Open Culture Turns One: The State of the Blog Address

This sneaked up on us. Today marks the one year anniver­sary of our site. All in all, it’s been a decent maid­en voy­age. Last Octo­ber, we start­ed with the con­cept that the web abounds with great cultural/educational media, but no one’s real­ly focus­ing on these smart podcasts/videos and pro­vid­ing users with a free and easy way to con­tin­ue expand­ing their cul­tur­al hori­zons. So that’s what we start­ed to do.

The num­bers sug­gest that we’re sat­is­fy­ing some kind of need. We racked up a cou­ple mil­lion page views this year (not bad for a fledg­ling site), with users com­ing from across the globe. Along the way, we got some nice men­tions in the press — Smart Mon­ey (by the Wall Street Jour­nal), The Chris­t­ian Sci­ence Mon­i­tor, Der Spiegel (Ger­many), and El Pais (Spain). And there were oth­er men­tions on the big blogs — Life­hack­er, Boing Boing, The Unof­fi­cial Apple Weblog, etc. — and a cou­ple of inter­views on pub­lic radio (here and here).

By far, users most often fre­quent­ed our pod­cast col­lec­tions (full library here) and par­tic­u­lar­ly our col­lec­tions of for­eign lan­guage lessons, audio books and uni­ver­si­ty lec­tures and com­plete cours­es. When it comes to our dai­ly fea­tures, the five most pop­u­lar pieces were the fol­low­ing:

As for our per­son­al favorites, we would include:

We’re look­ing for­ward to Year 2, when we’ll hope­ful­ly get more writ­ers and guest blog­gers in the mix and launch a pod­cast of our own. (We’ll see if time per­mits.) If you have thoughts on how we could improve, please feel free to con­tact us and give us your thoughts. We’d gen­uine­ly like to get your feed­back and find new ways to do things bet­ter. We hope that you’ll con­tin­ue to vis­it dur­ing this upcom­ing year. Ciao.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.