QLE Turns One

Three hundred and sixty-five days ago, I published my first post on andrewmarvin.net, a website no one knew existed. Just one tiny little link. A block quote with barely a sentence of commentary.

But it was a start.

Since that day, I've posted three hundred and fifty-five times, including two hundred original articles.

When I started the site — my first real attempt at a professional online presence — I wasn't sure I could do it. I thought I'd post enthusiastically for a few days, maybe even a couple of weeks, and then abandon it like I had so many other blogging platforms. I thought no one would read. Who could possibly care about what I had to say? I was scared. Maybe it would be better to just keep the daydream alive...

But I started anyway.

I didn't want to publicly announce the site with nothing substantial to read, so I opted to write privately for a month, without telling anybody. I took comfort in the solitude, and even though I knew no one was reading, I experienced the thrill of hitting Publish on things I was proud of.

I emailed Patrick Rhone and Shawn Blanc back in those early days, and I received thoughtful, compassionate responses from both of them. Their encouragement was instrumental in QLE's formative moments, and I'm not sure the site would still be around had they replied differently or not at all. I thank them for that.

One month turned into two or three, but I eventually pulled back the curtain, letting in a few sets of eyes, and then a few more, and a few more. And then suddenly, it was a real thing. I had a website, and even a reader or two.

Here I am, a year later.

Writing QLE for the past year has been one of the most rewarding projects I've ever undertaken, and I'm proud to say that knowing it has been a complete labor of love, unmotivated by page views or click throughs.

My primary focus has been on building relationships. To establish myself as someone worth reading, someone worth knowing. To be one of the good guys. Though the Internet remains as vast and expansive as ever, I've been privileged to get to know some of its most brilliant individuals. Some I look up to as role models, some I confide in and collaborate with as peers, and all of whom I respect and admire.

Here are some of my proudest moments from my first year as a person of the Internet:

All of these accomplishments would not have happened if I hadn't decided to hit Publish three hundred and sixty-five days ago. And so while my little corner of the Internet is just that — a little corner of the Internet — I'm proud to call it my own, and I'm thankful that it has allowed me to meet such amazing human beings.

Thank you all for reading, and special thanks to all of you whom I've gotten to know in the past year. I look forward to making QLE even better in its second year, and I hope you'll join me.

Tomorrow, I'll be posting a list of some of my personal favorite QLE articles. If you have any suggestions, please do let me know.

All the best,