It’s pre-dawn on a Sunday and I am currently sitting in my kitchen, the rest of my house still in bed, trying to get my bearings in place before the new year kicks off in earnest. I am a believer in reflecting on things that have happened as part of the process of moving forward and I can’t spend much time thinking back through the events of 2013 without devoting a big chunk of time to Life of an Architect and all that entails. Depending on how you choose to measure success, my time spent working on this site was either a smashing success or simply a lot of time spent entertaining myself. I know that most people who come to my site couldn’t care less about the metrics behind a site like mine but I’m going to tell you anyways …
This is the actual number of articles written by yours truly. I debated doing a total word count but that would take FOREVER to generate and despite me actually wanting to know the answer, I have other things to get done today.
3,324 Comments on these posts
WOW! This really surprised me but when I think about, there is a great community of people who come to this site and frequently the comment section is a better read than the actual article I wrote. Hat’s off to you if you’ve participated … if you haven’t, what are you waiting for? I officially invite you to leave a comment and become part of this community. You don’t even have to talk to me, respond to someone else.
… just don’t curse or personally insult an individual, those are my only rules.
860 Images/Graphics created and processed
This includes all the photos I have to process (crop, edit, straighten, etc.) and the graphics I create to support the posts (like these graphics I created for Architect + Architect = ??). I don’t like using other people’s stuff, not because of my ego, I just don’t want to mess with the copyright issues.
4,868 Emails sent privately
I am extremely proud of how many people I respond to … the amount of time I spend on it is crazy. If I didn’t get to your email this year, I’m very sorry – I did my best. For those of you you thanked me for responding to your email, you guys are my favorite, I love those people. For those of you who asked questions to which I responded but didn’t acknowledge the my response with any sort of acknowledgement, i.e. “thanks” or “you’re full of sh*t” – I don’t like you very much. Sorry to be a buzzkill.
3,137,635 Total Visitors [1,882,581 Unique]
That’s with an M … Million. What?!? This is another number that boggles my mind … probably best that I don’t think about it too much.
Too late, I just thought about it. When I first started doing this, my biggest fear by a mile was appearing stupid to my peers. Now after 4 years, although I’ve known for quite a while now, is that there are more people out there like me than not. Stephen Hawking isn’t reading this site so despite the occasional grammar gaff or typo, I must be doing something right.
6,232,066 Page views
This is super cool and its only for one year! Out of all the stats I have access to, this is the stat I look at the most often. For some reason I associate this number with whether I am hitting the mark … or not. People find my site through one of a handful of channels and once they land here, they tend to explore. I have been keeping track of the numbers on my site since March 4, 2010 and from that time, I’ve had over 14 million page views.
If it isn’t readily apparent from those numbers, I spend a lot of time working on the blog and for the most part, I absolutely love it. This is the closest thing I have to a hobby (not quite sure what that means) and I have reaped the benefits that come with having one of the most visible architectural blogs in the world. That having been said, there are some changes coming in 2014 … I won’t say they’re going to be awesome since I don’t really know, I’m making this up as I go.
They could totally suck but let’s start off by thinking that they’ll be terrific.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed (although I hope you did) I haven’t written a new article in a while – almost two weeks. (GASP!!!) This is the longest I’ve gone without posting since I first started this blog almost 4 years ago. I’ve been spending this time
drinking trying to figure out how I am going to juggle what needs to get done this year. If you didn’t already know, I left my old firm of almost 12 years to become a partner in a new firm [How to become a partner in only 21 years]
– and this means I have new responsibilities that need my attention. It’s different now than when I wrote ‘What’s an Architect’s Day Like?‘ now that my name will soon be on the door (we’re moving offices in May but that’s a different story) my day shape up a little differently now than it did in 2012. How do I spend my time?
40% managing projects – client meetings, design, constructions drawings … basically the practice of “architecture”.
20% managing office workflow and staff … not very fun but extremely important. This load will increase this year because my partner is the President-Elect for the Texas Society of Architects and the demands on his time will increase even more over the next two years.
20% volunteering my time to charities and professional associations. I will run my “Life of an Architect Playhouse Design Competition” once again and I have leadership roles in the Dallas Chapter American Institute of Architects as Director of Communications and at the state level Texas Society of Architects as Chair of the Digital Communications Committee.
20% business development. This is the big one on this list and the area where I have the least experience. Most people hire me because they know me and seem to think that working with me would be a good idea. Building upon this premise, as much as I love the company of my peers, I need to meet more people who aren’t other architects.
This is where the hard part comes in – where to focus my attention. This blog is going to be impacted by these changes, although I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. I’ll probably start off writing less, I typically write 2 articles a week now but I’ll probably be going down to one a week. I will also probably shift the focus of those posts to more design oriented, informational posts than the “career advice” posts I seem to have gravitated towards.
… besides, who really needs life/career advice from me?!?
For the record, I highly recommend writing a blog – even if no one reads it. I haven’t found a better tool to spark the creative process … you need to actually create something if you plan on being a creative person, it’s pretty simple (dang it, there I go again with the advice). This blog has also been a gateway to more opportunities than any other 4 year window of my life; I’ve met more like-minded people, been exposed to creative brilliance, and had the opportunity to spend time in the company of forward thinking individuals who tend to wade out into the water before they know how deep it is – which is totally incredible.
So expect more while getting less, because that’s what I’m selling. If you don’t like it, just let me know and I’ll refund your admission. Other than that, thank you for allowing me to [sometimes] waste your time over the last year, I really appreciate you allowing me to figure out what I’m doing while I do it.
PS – If you’re not on Instagram I also recommend it, especially if your just starting to dip your toes into the digital arena. You can follow me on Instagram and if less than 10% of your photos involved your family pets or your meals out at restaurants, I’ll probably follow you back. I like to surround myself with all the creativity I can find.
Cheers to you