Looking back on the first year of this blogJanuary 4, 2009
In late 2007 I decided to stop producing the quarterly, 2-page PDF CyberText Newsletter and to shift the content and delivery mechanism to a blog. I did this with some trepidation as I couldn’t guarantee that all my 250+ newsletter subscribers (though only about 90 readers on average) would be familiar with a blogging medium and RSS feeds. Many would be, so I figured I’d give it a try and see what happened.
What happened has been a slow explosion of both my capacity to produce information (I’ve written just under 500 posts in 12 months, compared to the 50 or so I could cover in four issues of the newsletter), and the readership of my blog. My blog now gets around 400 readers a day, and the number has climbed steadily, gathering momentum from about June 2008.
As you can see from the graph above, I’m now getting about 8000 ‘views’ per month. The slight dips in November and December are related to holidays, such as Thanksgiving in the US in November and the Christmas/New Year vacation.
On a daily basis, the pattern of viewing shows a distinct correlation with the typical working week, with most views occurring Monday to Friday. The graph below is the month from 24 November to 21 December 2008 — the yellow highlighted areas are Monday to Friday, with a distinct drop off in viewing around Thanksgiving.
As a technical writer, I thought that my readership might be other technical writers, but that’s not necessarily the case. The posts that attracted the most readership have been those on other computer-related issues — typically how to solve a problem or how to do something. Here are the top posts for 2008:
My goal with this blog is to share information that I find useful. And also — to quote my friend and ex-colleague Stephanie — to prop up a dodgy memory! I learn so many new things all the time, it’s hard to remember how to repeat something some months later, so this blog has become a ‘brain dump’ for me. A central place where I can store all those bits of knowledge that might have ended up on unread sticky notes many years ago.
Others have obviously found my brain dump useful too, so I will continue with it. Until now, my output has been at least one post a day. I hope to keep to that in 2009, but there may be days when the memory bank is empty and I just have nothing to share! ;-)