The Brothers Brick turns 3 today! [Editorial]

Today marks the third anniversary of The Brothers Brick!

I believe that 2007-2008 was the year that The Brothers Brick truly became more than just another LEGO blog. All of you out there make this a community, with LEGO Ambassadors representing the tens of thousands of you who visit the site.

The LEGO fan community has seen its shares of ups and downs over this past year. We rallied together during the Great Brickshelf Crisis of 2007, and we’ve avoided much of the fragmentation I feared at the time. In addition to blogs and other online venues like The Brothers Brick, fans can now get their LEGO fix in print from BrickJournal and listen to the LAMLradio podcast on their MP3 players.

We’ve also been fortunate to add two contributors over this past year. Nannan Zhang has brought much-appreciated energy, while we look forward to columns from Keith Goldman. Thanks to Nannan, our event coverage expanded beyond my posts about BrickCon last October to include his news and highlights from BrickWorld in June.

And then there were the fads and bandwagons, proving that with great power comes great responsibility.

Looking to the future, and giving back

Advertising sucks. We added ads to pay the bills, but now we have enough traffic and so many of you are making your LEGO purchases through us (thank you!) that this is the right time to increase our transparency by sharing what we’ll be doing with the extra income.

We’ll be rolling everything beyond what pays the bills back into the LEGO fan community. It really is as simple as that. Specifically, you’ll see more frequent contests (with good prizes), giveaways (online and at conventions), and maybe even “scholarships” for LEGO fans who might not otherwise be able to attend important LEGO conventions.

All about you, by the numbers

Despite my inability to perform basic arithmetic (“100% more of zero is still zero,” as someone gently pointed out recently in response to one of our taglines), I always like sharing numbers about all of you readers out there.

  • 1,059,789 visits
  • 3,377,860 page views
  • 411,634 unique visitors
  • 1,200 new posts
  • 45,419 spam comments

Although we’ve had visitors from 181 countries (literally Afghanistan to Zimbabwe), most of our readers are from countries where English is the predominant language.

I’ve always listed the top 10 countries, but you might find the top 30 more interesting:

  1. United States
  2. United Kingdom
  3. Canada
  4. Australia
  5. Netherlands
  6. Germany
  7. Japan
  8. France
  9. Poland
  10. Spain
  1. Italy
  2. Sweden
  3. Denmark
  4. Belgium
  5. Hungary
  6. Portugal
  7. Finland
  8. Singapore
  9. Taiwan
  10. Brazil
  1. Norway
  2. Mexico
  3. New Zealand
  4. Austria
  5. Ireland
  6. Switzerland
  7. Malaysia
  8. Russia
  9. Hong Kong
  10. South Africa

So, what are all of your out there most interested in? And what sites are you coming from?

Top Keywords* Top Categories Referring Sites
  1. LEGO blog
  2. LEGO Agents
  3. LEGO 2008
  4. ApocaLEGO
  5. LEGO Green Grocer
  6. LEGO 7628
  7. LEGO
  8. BrickForge
  9. LEGO 7036
  10. LEGO Castle 2008
  1. Star Wars
  2. Steampunk
  3. Castle
  4. ApocaLEGO
  5. Indiana Jones
  6. Mecha
  7. Military
  8. Minifigs
  9. Building Techniques
  10. Video Games
  1. StumbleUpon
  2. Flickr
  3. The old blog
  4. Gizmodo
  5. BB Gadgets
  6. Fark.com
  7. Classic-Castle.com
  8. idleworm
  9. Neatorama
  10. NOTCOT.ORG

* Excluding variations on “The Brothers Brick”.

The top ten referring sites are only the tip of the iceberg:

Of seventy million blogs that Technorati tracks, we’re in the top ten thousand, or 0.0143%. Wow!

Our most popular posts run the gamut from the very best (and sometimes weirdest) LEGO creations of the past year, along with the up-to-the-minute news you’ve come to expect from us:

  1. Rocko summons the worm
  2. LEGO Star Wars 10188 Death Star pics reveal interior and 21+ minifigs
  3. More 2008 LEGO Castle, Indiana Jones, and Star Wars set pictures
  4. Stephen Hawking by Ochre Jelly
  5. The crazy steampunk machine
  6. Toy Fair 2008 reveals late 2008 LEGO sets
  7. Pixar animator Angus MacLane builds best LEGO Wall-E yet
  8. Nice skull
  9. First images of 4999 Vestas Windmill set
  10. Papercraft Star Wars Minifigs

Finally, stuff for the historically minded:

40 comments on “The Brothers Brick turns 3 today! [Editorial]

  1. Doctor Sinister

    Happy Birthday! As future Emperor of the universe, I have ensured that you will be spared the inevitable purges when I assume power – I come here every day!

    Dr. S.

  2. RichardAM

    Happy Birthday BB! I remember when the blog was called “Dunechaser’s Blocklog” and i’m still proud to admit that i’m here everyday. The blog is an awesome portal to all things Lego, and I have seen and browsed a lot more MOCs than I would without you all.

    Congratulations, thanks, and here’s to plenty more years!

  3. strider_mt2k

    Indeed, congrats!!

    Seeing all these great projects has at least gotten me to sort all my minifigs and their stuff out of my generalized piece box.

    You don’t realize how many you have until they’re all gathered together!

    Anyhoo, have a big ol’ piece of cake and a good cup of coffee and enjoy!

  4. yokomode01

    Happy Birthday Brothers Brick!!
    You guys bring the ‘community’ spirit to our Lego world!
    Oh, by the way, the creation of the Lego® Troll group on Flickr was not directly inspired by Josh’s pacifist troll vig alone (though it certainly had a part in the overall idea), as stated upon the creation of the group -
    “inspired by my love of the Troll (not too Duplo®, just enuff Lego®),
    & the many fabulous images i have seen on Flickr lately”, -
    the fabulous creations of Ley Ward & many others had just as much to do with the inception of the pool as the awesome vig by Josh.
    Credit where credit is due i say….
    Happy Birthday once again, and may there be many more happy times to come!

  5. Bunbrick

    Congrats!

    Love visiting you guys on a regular basis. Keep up the great work that each and everyone of the Brothers does.

    See you celebrate again next year, and beyond!
    *blows a party horn*

  6. Josh

    Wow, three years. As far as blogs go, we are ancient! A lot has happened this last year. Andrew, thank for the reminders, its easy to forget just how much has gone on.

    It has been an honor to a part of the Brothers Brick and I look forward to many more LEGO-filled years. I also remember back when it was Dunechaser’s Blocklog and Andrew first asked me to join. We’ve come a long ways and its been a fun ride! But the biggest thrill was to finally get a hit from Madagascar. Made my year, that did. ;)

    And, yes, Clancy did not directly inspire the Flickr group. In fact, I was reminded last night that I haven’t added any of my Clancy creations to the group yet. I need to rectify that today.

    Build On, everybody!

  7. Morgan19

    Happy bday! TBB is truly one of maybe three sites I make sure to visit multiple times a day. You guys are doing a fantastic job. :)

  8. Fazoom

    You guys have done a great work, redefining the AFOL internet world. Through you, the non AFOL world has taken note and LEGO has become a recognized geek hobby.

  9. Will•e

    This site is awesome, I don’t think i’ve found one lego blog in the last one or two years that is as cool as this one! Happy Birthday TBB!

  10. Nannan

    A toast to Brothers Brick for its continued prosperity! Seriously, this blog is a great and worthy place to maintain and I appreciate all the support from our readers.

  11. wunztwice

    ahem… *clears throat for singing voice*

    “Happy, happy birthday, from all of us to you.
    We wish it was our birthday so we could party too!”

    …er wait, we are!!! Congrats to the “Best LEGO blog on the Blog-o-tubes!”

    A well-written article, and I am superbly pleased to hear that any additional income from advertising will be injected back to the community!

  12. Roger

    Happy Birthday GUYS!

    The staff of BrickTownTalk whishes you long years of good blogging!

    GREAT JOB IN KEEPING US IN TOUCH WITH ALL GREAT MOCS AND AFOLS OF THE WORLD!

  13. Rupi

    Happy Birthday The Brothers Brick!
    Keep up the good work, so I can continue to take my daily dose of this great Lego Blog.

  14. ry

    I am severely disappointed in the lack of negative comments in this post from David.

    Alas! Happy Birthday, TBB! :)

  15. The Toy Zone

    Wow some great traffic numbers! I’m new to your blog, but I have to say i am impressed with your content.

    Look forward to seeing more from your blog in the future.

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