It’s 2012, and I’m excited about the potential of the new year. I went to Possum Drop to ring in this new year, and we burned another possum effigy, this one loaded with more fireworks than ever and dressed to represent the 1% of fat cat possums who dominate the 99%. Like the Phoenix, the Possum arises from the pile of ashes and regenerates itself for another year of adventure, excitement, and, occasionally, just rolling over and playing dead. (Well, not really. I just made that up, but it sounds good.)
2011 was a great year for Energy Vanguard, and I believe 2012 will be, too. Yes, the global economy is still falling apart, but, as I wrote in my first Letsblogoff post, the fact that the bubble of ‘irrational exuberance’ has burst actually gives me hope that we can make the changes necessary to find a more sustainable path.
It’s a tall order, of course, because we must address the issue of growth. As economist Kenneth Boulding wrote, “Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.” I don’t know if the current economic malaise represents the beginning of the end of growth, but I do know that, whether it happens in our lifetime or not, we will eventually have to give up this notion that the economy must keep growing 3% per year.
Growth in the Energy Vanguard Blog
Speaking of growth, the Energy Vanguard blog has seen a good amount of it this past year. In my first post of 2011, I showed a graph of our organic search traffic from the beginning of the blog in March 2010 through the end of the year. Here’s an update of that graph, showing March 2010 through December 2011.
We’ve gone from about 4000 unique visitors from organic search in December 2010 to 14,000 in December 2011. People are finding the Energy Vanguard blog, and they’re finding it useful, I guess. The organic search traffic is about half our total traffic.
We published 166 articles last year, mostly written by me, but we had some guest posts, too. In case you missed them, last week I wrote a few compilation articles in which I listed:
- The Energy Vanguard Blog’s 14 Most Controversial Articles of 2011
- The Energy Vanguard Blog’s Silliest Articles of 2011
- 5 Best ‘Drives Me Crazy’ Articles of 2011 in the Energy Vanguard Blog
I also published Energy Vanguard’s 25 Ridiculous, Made-up Predictions for 2012, which you might find interesting.
Where we’re headed in 2012
So, it’s 2012 now. We had a successful year last year, both in the blog and the company, and we’re looking forward to another one this year. We held 3 HERS rater classes in Atlanta in 2011, and I also went to Toronto and taught an abbreviated one there for the nascent HERS industry in Ontario. I hope to go back to Canada this year and teach more new HERS raters there, and we have our first class scheduled for Atlanta starting on 1 February.
We’ve also got a lot of great projects going right now and have just hired an HVAC design assistant to help. The ENERGY STAR Version 3 home we designed last year is nearing completion as well.
I’ve got great plans for the blog, too. My list of topics that I want to write about keeps growing, so I plan to keep writing about three times a week, as I’ve been doing, mostly on a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule. Readers will get another heavy dose of building science and home performance articles this year, as well as my usual silliness and somberness.
In case you haven’t heard, I’m also writing articles for the Green Building Advisor blog, where my articles get to run alongside the great Martin Holladay’s Musings of an Energy Nerd. If you’re not familiar with GBA, hie thee thither and enjoy!
What else am I excited about?
I’m excited to be presenting with Peter Troast of Energy Circle on internet marketing, SEO, and blogging at both the RESNET and Affordable Comfort conferences.
I’m excited to go back to Joe Lstiburek’s Building Science Summer Camp in August.
I’m excited to keep writing this blog and interacting with the many wonderful people who come here and comment.
I’m excited to teach more classes this year and be present for those special, Aha! moments when a student suddenly understands something new.
I’m excited that our website is getting a makeover by the Energy Circle design team.
I’m excited about going to a 5-day silent meditation retreat for the first time since ’08. (Yes, that means no social media for 5 days!)
I’m excited to feel like Energy Vanguard is making a difference!
Happy New Year everyone!
Allison A. Bailes III, PhD is a speaker, writer, building science consultant, and the founder of Energy Vanguard in Decatur, Georgia. He has a doctorate in physics and writes the Energy Vanguard Blog. He is also writing a book on building science. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard.
This article is part of the biweekly Let’s Blogoff (letsblogoff.com) event, which brings people from all over the blogosphere to write about a common topic. We all offer our own take on the topic and always end up with an eclectic, fascinating collection of blog posts. Below is the list of other bloggers who participated in this one. [Editor’s note: This site is now dead.]
2012 image by Creativity103 from flickr.com, used under a Creative Commons license.