Kuwikipedia is now Kuwestions

Post by Mark

kuwestions

Last month I launched Kuwikipedia since a lot of people email me asking me questions all the time. I figured I might as well setup a website where people could ask questions related to Kuwait, and them me and other people could answer it for them. Well the site proved to my more useful than I expected it to be so I decided to integrate it into the blog as a section. A twitter follower even helped me come up with a better more descriptive name for the section which is “Kuwestions”.

I’m still fine tuning it a bit but for now it’s up an running so check it out [Here]

Update: Looks like there is a technical issue when trying to answer the questions. Working on fixing that now.


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Milestone: 10,000 Posts

Post by Mark

I was planning on doing something special for my 10,000th post on the blog but I just realized today that I passed that marker a few months back without even realizing it. As of this post I’ve published exactly 10,329 posts on the blog and since it launched around 11 years ago, that averages to more than 3 posts a day if you ignore the weekends. Considering this is Kuwait where very little goes on I still surprise myself on a daily basis that I’m still finding stuff to write about.

248am-2005
The blog back in 2005

I used to think I was lucky that I was finding content on a daily basis and it was only a couple of years back did I realize that hold on a second, maybe this isn’t luck, maybe I just have a skill that allows me to discover stuff. I think it’s probably a combination of my creative side, mixed in with my extreme curiosity for things and probably a bit of ADHD and OCD on the side to top it all off.

248am-2006
The blog back in 2006

Another interesting figure, 199,363 comments have been posted so far, this doesn’t include deleted spam which is amounts to around 2.5 million.

The blog started off as a side project to another blog I had and was never meant to last this long. I have no idea when I’m going to stop blogging, but that day will most likely be sooner than later. For now I’m still here.


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Problems Viewing My Blog With Zain

Post by Mark

zainglitch

If you have a Zain mobile number or internet device then you’ve probably encountered a problem similar to what is pictured above, where an image gets repeated over and over when browsing my blog using their network. I have no idea why that happens, my theory is that Zain’s cache system is very aggressive to help make things quicker but the side effect is my blog and I’m guessing other ones as well will end up looking weird. So if you’re a Zain IT guy reading this, maybe you guys could put my blog on the do not cache list or something?


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The 248AM Community

Post by Mark

com

Have you checked out the 248AM Community? It’s an online discussion forum and with over 200,000 posts so far, it’s a great space to ask questions and debate topics. You can access the community by clicking the link in the navigation strip on top or by typing community.248am.com in your browser.


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Two Anniversaries, One Month

Post by Mark

So this past Friday (February 19th) was my blogs 11 year anniversary. I published my first post here back in February 19th 2005, a really odd post which I find hilarious now since my blog has become what it is today. If I had known my blog would end up here I would have probably posted something a bit less… crude.

But, what I just realized a few moments ago is that this February also marks the 13th anniversary of my first post on my first blog ever. Back in 2003 me and a few friends launch a blog called Qhate and my first post there was published on February 6th, 2003. At that time we were the first blog based in Kuwait and unlike my early posts on 248AM, I actually enjoy reading my old stuff on Qhate. For those of you who don’t know, Qhate started off as a war blog in which we were posting about life in Kuwait during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. So reading through my old posts there just takes me back in time during the volatile period. If you’ve never gone through some of the posts there you should, it’s like an untouched time capsule. [Link]


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Closed, Will Be Back Soon

Post by Mark

ussharry

I won’t be posting anything today because I’ve been invited to fly out and spend the day on a US aircraft carrier thats currently somewhere in the Arabian Gulf. I’m not allowed to share any more details for security reasons but I will have my camera with me to take photos. I’m obviously super excited and I’ll be posting all about it once I get back to Kuwait.


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Would you listen to a 248AM Podcast?

Post by Mark

podcast

I should have asked this in the survey I recently held but completely forgot to. Would you guys be interested in a podcast where maybe once a week I just sit and have a discussion with different interesting people? It would be very Joe Rogan-esque but definitely not as long.

Would you be interested in a 248AM Podcast?







View Results

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Last Call: The 248AM Survey

Post by Mark

survey

If you haven’t taken the survey yet I’d really appreciate it if you do. I’m hoping to close the survey tomorrow so I can spend the weekend going through all the feedback and comments so I can start planning for 2016. It short, it takes two minutes and every feedback counts. Here is the [Link]


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Take the 248AM Survey

Post by Mark

survey

The last time I took a survey on the blog was in 2010. The feedback I got from everyone helped me improve the blog by allowing me to better understand who my readers are, what kind of content you’re interested in and what issues you might have.

Since its been more than 5 years since the last survey I figured it was time for another one. I’ve decided to keep the survey as simple as possible with just 18 questions that can be all answered in under two minutes. If you could please take the time and answer them that would be great. Your opinion matters. [Link]


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248AM in 2015

Post by Mark

stats

I was just adding last years stats to my blogs media kit when I realized traffic on the blog this past year had increased tremendously over the previous year. I obviously knew traffic had increased since I monitor the stats on a daily basis but I hadn’t expected this much growth. I had roughly guessed traffic had increased by around 30% but after collecting all the data, it turns out traffic had increased by 56% over the previous year.

Page Views
2012: 3,525,263
2013: 3,089,212
2014: 3,037,706
2015: 4,509,005

Unique Visitors
2012: 2,615,214
2013: 2,289,155
2014: 1,941,236
2015: 2,858,175

What caused the traffic increase?
One theory I have is my content had improved which in return caused more interest. Another theory is that people were coming back to the blog because they were getting bored of instagram or maybe they realized the kind of content I was providing wasn’t available on instagram. Another reason I think is that people today are overwhelmed with content but with my blog I try to limit it to just three posts a day. That makes it easy to follow since I provide curated content instead of quantity. But, whatever the reason may be, the influx of traffic kept this blog alive.

The result?
Only my close friends know this but I was actually considering closing down the blog last February on the blogs 10 year anniversary. Traffic had dropped in 2014 and so I started losing interest in the blog. I tend not to spend a lot of time on projects, I like doing and try a lot of things and I jump from one project to another fairly quickly. Working 10 years on a single project was just incredibly long and if my blog had hit its peak then maybe it was about time I moved and obsessed over something else.

But last January I noticed traffic had started increasing and then when my blogs 10 year anniversary came about, traffic had increased even more. I thought that was an interesting turnaround and so I decided to hold off on closing down the blog just to see where all this was going. Every single month last year ended up performing better than the year before. The resurgence in traffic got me excited again about blogging and I started enjoying it like I did in the old days.

What now?
As long as traffic keeps increasing and as long as I continue to generate income from this blog I’m going to continue blogging.

A lot of people don’t understand the importance of my advertisers. If it wasn’t for my advertisers I would have shut down the blog a long time ago. My advertisers play a big role in keeping this blog alive and so do my readers. If it wasn’t for my readers coming back every day to read what I had to say I would have also shut down the blog a long time ago. I wouldn’t want to write if nobody was reading.

So as long as all the stars continue to align, then this blog will continue to stay up.


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