Three Cheers for Three Years

Woot! Strobist turns three today!

Strobist's first post was written in late February of 2006, but did not go live until April 6th. That means we are hopefully out of the terrible twos, and well on our way to potty training.

While the goal of the site has always been to learn about lighting (and have fun doing it) other stuff happens, too. And of the many cool things that stem from all of this I wanted to take a moment today to talk about one of my favorites.

Hit the jump for more on that.

Credit Where Credit is Due

A small but growing portion of the revenues generated by this site are routed through, a micro-lending organization that works with entrepreneurs in developing countries. Some of you long-timers will note that I have mentioned these guys before, back in November of 2007.

As a group, we have so far participated in the funding of 37 loans, in amounts from $25 to $250 per loan. There is no interest collected on the loans other than the good feeling of helping people who are working hard to make better lives for themselves and their families. (Which is a heckuva a lot better than the stock and bond markets have done lately.)

So, where is it going? Afghanistan, Benin, Cambodia, Ghana, Lebanon, Mexico, Moldova, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Viet Nam, so far.

What is especially cool is that there are readers in each of those countries who are logging on to learn more about light. Okay, in the case of Tajikistan, one reader. But still...

Just above the country list is Muhammad Sediq Omar, whom you helped to expand his farm in Afghanistan. Beneath him is Yahaira San Juanita Rios Hernandez, who improved her restaurant in Mexico as a result of your learning about snoots and on-axis fill.

(BTW, is that a nice frame of Muhammad, or what? Lotsa neat compositional things happening in there.)

In a climate of risk-loving investment banks that managed to lose more money than it is possible for most humans to imagine last year, it is important to note that we have yet to lose a single penny in default on any of our micro-loans.

This downstream effect makes me feel great every time I think about it. A big thanks to both the readers and the advertisers who continue to make it possible.

If you are interested in participating in micro loans on your own, you can find out more about Kiva here, including a documentary on them from Frontline that was my first introduction to them.

Thanks, also, to the readers who have translated (and are translating) Lighting 101 into PDFs in many different languages. As a result of your work, many more people will be exposed to basic lighting education. You have no idea how appreciative I am -- and they are. BTW, Polish and Hungarian are up next.

As for year four, we have a few fun things in the on-deck circle. But in truth this is largely an exercise in serendipity, and I'll be as surprised as you to see where this strange trip takes us in another year.

Many thanks,


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