It’s ILMK’s 1st birthday!

It’s ILMK’s 1st birthday!

August 28, 2009…the first post in this blog, I Love My Kindle, appeared.  It was just a brief hello.

Wow, so much has happened in that year!  I wanted to take this post to look back a little bit, and to show you where we are now.

I say “we”, and I mean it.  Yes, I write this (although I’ve had a couple of contributions from other people), but it wouldn’t exist without you.  Not just because of the subscribers, although I heartily thank them specifically.  I couldn’t justify the time I spend on this, if it wasn’t for those who subscribe through the Kindle store.

But your contributions are much more than that.  I love, love, love it when people take the time and make the effort to leave me comments.  Some of the most interesting writing in this blog, in  my opinion, has come in the exchange in the comments.  That’s especially true when we don’t see things the same way.  I’ve gotten ideas for articles and re-thought ideas I already had thanks to articulate and well-reasoned comments.  Thanks to each of you as well. 

Another way you contribute is by participating in the polls.  That’s a giving of yourself that’s shown me some very interesting information.  My favorite poll thing?  When I asked, “Do you answer poll questions?” and 17% answered it to say no.  :) 

ILMK has also been mentioned in other places.  The biggest spike it ever got was when EndGadget credited ILMK recently with a story on the two free downloadable word games.  That was funny to me…just because it was pretty simple, just a Flash news post.  Some posts take me a lot of time and work to write, some touch on pretty profound issues, but a little announcement was heard around the world.  I do think it’s cool when ILMK shows up in faraway places, like Japan.

For those of you who buy things (even free things) after clicking on a link in ILMK, my thanks to you as well.  I think many of you know that my family comes first, and that I have a full-time job.  I don’t do advertising and I don’t link to items just to get referral fees.  My subscription royalties (at about thirty cents a month per person) far outweigh my referral fees, and that’s fine with me…I’m proud of and thankful for having the subscribers.  However, the bit of “fun money” we get from the referral fees helps.

A big thank you especially goes to the

Amazon Kindle community

I still learn things and have fun there so often!

The suggestion that I do a blog started there.  I had done things on the internet for a long time…I had an “e-zine”, as we used to call them, starting back in 1996.  But I was surprised and flattered when Amazon Kindle community CarolinaCaw started this

thread

in the community, suggesting I start a blog.  Thanks, CarolinaCaw!  That was back on June 14 of 2009.   Why did it take two months for me to start one after that?

I really had to think about it.  I tend to really commit to things, and I knew if I started one, it would be a big part of my life.  I was already writing a lot on the forum, but if I had paid subscribers, I’d want to give them their money’s worth.  I knew it would take time, I knew it would take effort…and I knew it would take focus.  That’s a responsibility I didn’t take lightly.  There were important family discussions about it.

Then, I had to find out more about blogging.  As I mentioned, I’d never done it.  I got some good advice.

Oh, that’s another group I want to thank!  My fellow Kindle bloggers.  Andrys Basten of A Kindle World needs to be singled out.  Andrys has generously given me time, insight, and advice.  We don’t always agree (and when we don’t, it can be sharp), but we respect each other and Andrys has mentored me on the blogging world (and Twitter).  Stephen Windwalker (Kindle Nation Daily), the dean of Kindle bloggers, has helped me as well.  He did me the honor of using a post of mine as a guest post when he was unable to post for a few days.  Len Edgerly (The Kindle Chronicles) and Abhi of (iReader Review ) are also part of my Kindle blogger community circle. 

There are so many people I could thank!  I do want to mention the folks at Jungle-Search.com and their newer site KindleIQ.com …it would be so much harder to do the analysis for this blog without those two great sites!

I hear the orchestra playing me off, so I have to cut this short….um, less long.  :)  Ooh, I can’t forget people who have written reviews of ILMK!  That’s really nice and really important…I definitely take those into account. 

Let’s sum it up this way: if you have touched ILMK in any way, thank you.

What’s happened in one year?

When ILMK started, Kindles were only available in the US.  The NOOK didn’t exist (and when it did, it started out as the nook).  There were something like 350,000 titles in the Kindle store (there are nearly twice that now).  One of the biggest changes has been the Agency Model (and we’ll see where that is a year from now). 

I’ve published 621 posts in ILMK.  I average at least 1,000 words a day…that’s the equivalent of about a 1,500 page book.  I’ve put out 57 Freebie Flashes…I’m sure that’s hundreds of freebies for you.

WordPress says I’ve had 148,201 hits.  My busiest day was August 4, 2010, with 2,609 hits in one day.  There have been 1,614 comments. 

ILMK has been ranked as high as #1 in the US Kindle store.  The day I passed both the Huffington Post and the Onion just blew me away.  The UK Kindleers have been welcoming as well: ILMK is the #18 blog in the UK store right now…ta!

Most importantly, it’s been rewarding.  :)  It’s been fun, and I’ve learned a lot.

I’m sure there are interesting times ahead.  The Kindle 3 (which is just in people’s hands as I write this) makes it feel like the EBR (E-Book Reader) has moved past the early adopter phase.  I think a year from now, we may be at two million titles in the US Kindle store…and the international stores will have grown as well.  I’ll hopefully write things you find interesting and helpful…and I’ll undoubtedly write some things that I like better than you do.  ;)  I’ll make mistakes (and genuinely thank you when you point them out so I can fix them).  The focus on e-reading may move a bit away from the technology and more towards the content…although there are some big technological changes yet to come.

So, happy 1st birthday, ILMK! 

Thanks to you, readers!

Do you want to share something about ILMK?  Was there a post that you especially liked?  Feel free to let me know…

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

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12 Responses to “It’s ILMK’s 1st birthday!”

  1. Andrew Says:

    Happy birthday, Bufo! Thanks for a great blog.

    The first time I left a comment I clicked the “Notify me of new posts” button by mistake. I only meant to be notified of responses to my comment. “I should go back and unsubscribe,” I thought. “I don’t really want an email every time this guy posts, do I? I already know how to use my Kindle!” But for some reason I left it, and now those emails are my favorite thing to look for in my inbox.

    Thanks and congratulations!

  2. Kathy Says:

    Hi Bufo: Congratulations! You do a great, great blog – the cost of subscribing is tiny compared to the quality (and quantity) of your posts. There are a number of great Kindle blogs out there to which we can subscribe from our Kindles.

    I enjoy the others, but yours is the only one to which I’ve kept my paid subscription. I continue to subscribe because I get more out of your posts than just up to date Kindle news.

    You analyze issues and trends in an interesting, provocative manner. The fact that you bring in your experience in the book business is one of my favorite aspects of your writing. I also appreciate your thoughtful, ethical approach to your blog.

    It sounds like you are now getting referrer fees for more than kindles and kindle accessories – I didn’t think you got them for books in the past, now I’ll spend a little more time looking at the ones you describe and click through to buy if they sound appealing. I just like to support people who are doing such good work.

    All the best, Kathy Halvorsen, Hancock MI

    All the best, Kathy

  3. Mike Says:

    Congrats Bufo! I’ve only been reading your blog for about 2 or 3 months now but I can honestly say that of all the Kindle blogs I read I definitely enjoy yours the most. I look forward to seeing what you have to say on the latest news in the Kindle world and things to come.

  4. Bernadette Says:

    Happy Birthday ILMK! Read it everyday:)!

  5. LuvMyKindle Says:

    Happy Anniversary, Bufo and ILMK!

    I’ve been reading ILMK, daily, since day one, and am very glad you find it rewarding (in more ways than one) and will continue with it. I think I speak for many when I say we are lucky to have you. ILMK is informative, insightful, educational, and often humorous. You are always, patient, tactful, generous, and helpful.

    Many thanks (and hugs, too) to you for all that you do :-)

  6. LuvMyKindle Says:

    opps… Let me make that, Happy Birthday/Happy Anniversary!

  7. David Derrico Says:

    Bufo, congratulations on this milestone and all the success of your blog. Thanks for all the time you spend and the useful information you provide. I know how much time blogging can take, and I’ve never found the time to post as prolifically as you do. I’m looking forward to all the exciting developments the next year will bring!

  8. Al Says:

    Bufo, I have been “listening” to you since the days when you posted very helpful advice to the newbies on the forums. I get your newsletter via e-mail and sweep them into my Kindle folder because I wanted the links to be live. Links on the Kindle 2 may be alive, but if so they are asleep. I have tried the links on the Kindle 3 and think that may just support having your blog on the Kindle directly. I really appreciate reading someone who knows the difference between “lose” and “loose”.

  9. elaine Says:

    happy birthday, bufo
    i LOVE your blog- it is the first thing i recommend to a new kindle owner- you not only inform us of free books, you have thoughtful articles about the great love of my life- my Kindle

    wishing you all the best

  10. Candace Says:

    Happy birthday, ILMK! I enjoy reading you.

  11. Phyllis Says:

    I love your blog, also and a very Happy Birthday to you!
    Thanks for all that you do.
    Phyllis

  12. Yvette Says:

    Happy birthday. You make my kindle even more fun.

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