State of the Blog: The Future of Everything Everywhere

Me in Muscat, Oman
Me in Muscat, Oman
I’ve been running this blog for over three years now. I estimate I’ve taken over 60,000 photos and every month seems to be a new record for traffic. Over 100,000 people a month are visiting my site and there is still a lot of room for growth. I’ve visited places I never thought I’d visit and has been the best three years of my life.

Tomorrow we will see the start of a new decade and soon I will once again be on the road for the start of a brand new adventure. I thought this would mark a good time to give an overview of where I think my site is and where I want to take it.

As I leave Wisconsin this time, I’m in a very different position than I was back in March, 2007. I’m far more experienced in the ways of travel, blogging and photography. I’m not the guy with wide eyed excitement at the thought of a trip of a lifetime. I’m treating this more as a profession now. I mean that in the best sense of the word. This is something I can see me doing for the rest of my life, and I’ve never felt that way about anything before. In fact, that is my goal for my blog: to be able to keep sharing stories from around the world. That’s it. Not get rich, not get famous, just keep doing what I’m doing.

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Bloggers Take Heed, Tablet World Is Coming

As a blogger, and a very opinionated one at that, I’ve been pretty bullish on the future of blogging. However, a series of events in the last few months have gotten me on edge about the future of blogging as we know it. I think changes will take place in 2010 which has the potential to give a second wind to traditional publishers and could threaten some blogs.

The thing which really got me thinking was the following video which was released by Sports Illustrated. Please watch it all:

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I Come From The Land Of The Ice And Snow

Winter sucks.

All the crap you hear about a white christmas and freshly fallen snow is totally bunk. The temperature here has been in the single digits fahrenheit (-13C), the sun sets a little after 4pm, and there is over a foot of snow. It has been below freezing now for over two weeks and it probably wont get over freezing again for another three months. All the cars create a black slush that stains anything it touches, so if you walk you have to make sure to avoid stepping or touching the slush.

..and did I also mention that it gets dark really, really early?

I was born in the wrong part of the world. I can’t stand the winter.

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7 Things That Are Awesome About America

This is the sequal to my previous post 7 Pet Peeves About America.

Being away for so long didn’t just amplify the pet peeves I had about my country, it also gave me a greater appreciation of the things which are great about America. Here are my top seven:

1) The first floor is floor number ONE. I can’t tell you how dumb the numbering system in on most foreign elevators. The first floor is actually the floor above the ground floor. If the ground FLOOR is in fact a FLOOR, then it must be the first of such FLOORS in a building. If you have five apples you don’t start counting 0,1,2,3,4, you count starting with 1,2,3,4,5. Count the number of levels which people can be on. That is the number of floors in a building. If you have zero floors, then you don’t have a building. I blame the British for exporting this nonsense. People have tried justifying this to me on Twitter and the fact remains you start counting with 1, not 0.

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7 Pet Peeves About America

This post is a companion to the article 7 Things That Are Awesome About America

When you spend a significant time away from your home country, you get a new appreciation for the good and the bad. Now that I’m back in the US and have traveled around the country for three months, I have a really different perspective on what the good and bad things are about my country. Here are a list of my pet peeves about the United States:

Id love to see more dining options like hawker stands and street vendors in the US
I'd love to see more dining options like hawker stands and street vendors in the US
1) Dollar Bills. We really need to get rid of the dollar bill and replace it with a dollar coin. The US dollar is probably the smallest denomination of any major country to have a paper note that small. The smallest paper bill in Japan is 1,000 yen (about $10) and they have 500 yen coins. Likewise, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand and the Euro Zone all have coins up to about $2. We’d do well to follow the lead of Canada on this one and kill off the dollar bill and adopt the $1 and $2 coin for everyday use. I realize we do have dollar coins, but until we kill off the dollar bill, there isn’t much incentive to use the dollar coin.

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Visiting The Most Serene Republic of San Marino

I wrote most of this on the train going from Rimini to Venice as I traveled through the Italian countryside. It has sat on my laptop for half a year since my fittingly short stay in one of the world’s smallest countries, San Marino.

One of the three towers of San Marino
One of the three towers of San Marino
I love tiny countries so traveling to San Marino was a high priority during my time on the Italian Peninsula. San Marino is not just one of the smallest countries in the world weighing in at 60km2 (or 23.2mi2), but one of the oldest. It was founded 301 by Saint Marino who was persecuted by Roman and came to the mountain to live as a hermit. Since then it has almost continuously been a independent republic.

Like most countries its size, it makes a lot of money from tourism, postage stamps and coins. On my way out of San Marino I counted over 30 parked tour buses. If you walk around the central part of the country, which isn’t hard to do, it is mostly restaurants, snack bars and souvenir shops.

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