Hello everyone! If you aren’t already aware, our blog has reached its final days of the 365 project. To celebrate this, we are taking a look back in time. Yesterday, we showed you how the blog was created. Now, in these next 4 posts, we will show you how the blog has evolved in 12 months. In each post, we will take a look at each quarter, each of which conveniently represent a new era of our blog.
Today, we will see what happened in the first quarter (January-March).
Note: Tyler and I are writing these posts together. However, in this post and future posts, there are times when we will be talking about our individual opinions/experiences. To attempt to avoid confusion, we are using different color font at these moments.
Our first month of the 365 project. Let’s just say that we underestimated how much work this would be. And when we say that we underestimated, we mean we were miles off. If we had done this any year before this one, we would have been fine. By the new year, we both had jobs and were seniors in high school.
Being a senior comes with many stresses. You have to figure out where you’re going to school, go on visits to different colleges, apply to different colleges, figure out financial aid, apply for scholarships, write numerous essays for these scholarships, figure out loans, and perhaps the most frustrating at times is being nagged by your parents to finish all that stuff. We understand now how important these things were, but still.
But wait, we’re not done. That was just the stuff for preparing for college. On top of that, we still had to go to high school. High school itself is not difficult, unless you are taking a bunch of college classes…at the same time. We both had College Writing, AP Calculus, and College-level Spanish/German in the same semester. Then you have to plan a graduation party.
Okay, we’re getting a little bit ahead of ourselves. But the point I am trying to make is that we were in way over our heads here, and we didn’t figure that out until a few weeks into this project. So, what did we actually do?
We were still figuring out what the blog was going to be, so we were all over the place. The overall themes were mod reviews and starting series that we would never continue (we had a very bad habit of that).
However, we did start one series that we did finish: The LOST Adventure Map series. Given, it took us practically 11 months to finish it, but we still did it.
Our views in January were low by today’s standards, but average for a new blog. Our average number of views per day came out to be 10, with a record of 31 on January 28th.
At this time we were also using an old theme. Unfortunately, we don’t have a picture to remind you guys what it looked like, but it has been imprinted in our minds. It wasn’t horrible. It was a starting point. Once we found this theme, we were quite happy.
That’s about all we can think of for January. Let’s move on.
February wasn’t the most exciting month of the blog. But we still have some stuff to talk about, so don’t worry.
First of all, we redesigned the website in the first week of February to make it look the way it does now. We’ve changed a couple small things here and there, but nothing serious.
We also started the Minecraft Tip posts in February. Tyler gets credit for this idea. He came up with the idea and then we both started working on it. We quickly became addicted to these posts. They were easy to write, and, initially, we had a lot of ideas for these posts. Not so much after a while.
Almost all of the posts in February were one of two things:
- A LOST post
- A Minecraft Tip post
That was truer in the first 2 or 3 weeks of February, but over half of the posts for the month were either LOST or Tip posts. Why was this? Well, as we said a minute ago, tips were easy and ideas were abundant. As for LOST posts, Jonah just enjoyed writing them, although, he got lazy after a while.
Now, I would have to say that I am somewhere on the scale of satisfied to pleased with almost all of the posts that we’ve ever done. There are exceptions however. One of them came in February.
On February 22nd, we had a little dilemma. Tyler said that he would cover the post, and was going to start working on it when his work called and asked him to come in early. He was unable to let me know, and I was left believing that I didn’t have to do the post. At about 11pm I figured out that he probably wasn’t going to do the post, so I wrote the suckiest post I had ever written.
It shouldn’t have even counted as a post since it had almost nothing to do with Minecraft. I wrote about what was to come on our blog. I said that we were going to do some mod review, more lost videos, etc.
I don’t know what bothers me more, the fact that I wrote such a horrible post because I couldn’t think of anything else to write about or the fact that we didn’t do anything on that list like I said we would! I said more LOST videos. Didn’t happen. I said Mo’ Creatures, Finite Liquid, and Smart Moving mod reviews. Didn’t happen.
This post has been hanging over my head for months and I feel terrible whenever I think about it because it was just so horrible. So, today, on December 26, 2012, I deliver my official apology. I am sincerely sorry for that post, and I wish that it wouldn’t have happened again. But it did.
Despite all the difficulties, February was a good month for views. Our average was 21 views per day and we got a new record of 32. We also passed a major landmark: 1,000 total views. Awesome.
Overall, February was a good month. However, we would only encounter difficulties in March.
If there was one month that was worse than any of the others, this was the one.
If there was one “hell month,” then this was the one.
If there was one month when we really regretted doing this 365 project and actually thought of quitting, then this was the one. We had to face Calculus.
March was the time for finals. This was a trying period for the blog, for ourselves as human beings and our sanity. During the majority of March, our Calculus teacher made it his personal goal to give us as much homework, and go as fast as he possibly could to prepare us for both the Calculus finals, and the state-wide AP program. Not to mention that the quarter was ending, so many of our other classes were ending, and that came with tests as well. So, for both of us, our routine came down to this:
- Arriving home from school was time to study. If any of us wanted to get a decent GPA for our senior year, we would have to study. Not only that, but Calculus, like so many other math classes, is a homework every day type of class. Now, we didn’t actually have to do homework, as it wasn’t graded as part of the class, but if we didn’t do the homework, we sure as hell weren’t going to pass.
- Use whatever leftover time we had to make a quick post before going to bed.
As sad as that sounds, that was our schedule. Wake up, learn, study, do homework, rush a post, and sleep. Sounds like fun doesn’t it?
Oh wait, we forgot to mention our other classes. Financial Management (not horrible, but there were a few big projects which didn’t help things), College Spanish/German (lots of homework…LOTS), and worst of all College Writing. Writing by itself was driving us insane. 4 major papers to write over a semester. The first was easy, but then we had to write an Ethnography…not so easy.
All of this combined with work and the blog (not to mention preparing for college) was driving us up the wall.
However, this school stress wasn’t the only thing that we were down about. Our views were also down, and this led to a drop in our morale. It wasn’t a horrible drop, but it wasn’t what we wanted to see. Ugh.
Let’s talk about posts though. We started two new series this month: Server reviews and Featured Pictures. The Featured Pictures series has perhaps been the most influential on this blog. They are easy posts, but can be very enjoyable. It’s exactly what we needed in March.
In addition to these series, there was one post that was perhaps the greatest post ever. One of our all-time favorites was “An Ode to Minecraft.” This was the first post that both of us wrote cooperatively. Tyler came up with the idea, and it turned out great. In this horrible month, we still managed to pull off one great post.
In the end, we survived. We passed all our classes, wrote all the posts we needed to, kept our jobs, and kept our sanity (barely, but still).
April would appear to be more the same at first, but something happened in the last few days that gave us the boost we needed to keep going.
We’ll talk about that tomorrow.
Phew, long post. If you made it all the way down here, congratulations. Thanks for reading and Happy Mining!