The Mad Hatters NYC Blog: Year One in Review



When we launched our blog a little over a year ago, we came into it with a few modest ambitions and a good many preconceived notions.  Some goals we achieved, others were missed by a wide margin.  Some assumptions were reasonable, others neared absurdity.  There were stumbles, great and small.  There were moments when luck was on our side, others when we couldn’t seem to catch a break.  If we had to sum it up, we would say it was a tumultuous year in which the only constant was that of learning. Much of it about blogging. But a fair amount about ourselves. And plenty about an audience.



Wins and losses

2016 Year In Review - Mad Hatters NYC Blog

2016 Year In Review - Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Some of our early challenges were technical and involved our decision — four months after our launch — to switch to a self-hosted site.  There were myriad issues with the transfer: social media posts disappeared, emails went missing and we had trouble redirecting everything to the new site.  But we wanted to do everything on our own, so hiccups were inevitable.  And although we had an idea of what working on the blog would entail, it also made more severe demands on our time than we expected.  Working on it while we each maintained full-time jobs meant some of our personal interests suffered.

But the successes have been exciting.  We really pushed ourselves to make the most of our time and as a result, we visited amazing places, had thought-provoking experiences and ate phenomenal meals. We were lucky to be featured on Google+, which gained us an international audience.  We’ve since used Google Translate to converse with readers in Arabic, Hebrew, Italian, Urdu and Finnish.  We’ve met phenomenal people directly through the blog (readers, other bloggers and social media friends) but also indirectly through our adventures in New York City and beyond.  And David Sedaris shared our post!



Goals

2016 Year In Review - Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Our initial goal was to try and get the most out of the free time we have.  We’ve always enjoyed New York City and everything it has to offer, but we wanted to challenge ourselves to do more.  See more.  And most importantly, share more.  With each other, with our friends and family, and with anyone out there who might benefit from our follies.  We don’t think you need a whole day to explore the city.  We believe you can sneak in something fun between breakfast and lunch, or between your hair appointment and dinner with friends.  So we endeavored to create mini-outings that anyone could replicate.  Or better yet, that could spark an idea for something even more exciting.  

In the short course of a year, we’ve seen the way we write our posts change.  We realize that we’re rarely the first ones on the scene.  On the contrary, we generally like to wait until the hype has died down, and sometimes that means we end up passing on something trendy altogether.  We’ve tried to make our posts more robust, so even if you can’t attend the same event or show, you might still be able to gain something from our experience.  Sometimes we like what we put out there, but there are plenty of pieces that we wish we could toss into the virtual wastebasket.  We still have work to do, and your feedback always helps us along.

To that end, we thought we’d share some of our favorite posts from the year, including a couple of old ones.

From Justin:

It’s 3.142 O’clock Somewhere: An Ode to the Best Pie in New York City – Published 11/15/16

Governors Island – Published 7/22/16

Building Tour at New York Public Library – Published 1/26/16

From Lynn:

Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade – Published 10/24/16

Manus X Machina at the Metropolitan Museum of Art – Published 6/29/16

The Moth StorySLAM – Published 12/3/15

Did you have a favorite?  We’d love to know!



Moving forward

As we embark on another year of blogging, we have some of the same goals and some new ones as well.  We’d really love to forge more friendships because we’ve always delighted in meeting new people.  So if you’re in the New York City area, definitely reach out for a meet-up!  The blog still reflects who we are, so you’ll continue to see things we love, like art, theater, seasonal activities and lots and lots of food.  But we’d like to push those boundaries further and explore beyond the borough limits.  So let us know if you have ideas — is there something you’d like to see?

As always, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for following along on our humble adventures.  We would consider it a compliment of the highest order if you shared our blog with someone you know — perhaps a family member planning a trip to New York City, or a friend who recently moved away and still wants to remain connected. If you have questions about starting a blog, or if you’re a veteran blogger and would like to trade war stories, send us a message!  If you’re a reader who wants to chat about your personal goals in the new year, we’d love to hear from you too.  Besides leaving a comment below, here’s how you can reach us:
letschat@madhattersnyc.com
Google+ 
Instagram
Facebook

2016 Year In Review - Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Here’s to living bigger, laughing louder and loving harder in 2017!

– L. and J.

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9 Comments on "The Mad Hatters NYC Blog: Year One in Review"

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Chris K.
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Since I live far away from NYC, it’s fun to read your blog and explore NYC through your posts. Keep up the good work — I look forward to seeing where you take us in 2017!

Lia
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Hi L & J,
Having moved to NYC recently, I’m always on the lookout for places to go and things to see. Thank you for sharing your stories – your blog is one of my points of reference for all things NYC!

Trudy
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Hey you two! I don’t get to visit you on the blog much since I’m usually checking you out on Instagram. This is a lovely wrap up of the year. And yes blogging about events and places can be incredibly overwhelming when you are working. I can totally relate. Hopefully this year, we can meet up and do an event together. All the best! Happy New Year!!!!!

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[…] didn’t know could fill an ocean.  It’s been a journey, one we explored more thoroughly in our year-end review after our first full year of blogging.  But we’ve received a lot of help and inspiration along […]

Suz
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Wonderful bloggers to follow and get to know 🙂 I have certainly learnt more about New York and what it has to offer. Thanks, Lynn and Justin.

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