State of the Blog and a Surprise for Neatorama Top Commenters!

Hello everyone! It's been a few months since our last "State of the Blog" post here on Neatorama - so I figure I'd take a few minutes to update you on the status of the blog.

Neatorama got a new look a few days ago - it's still the good ol' boring gray theme (the focus, after all, should be on the posts), but we'd like to think that it's a more, um ... sophisticated and cleaner boring gray. There are minor tweaks here and there, and some of you may notice that Neatorama loads a little bit faster (those of you still browsing with IE, you'd be surprised how much faster Neatorama loads on Firefox).

We put in a new "We Recommend" section in the right-hand navigation (under the Don't Miss these Neatomonkey; click to see the list) - these are links to past articles that we think are pretty cool. I'll keep these updated on a weekly basis or so, so please check it out.

If you have a hankering for mental_floss, Bathroom Reader and exclusive Neatorama articles, please check out the Archives - click on the year links to see all of the articles posted on Neatorama (for example, this year alone we have close to 150 articles so far).

We had the pleasure of being featured on Yahoo! front page back in August (it was Stacy's Five Hoaxes That Fooled the World). The valiant Neatorama servers fought hard against the unleashed horde of Yahoo! visitors but they finally knuckled under after 3 hours. In that short time, we got over 300,000 visitors (that's about 280 visitors per second!). We thought we had good servers but the experience led us to completely revamp the hardware (which took a lot of our time and caused a few hiccups then). It's been a costly adventure, but I think we're now much better positioned for growth and traffic spikes.

We had our first Mystery Sale on Neatorama's Online Store in September and it was a blast!

We'll have one again soon (yes that's a hint) but it's not going to be announced beforehand, so you have to visit Neatorama daily to find out ...

In October, I got an email from Mitch Wilson of Hungry Hollow Art about how he discovered Neatorama one day and decided to read the entire blog. That's nearly 16,400 posts (at the time - we're now closer to 17,000 posts). When I posted about his story, it turns out that a lot of you have done the Neatorama pilgrimage! I'm impressed :)

And lastly, a surprise to three of our top commenters on Neatorama for October 2008 (see screenshot above) You guys each got a free Apple iPod Shuffle as an early Christmas gift. It's our way to say thank you for participating and making the blog better by commenting.

We've done this a couple of times before and we'll surely do it again, but we won't tell you when. Like last time, you do have to be a registered user of the blog (Register here - it's fast and easy)

Every time we did this, there was a brief spike in people commenting, which then leveled off. Note that you wont' be rewarded for swamping the blog with stupid comments (someone did try this in the past). And yes, everyone has an equal chance of winning - the top commenter list is reset on a monthly basis.

Thank you for reading Neatorama and please tell your friends about the blog!

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This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I've joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your excellent post. Also, I have shared your website in my social networks!
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Yaaay! Nice surprise!
It's like going on vacation and winning a free trip there ;) Thanks!

I often recommend Neatorama as well and I apologize for all the trafic/hardware/servers problem I may have caused ;)

Alex and team, thanks again for the daily pleasure of reading Neatorama.
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