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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Nutrition by Fork Fed

Post by Mark

forkfed

A couple of weeks ago I was having lunch with a friend and not sure how the subject came about but I brought up the fact that I’ve been having a really hard time finding a nutritionist to contribute with posts on the blog. Thats when my friend recommended Hyatt from Fork Fed. So I checked out her blog and instagram account and right away knew she would be perfect. Her posts were not too long, they were interesting and I loved her photography taste so I right away got in touch with her and asked her if she would be interested in writing here. She thankfully agreed and starting from today she will hopefully be posting here on a frequent basis. Her first post is up below so check it out.

On a side note if there are any other kind of topics you’d like to see covered on this blog let me know. Right now I’ve got contributors for business, nutrition, video games and law posts plus I’m trying to get someone for fitness. What else would you like to see here?


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Business Posts

Post by Mark

business

There are only so many topics I can cover on this blog which is why I’m always inviting friends to help out. The latest person I’ve invited to write on the blog is Loaay, my first boss at the first agency I worked for. Right out of university I got a job at a small local agency here in Kuwait called Knights Capital. It was my first job right out of university and it was a job in which I learned so much in, mostly because Loaay was very hands on and a great teacher. I worked there for three years before moving on but we’ve stayed in touch every since (that was over a decade ago).

Anyway, his first post is already up below so check it out.


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Monthly 248AM Meetups?

Post by Mark

Elevation Burger approached me recently and offered to let me takeover their Al Bida’a location once a month. I could basically host any kind of event I wanted as long as it wouldn’t get them shutdown and me deported (so sadly no local winemakers meetup and no speed dating event). I’ve been trying to brainstorm and see what I could do, I’m not great at organizing things and socially awkward in general so not sure if thats the perfect skill set for something like this. I can choose between their indoor space upstairs our their outdoor space.

elevation

So, I figured I’d ask you guys for ideas, what kind of event could I host once a month that you would be interested in attending? I held a 248AM meetup back in 2006 and 35 people attended which was pretty cool. It might be an interesting way for people to meet new people? I don’t know I’m horrible at this. If anyone has any ideas let me know below.


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The B-Sides

Post by Mark

Over the holidays I worked a bit on the blog layout and I’ve done some more changes. First thing I did was update the Classifieds and Community sections to match the new look of the blog. The second thing I did was reduce the amount of main sections on the blog by removing the Fashion and Entertainment section. I will continue to post music videos, gaming and movie reviews and fashion related topics but, depending on how interesting the post is it will either end up on the main page here or in the B-Sides section. So if there is a great music video I want everyone to watch I’ll post it here, if not it will go in the B-Sides. Easy-peasy.


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Minor Facelift

Post by Mark

blogslogo

As you’ll notice I’ve updated the look of the blog slightly. There are two reasons for this, the first being I needed to clearly define the blog’s logo so I’ve removed the sub-headline “The A-Sides” from the header. The second reason I changed things is because I think the previous header was eating up too much screen space.

Another change I’ve done to the blog is that I’ve now unified all the sections looks wise. Not sure why I had every section a different color before but that’s no longer the case. Overall I’m nearly done with the facelift except for the “Community” section which I still need to do and I also messed up the “Classifieds” section and now it’s looking a bit wonky (Andy I’m gonna need your help!). Other than that if you spot anything looking weird just let me know.


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Minor Blog Issues

Post by Mark

puke

The blog was down this morning due to some technical issues. Basically the blog was infected with a malware and I had to restore the blog to an older backup from last week. Currently going through everything to see what information/comments the blog lost and trying to restore things to normal. Please bear with me.

Update: Everything is back to normal, no posts or comments were lost.


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248AM Classifieds

Post by Mark

I just want to bring to focus the blogs classifieds section just in case you didn’t know about it. It’s free to use and there’s hundreds of items for sale so check it out [Link]


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The 248AM Awards

Post by Mark

248amawards

Some minor tidbits before I proceed with the awards. Firstly you’ll notice I changed the name of the awards. The reason for that is I realized we don’t actually have a proper awards ceremony in Kuwait so I figured I should take this a bit more seriously since it could be a great opportunity for something bigger. I don’t find the compliment “It doesn’t feel like Kuwait” offensive, I find it real and most importantly humorous which is what I loved about it in the first place.

The second change that is taking place is the fact at the end of every winners post, you will now have a chance to vote for your favorite place. I will gather up all the answers and once all this is done I will share the “people’s choice” winners. At the very least we’ll have an idea of what everyones favorite place is. So without further delay we are going to start off with the Best Coffee Shop award today.


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The Chinnah Mo Kuwait Awards – 2015

Post by Mark

chinnah

Last year I was contemplating what to get Nima (a close friend of mine) for his birthday when I decided to give him a 24 hour pass to post whatever he wanted on the blog. He’s always critical of what I write so I was like here, take my blog and see if you can do a better job. He took the pass and started thinking of various ways he could use the blog, maybe even turn it into one of his art projects.

Months after I gave him the pass we were sitting down and I asked him what ideas he had come up with and after sharing some with me one stood out. He was joking around about how he wanted to give a “Chinnah Mo Kuwait” award to a place that made you feel like you weren’t in Kuwait. “Chinnah Mo Kuwait” translates to “It doesn’t feel like Kuwait” and I thought that was actually a brilliant idea. It’s the best compliment you can give a place in Kuwait so, instead of just a 24 hour pass, I told him we should expand this idea and turn it into a proper awards with different categories and different winners. Now this is the plan, starting next week both Nima and I will be announcing winners for the following categories and in the following order:

Best Coffee Shop
Best Local Store
Best Shopping Mall
Best Bank
Best Hospital
Best Fitness Center
Best Art Gallery
Best Cinema
Best Internet Provider
Best Customer Service
Best Leisure
Best Restaurant

I won’t be editing Nima’s opinions nor censoring them. So if you have any complaints with his writing then direct it to him. Without further ado, here is Nima:

————————–

“It doesn’t feel like Kuwait”

The aspiration of anyone with means. To build a house, garden, restaurant that filter out the elements of the everyday ‘struggle’ of being here. Our mutual disdain for the loud, hot, smelly, smoggy, honk-happy traffic. To filter-out loud and obnoxious riffraff. To trip-up the loud screaming children who insist on playing football with anything remotely shaped like a ball and foot. This, my dear loathsome friends is the highest compliment we can offer.

Oh, shut up, don’t act so incredulous. You’ve said it too. Maybe you were at your grandfather’s farm or a friends chalet. And they’ve spent considerable effort to build walls up to block out the sounds of the road, mere meters away and traffic mere centimetres apart. They lined the walls with trees and bushes to block out the…lets say…overly enthusiastic sun. They’ve hired gardeners and maybe an agricultural engineer to keep the plants from incinerating. And you refuse to pay him the greatest complement in this countries vernacular?? I think not. This is so nice, it doesn’t feel like you’re in Kuwait. Chinnah Barees.

That is why we, the custodians of current events in Kuwait feel it is high time to pay the ultimate respects to the gems of this country we all call home. Here’s to that extra effort people put to be not half-assed. We are a full-assed people. Here’s to the complete package!

– Nima

Update: I’ve made some changes to the awards, for details click [Here]


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