What follows is quite possibly the most self-indulgent post I have ever written. This is saying a lot considering most of my posts are pretty self-indulgent.
Six months ago today, I rebooted Working for the Mandroid. "Rebooted?" you might be asking yourself, "But what was it before?" That's a good question and I don't really have an answer. It was a hodge-podge of pop culture babblings, heavily leaning on my Supernatural fandom and my second trip to Comic Con. I started WFTM at the insistence of Fernando, who noticed that I seemed disconsolate with life and hadn't written much of anything in a really long time. I opened with a short post regarding a Joss Whedon poll in EW that struck me as ridiculous. I tried to stick to some advice from Fernando - keep the posts short, use lots of video, put most everything behind cut tags so scrolling is a minimum on the main page, post when you find something interesting - but found that I disagreed with most of his suggestions. I focused primarily on television with only one book review posted in the two and a half months WFTM was alive though I did argue that Wonder Woman deserves to wear pants and that robots have needs too. Most likely due to the lack of focus and direction, WFTM fell quiet on September 25, 2010 with a review of the first Supernatural episode of season 6.
We got tied up in buying a house and then moving into a house and then unpacking a house. Suddenly my daily commute went from 25 minutes a day to two or more hours each day. Whatever mild depression caused me to start WFTM in the first place came back in full force. Then two things happened around the same time to kick start me - I discovered I'm a Reader, Not a Writer and Kathy's amazing book giveaway hops (and therefore the amazing book blog community) and my Squarespace account started coming on its renewal date. I told myself, "I read a lot of books. I don't know anybody who reads much. I can make ONLINE BOOK FRIENDS AND TALK ABOUT BOOKS!" and I jumped back into the blogging world on June 16, 2011... with a review of the Ryan Reynolds’ Green Lantern movie.
But the next day! The next day I posted my first review, Paolo Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl, and we were off. I pestered Fernando to redesign things to make it easier to read, to make it seem more like me, to make it distinguishable. It took a few months, but he finally did redesign the site and I think it's pretty neat even if Mandroid has yet to find a spot to hang out on the homepage.
I discovered memes, then I discovered In My Mailbox and that all these lovely people were going to introduce me to all these awesome books. I tested the waters with a graphic novel review, which has become a sparingly used feature but at least provided an idea of the comic-love behind WFTM. We went off to Comic Con for the third year and I picked up more books than I could carry. Literally. Next year we're bringing an extra suitcase for books alone.
Over the following months, I've hosted giveaways, met some awesome fellow bloggers, made potential friends that actually live within driving distance of me, and wrote a lot of things I wouldn't have otherwise. I actually listened to the entire audiobook of Twilight and posted a review that I thought would get me flamed, but instead it got some of the most interesting (and nice!) comments of all my posts. It, along with a post about my marathon of The Vampire Diaries season 1 from the first incarnation, is probably my most well-trafficked post.
More recently I gave myself a personal reading challenge for November and succeeded even if I didn't read nearly as many books as I wanted. I dove into the Reader Challenge thing and started up my own for 2012. We have 20 participants and counting for our sci-fi challenge and I'm so excited about where that's going. I posted an incredibly enthusiastic post about Cinder that got me added on my first major publisher book tour. And, finally, Fernando wrote his very first post. He's not a writer by nature, but I'm hoping he'll put together some content now and again, particularly regarding things I'm not as interested in.
Which brings us to here and today. It is our six month anniversary and I think the site has gotten better. We have nearly 400 GFC followers and 355 followers on Twitter. In the last thirty days, we’ve had nearly 2,000 page views and 700 visitors (which boggles my mind in a way you can’t even know). People still visit the blog despite my obsessive tendencies to Supernatural and the character of Castiel. Some people even stop by my thinky thoughts posts and share their thinky thoughts too. I occasionally feature some great artists that people might have not discovered before and I hope to do more of that in the future.
So a million thank yous to all of you who have visited, commented, entered contests or just put up with my incessant mutterings on Twitter about baked goods and boredom at work. Thank you to all the authors and publishers who’ve kindly offered their books for review, swag for contests and interesting guest posts for me to share with my readers. And of course, a million cookies and hugs to Fernando for keeping us looking pretty, running well, and only yelling at me every now and again to get off the computer. Even though it’s already grown beyond my wildest dreams, I already have a long list of resolutions for 2012 as we work to become a better Working for the Mandroid. We hope you stick around and hang out with us.