Thewsreviews: Year Number Two

Concept: _ out of 5
Execution: _ out of 5
Yeah, but: It's still too early for a retrospective.

The Long Version: This website turned two yesterday. It's been a big year: we've gone to a new design, a new URL, and gained a new author. In the past twelve months, we've had another thirty-seven thousand hits, and sixty-five thousand page views. This is post number one hundred and eighty, so we're averaging about two posts per week. The word cluster at the top is generated from just the 27 reviews posted so far this calendar year.

Of course, a lot hasn't changed. Camera gear remains the most popular subject, getting the most interest from regular readers and search engine patrons alike. The Olympus 35-100mm review is a medium-size fish in a small pond, accounting for about a tenth of the site traffic. My first look at the Xootr Mg scooter, written exactly two years ago and currently the first result on google.ca for 'xootr review', remains very popular even though its traffic has been eclipsed by my 2009 writeup of the Xootr Swift folding bike. In honour of that bike, which I just brought out of winter storage, here's a photo of it that has never been published before:

If nothing else, that photo shows that there is a minimum quality standard that needs to be met before I'll use it. I do enjoy taking photos for these reviews, and I take far more than I've used. Some were ideas that never quite blossomed into prose, others were ones that didn't add anything to the review. Sometimes I'll write an entire review simply because I want to use a particular photo, but usually the idea comes before the illustration.

In the past year, I've stopped using most of my Olympus equipment, and even sold both the 35-100/2 and 7-14/4 lenses. (That still astonishes me.) I've added two entirely new camera systems, four new cameras, and ten new lenses to my collection. Some of those have been mentioned here before, and some are still on my 'to do' list. I continue to look for interesting things to review, and more importantly, keep trying to write about the things that interest me instead of trying to anticipate what will get more traffic. After all, I first thought of writing this blog as a personal creative outlet, and never imagined that anyone other than family and friends would ever read it. (For the record, absolutely nobody in my family reads it. Apparently I have a very healthy ego.) So even though I know that nobody's likely to care what I think about dishwasher detergent or a light switch, I'm going to keep writing about them and things like them. When I initially thought about the concept behind the blog - while riding the Spadina Streetcar - I thought I'd eventually review a day of the week. Tuesday's been on my shortlist for a while, but it hasn't happened yet.

So, for everyone who reads this, thank you. You've taken the effort to include my thoughts in your day, which just completely blows my mind. Thanks also to Keith and Bill, my co-authors who add so much to this site and keep it from being completely self-indulgent. This is far more fun than I had any right to expect.


  1. Happy Birthday!
    You're right, this site is a lot of fun.

    I really enjoy doing my own reviews, both writing them and taking the pictures.
    But I enjoy reading the other reviews even more.
    There's so much diversity here that it's always a fun surprise to see the latest review--could be anything!

    Right now I'm drinking a toast to 'thew's reviews.
    Here's to many more years with 52 Tuesdays each!


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