I usually mark this past weekend — the last in January — as the anniversary of The Obelisk, since that’s when the domain was originally registered and things began to come together on the back-end, before I finally went live with it on January 31, 2009, and put up the first test post. The real kicker came a couple days later, Feb. 3, when I lost what was then my job (that post here), so when the site actually began to take shape is a little nebulous. The January numbers seems as decent a time to note the occasion as any, so here we are. Three years of The Obelisk.
Visits were actually up for the month of January 2012 over December 2011, but the average number of pages-per-visit was lower, so it wound up being a little down at 184,861. Whatever. People still checked in from 126 countries and we passed the 900 mark in registered forum users, so I was pretty stoked on both of those things. As of right now, there are 904 users, with 59,766 posts in 4,045 topics. Hard not to like that.
Germany passed Canada for the number three spot among countries sending visitors; the top five were the US, the UK, Germany, Canada and Australia. Among American states, California and New York led the charge, followed by Texas, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. It was a pretty good month, and over time, the ups and downs bother me less, as I seem to be able to accomplish what I want to regardless. Much as I ever can, anyway.
On that note, there are some changes I’m going to be making in how the site works starting this month with a series of new columns, the first of which will go up next week. They’re all pretty open in terms of what people will be covering, but here’s a quick rundown of what each is about and who’s doing what:
Tommy Southard, former and once-again guitarist for Solace, will be writing about beer. His first column covers a visit to the Dogfish Head brewery and that will hopefully start us off next week, and he’ll take it from there in talking about brews from around the globe and whatever else hoppy and barley-y he wants.
Tim Catz, bassist of Roadsaw, is going to contribute a column called “70 RPMs” that will cover the ’70s and other classic heavy. He’s already turned in his first column and it rules, so stay tuned for it. Tony Reed of Stone Axe/Mos Generator/HeavyPink may also have a video series on the subject, depending on his schedule.
Mario Lalli has signed on to write about life in the desert and/or whatever the hell he wants. I just figured that someone who helped shape desert rock into what it is today in Fatso Jetson and Yawning Man has to have stories to tell. Plus, as a restauranteur, maybe he’ll share a recipe every now and again if we’re lucky. Maybe not.
Chris “Woody” MacDermott of Brooklyn’s Mighty High will be putting his unique and formidable expertise on ’80s metal to use in a column called “Spine of Overkill” and reminding us all that there was a time when we called albums “tapes” and that heavy rock never actually disappeared. The man is a walking encyclopedia.
And though for the moment he’s busy doing promotion and press for his band’s soon-to-be-released album, Ben Ward of Orange Goblin has signed on to contribute regular columns about classic and cult horror films. He’ll be starting later, owing to the prior-mentioned obligations, but I look forward to getting a whole new education in terror and hope you do as well.
The plan right now is to establish a kind of weekly rotation of contributions around the usual batch of reviews, interviews, On the Radars, Buried Treasures, Wino Wednesdays, etc., and like everything I’ve done on this site since day one — three years ago now — I’m going to play it by ear and see how it goes. While I have the platform to do so, let me please express my gratitude to all the parties above for their willingness to sign on and donate their expertise on the above topics, or even just to take time out of their lives to add something to this site.
I’m humbled to have each and every one of them involved, as I’m humbled every time I look at the numbers. Thank you.
Some other business to attend to: A podcast next weekend to try and get back on track a little bit time-wise, and interviews this month with Selim Lemouchi of The Devil’s Blood, Joey Toscano of Dwellers and a couple others. Light on shows, at least so far, but Hail!Hornet‘s coming around and I’m not about to miss them, so be on the lookout for words and pics from that as well as reviews of Sun Gods in Exile (Friday), Bushfire (Monday), Naughty Mouse, Pallbearer, Temples, Venomous Maximus, The Dirty Streets, Pale Divine and others.
Plus, tomorrow I’ll have a writeup of the new Stubb album and a video premiere to go along with it, so stick around for that because the record is a riffer’s delight. Next week I’ll also be giving away a few copies of the recently-streamed Rising record, so good stuff abounds.
Thanks for three killer years.
Habromaniac Portreeve Taskmaster
Tags: self-aggrandizing, The Numbers