed to study it systematically. As well, since I have a terrible memory for certain things, and since I love writing, I decided to record in writing each interesting new thing I learned about my Pearl. Where to record it? A blog! I could kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.
So, that’s it–that’s the only reason this blog came into being. I never really expected anyone else to use this blog. I started the blog right after Thanksgiving 2007, and piddled with it through the holiday season. I’d say I started getting pretty serious about my writing in the final days of 2007.
Slowly, traffic started to build, and I had fun exchanging information with my first readers. By March 2008, the blog just seemed to explode with traffic. The vast majority of my “hits” or “page views” came in only 3 months: March, April, and May 2008. By early June 2008, the blog reached a quarter million page views.
Here are some fascinating statistics on my blog, according to Quantcast as of June 6, 2008:
- Visitors have come from 119 different countries. The top 10 countries are: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Norway, Australia, India, Mexico, German, France, and Italy.
- Visitors come from all 50 US States. The top 10 States are: California, New York, Texas, Illinois, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.
- Visitors come from these top 10 US metropolitan areas: New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, Washington, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Phoenix, and Dallas/Fort Worth.
- Monthly page views are about 70,000.
- Monthly unique visits are about 27,000.
The Future of This Blog: newBBie.com
I started this blog with absolutely no thought of its future. I figured it would fade into obscurity like all the other web sites I’ve done over the years. But with the incredible and totally unexpected success (by my standards, anyway) attained so far, there’s no way I’m going to abandon this site and our community. So, here’s what I have in mind…
When I reflect on what seems to be the most important contribution of the site, its greatest value, its most typical visitor–I believe it has been of most use to new BlackBerry owners, and especially first-time BlackBerry owners. In either case, you might affectionately call a large number in our community “newbies.” Just like I was when I started my blog. And just like I’ll be again when I upgrade my BlackBerry. So, I use that term in the most respectful and not a condescending tone.
If there is a future to this blog, I believe it needs to continue to appeal to those who have just acquired a new BlackBerry, and especially those who have just acquired their first BlackBerry. The sales of BlackBerrys are booming, and RIM’s market share is increasing. So, there will be plenty of us for the site to cater to.
I won’t go into great detail, but I’ve learned that I need to move off of WordPress.com to WordPress.org. That means I’ll be hosting my site on my own leased web server using my own domain name but using open source WordPress.org blog software. For reasons explained above, I’ve chosen this domain name: http://newBBie.com. Of course, the BB in newBBie stands for BlackBerry. Domain names are not case-sensitive, so it doesn’t matter if you capitalize BB, thus http://newbbie.com works equally well.
But wait, there’s more…
For the site to have a future, I have to be able to move forward into new models of BlackBerrys and maybe even own multiple BlackBerrys at one time. I had already been interested in the Curve, and now I’m eager to get my hands on the new Bold. But living on an education salary with a family to support (not to mention a virtual zoo of animals–I live on a farm), how can I afford to own multiple BlackBerrys? I have to make money off my site! So, on the new site I’m going to try advertising. I’m hoping I can generate enough revenue to cover my expenses. But I don’t plan on changing my approach to writing. If anything, I’ll try even harder to write about topics that newbbies find helpful, useful, and interesting.
A Reward for Your Loyalty
OK–if you’ve read this far, you must really be a dedicated member of our community. So, here’s the deal: If you leave a comment below with a real email address of yours, I will include you in a contest to win a significant prize (all details to be decided later; contest to be held as soon as I get the new site launched, hopefully in June/July 2008 timeframe). Everyone who has already left a comment and email address anywhere on the site will also be included in the contest, too.
I’d appreciate comments with ideas, suggestions, encouragement–whatever you decide. Contest winner(s) will be chosen randomly, not based on the comment itself.
Again, thanks for your past support or your new discovery of this blog. I’ll continue to work hard to make it worth your return.