Monday, March 09, 2009


It's been 3 years already

Today (March 9th) my blog celebrates its 3rd Anniversary. ^^

This blog has been ongoing for 3 years already ^^

The pilot posting was on this day, 3 years ago. No grand opening, just a simple entry about G.F.F. God & Nobel Gundam, which impressed me very much back then.

I really don't supposed anyone still remembers that XD

When I revamped the layout to Blogger 2.0 early this year, checking out my entries in the archives becomes much easier than the previous design. That was when I realized how long I've been blogging so far ^^

For something which started off as a personal interest 3 years ago, trust me, I have no idea back then, that it would turn into what it is today. I never had the intention for such development in the first place. ^^

A screen shot of my blog at the very beginning stage. When and why I took the screen shot, I can't remember already, but I'm really happy to have it as a memento.

At the beginning, I took this blog very casually. It was more for posting my own Gunpla reviews, trying out new things and writing up postings of wider varieties. That was what I wanted for this blog actually, a place for all sorts of stuffs I'm interested in. Gundam news was still the emphasis, but they were more about my opinions on those products rather than to inform everyone about them.

I think if you read through the blog's archives now, you'll find it hard to associate those postings with what this blog is like today ^^;

I took blogging about Gundam news more seriously starting December 2007. Not for any specific mission or objective, but because I can. I knew more sources and was able to got hold of more news. I started digging for sources more frequently, and did one or two postings daily. Since then, I remember I only missed a few days without any postings, maybe once in a few months, until now.

As a matter of fact, if you look at the number of postings I have in recent months, you'll see that the total posting for last year is more than twice of that in 2007. And for this year alone, the total for the first two months and early March has exceeded the total back in 2007, with the total of February exceeding the entire year of 2006 at the same time.

Such 'intensity', because I can.

When a new photo pops up on a certain site, I would give it a new posting. In the past, my reaction was to put in a draft and waited for more news, grouped them and release all in a bundled posting. Slower, but more information in a single posting in the past, as opposed to immediate (my speed), but less information for each one of them now. For example, a posting like this one is almost non existing a year ago. Back then, I would have probably put in on draft, bundled it with a few other non-Gundam news I could find afterward and released them as a single posting.

When I started blogging about Gundam news more often than before, the immediate effect is the lost of space for my own reviews. There's no obligation in what I wanted to blog about. And in contrary to many inquiries sent to me via email, I get no payment from Bandai to blog so much about their merchandises. :D I don't want to put off any updates so that my own reviews will stay as on top for a longer time, but when I write up my own Gunpla reviews, I most certainly do not hope for all the time spent in writing up the postings and editing the photos to be flushed to the bottom of the screen a few hours later because of the release of those super-hot Gundam news either. ^^;

After quite a long time of consideration, I started Ngeekhiong EX, which solved most of my problems as mentioned.

"How do you get to blog so much really?"

That's the main questions many readers asked me all this while. Many thought that I'm a full-time blogger. I'm not, I'm currently lecturing part-time in my university while doing my own studies. To obtain fast news, I look through web sources, which include mainly forums, online toy store sites and other blog. Not much time needed actually, because almost all of them would have the latest news displayed as either the headlines or the item on the top page.

Not much time is needed for me to do a posting either. Less than 10 minutes for this one; 15 minutes for a posting like this one; and longer time, maybe half an hour for this one. Most of the time used is for downloading, editing and uploading the images actually.


For each posting, I only use the HTML editor, not the Compose mode. Folks who are also using Blogger as their blog hosting site will know this clearer. This mode allows me to insert my own HTML tags and use them almost immediately, for example:

- ‹img="" /› for images
- ‹center› ... ‹/center› for making certain elements to be in the center of the main body
- ‹b› ... ‹/b› for bold-ing a specific word or line
- ‹i› ... ‹/i› for italicizing a specific word or line

There are buttons that can do the last two editing methods easily, but they return CSS type formatting codes so using them here and there makes the posting in HTML editor extremely painful to edit. ^^; If I want to use these CSS tags, I only apply the formatting after finishing a posting, not immediately when I'm writing it up.

Most fortunately, W3C declared those old HTML tags I love to use to be obsolete not out-of-order. ^^; Not something I would advise my students to do, but old habits die hard for me ^^;

Speaking of which, I believe that also solve your question of why I'm posting so many everyday now - because appending to existing postings is so much more troublesome XD

Also, since I'm typing up almost the same stuff for each posting, my fingers automatically recognize the keys needed for them. So it becomes more faster to me to write up a posting after all this while. ^^

For images, I use Flickr right now. That's the most stable image hosting site I've used so far. Since it merged with Yahoo! some time ago, I do expect Yahoo!'s servers to be able to handle bandwidth for so many photos I have on the blog. XD

It was so complicated when I first started using it. Can be very confusing now and then, but I'm more used to it now.

If you want to know, most of the images posted on my blog are thumbnails generated by Flickr when they are uploaded. Smaller in (file) size and easier to load, but I have no control over the size I want it to appear on the blog.

"How are the images treated?"

Usually, for the postings that involve images, While waiting for the images to be uploaded, I would prepare a template in that particular posting to accept the images, like this:
‹img="" /› ‹img="" /›
‹img="" /› ‹img="" /›
‹img="" /› ‹img="" /›

And for those that I want to display the larger images through click through them (usually hobby magazine scans towards the end of the month):
‹a href="" target="_blank"›‹img="" /› ‹/a› ‹a href="" target="_blank"›‹img="" /› ‹/a›
‹a href="" target="_blank"›‹img="" /› ‹/a› ‹a href="" target="_blank"›‹img="" /› ‹/a›
‹a href="" target="_blank"›‹img="" /› ‹/a› ‹a href="" target="_blank"›‹img="" /› ‹/a›

* ‹i› ... ‹/i› - for caption beneath the images
* target="_blank" - open a new tab for Firefox (or a new windows for Internet Explorer) when you click on the links.

When all the images are uploaded,

- Copy the image's location and put it into the tag, one by one.
- for the image in its original size (bigger picture), click into each image, select "All Size" to get the biggest size. Copy the image location and paste it into the hyperlink tag instead.

So, for a single image that has the "Click for larger view" tag, the coding would look like this:
‹a href="" target="_blank"›‹img="" /›‹/a›

Do you know what image it's supposed to be? It's HCM-Pro O Raiser mentioned this afternoon. But who would know from just the codes? I most certainly can't tell either. So how the images are to be arranged to make full use of the space is most of the time in my head.

Like I said, the code generated by Flickr is quite complicated, especially when you can't see the image name when you're posting it into your postings. ^^; For an image extensive posting, like when The Gundam Base Side One has a few galleries of new Gundam merchandises up, using the HTML editor for that particular posting would make scripting using Notepad feel so enjoying. ^^;

Speaking of which, using Firefox for blogging is so much easier than Internet Explorer because of all the right-click function.

An important principal I uphold for my blog is to indicate the sources of all the news I posted. For obvious reason.

Those are the more technical parts of my blogging experience, which I always wanted to talked about in the past. Putting all of them into this posting seems more meaningful to me now, because those codes are all that I see for every posting on my blog when they are prepared. And I have been doing that for 3 years now. The only time when I get to see if 1/100 Seravee has no waist joint was when I checked on the main page after I published that posting. The only time when I got to see all the images of PG Astray was when I published that posting and clicked through each image to check that the links actually work.

I think when you get to be more serious into this "business", sharing the news come first, and then you as the writer go back and read what you write, and become a reader yourself. Then you get the more accurate impression of whether the stuff you posted is really useful.

Or not ^^;

It has been a wonderful three-year for me and this blog. For 3 years of work, I never had any pressure of blogging to be most up-to-date. I never took it as a "duty". I'm still enjoying as much as I did 3 years ago, just like how I feel about Gunpla-ing all this while.

So many people join the ride for these 3 years, and I thank you very much for that. Amidst all the image hosting problems in the past, which often resulted in super-long loading time, lousy layout design, hopelessly inaccurate Japanese translations, slow respond to comments and questions, my blog still enjoy a steady growth and the increase in number of readers and followers. For that, I humbly thank all of you for your support.

To all my readers, thank you very much; to new comers, thank you and I hope you'll find the information useful, to websites and forums that link to this blog, thank you for the free promotion (Ha! XD). To those who sent me emails of compliments and suggestions, thank you very much, for those which I didn't reply, my most sincere apologies for that. For posting up my email address in the old layout, I've invited spams, and some of your emails might have been sent to the Bulk mails instead. ^^; I'm deeply sorry for that.

And for those who sent me hate mails now and then, thanks very much as well for teaching me so many interesting English vocabs.

I never dream of no plan for grandiose for my blog ever before. What you see right now is probably what you'll see half a year from now. Maybe I would come up with something new, but for now, I'm happy with where it's heading. ^^