Eight Years Of Sixteen:Nine

February 5, 2014 by Dave Haynes


It was several years ago, a few into writing this blog, when my then-teenaged daughter tabled her concern that her Dad was putting something out on the Internet called 69.

“No-no,” I reassured her. “16:9. It’s a number related to flat-screen aspect ratios, I said, and how a screen is …” And then she was gone. Relieved, and now thoroughly uninterested.

As of today, Feb. 5th, I have been banging this thing out for eight years. I’m closing in on 3,500 posts, almost all written by me.

Sixteen:Nine was quite honestly started as a foil to the buzzword bingo crap that was being presented as thought leadership way back then. Somebody, I figured, had to comment on this emerging space in ways that didn’t involve paradigm shifts or chasm crossings. The space also needed someone who didn’t relentlessly shake the industry’s pom-poms and say how awesome and important digital signage was. I like it. It’s my thing. But we’re not figuring out cold fusion here, or eradicating neuro-muscular diseases.

The weird thing is that eight years, the need is still there for that foil to the BS.

The blog has evolved. I now take advertising, which helps justify the time and increasing cost I put into the thing. I started with a free WordPress theme and $4/month hosting by some Russian guy in a Brooklyn apartment (it seemed). It’s evolved to significantly more serious hosting, outsourced support, and so on. I’ve changed the look five or six times now, sometimes after malware took the site down (hence the nightly backups and scans I now get done).

It’s also evolved in that I now actively encourage guest posts by industry people who need a soapbox. Running a blog is a big commitment, and there are lots of sharp people with things to say but no time or interest in having their own permanent web presence. You’ve probably noticed several lately. More writers are welcomed.

I’m getting some database work done right now that will result, sometime soon, in some cool new things I want to start presenting online and elsewhere. I’ve even thought about hiring some tech-savvy kid out of J-school as an editor, to dig deeper into some things I frankly don’t have time to do myself.

The notes I get from readers are deeply appreciated. I try to do this in a way that feels right to me, and keeps me on a high road. So when people say Thanks or just concede I have a valid point, that’s good stuff.

Traffic is higher than it’s ever been, which is another sign the industry is growing and people are taking the time to get educated. Hopefully, that growth will continue through 2014 and beyond.

If you are going to DSE, safe travels and see you there. If you are at the south end of the strip on the afternoon of the 10th, wear a helmet. I will be playing golf (or something roughly like it) nearby, and it has been a few months.

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