I've only been running Google Analytics for a few months now, so I can't do any advanced navel-gazing over site statistics, or anything nearly as cool as the Google Zeitgeist. But I can offer some thoughts on the year, as well as some insights (which will also serve as motivational points for myself) for the upcoming year.
Note: I linked to the Barley Blog above because they were the first to do a review of what is probably our favorite beer, the Blue Dawg Wild Blue Lager. The Barley Blog hated it, and for beer purists, I can see why -- it doesn't taste like a beer. (The Barley Blog also hates that their review is still coming up as a top hit for their site, to which I say, "Neener, neener.") For anyone else, it's a fantastic way to consume something with 8% alcohol in it. If they sell it in your area, I highly recommend it.
- Being consistently creative is hard. After one year and 36 posts, it's harder than I expected to come up with something that (I think) is creative, thought-provoking, and mildly inspirational. It gives me a new-found respect for the people who can do it regularly, and on a much more frequent basis, like XKCD (Randall Munroe), George Will (Washington Post commentator and general pundit), John Siracusa (ars technica contributor who's not very prolific but makes up for it in brilliant posts ... he likes to keep his signal-to-noise ratio high), Daring Fireball (John Gruber), and this political junkie who produces fascinating (to me) insights of geo-politics. My hat is off to those folks who do this well and do it consistently. It's not easy.
- Documenting how bad the driving is in DC is hard. I've only done 6 "Driving In DC" posts in the past year, and I'm ashamed of myself. On a day-to-day basis, you come across countless examples of how bad it is. But to actually stop, remember it, take a picture, or otherwise document the scenario is hard. The idea for "Driving in DC" was partially motivated by this site, and it's impressive how long they've been able to keep it up. (Slightly irreverent, but very funny.) I promise I have more examples in store, I just haven't gone through the documentation process yet. Stay tuned ... and if you have any suggestions or examples of your own, feel free to post them in the comments.
- Generating comments is tough. I have received one comment on this site. Ever. One. I get it, that the stuff I post about isn't really comment-inducing. Posts about Jane's crazy OMGWTFBBQ party last week may be more likely to get feedback, but that's what facebook is for. The readership-to-comment ratio has spawned an idea for another post (like a Dunbar's Number) that I'll put up sometime in 2011.
- Generating ad revenue is tough. Google provides a really cool way to generate revenue for each site: see those ads on the left hand side of this screen? The way they have it set up, if you opt in to AdSense, Google places content-specific ads to the right of the screen. Each time someone clicks on an ad, the owner of that website gets a kickback. In this case, that's me. (I'll be ecstatic when the AdSense revenue can cover the $13 annual domain name costs. I'm hoping for 2015.) On one hand, I'm surprised at how few clicks I get on those ads ... given a few hundred site visits, you might expect a few clicks here and there, right? Nope. Personally, I never click on those things, so it only stands to reason that nobody else clicks on them, either.