Today is one year of being a blogger: StarbucksMelody.com’s First Anniversary
On September 9, 2009, StarbucksMelody.com was born. I started this site with a purpose: To create enthusiasm around Starbucks, to promote a community of others interested in that enthusiasm, and to be informative about the products and brand, and not just write blog content that is based on whatever is hot in the news. I wanted to create my own stage. Even if there were no audience, I wanted an outlet for my thoughts and ideas about Starbucks as a brand. Hindsight is 20/20. Since I had no idea what I was doing when I started the blog, I just named it after me, but in retrospect, not sure I would have done that. Too late now: We’re stuck with “StarbucksMelody” as the url.
First and foremost, I need to go through a round of thank yous:
The blog would have never have happened if it hadn’t been for Kelly of Wildsagemarketing. Shortly after Labor Day weekend 2009, I was summoned to Jury Duty in King County Superior Court. I had just recently been on a Labor Day road trip to Northern California, and tried a test product called the Honey Vanilla Vivanno. I wanted to write about it. I wanted to blog. I had no clue how to make a blog, and didn’t want to put together something sloppy. I wanted to appear professional, even when I’m clearly not! During voir dire on a civil case, I made friends with Kelly, who was a prospective juror nearly adjacent to me (one person in between us). I don’t know how it happened but I mentioned that I used twitter, and Kelly said she was using it too. I asked Kelly what she did for a living and she said that does marketing and creates blogs and websites independently. I said, “oh, I need a blog. Do you like Starbucks?” The answer was “yes,” she likes Starbucks, and very quickly out of that, a blog was born. All I do is create content, and Kelly does everything that relates to layout, widgets, etc … There would be no blog without Kelly! Thank you Kelly!
In addition, I have to thank Seattle Custom Framing located in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood. They’ve helped me enormously in numerous ways. Molly has framed things for me, taken numerous pictures for the blog, and we’ve had lots of caffeinated conversations. On top of it all, she’s a bold coffee drinker. Thank you Molly.
When I started this, I had no idea what I was getting in to. I had no clue how much work this was going to be. This is like having a part-time job on top of a full-time job. At numerous points, I’ve nearly given up. It earns me no money. It does zero to improve my professional life. However, I have a genuine joy for coffee and I really do cherish the experiences that can be had in a Starbucks. The people here who comment are great motivators to me. In the course of one year, I’ve managed to reach out to well over 55,000 unique readers from 144 countries. I’m thanking all 55,000 of you right now. The experience of being able to amplify the fun that Starbucks has to offer is quite addictive, and to see it spread like a contagious coffee zeal, is unbelievable. I need to especially thank every single person who has left a comment, or sent me an email, or otherwise reached out to me.
I can’t continue to write and maintain this blog at this pace. When I make requests of Starbucks, I’ve also been told “no” to a number of my specific requests. I am totally amazed that I’ve come up with a year’s worth of content. If I continue to blog at the pace of 3 to 4 times per week, two things will happen: I will wear out and I will run out of content. I think in the future, after today, this blog is going to update less frequently. My goal will be to update the blog twice a week, on Sundays, and Wednesdays. At one point I tweeted (I think) that I was going to just completely quit blogging on September 9th, but I’ve changed my mind, and now resolve to blog according to a twice a week schedule. I hope that everyone reading this will click on the button about ‘subscribing’ to the blog so that you’ll be notified of my blog updates!
There are a few other blogs that I read, so I invite my readers to visit them too. Just be sure to come back here when I update my site! 😉 Please click on the subscribe button on the upper right of your screen!
- Mike Crimmins in Florida writes the Daily Shot of Coffee blog – Fun because of the wide variety of coffees he finds to review, and he sometimes does great round up posts featuring the best of the best of a variety of coffee blogs (and there really are an amazingly large number of coffee blogs).
- Melissa Allison of the Seattle Times produces the Coffee City blog – I met her in person luckily right after this blog started. I owe her a big thank you for the encouragement, retweets, and mentions in her blog. She has a great Seattle-focused coffee blog.
- Andrew in Canada writes the Starbucks Passion blog – He is essentially doing the exact same thing as me: A customer with a Starbucks enthusiastic blog.
- April in Florida produces the Coffee Vanilla blog – A coffee oriented blog, with a lot coffee beverage passion, and sometimes great recipes too.
- Valeria in Italy/ Pennsylvania produces Conversation Agent – It’s a blog about marketing, PR, and blogging. I like it because she has a style of writing that when you’re done reading her content it leaves you still thinking and pondering. Of course, she does NOT need a plug from me. Her blog is well-established, and very active.
The best of the first year of StarbucksMelody:
At this one year review point, I hope that readers will take a look back at the best of the best of the blog entries. I’m sure that some of these blog entries irritated Starbucks, and some gave our Siren a little joy. Here are a few gems from the archives (by the way, including this blog entry today, there are 177 blog articles on this site. That makes it tough to pick out a few below!):
The best of store reviews:
- The First Starbucks – 1912 Pike Place – This blog entry takes you on a virtual trip into the Pike Place Starbucks, and it’s an uplifting store visit.
- Legendary lives in Eureka, California
- New Clover in Gold River, California – I have special fondness for this one because I got to put on a green apron!
The best of Starbucks history posts:
- The 1992 Starbucks Shareholder Report – This is the complete online shareholder report of the very FIRST report published in 1993 for the 1992 year. It truly represents the ideals of a tiny corporation in 1992.
- A Starbucks history lesson: Bottled Mazagran – This is a fun history lesson about the first beverage produced by the partnership between Pepsi and Starbucks. And it didn’t sell so well.
- Passion for Coffee: A 1994 Starbucks book – This also demonstrates the incredible passion Starbucks has for coffee.
The best of the best – Blog posts that everyone loves:
- Starbucks Chalk Art – Entries and Winners – This is an amazing blog post featuring lots of reader-submitted pics of amazing barista chalkboard art. So much talent wearing green aprons!
- Streetlevel 101 – There are two mercantile Starbucks – This remains as a solid blog post to somewhat explain that there are TWO non-branded Starbucks stores. Though given that so much time has gone by, it needs minor updating in terms of food offerings, but it is still a solid blog post.
- The faces of Starbucks – Candid pictures from the land of green and black aprons – This is a fairly recent blog post, and it’s a joy to see all these great photos. Thank you to every single person who sent in a picture to make this great.
- An introduction to Shared Planet – This is actually not the most popular blog post ever but the information in it is still solid, and it’s a great basic introduction to ethical coffee sourcing.
The best of coffee education blog posts:
- Starbucks Caffe Verona Coffee – This blog post gives a fun little history about Verona.
- The magic of Sumatra and Aged Sumatra – Who doesn’t love these coffees? Such beautiful complex flavors! This blog post gives some sourcing information.
- For the love of Mexico Chiapas – This was a seasonal coffee offering in January of this year. I hope it comes back. Really a delightful coffee, and this blog post is an example of a superb coffee tasting event to showcase this coffee.
- Galapagos Island San Cristobal Coffee Roasting Event at the Starbucks Headquarters – This is a fun blog post. You can see the white bags that the green beans are shipped in to Starbucks. There are a few photos showing the roasting of this coffee during a few different stages.
The blog posts that caused controversy and/or likely made Starbucks wince and wish I would go away:
- Shareholder Meeting Round Up – The extremely gossipy I will regret posting this version – The blog title says it all, and is still the truth. I probably should have de-published this a long time ago.
- For a few minutes, Howard Schultz, Melody, and Winter all in the same room – This blog is mostly an interview with Winter, who is famous for being on a quest to visit every company-operated Starbucks in the world. The post was written with a tone of regret, that Howard Schultz walked right past us, and didn’t say hello. It was a moment of sadness because Howard has said hello to me several times before, and on this moment, I wished that Winter would get to meet Howard. But I can’t make that happen.
- Should Starbucks’ Michelle Gass go on UnderCover Boss? – Who likes this idea? This is a blog post inspired by UnderCover Boss! (And blog posted with great apologies to Michelle Gass!)
The most personal blog post:
- This little Starbucks Air Force Bearista Bear – This blog post has nothing to do with Starbucks, and it is truly stories, all very real to me, of life and death.
The best of the posts that relate to the Starbucks card:
- The First and Battery Card – This card is also called the “Twilight” card. It features the front of a big store with heavy curtains, in a classic old building. I like this card because it is a real Starbucks here in Seattle. This blog entry teaches you a little more.
- Understanding MyStarbucksRewards – The four common pitfalls – I think the rewards program can be confusing in many ways, but these areas pop up frequently as problem areas.
- Top ten reasons to be a part of MyStarbucksRewards – I wrote this to be funny, but even now, I still kind of like this blog post.
- Collecting Starbucks Cards and Howard Schultz’s autograph – This is another just for fun blog post about the Starbucks card.
There are more posts that I particularly enjoy but I don’t want to overwhelm this blog entry. And now, I end this one year round up by saying that I hope that you will stay with me for another year’s journey with Starbucks. Tell your friends about my site! Come back every Wednesday and Sunday!
And now it’s your turn to say whatever you want in the comments, tell me what to blog about in the future, tell me your favorite blog post, or give me your two cents about this site, or should I just call it quits? …Anything related to Starbucks or this blog is fair game in the comments.