Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Blog Update

When I started this blog I really had a few specific goals in mind.  One of them was average number of page views.  I hit that target (thanks everyone!).  So now I want to sort of lay out what's next and why I am doing this. 

First, I hope that this is fun. It has been fun for me to write and research these posts. I hope they are fun for you to read. Once it is not fun, it is over.  If you aren't enjoying it, I am not going to write it. 

Second, I hope that I get good, real world information to people. One of the things that I like to do is research. I love looking through all of my options before I spend money. I generate a TON of data before each and every purchase.  I have to make my limited fun money stretch as far as humanly possible.  So I have stacks and stacks of information.  I thought it might be fun to share that information and that is what started this blog.  My hope is that this blog will serve as a jumping off point for your research, that my efforts help your efforts. I hope that I bring people new and exciting information, that I collect good information, and my reviews and review process are helpful. The idea is that when you want to buy a piece of gear, a light or knife or pack, that you come here and first see if I reviewed it. Second, if I didn't see if someone I have in the nav bar on the right did. Finally, if that doesn't work, go to the specific forum, again in the nav bar, and poke around.

Third, I would eventually like to have more products submitted for review.  Hopefully, if there is enough traffic, production companies will send stuff. Custom makers have already contacted me and one (Dark Sucks) sent me a product to review and two others are in the works. I would like to have more production stuff to go along with the higher end custom items. Ultimately, I would love it if Spyderco submitted an item for review. I love Spyderco's products (though I think I can keep a good critical distance, see Leafstorm review) and I had asked before but they get so many requests that they couldn't help. Eventually, if the blog gets big enough, hopefully they will change their minds.   By the way, if you sell or make something (even if you work for a production company) you'd like reviewed, contact me and we can make arrangements.  My email is below. 

Fourth, I'd like to do a BIG giveaway. This is the plan: using all of the adsense revenue, I'd like to run a contest and then give away a custom Benchmade Mini Griptillian. For the contest, I'd ask people to submit jpeg files that contain a logo for the blog, something snazzy that incorporates the name of the blog. The best logo, as chosen by me, would win. The winner would receive a custom Benchmade Mini Grip. Benchmade has a custom service for the Mini Grip (and full sized Grip), which is why I chose the Mini Grip (that and it is a very nice EDC knife), and you can choose all sorts of options. What I would like to do is create a "Midnight" Mini Grip--all-black everything (screws, pocket clip, blade, Axis bolts) with S30V blade steel, then put the blog's logo (the winning logo) on one side and the year on the other (though the winner could choose not to do this, as well as choosing all of the other options). The custom Mini Grip costs a pretty penny, around $125 with all of the options I want, so it might be a while. There is about $24 in the adsense box right now. Once it hits $125 I will take it out and buy the Mini Grip for the giveaway.  An announcement for the contest will come later, once we get close to the right number.

Finally, I am working on a project that I will call The List.  The idea is to create a master list of high quality, small scale gear makers for people to use as a reference.  There are a lot of one- or two-person shops out there making awesome stuff.  A lot of them, like Inkleaf Leather, have decided to pursue their craftsmen dreams.  Maybe it is because the economy stinks and they lost their job.  Maybe it is because they are just tired of the rat race.  Whatever it is, if I can help promote those good, high quality products, it is a win for everyone--for the small time maker, for the person looking for quality gear, and for the economy as a whole.  If the folks in Washingston don't want to help us and are too busy to do what's right instead of what gets them elected, we will help ourselves.  The List is still under construction, but if you have a name you'd like to send, even if it is your own, here is my contact:

anthonysculimbreneNOTSPAM@comcast.net (remove the obvious part)

I am looking for:

1) Small production or custom makers
2) EDC or related gear
3) Stuff made in the US (as the majority of readership is in the US)

One of other things that I wanted to do, which I think I have already done, is make the blog more reader friendly.  There is an option for mobile users as well as a revamped and tinkered with template (thanks for the suggestions).  I will always be trying to make this more reader friendly.  That's the point, after all--readers.  

That's where this blog is right now.  Hopefully, the contest can be sooner rather than later, it all depends on the adsense revenue.  The List is coming, I just need more information.  All suggestions for improvements, reviews, links, whatever, are, as always, welcome.  That sentence had six commas and eleven words.  SWEET.

4 comments:

  1. As it sits I highly enjoy your blog, your recommendations led me to get a Caly3 CF from the Amazon site, and to also get a better flashlight (I was tempted by the Tri-EDC but opted for a Sunwayman V10r Ti instead). The giveaway is a great idea and I will be entering. Thanks for keeping this running.

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  2. Right on Tony. First of all, congrats on meeting some of your goals for the site. I really enjoy reading the blog and have made a couple purchases based on your recommendations (my eye is on a jacket next... this place is bad for my bank account). Keep up the great work and let me know if I can ever be of help.

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  3. Hi mate, keep up the blog! You've convinced me to get a few spyderco ZDP knives (bought a ladybug and delica). Unfortunately, I've been lazy and getting slower and slower with updates on my own blog.

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  4. You might want to buy a domain name for the site to further legitimize it.

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