A decade ago this month, I re-launched my personal blog, migrating from the now-defunct ValueWeb to Site5.
- 546 posts — or one every 6.7 days — with monthly post counts ranging between 1 and 20
- 278 total comments
- 58,189 spam comments — roughly 16 per day — have been defeated by Akismet (with 352 false negatives, a success rate of 99.4 percent)
- 91 access intrusions averted in the last 7 days
- Several hundred active visitors in any given month with 1.12 pages per session viewed
- Between 50 and 100 RSS subscribers (it varies widely) at any given time
So. A decade as a blogger. Some takeaways:
- Blogging is a discipline, no different in its way than exercise: It can be painful at times, but when you get out of the habit, it’s hard to get back in. Yet when you stick with it, it gets easier — so you can stretch your technique and stamina over time.
- Sharing is a strategy, not a practice. It’s possible to over-share — in fact, a while back, I hid several old posts because they were too personal. And I’ve always had a policy of not fully naming private individuals, to protect their privacy from others’ Google-Fu.
- Blogging regularly is an important part of staying sharp as a writer.
- It’s often easier for me to write longer essays when I have coffee. But fiction stuff (which I don’t blog) is best accompanied by a martini.
- Cats thwart productivity.
- The leap from regular hobbyist blogger to professional blogger is not insubstantial. I’ve never found a reason to go hot-and-heavy into social or ad-supported blogging. Too much effort for a relatively minor payoff; the big successes in the blogging world come from lightning-in-a-bottle moments that are too hard to predict.
Thanks to all of you who read this blog. I hope you find it, at a minimum, interesting.
Here’s to the next decade.