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:
- 10 Unexpected Uses of the iPod
- 45 Free Cutting Edge Books
- The War of the Worlds on Podcast: How H.G. Wells and Orson Welles Riveted A Nation
- 20 Podcasts That Will Teach You Spanish, French, Italian and German
- Free Beethoven and Mozart Recordings via Podcast
As for our personal favorites, we would include:
- Life-Changing Books: Reader Picks
- 10 Excellent University Podcasts
- Steve Jobs on Life
- The Hottest Course on iTunes (and the Future of Digital Education)
- The Digital Tipping Point: The Wild Ride from Podcast to Book Deal
- Ten Discoveries That Rewrote History
- Learning the Languages of the New World Powers
- The Rise of the Culture Boxes
- The Art of Reading a Poem (According to Harold Bloom)
- University Video Collections
- 100 Culture Blogs
- Ten Podcasts to Build Your Vocabulary
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.