2019 marked the first year of Ammolytics! Working on the articles, experiments, and projects that I’ve created has been incredibly rewarding for me. I’ve learned so much and I’m always thrilled to hear from readers who’ve enjoyed reading. I’m proud of the work I’ve done so far and am excited about what I have planned for 2020.

It’s beneficial to take a moment to look back on what I’ve accomplished and how it was received. It’s also an opportunity to think about what worked well, and how I can improve going forward.

2019 Summary

When I started Ammolytics, my goal was to publish one article per month. As the saying goes: “No plan survives first contact with the enemy”. That may have been too ambitious given how much work goes into a single experiment and article. I didn’t meet that goal, but here are the highlights of what I did accomplish last year.

  • ✍️ 8 Articles with 27.8K+ Words
  • 🔬 3 Experiments
  • 📋 4 Surveys
  • 🧰 4 Open Source projects
  • 🎬 3 YouTube videos
  • 🎯 325 Rounds fired for science

And this is how the community grew from zero.

  • 🌎 29.3K+ Views and 18.2K+ visitors from 124 countries
  • 🗳️ 193 Survey responses across all 4 surveys
  • 📸 198 Instagram followers
  • 🍿 140 YouTube subscribers
  • 🤓 65 Reddit readers
  • ⭐ 34 GitHub stars
  • 🙏 9 Patreon supporters
  • 🤔 7 Twitter followers

I’m floored by this! Thank you all so much!

Reader Survey

I shared an end-of-year reader survey so that I could hear from you. Let’s take a look at the responses.

Survey results: What did you like the most? Survey results: What did you like the most?

Survey results: What could be improved? Survey results: What could be improved?

While the sample size was small, there are two main suggestions I took away from these results:

  1. Publish more content, more often
  2. Be more concise with short, focused content

What’s Next?

Of all the things I learned from working on Ammolytics for a year, the most important lesson is that a ton of people are curious about these open questions and there are very few people, if any, doing the hard work to find answers. The second thing I learned is that these experiments are both expensive and time-consuming. It’s no wonder that so few people are doing this type of work!

Here are some changes I’ll make this year to improve:

  • Multi-part Articles
    Rather than writing massive articles that take weeks to complete, I’ll break the work down into smaller pieces that are easier to write, but more importantly, easier to read!
  • Regular Schedule
    Keeping to a regular schedule can help to reduce the stress that comes from feeling like I need to be writing and publishing constantly. If I know my schedule, I can plan ahead, stay focused, and improve my work/life balance.
  • More Video
    I know that some folks prefer to watch or listen to video rather than read technical articles. Humans are visual creatures so, video is a natural fit. Video creation and editing is not something I’m very good at, which creates some hesitation. But, it’s also a skill that I’d like to improve.
  • Sponsorships?
    I hate ads and sites that use ads feel scammy and low-quality. That’s why you’ll never find them on my site. The same is true for paid-promotions – you can find plenty of crappy “gear reviews” online but you won’t find them here. That being said, this is an expensive endeavor and I’ll need to keep it funded. My preference is to keep it community-supported through Patreon, but I may being to explore sponsorships as long as they won’t conflict with my independence or bias my experiments. Let me know what you think!

That’s enough navel-gazing for now. Time for me to get back to work!

Special thanks

  • To all of you – thank you for reading my work and letting me know how much you’ve enjoyed it.
  • To all of my Patrons, who help me to afford the time and resources to maintain my work on Ammolytics without resorting to ads.
  • To my friend, Andy, who has reviewed several articles and given plenty of helpful feedback.
  • To my wife, whose advice and support have been crucial.

Before you go…

Thanks for taking the time to read this article! I enjoyed writing it and learned a lot in this process and I hope that you did too. If you have any feedback, you can email me directly if you don’t prefer to use Reddit or other social media.