I wish everyone the very best for this new year 2012! The other day, I had a look at my WHOIS data and I was surprised to see that I bought the domain name GuillaumeErard.com in February 2007. The beginning of the year 2012 thus marks the fifth year of the site. It seems like a good time to stop for a bit and tell you a little about the future developments of the site.
Obviously, the approach of Stanley Pranin and his Aikido Journal inspired me greatly when I started and I thought in all modesty that I could add my stone to the edifice that is the dissemination of information on Aikido Online. Even though my website is, and will never be anywhere near the level of popularity of Stanley's website, I am glad to report that the year 2011 has seen an increase in traffic of over 30 %. From about 66 daily visits in 2010, we are now reaching 96 with on the days of major publications, regular peaks of over 500 visitors per day.
In 2012, I will continue my efforts to bring you the most interesting information about Japan and Aikido and I plan in particular to provide a lot more videos such as the documentary on Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu published late last year. the response has been so positive that it really motivated me to go down that route even though it is a lot more work than just a standard article.
I also plan to publish more material from other authors and if you feel that you would like to contribute to this website in any way, you can contact me anytime to talk about it. I will also try to publish some interviews of my sempai at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo as their views are often very interesting and quite different to those commonly expressed by other practitioners.
I will of course continue to publish material on life in Japan, especially travel guides as I have received a lot of positive comments from people who used them for their own travels.
I would like to wish you once again the very best for 2012. Let's hope that things are quieter seismically this year even though the odds are kind of stacked against us here in Tokyo. Please spare a thought for the people in Tohoku who still live in dreadful conditions and who have to face the very rigorous winter there.
Thank you very much for your interest in this site.