Sunday, June 21, 2009

Obligatory Seven Year Itch

This weblog turned seven years old today. We have been keeping track of the visitor count for exactly three years.

Today we clocked in at about 110,400, which is pretty consistent over the long haul, at roughly one hundred visitors a day. We tend to get more during the week, and they drop off a bit over the weekends. Apparently most of you have lives, or something.

I seem to have one too. After all, this being Father's Day, I was sufficiently feted over the weekend. On Saturday, Sal took me to dinner, and we watched The Chronicles of Narnia for the umpteenth time at my house. Today my son Paul and I went to brunch after Mass, and then to (finally!) see the J J Abrams' (totally awesome) production of Star Trek.

It should be noted that voting began two or three weeks ago, for what was once called the Catholic Blog Awards, and is now called the Catholic New Media Awards. This only makes sense, for two reasons. One is that new categories have been introduced for podcasts. Maybe someday they'll introduce awards for videocasts. On the other hand, while leaving out categories like "Best Social/Political Commentary," they re-entered some rather arbitrary categories like "Best Blog by a Man" and "Best Blog by a Woman" (or, as Kathy Shaidle preferred to call it after winning one, "Best Uterus," which says it all, really).

The other reason it makes sense, is that winners are increasingly recognized for their merits in NEW media, as opposed to their efforts merely being a sideline for OLD media, meaning print. The best example is Creative Minority Report, but there are a number of others. We are also seeing a rising crop of new writers, new voices for the Catholic message. They are also too numerous to mention here, but our "Plug This" series will highlight some of them over the course of the year.

There are no illusions here about being a major contender for the Awards. They recognize only the winner, and having no longer any provision for "finalists," the rest are simply "nominees." You can nominate yourself and get an award like the one depicted here. (How else could I have gotten one?) Without cheap gimmicks or hawking books or bragging about a high-drama conversion story, one is left to fall back on what we hope to be considered as good writing on the issues of the day, not to mention the occasional spiritual reflections, all through a decidedly Catholic lens. That has proven sufficient fare for an astute and devoted few of you, and I am forever grateful.

Here at man with black hat, we will be slowly introducing new features. We are taking advantage of Twitter in alerting followers to new stories as they develop, and eventually we will fully incorporate such apps into the site. One thing being looked into, is a renewable video feed for the sidebar, from a reliable source. We had one picked out, but had trouble with the code getting it to fit into the sidebar. Our Research and Development Team is completely stumped, and is looking for a code geek with an hour or two on his hands. We'll send the code, and you walk us through the magic.

But the coming week, we expect to be quite busy. I will be in training all day to learn Final Cut Pro, a high-end video softward application from Apple. The accompanying clip will provide an introductory tutorial, to show you what is ahead for yours truly in the day job. I have been a professional graphic designer for over thirty years, most of it with the Federal Government. By this time next year, I'll probably list my occupation as "multimedia designer." Or something.

Who knows, maybe one day you will see a weekly videocast here. You would think that, going on fifty-five years old, I would be thinking about retiring. Fortunately, I'm having way too much fun getting paid.

And so it goes.


mrsdarwin said...

Congrats on your anniversary, David! May you have many more years of blogging!

matthew archbold said...

Congrats on the anniversary. And thanks for the plug. I actually think you were our first commenter over at our site when we started.
I think if I remember you took issue with something Patrick wrote (no surprise because Patrick writes many many stupid things)

So thanks and congrats.