2015 has been a bumpy political ride throughout the planet, with terrorism once again on the rise, intolerance and xenophobia officially encouraged by arrogant opinion leaders and global trust at an all time low.
I’m all the more grateful for the high-quality community that has formed around DearSusan. As they do every year, WordPress sent me their infographic analytics report for the blog in 2015, informing me that about 400,000 visitors from 188 countries have come to read and share photo news, peaking at 15,500 visits in a day (which is far from spectacular compared to pro blogs, but still very encouraging for our passionately amateur team) and predominantly from the US, Germany and the UK.
Beyond the vanity metrics, meaningless to us since we do not monetize traffic with advertising, I see the thousands of comments, only one of which I decided not to publish (a.k.a. to censor), and I feel privileged when so many other websites are shutting down commenting altogether because the signal to noise ratio has fallen so badly.
So, to all of you who have visited and possibly left a few words, a heartfelt thank you.
From all the DearSusan team, Best Wishes for 2016. May it bring good times your way.
At DS, 2015 saw the collaborative nature of the blog expand significantly, with Paul aweing us with photographs (and wit) from throughout the colourful world, Leonard and Bob episodically and brilliantly joining the editorial team and Philippe continuing his exploration of the hidden treasures both in Paris and our artist psyche.
For 2016, I’d like to steer DS towards more of the same – new contributors are always welcome, just drop us a line – and towards more interactivity, getting to meet you gals and guys. Many plans are coming to fruition to let us interact with you more directly and here is a quick outline of things to come.
Brainchild of Lenoard Norwitz and Paul Perton, the WWRW game has simple rules.
We post an image of a location, then another, easier one, the following day. Then a final one. The first reader to find the location in the comments wins the InSight: Guide of his choice. Simple and fun, right? WWRW = Where in the World aRe We?
As for the #DSCreative challenge, if you remember IceBucket, you’ll get the idea really quickly. Philippe came up with that one. He challenged me to illustrate the concept of “Lord of The Rings” with a photograph. Here’s my version.
I can now challenge someone else – and will, very soon – with an idea of my choice. The point being to work “on assignment” and think outside the box. Whoever gets challenged has to post an image, anywhere, with the hashtag #DSCreative and nominates someone else, and so on.
A few weeks ago, I released an 8-part email tutorial on lens-testing in the field. More than 800 readers went through the series, sending us very interesting comments and feedback along the way.
I’m now working hard with Ming Thein (see recent interview here) to create a webinar on informed gear choices. It should run early Feb, stay tuned for exact dates. The format will be as interactive as possible.
More training will follow, with a whole series in preparation for which I will encourage interactive co-creation. More soon on this topic.
As recently announced, we will soon be hosting a workshop in Paris. The program and dates are now mostly finalised and I will publish a complete post very soon to let you book your spot if you wish to join us.
It was pleasant and flattering to see so many responses before anything official had been released about this workshop. Half the available spots have already been booked and several more options have been taken, depending on final dates and price. Again, thank you for your trust.
Just as interestingly, we have received several proposals for workshops in Berlin, Reykjavik, London, Cape Town, Marseilles and, possibly, Tokyo. All of this will undoubtedly give us more opportunity to meet up somewhere and take a few days what we enjoy most. I cannot wait 🙂
In closing, let me once again wish you a very happy and fulfilling new year. I look forward to talking with you soon. In the mean time, be creative 🙂
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Happy New Year, looking forward to continue following DearSusan in 2016!
Thanks Joakim. Happy New Year to you too 🙂