As we head into a new year, I wanted to take a few moments to reflect. When I started my little blog, I was thrilled the first time 100 people read a review. That was in late 2004. Now, ten years later, traffic in 2013 was the highest ever – just under two million views. That doesn’t count the email subscribers and feed readers – another 6,000 every time I write a post. It always surprises me what stories bring the most traffic. I can slave away over a post, and it might be read six or seven thousand times. Other days I will dash off something quick, go to lunch, and come back to 50k readers.
One of the issues with multiple sclerosis, is that it can be rather isolating. It is easy to give in and spend life on a sofa being angry at the world. Along with a new medication which I started in 2013, I think this site is a big part of the reason I am doing fairly well. I am eternally grateful to all of you for a reason to get out of bed every day. Now I’m happily angry.
I was surprised how high the traffic numbers were this year, especially with all the other food sites in town. Though I have taken a year off from doing real reviews, I think people still know that they can come here for my honest opinion about all things food and drink in Portland. I’m not going to be some phony, and tell you the Portland food scene is better than ever, that every restaurant is great or that every chef is a god. If you want “happy talk”, there are sites out there that will give it to you. I’m going to continue to be my honest, snarky self and won’t blow smoke up your ass. That is the perk of not having a boss – I can say whatever the heck I feel.
This site will continue for another year, without a lot of changes. I’ll resume doing occasional reviews. Look for more food-related stories and product profiles, a new food writing contest, food haiku competition and more. I’m always looking for new ideas, so let me know if you have suggestions. As the way people use the web continues to evolve, I will also be making some changes to the website. Over the last three months, I’ve moved to a larger server, offloaded lots of code and images to Amazon’s cloud, and optimized the heck out of things. It is a lot faster now, and I’ll be rolling out some navigational changes as well. Also, for legal reasons, I’m going to be switching to a more text related format for press releases. The death of Google reader and its ability to render things properly has resulted in lots of odd looking posts. Also there is the whole issue of businesses using copyrighted images in their newsletters – Don’t do it!
Finally, I want to thank the advertisers who have made this site possible. Portland Farmers Market, , , , , and . Many of them have been with me for years, supporting this local site. If you’ve never checked out these businesses, I hope you do in the future!, , , , ,
Thanks again. I wish all of you a 2014 full of love, friendship, good health and good food!