It was July 3, 2007, just three days after Apple launched the original iPhone when I decided to start the iPhone Savior blog. At that time there were only a small number of iPhone-centric websites in existence and few had any sense of humor. Almost four years later, it's staggering to see the vast number of online destinations reporting iPhone news. It has been thrilling to witness just how insanely popular Apple's iPhone has become and to know I played a small roll in its epic rise.
Last year I saw over 1.4 million unique visits, which was possible thanks to so many top tier tech blogs like Gizmodo, Cult of Mac, (TUAW) The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Apple 2.0, MacSurfer, Gearfuse, Geekologie and Mac Daily News reposting the work I produced. Pushing the "Savior" well past 5 million visits since the iPhone was born.
Most of my traffic has always come from referring sites and search engines carrying over 39% each, while the smaller number comes from direct traffic.
The reporting on iPhone Savior has been a one man writing circus from the start, although my first year did include countless contributions from several fictitious staffers like Fay Stoker and Wade Spumen who eventually fell victim to fictitious layoffs. Trust me, fake writers are a disposable commodity.
It was two wildly satirical farces that finally put me on the map in my rookie year. The first was a heartwarming tale, "Out of A Coma, Into The Apple Store" which garnered over 70,000 hits on one Sunday in October of 2007. The piece was credited to my fake staff writer Earl Sorel, which was an anagram for "real loser. My second launch pad was another bit of equally fake news about a buyer of the $1,000 "I Am Rich" app entitled, "I Am Rich" Buyer Lashes Out At Media For Calling Her An 'Idiot'. That absurd tale about Debbie Noram, brought in over 140,000 views overnight until readers finally realized it was a spoof.
Ironically, my first true life story exposing the wild success of iShoot app developer Ethan Nicholas, in early 2009, started drawing serious attention from the iPhone community worldwide. That short story of personal triumph, "iPhone Developer Quits Day Job After 'iShoot' Hits Number One" drew massive link-backs and huge amounts of traffic in the weeks that followed. It gave hope to unknown developers who realized that it really was possible to strike it rich in the iPhone app gold rush that was coming on like a tsunami.
Since late 2009, I became obsessed with featuring the absurd culture and whacked out creative community I saw growing up around the cult-like popularity of iPhone. Helping to put products like the iFork iPhone Stand and iRetrofone on the map, along with "Antenn-Aide" during Apple's Antenna-gate fiasco after the launch of iPhone 4.
But my heartbeat has always gravitated back to the inspiring stories of developers who create the apps that make the iPhone a thing to marvel at. That has been my passion. It's those stories of the underdogs like David Daves and Anton Angokhin, creators of the Star Trek Communicator app that inspired me to keep going. Being able to document the unbelievable success of Pocket God developers Dave Castelnuovo and Allen Dye or the launch of an app like "Roll Your Own", has been an unexpected gift I've truly come to appreciate.
I've accomplished far more than I ever imagined possible under the iPhone Savior moniker. It has been a fantastic journey and a personal triumph of gargantuan magnitude for me. Especially when I solved the Steve Jobs license plate mystery.
But I'm convinced now that it's time to turn my attention towards new artistic ventures. With that said, I will be leaving the historic legacy and iPhone Savior body of work online as I explore fresh creative opportunities as a writer.
For me, it was never about generating huge advertising dollars or getting free gear from vendors. Not at all! It has always been about the thrill of telling a great story and inspiring others to re-tell them. Even if some turned out to be totally fabricated. Just like mister Elam Nikserof, someone I've quoted many times. He's another fantastical farce that's worth a Google search.
So this is my proper farewell to my legion of twelve faithful followers and two radio listeners out in Syracuse, New York. May all of your wildest iPhone fantasies come true. Especially for those of you with Verizon.
Ray Basile - The iPhone Savior
Last Supper Art by axb500