PetaPixel Turns One Year Old

I started PetaPixel one year ago today during my last few weeks as an undergraduate computer science student at Berkeley. I worked on the blog quite a bit that summer, and in August 2009 I went back to Berkeley for graduate studies in computer science.

Time sure flies by, and I’m graduating with a master’s degree this Sunday. Writing PetaPixel has been an amazing experience so far, and so much has happened in the past year.

When this blog was launched, the focus was more educational, and I tried to write articles to pass on things I’ve learned about photography. Posts ranged from post-processing walkthroughs to guides on how to buy and sell gear on a student budget. We also had weekly interviews with photographers and giveaways semi-regularly.

As grad school became busier, I had less time to do photography, and posts became less frequent on PetaPixel as well. A big turning point came when Jessica Lum, a high school friend of mine, joined PetaPixel as co-editor in November 2009. Sharing the load really helped, and posting has been consistent since then.

Our mission statement is “to inform, educate, and inspire in all things related to photography.” We shifted more towards informing and inspiring in the past few months as my research became busier, but in the future we hope to diversify the content a bit more so that PetaPixel isn’t limited to being simply a news blog on photography.

Starting next week, PetaPixel is going to be my full time job. I can’t really say I’ve quit my job for blogging, since I’ve never had one, but instead of finding some software engineering position somewhere I’m going to be doing this. Coincidentally, I’m leaving Berkeley as Jessica is arriving — she’s entering the Graduate School of Journalism this fall.

For those who are interested, I’ll share some statistics. This is the 663rd post on PetaPixel, and we’ve received 6,079 comments from our awesome readers so far. We currently have about 5,600+ subscribers through RSS and email, 52,000+ Twitter followers, 3,300+ Facebook fans, and 2,100+ Flickr group members. In the past year we’ve received over 3.4 million pageviews from 1.9 million unique visitors, and are currently serving over 1 million pageviews per month.

Thanks to all of you who read this blog and make things interesting by commenting and connecting with us in various ways.

So much has happened in the past year, and I’m definitely looking forward to all that’s in store for us in year two!

  • Puerco J. Cerdo

    Hey congratulations you are doing a great job so far!

  • faisal

    Congrats Michael. I remember you interviewing me in those early days. Would love to see interviews come back on the site / more often.

    Congrats again and its awesome how the site has grown exponentially over just one year. Wow.

  • marc

    Happy Birthday!

  • Olivier Lance

    Congratulations and happy birthday !! :)

    I love reading PetaPixel, it's one of my favorite blog. Keep up the good work :)

  • Ole André Utne

    Damn! I can't say I've stayed with you for a long time, but what I CAN say is that Petapixel became my favorite blog in only a couple of days when I found it!

    I was sure there was at least 5 guys punching the keyboard and at least as many doing research to keep up the good posts!

    Keep up the good work!

  • Eugene

    Congrats Michael!

    I've mentioned this on Twitter, but I've followed your blog since its inception last May, and you've come a long way since you began. I think the interviews with photographers are what lured me in initially, and I do think that the interviews are still the most compelling part of PetaPixel (so I wish you would do more of those in the future).

    One thing that would have been neat to see: a breakdown of the most popular posts on PetaPixel over the last year in terms of 1) page views 2) comments and 3) retweets. Perhaps the top ten? I'm thinking you can make an addition to this post or write a new post to direct new readers to what they might have missed over the last year or so. Thoughts?

  • Mike W.

    Michael, congrats to you and Jessica on PetaPixel's one year anniversary.

    PP's success thus far is a testament to the power of compelling content and trenchant use of social media. You make it look easy. :-)

    Keep up the great work.

  • Joy

    Congratulations, Michael and Happy Birthday to your PetaPixel!

    I love to read your PP. Wish you and your PP the very best!

    Keep up the great work!

  • Eugene

    Oh whoops, I forgot to mention: congrats to Jessica as well!

  • QuBe

    Congrats on your success!
    With those numbers, must be sweet to be able to make a living from your blog.

    Here's to year two…aka PetaPixel²
    (man, dats a lotta pixels.)

  • Christian Coquet

    Happy birthday Petapixel, your articles are so helpful, and interesting, keep the good work :)

  • Michael Zhang

    Hey Eugene,

    Thanks for the suggestions =) We'll definitely try to bring interviews back, and we'll be posting popular post breakdowns at the end of each calendar year (if not sooner).

  • chiobio

    wow, I can't believe petapixel is barely a year old. Congratulations from Mexico :D