Over the past few years, I’d given thought to starting up a figure blog, but when I actually kicked it off, I figured that the most likely result would be that I’d have gotten bored after a couple of months and called off the entire enterprise. A year later, I’ve somehow kept up with it and nobody is more surprised that this thing is still going than me.
The two blogs that provided the motivation to create this site were HappySoda and RIUVA (though I have no idea what that site is about now; it’s definitely not about figures anymore). When I decided to give this a shot, I thought that maybe I could establish a niche by covering figures that most people wouldn’t buy – porno figures, in other words. It hasn’t gone entirely that way since my tastes don’t completely diverge from the mainstream so I’ve tried to distinguish my writing by not taking myself or this hobby seriously whatsoever.
The fact that I’m very lazy and not particularly disciplined or self-motivated is one reason for me to be amazed that I’ve kept at this, but I’ve also been surprised at how interesting photography has become to me. I cringe at some of my earliest pictures and I’m still planning on reshooting a lot of the figures whose photos show off my cluelessness in bald, stark garishness. Here’s one of the earliest photos I took for this site:
Yipes. I started practicing figure photography in late 2008, a few months before I took this shot, and those pictures are even worse. I’ll see about uploading one of those for the general amusement of the world.
I think that I’ve gotten better at taking pictures although I definitely wouldn’t describe myself as being good (I figure that a good photographer has some idea of what he or she is going to get before taking the shot; me, I shoot a test shot, transfer it to my computer, run my standard post-processing routine on it, hope that the photo comes out reasonably close to what I was looking for, and then I do the shoot). The creative aspect of this hobby is probably my favorite part, so much so that figure photography has superseded my interest in most of my other hobbies.
Whenever one celebrates a blog anniversary, it is customary to provide traffic statistics. Everyone wants to see everyone else’s stats; it’s sort of like high school, where everyone wanted to know who was going out with each other and went to great lengths to uncover that information, listening with clandestine rapture and passing it around with breathless incredulity and raised-octave ohmigods. That is, if you ran in those social circles; I did not, I wasn’t the most popular guy in school nor did I particularly care very much about the lives of my classmates. I have the feeling most people in this hobby come from a similar background and … ehh, well, anyway, here’s visitor stats:
As you can see, the blog basically got no traffic for the first three months of its existence. I’m pretty sure what traffic I did get was me, since I didn’t start filtering out my own IP addresses until a couple months after I began logging statistics. Also, those two spikes really cramp the graph. Here’s the graph for pageviews:
It’s a bit more interesting. Pageviews is an important stat for me to track since the core of this site is the figure reviews; most people who visit this blog don’t actually ever load the front page.
Incidentally, I hit the 300k mark only yesterday, and for a while I was thinking that I’d have to compromise my integrity and turn off the self-filters and click on every link on this site myself to push it over. Happily that wasn’t necessary.
Here’s where people are coming from:
I’ve gotten no visits from loser countries like North Korea, Cuba, and Turkmenistan. People over there need to hurry up and overthrow their dictators and visit my site.
I use Google Analytics as my main traffic logging tool; I figure that the people at Google know a thing or two about web applications and I’ve also noticed that their analysis seems to be more conservative than similar sites, and I’d rather underestimate than overestimate my actual traffic. For example, I also use Statcounter and there’s a bit of a discrepancy here:
Traffic was sort of discouraging at the start, although I’ve always had the attitude that I really write this blog for myself and accordingly I try not to let traffic patterns affect this site too much. I decided at the start that I didn’t want a Sankaku Complex or Danny Choo feed on this site; I don’t like cluttering up the sidebar here and you see those things on every other figure site on this planet, and I wanted to be different in that respect. I also stopped trying to actively generate traffic a while back; I used to post on figure.fm, for instance, but it seems to be mainly a Dollfie joint these days and that’s not really my thing, so I don’t put much stuff up there anymore.
Anyway, it’s been a good year and a fun year and I’m hoping that the next year is just as fun and that I get better at photography and that figure manufacturers finally make me a freaking figure of Irma and Itsuki Kannagi already. One can hope, no?