By Matt Birchler
I've been writing here since 2010! Back when personal blogs were all the rage. Kids, ask your parents.



2019 was the first year ever that BirchTree saw fewer visitors than the year before.

Needless to say, after 8 years of uninterrupted (sometimes exponential) growth, this was a bit of a change. I could blame the decline in general blog readership everywhere. I could blame the big link bloggers out there getting more insular and linking the same dozen people everyday. I could blame things like YouTube and TikTok sucking up all of people’s free time.

I could blame all of those, but the real reason is obvious: me.

In 2019 I went through a bunch of changes, most publicly getting a dog for the first time in my life, but also some more personal things I don’t share online. Because of that, I posted less to this site than I have in years, and the stuff I was posting didn’t get as much love before I published it. Things like my phone reviews and watchOS stuff was well received and I put a ton of work into those, but the stuff in between suffered. Maybe you personally noticed, and maybe you didn’t, but I definitely noticed.

This didn’t just hit me, it hit me back in October when I started investigating WordPress alternatives, and it culminated December 13 when I moved the whole site over to Ghost. This will be my 26th post in the 18 days since making the switch. And while quantity does not equal quality, I also think the things I’ve written some of the better articles of the year in that stretch.

  • I wrote about how I use Things to manage my wish lists and Christmas shopping.
  • I wrote a review of AirPods Pro from the perspective of someone who lives in the Midwest and has to deal with cold.
  • I wrote a very short piece about reminding you (and myself, honestly) that you don’t need to fill every available second of silence in your life with someone talking in your ear.
  • Instead of a tweet storm, I wrote up my overall thoughts on the new Star Wars trilogy, which received lots of love, even from those who disagreed with me.
  • And I wrote about the books and video games I loved in the past year, hopefully giving people ideas for how to enjoy their free time.

I’m doing quite a bit this coming year to improve several aspects of my life, and I’m hoping to make 2020 a banner year for BirchTree. The site is turning 10 this October, so it only makes sense to try and blow the doors off.


This is also the place where I remind you that the absolute best way to support the creators you like is to share their work. If you blog, write a link post to the people you read. If you make YouTube videos, put a link in the description. If you use social media, retweet the things you enjoy. It’s a small action, but it means so much to people like me who want to get their work in front of as many people as possible.

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