11 Points turns one year old today. Time to reflect and such.
The old logo and new logo.
So, over the past few weeks I've been redesigning this website... and I launched the redesign in honor of my one-year anniversary. Among other things, the redesign looks (hopefully) more modern... it streamlines a lot of the features of the site... and it adds new categories (which you can see with nice little icons above).
But... overall, I tried not to mess with the redesign too much... since
there's nothing I hate more than when a website redesigns and makes it much harder for me to navigate it the way I was used to. (Facebook, I'm looking at you.)
Along with the other tweaks in the redesign, yes, I finally added comments. I did this ultra reluctantly. I know I need it for this to be a community and because my lists really lend themselves to comments.
The problem: I just can't deal with Internet comments. Maybe it's my year-and-a-half working for Break or my old fashioned love of proper use of there, they're and their... but I just don't do Internet comments.
So I set up the comments requiring registration (or linking to Facebook or Twitter)... that's to, hopefully, add a little accountability and decrease the anonymity.
That being said, we'll see how long the comments last.
One reason: I find I take 11 Points WAY more personally than I've taken other web projects in the past. When I post a video on Panda Smash or Break, I really don't care how commenters react to it.
But when 11 Points lists have been linked elsewhere, I have trouble reading the comments. I think it's because these lists are *me*. So a negative comment about a list, on some level, plays in my mind as a negative comment about me.
Yes, if you go back to my first 11 Points list, 11 Things I've Learned About Blogging, I said I wouldn't make an RSS feed or add comments. Well, I matured over the past year. And realized that my desire to make my website a limited access piece of one-way communication was a bit antiquated.
I thank Twitter for opening up my eyes. I got on that for 11Points and really liked interacting with people about the site. I also realized that I should give people as many avenues as possible to find out about new content here and get involved. So there you go. I'm growing up.
Moving on. Final stats for the first year of 11 Points: 190 lists(or a new list better than ever other day) and more than four million reads. I'm pretty damn happy with that for a first year.
My Back to the Future Part II list was the most popular list of year one.
In fact, none of my lists about Cleveland sports was even able to break into four digit views. Which is why I quickly stopped writing those.
With some modicum of success also came something I've never dealt with before: Plagiarism. And not even subtle plagiarism... people just copying and pasting the list, taking the images and plopping it on to their website.
I'm cracking down on the people who did it, but man... because, in this case, I'm not finding it flattering.
I'm also worried it's borderline identity theft, since this guy co-opted my 11 Strange, and Often Wrong, Colored Foods and Drinks list and left in the story about my mom buying Breyer's ice cream. Do NOT pretend you have any claim to the stories of Amy Greenspan, plagiarizers. Not cool.
Tomorrow, for one more site-indulgent post, I'm going to put up a list of 11 11Points lists that haven't gotten the love I think they deserve. Maybe it'll actually help them get some views. Not sure why I decided to burn a point on that... let's say this will be the last time I mail in a point for year two.
So, going forward into year two, I have one very simple goal: More eyeballs. I don't have any delusions of making a living off this website, or even making spending money.
But it's the best creative outlet I've ever had, and, already, easily the most popular. Plus, nothing bad can come from more and more and more people reading this site and enjoying it.