So, we’ve passed the 10,000th post. Phew, sounds exhausting. I’m pretty proud of the figure, even though it’s not world shattering by some standards. It took me 8 years to get here, and compared with uber bloggers like Peter Rojas at Engadget and Joel Johnson at Boing Boing we’re very much small potato stuff. But tha knows, I were never really interested in mere hugeness, but rather fun-ness, so I’m ecstatic to have reached 10,000 without falling flat on my face.
Original Red Ferret Logo (Adam Powell)
History. The Ferret was, I believe, the first gadget eclectica blog in the world (I remember Julie’s wonderful Gadgeteer site and a website from a TV program called The Gadget Guru as more conventional web sites of the time) and so it’s been really interesting to see the massive growth in the field over the past years. First Nick’s Gizmodo arrived to keep me company and then the trickle turned into a flood with Engadget and the other big stars coming to play. I’m not going to get maudlin, but just to say that it’s been great to watch the whole sector take off and shine in terms of coverage, professionalism and enthusiasm.
Our Style. I also take a little pride in the fact that we’ve always maintained a difference in the way we did things. Not so mainstream maybe, a little off-the-wall, not so serious and hopefully always with an interesting slant and core set of values. OK, so we’ve never been the coolest kids on the block, but we certainly have been some crazy, which is good. I suppose the stats speak for themselves. We’ve grown organically for eight years to the extent where we now get over a million visitor sessions a month, which is not bad for a cutesy red polecat. We’ve never spent a penny on advertising and we’ve never chased numbers for the sake of numbers. We’re just happy to try and entertain and inform.
The Future? Well, it’s no coincidence that I chose the Core77 Greener Gadgets Design Competition as the 10,000th post. It’s become clear to me over the past year or so that gadgets per se are going to have to fit into a new world order very soon. One where energy, ecology and cost of consumption play a huge role. No matter what anyone says, the years of profligacy are coming to an end, and in its inimitably pioneering way, The Ferret is going to track that trend and hopefully be a part of its development.
Oh and by the way it’s time to retire Red. He’s been a good mate of mine for all those years, a great nom de plume and a stalwart protector of my wish to stay anonymous in the early days of the Ferret. His work is now done and he will be given a nice condo near the beach in Florida with as much Haagen Dazs as he can eat. In his place Nigel Powell will emerge blinking into the sunlight – author, columnist and all round – very round – weird egg. Red will be fine, honest.
I’ll try to keep improving the Ferret to keep all you good folk happy. I have been toying with the idea of opening up the contributions to others who would like to post their own tech eclectica, although I don’t know whether you would think that would work or not. Your views are, as always, very welcome. I’d definitely like to see more commenters join our happy band, after all a blog has to have discussion otherwise it’s just a web page, right? Discuss, joke, dismiss, critique, correct and above all enjoy the Ferret comment section. It’s there for you to play with.
Thanks. So all that remains is to say a HUGE thank you to all you dear readers, to all my colleagues in the blogosphere and gadget world, all the companies who keep the interesting products flowing and of course, my Mother. Hey, what would a retrospective, self referencing post be without a bit of family love? Oh and a massive thank you to all the tech supporters and technology that runs the ship – Alex, Fahim, Tom, Teli and of course Matt for WordPress.
Here’s to all of you, from all of me. And Red.
Cheers and pip pip!
(now I’d love to hear from you newcomers and long time Ferret readers in the comments. Just to know you’re still there!)