Panbo birthday, three years in the blog mine!
I didn’t plan to go off line on the occasion of Panbo’s third birthday, but, man, am I! I’m posting this entry using the free WiFi at the Great Machipongo Clam Shack (excellent), and a couple of my fingers aren’t typing at 100% due to a header I took off a bicycle yesterday. Where I’m staying there’s no Internet or cell coverage, and besides I’m tempted just to settle into a deck chair and watch the egrets, plovers, geese, etc. all day. In short, though I brought lots of entry material along, Panbo may be very sporadic this week.
But, gosh darn it, I’ve been a blogging fool these three years, and this is a good time to take stock. Check the stats below to see what’s happened since I started posting here, largely as a lark, in April 2005. A year later, I was getting the idea that Panbo really could “grow up and make something of itself,” and last April I apparently spaced Panbo’s birthday altogether, too busy, I think, preparing for web server and design changes. I can see that switch-over as a June dip in monthly First Time Visitors, like the Feb. 07 dip due to server problems, and the Sept spike I refer to as the Mac Attack. Yeah, watching the stats is a blogger addiction, but I am proud that Panbo is now regularly reaching more 60,000 readers per month. A big thanks to Panbo’s sponsors and advertisers, and to the commenters who make it more informative and lively.
And, while I know I’ve written about improvements like forums and easier commenting before—without much followup—let’s discuss again. Once I’ve recharged a bit, I think I’ll be up for tending to some site maintenance and modifications. What’s high on your list of things that would make Panbo better?
Panbo is a brilliant addition to the blogosphere, and has become my primary source of intel on emerging nautical gizmology. Thanks for all your work extracting reality from the turbulent sea of marketroid-hype and almost-standards!
Congratulations on three years! Since you ask, here are some comments.
Commenting via TypeKey is hit or miss. It seems that if I preview my post, it’s always sent for review. If I don’t hit the right button it goes in as Anonymous. It’s not optimal.
I’d really like to see forums. You’ve got a critical mass of readers and there is a wealth of knowledge that could be more effectively shared in a forums than in comments. Also, comments tend to have a short life cycle because we move on to the next bog entry on which to comment. Forums can be inspired by a blog entry and take on their own life cycle. They should also reduce your “dumb question” email because people can search the forums for prior discussions on a topic (like how do I interface my AlmostFloats Y310 to a HopeItWorks 70).
This is clearly a rich subject and you’ve only scratched the surface. I see a long and vibrant opportunity for you.
Congrats on 3 years Ben! I am 100% in agreeement with Steve’s elegant and high praise for Panbo (well said Steve !).
Ideas you ask …
I would love to see Typekey replaced, first time I ever wrote a how to guide for someone else’s website. Althought I have gotten use to it, it still trips me up once in awhile … I can see how it can fustrate newcomers in a big way. It only takes one long involved thoughtful comment to be lost in cyberspace to make you never want to do that again. — does anyone want to see Ben publish my “how to guide” for commenting on Panbo ?
… however, for all of Typekey’s faults, it is far far better than what is used on Ask Jack Rabbit, also I much prefer it over Navagear’s. — not that any other blog is comparable to your unique creation, just comparing the underlying web technology — as I think is evidenced by some of your entries getting 20 or more comments, including a December 18th blog that got 33 comments, wow !
Russ has a hot idea in adding forums! Topics such as N2K experiences, future replacement for N2K, and leading edge products innovations (e.g. SPOT) can take on a longer life as people post their first experiences using it contributing what’s hot or not about it. Perhaps try to do that without becoming a troubleshooting forum.
Enjoy your anniversary in a big way Ben !
A great three years service to the fraternity, Ben. Congratulations!
You’ve done a wonderful job with this site keeping us informed about the nexus between electrons and boating. Quite the resource here.
Thanks a million.
Great blog…keep up the good work for all of us marine electronics aficionados!