Happy 10th Anniversary to “A Mild Voice of Reason”

A decade ago this month, I re-launched my personal blog, migrating from the now-defunct ValueWeb to Site5.

Some stats:

  • 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Blogging regularly is an important part of staying sharp as a writer.
  4. 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.
  5. Cats thwart productivity.
  6. 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.

Happy 10th Anniversary to "A Mild Voice of Reason"

A decade ago this month, I re-launched my personal blog, migrating from the now-defunct ValueWeb to Site5.
Some stats:

  • 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Blogging regularly is an important part of staying sharp as a writer.
  4. 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.
  5. Cats thwart productivity.
  6. 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.

Happy Five-Year Anniversary, Blog!

On February 20, 2006, I sat at Kava House and relaunched my personal blog. Prior to this, gillikin.org was nothing more than an e’er-shifting set of content-management systems, static HTML and butt-ugly white-on-black design. With the new launch, the site adopted WordPress as its blog engine and I’ve only had perhaps three major template changes.

In the last five years, I’ve managed to blog at least once each month. Current stats:

  • 308 total posts
  • 6 pages
  • 11 categories
  • 166 tags
  • 199 comments
  • 5,403 spam comments rejected by Akismet (99.82% accuracy)
  • 534 visitors in the period 12/1/10 to 2/27/11, with 801 pageviews (Google Analytics)
  • More than 200,000 words

A Mild Voice of Reason isn’t the most prolific blog on the market. But it does have the benefit of longevity.

Thanks to my readers for paying attention. Here’s to five more years!

Site Revisions

… the photo-management part of the blog has been revised to remove the somewhat arcane album/gallery structure in favor of a direct list of thumbailed image links.

Benchmarks!

I just checked my Google Analytics statistics for A Mild Voice of Reason. When benchmarked against other personal blogs, this one significantly outperforms the median on just about every measure, from page views to unique visitors to duration-of-visit. 

Most interesting, an absolute majority of incoming site traffic comes from visitors directly typing “gillikin.org” into their browser bars.  This suggests a loyal following.  So to those of you who pay attention … thank you.

Site Revisions

I have made a few changes of substance to A Mild Voice of Reason:

  • The Files/Links page has been updated to include a few more general links, as well as an updated copy of my resume, my journalism clips portfolio, and a link to a static head shot.
  • Content added to the Philosophy page for the first time since March 2006.  Hooray for speedy updates!
  • The links on the Editing/Writing page that pointed to old stories at the Western Herald have been removed, since the Herald discontinued its online archive from that period.  Instead, a revised list of stories has been included, each as a PDF scanned from a tearsheet.
  • The News/Views page has had two new incoming feeds added to the top of the list — from Gillikin Consulting, and from Red County (Kent County, MI).  The existing links from Fox News follow.
  • The About Jason page has had a number of details tweaked/added/removed.
  • The overwhelming majority of archived posts, dating from February 2006, have been restored.  A few remain hidden for personal reasons, and several posts (especially from last summer) have been modified from their original version.

Take a look!

Reset!

The last time I did a comprehensive reset to A Mild Voice of Reason was February 2006.  In the intervening 40 months, I have published to this blog a total of 246 posts eliciting 130 comments, for a total of more than 100,000 words.

A series of vexing behind-the-scenes database errors prompt the third major reset to this blog.  My prior posts are archived for my personal use, but for all practical purposes, A Mild Voice of Reason begins anew this morning.

May my gentle readers find it to be interesting, fresh, and at least a little thought-provoking.