MacTips – the equivalent of 5 novels in 10 years


This week marks the publication of MacTip #400 — that’s about 8 years’ worth of Tips. Before these MacTips I wrote the Eudora for Mac weekly Tips. They started in September 1999 — 10 years ago.

Between the two I’ve written around 700 Tips in the last 10 years, or about 350,000 words — that’s equal to around 5 novels!

Tips now include other Apple products too, such as iPhones and iPods.

From text to movies, and a blog

In the last 10 years much has changed. The Tips have moved around from one address to another, and as of yesterday finally have their own home on this new server, with a bit of a facelift.

The first few Eudora Tips.

In 1999 I started by writing just text that I sent to a mailing list and also added to the website. It was all manual in those days, as I had to build up an archive, add links and so on.

Then I switched to using the WordPress blogging software. I write each Tip as a Post and everything gets archived automatically. It’s easily searchable too.

Over the last decade I’ve added ever better screenshots and recently screencast movies that are delivered via YouTube.

Now, in 2009 I start with the movie and follow up with explanatory text to go on the website.

3 times the audience in 2 years

Website visitors have trebled.

MacTips is going from strength to strength, with new readers arriving at the website every day.

In July 2007 there were 9,000 visitors every month. In July 2009 there were 27,000.

About 750 people subscribe to MacTips through the RSS feed.

More than a hobby

In the early days MacTips was something I did as a sideline to my business of training and supporting Mac users. I’d dash off an email, often based on a question a client had asked me.

Now, each Tip takes around 4 hours to create — on a good day. On a bad day it can take all day, or longer.

I have to prepare and research, test, set up the movie, work with images and sound.

Then I need to upload the video, publicise the Tips, attend to the website. It’s more like a part-time job, albeit unpaid.

In many respects the Tips have been paid for by work I do for KnowIT.

The Tips themselves are free, and I intend to keep them that way.

Sponsor opportunities

If you produce software, services or goods that you think may be of specific interest to the readers of MacTips I’m able to offer some advertising slots on this website. Please contact me directly for more details.

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2 Comments

  1. Miraz Jordan said:

    Thanks Pat. I’m so glad the Tips are useful for you.

    Congratulations on your publications. I think it goes to show that regular small amounts build up into making a difference. I wish I could apply that principle to savings!

    We are indeed lucky in New Zealand.

  2. Pat Rosier said:

    Hey, congratulations, Miraz. As I have told you before I find a good proportion of the tips relevant to my computer use and very helpful, and all of them interesting. I am pleased you plan to continue!
    I have published three novels – and some non-fiction books. Don’t the words mount up! One day I might try and estimate how many words in books I read in a year, plus a couple of literary-type mags, plus online stuff. Scary and rewarding to think about that all the same time. Now there’s my ipod touch that I watch videos on things like maths and science on on the train and elsewhere. What a great and interesting life we have in the 21st century, those of us fortunate enough to live somewhere like New Zealand, where we can live comparatively safely and take advantage of what technology has to offer, even on modest incomes.

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