Today is the sixth anniversary of Frankly Curious. On this day back in 2009, I published Everything Interesting for Everyone Interesting. It was a little 500 word essay to explain what the site was supposed to be about: interesting material for interesting people. And I think it has lived up to that mission. I can’t honestly say how interesting the material is, but the website is frequented by a large group of interesting people. We now get several hundred unique visitors per day, but I’m more impressed by the statistic that we get over a hundred people per day who come directly to the home page to check in to see what we are up to.
That’s probably the biggest change from last year. There is more of a sense of community now than there was even then. I’ve long been jealous of other blogs who don’t get nearly the traffic that Frankly Curious does, but that still had more regular visitors. It’s kind of like a bar. There are neighborhood bars where everyone knows each other. And there are bars in the mall that do a lot of business but are impersonal. I’m glad to be turning into more of a neighborhood bar.
I also had one huge article this year, The Shocking True Story of Twin Chickens. When that story came out, it went crazy — for a week or more. That was nice because it was an article I worked on a lot and ended up being really pleased with. It also answered a question that I had long wondered about. But it didn’t cause the blog to grow. The vast majority of the people came, read the article, and left. Frankly Curious is, after all, not about chickens or farming or anything related to that. That’s not to say that we didn’t pick up some regular readers because of it. But most people didn’t even click from the article to the home page to see what the blog was about.
Another big source of traffic was an article from over a year ago, College of Architecture and Planning Sign Is a Joke. That’s one of those articles that prove just how lazy most people are. There are huge arguments about the sign, but no one is willing to do even the smallest amount of research. So they came to that page. And that made me write another article, Update on the Ball State College of Architecture and Planning Sign — It’s Still a Joke. But again, these visitors did not stick around.
Another change this last year was the implementation of a strict publishing schedule. That sounds like it would make managing the site harder, but it was the opposite. It allowed me to work ahead of time and manage things better. We were doing six articles per day. I brought that down to four now, which works a lot better. It gives me time to do other things. And it is not overwhelming for those people who think they ought to read everything. And four articles per day is more than enough for a blog that is done by just one person.
Regardless, it is amazing that this site has been around for six years. Even more amazing is that it seems to be running better than it ever has been. For so many years, we were just limping along. Now it seems more like a machine. And other than, you know, writing the articles, it all pretty much takes care of itself. But I keep adding to it — trying to make it a bit more interesting. As you have probably noticed over the past couple of days, there is now the “Recycled Genius” post at the top of the home page. And by the time you read this, I expect to have up a comments page. If you have any requests, let me know.
But thanks to everyone who makes this site interesting. I’d mention you all by name, but I’m sure I would leave some people out. But you know who you are.
Because of my varied freelance work, I’ve been forced to because a business. So I’ve just started to set up Frankly Curious Media. There isn’t going to be much there — just business stuff: clients, work examples, prices. But if you know people who need work done, you can send them over there where it will be more professional than our freewheeling stuff here.