I’d like to thank the Academy…


Imagine this scenario:

It’s a quiet Friday night, your tummy is full from supper, and you’re checking your online banking to check the week’s spending.  Just as you begin daydreaming about your plans for the weekend, the phone rings interrupting your thoughts.

“I’m on my way home,” a loved one informs you.  ”And I’m bringing about 3,700 friends with me.”

“WHAT?!?!” you exclaim.

“We’ll be there in an hour.”


This was essentially how I felt after receiving an email from a WordPress editor letting me know that our post was being promoted to Freshly Pressed.

I snapped myself out of my temporary paralysis and started doing the blog equivalent of housework.  I tinkered with a widget here, tightened up a post there, double checked the ‘subscribe’ and ‘share’ buttons.

And then it began: the ‘likes’, the comments, and the follows.  Thousands of new visitors traipsed through our house, hugged our babies, admired Aneesa’s throw pillows and commented on my style.  Though the overwhelming majority were wonderful guests (please come again!), some had their own agenda and a couple even tried to kick our dogs (I’m watching you).

Nearly 4000 views, 100 new followers, and forty eight hours after our very first Freshly Pressed ‘like’ we fell off the WordPress home page.

And then…


*I peek my head out* Coast is clear.  Whew.

Looks like the party’s over and everyone went home.  Now that it’s just us again, can we chat?

“These (Freshly Pressed) posts represent how WordPress can be used to entertain, enlighten or inspire,” WordPress Weblog writer Joy Victory wrote in an April 28, 2010, post, “Five Ways to Get Featured in Freshly Pressed.”

So what does making Freshly Pressed mean for us as bloggers? It equals a substantial increase in traffic to the site, recognition among my blogging peers, more subscribers and a confidence boost.

I don’t know the odds of making Freshly Pressed. I’ll leave that to the math whizzes out there to determine. I may be good with words, but I’m certainly not good with numbers.

Of one thing I’m certain, though. It feels good, absolutely remarkable in fact, to realize that our writing and photography are resonating with readers and that our posts (at least one of them) have been chosen as among the best in the world.

When a writer writes for the pure joy of writing and takes photos for the pure joy of taking photos, it shows.

Other than the extreme luck and privilege of being Freshly Pressed, some exciting things have been going on here at Live.Explore.Learn.Remember:

We were also featured on nmnphx.wordpress.com for Nicole’s August Spotlight Award. She featured our blog on her website and provided us with some great exposure. For more details check out her site here. Thank you for the honour Nicole!

Aneesa and I are also celebrating South Africa’s great performance at the 2012 Olympic Games thus far. On Friday night South Africa won its 4th medal of the London 2012 Olympics. Chad Le Clos brought SA its first silver medal of the games and third in the pool. Well done to our athletes making us proud!

Olympic medalists Cameron van der Burgh (left) and Chad de Clos (right).

The South African rowing team grabbed gold at the London Olympic games.

The South African rowing team grabbed gold at the London Olympic games. (SABC)

And lastly, Aneesa wanted to share her new purchase with the rest of the world:

She bought the limited edition pair at the Converse store in Myeong Dong (Seoul) and then had them customized with her choice of cute print at the store.

Have a great week readers and if you are new here, welcome!


27 thoughts on “I’d like to thank the Academy…

    • We have only been blogging for 5 months and are completely overwhelmed by the response. It originally started as a small way to keep our family and friends informed of our expat lives and now its just gone viral! For you to say that is so flattering! Keep up your good work too 🙂

  1. I traipsed through your house, and liked it so much, I’m renting a room! Love your writing style, and coming from the very same community back in drubs, have major respect for what Aneesa has pulled off. Thanks to both of you for sharing your experiences, with so much humour and wisdom. Ramadan Mubaruk.

  2. LOL -after I sent you the Spotlight Award and then you were Freshly Pressed, I thought for sure my humble little blog award would be the equivalent of pocket change for someone that has won the lottery.

    It’s weird, a few days before you were on FP, I went to check out and comment on a blog who recently started following me, Bottled Worder. Wouldn’t you know that the same post I had just commented regarding his blog audience was featured on FP a few days later! I must say I feel honored as a blogger to see that bloggers in my blogging community are getting featured.

    Keep up the great work you two. I will be in the market for a real camera in the near future and will be studying your camera family and may be bugging you guys for advice.

    • Well Nicole, I was pretty excited to be featured on your spotlight and freshly pressed simply seemed like the icing on the cake you gave us. I think that you are a good luck blog charm i.e. when you visit a blog then it sends luck their way! Feel free to ask about any camera related queries. I can give a simplistic girly perspective and Faraaz be a guy and handle the mechanics!

  3. Congrarz!!!Joined wordpress cos I googled you…glad to hear about your success.miss you here and the good ole days. Take care my birotherr and ramadaan mubaruk…cubez

  4. I am so proud of you. Congratulations to our SA athletes for their medals and you for Freshly Pressed. As you can see, I’m playing catch up, which has been interesting as I started at your latest post, so, going back, I now know you hit that. A South African blog hit freshly pressed!!! I’m as proud of you as I am of the athletes.

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