Only the Beginning: The Best is Yet to Come

Somehow I blinked in January or February and I ended up in May. When I realized that we’re almost half-way through 2012 (I’ll pause for gasps)…I was given another shock: Architangent’s one year anniversary is May 13! While a version of this website existed before May 13, 2011, it was nothing like its current state. In the spirit of good blogging traditions, I present to you the anniversary re-cap article.

The Idea

In late 2010 I was bitten by the blogging bug (or maybe just a bad case of alliteration). Inspired by the book “Stuff White People Like”, I set out to create a satirical parody of architects and all their glory: Stuff Architects Like. I didn’t know much about blogging, so I followed the advice of my college friend, Nick, who suggested I use Tumblr as my platform. Sure, why not! I quickly made a list of stuff architects like and simplified my Tumblr to a concise “Architects Like” for my blog title. I proceeded to post a handful of silly items that Architects like, including San Serif Fonts, Indie Music and Apple Products. Amazingly, people were reading what I wrote. I thought I was hilarious, but apparently other people let out a chuckle or two and decided my writing was worth their time, too. Before I knew it, I had a decent following of subscribers to my blog and I realized that I had opened a huge can of worms. [Read all of the posts about what Architects Like]

The Name

I quickly realized I had limited myself by choosing “Architects Like” as my blog title, and that I needed to broaden my horizons if I wanted this little experiment to take off. I decided to open up my writing to things beyond satire and comedy, put my cynical sarcasm aside, and include bigger issues on topics related to architecture and design. Writing has always been a passion of mine, so why limit the scope of it? I began writing about other topics and soon after that point, realized the entire format of the Tumblr platform was not sufficient for where I wanted this to go. I was thinking bigger, better, and more. More everything! I started the process of designing a website for myself which would include not only the blog, but my portfolio and eventually an online store.

After figuring out how to build a website, I finally settled on “Architangent” for the new name. It spoke to the nature of the content (about or relating to architecture or design), it touched on the fact that the topics could go in depth or skim the surface in any direction (tangent) and it hinted at my ADHD nature that made me snicker at my own inside joke. After launching the new website and new name, Tumblr asked to feature the original “Architects Like” blog on their architecture category page. I thought that sounded pretty sweet, so I said yes. Then my followers started increasing by about 1,000 per month. I started getting emails from people all over the place asking questions about architecture school, choosing architecture as a career and thanking me for tackling some hard issues and inspiring them. Me? Inspire?! It felt a bit surreal and I sometimes wondered if my Tumblr blog was that awkward kid that people aren’t sure whether to like or not, but somehow can’t look away. I mean, my blog wasn’t full of eye-candy like most Tumblr posts, and I wasn’t posting on a daily basis; but maybe that’s what made my content special…so I stuck with it and integrated my architangent posts to feed directly to Tumblr. Months later, I’m reconsidering what the best way to get content to my Tumblr followers is while minimizing the amount of time I put into posting. It’s one of the things on my never-ending to-do list.

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The Numbers

I think one of most interesting parts about blogging besides getting to meet tons of awesome people from around the world is the surprises. If you had me predict which of my posts would be most popular, I’d be way off. I’m constantly amazed at the number of visitors I get and which articles get the most attention. My website isn’t up there with the ‘big dogs’, but I’m still proud of how many people add my blog to their ‘must read’ list, and I’m honored by all the fans who are excited about what I do.

Unique Visitors: Over the past year, I’ve had almost 17,000 different people come to my website. Say Whaaa? Yes, these are all individual, unique people from 144 different countries who have clicked, read and giggled at my impeccable journalism. (This point is not up for debate!)

Popular Posts:

After the home page, my number one most popular article by far continues to be The Salk Institute post from the ‘Architravels‘ category. Louis Kahn was some sort of genius, and I’m just riding those coattails. Also, California is pretty nice, too.

After the greatness that is Louis Kahn, these are the next top 10 posts:

  1. War of the Words (A poignant, controversial look at the title “Architect”)
  2. Pens (A tale of an architect and his love, the pen)
  3. Houston Modern Home Tour (Event coverage with full-on sarcastic critiques by yours truly)
  4. Houston Central Station Design Proposals (Event coverage with somewhat less sarcastic critiques)
  5. Chapels (A smattering of awesome ecclesiastical architecture around the world)
  6. Lessons in Design: How Not to Design a House (A face-palm moment we can all learn from)
  7. Squiggly Line Drawings (The secret is out!)
  8. Renzo Piano is Better than You and Reasons You Should Think so too (No really)
  9. Architecture: No Girls Allowed. (A look at how to capitalize on gender differences within architecture)
  10. Dream Home (A tour of my future home and the decisions that shaped the design)

 

Looking back, it has been a crazy and fun ride so far. From the humble beginnings, to growing to almost 20,000 Tumblr followers and covering the 2011 Solar Decathlon alongside major media groups in Washington D.C., to being invited to write regularly for Archability. No doubt there will be many more exciting opportunities and experiences to come.

It has been a great year. Thanks for being a part of it! Feel free to let me know what your favorite articles have been and where you want to see Architangent go in the future. You’re the reason I do this, so let me hear from you in the comments section below! 🙂



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  • Erica

    Happy Blogiversary!