Global Nerdy is my third tech blog.
My first was The Happiest Geek on Earth (don’t bother looking; it’s been offline for years now). I started it back in 2002 when my non-tech readers started to doze off after reading tech articles I posted on The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century. It took its name from an article on Boing Boing that Cory Doctorow wrote about me when he heard that I’d taken up part-time work as an accordion-playing go-go dancer at a popular downtown Toronto bar.
In September 2003, a couple of months after Tucows took me on as their tech evangelist, I started The Farm (again, no longer in operation), which was pretty much The Happiest Geek on Earth run under the Tucows banner. While I did cover stuff directly related to Tucows, there’s only so much you can blog about Tucows’ core business of domain name registration, hosted email and managed DNS. Luckily for me, they didn’t mind that I blogged about all sorts of things of interest to developer and techies, and I like to think that I helped shift the perception of Tucows being “oh yeah, the shareware company”.
In mid-2006, I was chatting with George Scriban, my old pal from Crazy Go Nuts University. Somehow we got to talking about the tech blogosphere and came to the conclusion that yes, the web needed yet another tech blog. We’d both pitch in: George would cover things from his biz-dev and product-dev point of view, while I’d blog from the developer and goofball angles. We couldn’t think up a name, so I used a little program I’d been working on – The Duke of URL – to access Tucows’ “namespinner” service to come up with available domain names given some keywords. The keyword “nerd” resulted in a lot of junk names, but one stood out: globalnerdy.com.
“Global Nerdy. That doesn’t sound bad,” I said.
“Actually, it sounds pretty good,” replied George.
“Even has a bit of an Engrish feel to it,” I added.
And now you know where the blog’s name came from.
George’s made some very valuable contributions to this blog. Those insightful entries about the tech business in the archives in 2006? Those are his. He has a much better grasp of that stuff than I ever will, and he’s an astute observer and a great writer. The reason this blog registers on Techmeme at all? That’s also George’s doing. The Economist are fools for not snapping him up. He hasn’t contributed in a while, but that’s because the demands of both Microsoft (where he’s a senior product manager) and family life (a lovely wife and two handsome sons) have kept him pretty busy. While George’s presence on this blog is missed; he seems to be always present. Since 1987, we’ve somehow managed to end up working at the same place, whether it’s writing articles for the same paper, working at the same pub, joining Cory Doctorow’s startup and now, working for The Empire.
That means that you Global Nerdy readers are stuck with me. I’d like to start by thanking you, the readers, for your continued readership, comments, support and kind words.
I’d like to extend special thanks to my hosting company, Pressharbor, for doing an excellent job – the blog’s been Dugg, Reddited, Slashdotted, Boing Boinged, Hacker Newsed and Techmemed, and not once has it shown any sign of blogging down or just giving up and 500ing. If you’re looking for some rock-solid WordPress hosting, Pressharbor are the people to see.
And Now, the Numbers
Here’s what StatCounter has to say about Global Nerdy’s readership since the beginning. As with all web stats packages, you have to take these numbers with a grain of salt:
As the graph shows, 2008 was Global Nerdy’s best year, with 702,913 pageloads and 562,022 uniques, which is more than double 2007’s numbers.
Here’s how the 2008 numbers break down by quarter:
It’s a steady improvement, with Q4’s pageloads nearly four times that of Q1. A fair bit of it comes on the heels of a Stack Overflow podcast in which Jeff “Coding Horror” Atwood said some very nice things about Global Nerdy. (Thanks, Jeff, and remember: I have a Microsoft expense account now! The steak’s on me when next we meet!)
Beyond the Numbers and into 2009
While the numbers are a good indicator of whether I’m writing stuff that readers are finding interesting, I’m really looking to improve my qualitative performance. By that, I mean write better articles and get into some interesting things, which I’ll cover very soon in a “What’s Up in 2009?” article.