The RasterWeb! Report for 2011

Two-Thousand-Eleven was a banner year for RasterWeb!. We published a total of 253 blog posts, and as you can see from the pretty chart, we were fairly consistent, with March and May being the standout months. The rise in March was due to another successful RPM Challenge which I did in February, and then released all the songs in March. May’s activity was due to me joining in for Processing Month, and posting a lot of sketches.

2011 Report

Compared to 2010, we had 35 more posts. But you don’t care about quantity, you care about quality! Were the posts better in 2011? I don’t know, that’s for you to decide. I did however, have a few really popular posts, mostly thanks to Make Magazine, who featured a number of my posts including: Arduino-Controlled CheerLight, Zen Button, DIY Panorama Rig, Make A Sketch Draws With Processing, and the super-popular DIY Photobooth Rig with Custom Button.

Speaking of buttons, my button posts got a lot of attention/traffic from Sparkbooth and from the Teensy Project page. In fact, the post probably has more comments than any other I’ve written. I’ve also got emails from a lot of people who bought a Teensy and then got totally lost trying to build a button. I helped as many people as I could. Which brings us to…

Why I continue this blog…

It’s safe to say that one of the main reasons I started blogging had to do with wanting to give something back, or as the kids say, to “share” things. When I started using the Internet in the mid-1990s, I learned a lot, and at some point I decided that I wanted to share my knowledge as well, so that’s what I did. I didn’t get into it for the money (there was none back then) but for the purpose of putting things out there that would help other people, the same way other people helped me. Sure, I publish a lot of, um, weird stuff that has nothing to do with helping people, but hey, they can’t all be winners.

So with my latest adventures in making, I’ve started telling people that sharing about making is just as important as making. I believe that, and I know that Make Magazine believes that, and Instructables believes that, and Adafruit believes that. It inspires others to make things, and do things, and that’s a good thing.

If I’ve inspired you, that makes me happy… and if you’ve inspired me, I thank you. Let’s keep it up!


Misfits: wants vs. needs

Misfits: Wants vs. Needs

Sometimes, when a band acts childish or selfish, you try to reason with them, and show them what is really important in life… you can often do this by asking them to make a list with two columns, one listing the things they want, and another listing the things they need.

In most cases, this wants vs. needs list puts things into perspective. (In most cases…)

(And yes, I was totally inspired by the horror business chart.)


Visualizing Data

We all know that management loves its charts & graphs but normal people like us? We love data visualizations!

Why, just take a look at sites such as information aesthetics, Information Is Beautiful, or FlowingData for some examples.

I’m proud to say I’ve been dabbling in data visualization myself recently, and I’d like to share a few things with you.

visualization showing how dark is it at midnight
This is a visualization showing how dark is it at midnight.

visualization showing how bright is it at noon
This is a visualization showing how bright is it at noon.

visualization showing what color genderists think girls like
This is a visualization showing what color genderists think girls like.

visualization showing what color genderists think boys like
This is a visualization showing what color genderists think boys like.

visualization showing how dirty dirt really is
This is a visualization showing how dirty dirt really is.

visualization of a successful stabbing attempt
This is a visualization of a successful stabbing attempt.

visualization showing the color of oranges
This is a visualization showing the color of oranges.

Whew, that’s a lot of data! Aren’t you glad you were able to visualize it with my help? So many others make visualizing data complex, but we work hard to make it simple.

Data Visualization is just one of the many services we offer here at RasterWeb! Contact us for your next Data Visualization project.


The RasterWeb! Report for 2010

Back in June 2010 I somehow got a “renewed interest” in blogging here at RasterWeb! What does that mean as far as numbers? It means I blogged a lot more… How much more? Let’s go to the chart…

Posts Per Month for 2010

We started the year slow, having just a few blog posts at the beginning of the year. Since 1997, I’ve always managed to post at least twice per month (if not more.) I’m glad to see I haven’t gone below that number. Our busiest month in 2010 was August with a whopping 42 posts! We tapered off just a bit after that, but that’s fine…we’re still seeing about 20 to 30 posts per month. It’s not just about the numbers though… I’m not consciously trying to write a zillion posts each month, it’s just (hopefully) a reflection of how many ideas I have, or how many things I have to say, or the amount I have to share with the web.

So what have been a few of the more viewed posts this year?

Recursive FTP using wget. I wrote this in 2007 after I had to get some files from a server. It’s a 4 line post. It gets a lot of traffic, probably because it easily and clearly provides a solution to a problem.

Twitter Monkey. The Twitter Monkey post got a lot of traffic… it was posted on Make and Gizmodo, and a whole lot of other places. The video saw over 5,700 views. It’s amazing how a silly idea and a few hours of hacking got so much attention.

Lanyrd. I just happened to write about Lanyrd the day it was launched. Simon Willison commented on the post, and on his own site.

A few other popular posts included: vCard to CSV Converter, SCP and Spaces, Get your Gmail with Perl, and Fix Your InfoLithium Battery.

I also started tagging posts this year, and it looks like I tend to post the most about barcamp.

As always, visit the Archives page for a list of all the posts by month, or the Archives Legacy page for the older posts that haven’t been put into WordPress yet.

Here’s to 2011 and the start of another 13 years of blogging!


Wisconsin Election Summary

Wisconsin Election Summary