Third Year of How-To Geek: Branching Out and Growing Wild

It’s the end of the year, the time when everybody looks back at the year before and reflects on what happened. It’s navel-gazing time, people!

Yeah, there’s nothing really of value in this article, so you should check out our awesome Lego Wallpapers instead. I’ll try to make it quick…

Pixels and Charts and Numbers and Such!

Last year we ended up a little short of our 30 million pageview goal, but this year we smashed our goal of 40 million with ease, especially after the Windows 7 launch had the XP users scrambling for answers. I’m hoping next year that we have enough pageviews to require a 24-CPU server—really, just give me any excuse to get a server with 24 CPUs in it!

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If you zoom in on those numbers you’ll start to see just how much we’ve grown… we went from 2.9 million pageviews / month last year to 4.9 million this month. If you include TinyHacker and now Productive Geek numbers, we’re way over 5mil/month for our network.

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The only other interesting stat from Analytics is the number of Google Chrome users, which has hit almost 10% this month, and continues to climb—but it’s not just taking away from Internet Explorer, it’s also taken some points from Firefox as well.

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So let’s take a quick tour through what happened this year…

January 2009: The How-To Geek meets Lifehacker

In January of this year, I started working as a staff writer over at Lifehacker, one of the largest blogs anywhere—and quickly realized that my writing skills needed a lot of work! Working with the crew over there has been a tremendous learning experience for me, and I’m very glad I agreed to it. Every Monday you’ll find my feature articles over there, like this week’s article: You Don’t Need to Regularly Reinstall Windows; Here’s Why.

April 2009: Mysticgeek Starts Handling the Editing

It didn’t take very long before I realized that handling a regular day job, How-To Geek, and also writing for Lifehacker was really starting to be too much to handle. Mysticgeek stepped in to take care of the day-to-day editing and much of the other administration, and freeing me up to take care of other stuff. He rocks! (literally).

May 2009: Asian Angel is Awesome!

When we found out that Asian Angel, the former Lifehacker intern, was available to work for us, we grabbed her as quickly as we could—and it’s one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. Before she came along, our readers would always complain that we didn’t cover Firefox enough—and she’s filled that void with loads of great articles about Firefox, Google Chrome, and now she’s started branching out into all sorts of topics.

It’s really more than that—she’s a wonderful, sweet, caring person that we’re just thrilled to be working with.

October 2009: TinyHacker Launched

We’ve never known what to do with all the extra random stuff that we find, so in October we launched TinyHacker, our random geek links site. It’s random! We’ve got some interesting plans for this site in 2010, so stay tuned.

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December 2009: Productive Geek (beta) Launched

After a year of being around Lifehacker, I realized that we really need a forum to discuss life, hacking, and Autohotkey. The Productive Geek forum just launched a few days ago, but it’s going to be great.

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Fun Logos and a Lazy Geek

We started out the year with a bunch of fun logos, hand-drawn by yours truly. Sadly, the time involved just got out of hand, and I didn’t keep it up all year. In case you missed them, here they are.

Valentine’s Day 2009:

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April Fool’s Day 2009:

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Mother’s Day 2009:

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Easter 2009:

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Behind the Scenes

This year we’ve completed some serious milestones—we completely upgraded the platform the server is running on, built loads of new stuff like a better email newsletter system, and created the new Productive Geek platform that we’re actually going to use to launch more new sites. All of this is thanks to Shawn, our awesome programmer. Shawn, if you’re reading this, I’d just like to say: get back to work! =P

What’s Next?

At some point in the next month or two, we’ll be launching another new site geared at IT admin types, hiring a couple of new writers, and really branching out even further.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.