At Year’s End

Today is both New Year’s Eve and my birthday. I’ve always hated having my birthday today, mostly because it used to put so much pressure on me to “have a good time.” If you’re supposed to have a big party on your birthday, and you’re also supposed to have a big party on New Year’s Eve, the combination of the two should lead me to have some type of ancient Roman-style gluttonous orgy. Yet, most of my years on this earth I have stayed home on December 31st and had a rather quiet and boring time.

I used to feel guilty about this, but have come to realize it’s merely a day. Celebrating the New Year can be fun, but if you merely stay home and watch the Twilight Zone marathon, there’s no shame in that. Some people are just introverts and feel more comfortable at home, rather than in a giant room of strangers, celebrating what amounts to an arbitrary date on the calendar. That’s what I’ll be doing tonight and will be perfectly happy.

Yet, there is some use to the arbitrary changing of the year, and it provides some concrete point to look back on the year that was. While I technically started this blog a few years ago, I only truly started taking it seriously this past year. I’ve managed to regularly keep it up the entire year, which I think is some type of accomplishment. I started with zero regular readers and now have a nice core group of people that regularly read my posts.

Over the summer I posted a list of my top ten most popular articles. I was going to merely post an updated top ten list, although I thought that instead I’ll simply post a short trip through some posts that were the most important in the blog’s evolution:

  • Five Ways to Spend an Hour: the first ever post on VintageZen, a rather throw away bauble that I probably should erase from the archives.

  • Apple Should Kill Off the iPod Touch: while at the time I was only posting very rarely, I randomly tweeted a link of this post to John Gruber and he linked to it out of the blue. While it got my blog a bit of attention, it didn’t motivate me to continue blogging much afterwards until this year. I also was very wrong in my speculation.

  • eWorld: Apple’s Dream of the 90’s: the first big article I posted in 2013 after rededicating myself to VintageZen and trying to make a go of this whole blogging thing. It got linked to by a couple places and I got a small surge of attention that kept me going.

  • Matt Groening’s Artwork for Apple: probably my most important article because it’s gotten the most attention. It got linked many different places and helped open me up to a larger audience. The page views for this article alone significantly dwarfs the combined views of everything else I’ve ever posted.

  • The Movie Set Museum: another big article for me for the sole fact it was linked to by one of my internet heroes, Jason Kottke. It got me attention outside the usual tech sphere and I think showed I can sometimes be more than simply the Apple guy.

  • Apple, Inc./Where is the Android John Gruber/Apple Fanboys: I see these three articles as a trilogy of my overall thoughts on Apple and its philosophy. I wanted to kind of break through a lot of the sensationalism and click-bait articles you see about Apple and show there are no hidden conspiracies or motives, it’s all rather simple.

  • The Colors of Apple: my second most popular article, this took a while for me to put together, as I wanted to make a comprehensive history, going all the way back to Apple’s early days. It got shared around a fair bit and I was happy people responded. It even was translated into two different languages, Italian and Czech.

  • Concentric Circles: this was a post that I thought laid out my thoughts on the Apple/tech community pretty well. It seemed to get others attention and I think spoke to many that reside in the “outer circles.”

  • The Daily Zen: this was an experiment I attempted where I posted a daily column every day for a week. I think it went over fairly well and it’s something I hope to do in the new year on occasion. The full list of Daily Zens can be found in the archives.

While these may be the most “important” articles, I’ve posted many, many other articles. Most I’m proud of, although some I’d probably like to never look at again. It’s interesting how blogs are very focussed on the present, and most older posts get quickly shuffled into the endless reverse order stream, never to be seen again. I hope my older articles have some lasting value, but realize I need to always be moving forward. Hopefully, the new year can bring even bigger and better things for VintageZen.

To wrap up the year that was 2013, I’d also like to acknowledge all the great people that in at least some small way (sometimes big ways) have contributed to keeping this blog going. Some of these people I’ve never spoken to but some I’ve come to know well. Amongst others and in no particular order: Rob Wensing, Srikar Dhanakoti, Nate Barham, Ryan Taylor, Steven Teskey, Andrew J. Clark, Zac Cichy, Chris Higgins, Gilbert Tang, Mark Siegal, James Campbell, Stephen Hackett, Patrick Rhone, Jason Kottke, and John Gruber. Most of all, I’d like to thank my readers, because you are the true people that keep this going, without you I’d be a mad man yelling into the wind.