Thursday, October 8, 2009

Developers 42 online for one year!

Today is the day, Developers 42's first anniversary!
In this post we'll look back to see what was hot and what was not. We'll also look forward to the coming year. You now, make plans, decide where to go from here, etc.. And of course their will be some words of gratitude as I couldn't have done it all by myself.

The past year
On October 1st 2008, I started to work for a new company in a role I hadn't been in for years. I was going to work on a product again. I decided I needed a blog to keep track of what I do and to share some of my experiences with you out there. It took some preparation, but on October 9th 2008 my first post went online. It was about a trick to layout a report in Reporting Services 2005 and in the first week it got... wait for it... zero hits, nothing. Obviously no one actually knew about my blog and I felt I needed to keep it that way until I was having some more content online.
This went on for a while, until I posted this article, called Lookup Combobox in Silverlight 2. Now hits started dribbling in, still one at a time, but they did come. This article proofed to be a winner. It is actually the single most visited article of the past year, with 1169 unique page views, it is only second to the home page.

My big break came on October 26st, when an article I wrote a couple of weeks before was picked up by Dave Campbell and put on his Wynapse Blog. All of a sudden page views skyrocketed to 148 unique views the next day! Things didn't slow down until March 2009. By then I hit a pique of 306 unique views on February 20th, which is still the all time high.

But having page views isn't the only thing. I looked at the RSS feed stats and there is the real cool stuff. The feed has seen a steady growth throughout the past ten months, from 5 to 10 subscribers in December all the way up to around 85 subscribers right now. How cool is that?
Check out the graph:

And I've done some stuff as well. I published beta 1 of CodeEmbed4Web (not with great success unfortunately). I've written 25 posts in the Adventures series and I now have my articles published on as well. Some of my articles are getting serious hits there, exceeding anything I get on my blog. Overall it's been a hectic year with ups and downs, but I'm still happy to be here.
What kept me going was a comment every now and then with a 'Thank you, I needed that.' or a 'I was stuck on this and you fixed it' kind of message. These are a great encouragement to keep posting.

Plans for the coming year
As I promised, I'll also give a peek into what we want to do next year. Off course I'd like to see some growth in traffic, both through the site as well as through the RSS feed. But that's not the only thing. I'm still working on moving the blog to a new custom platform. In fact I've got something to show you right now:

This is the new logo. The music was done by Kevin MacLeod. You can find his website here.

I'm still planning on releasing CodeEmbed4Web RTM. As for true content, I'm looking into doing more nitty-gritty stuff on C# and .NET, maybe diving into some of the inner workings of the framework, especially with the launch of C# 4.0 coming up.

Some words of gratitude
There are some people I'd like to say thank you to. First of all I'd like to thank Dave Campbell for sending all this traffic my way. I'd also like to thank Sean Ewington from for being a great help with publishing my articles there. Another thank you must go to Drew Bennet from I'm not a famous blogger. His work encouraged me to go on when things didn't go so well.
The last big thank you goes out to you! Yeah, you there on the other side of the line, thanks for being here.

Callout to all readers
Please let me know if there are things you'd like to see changing on my blog. It could be there is some subject you'd like to see discussed, it could be you'd like to see a different format, have more content or less, or you just don't like the font I use, but please give me feedback so I can improve.
Another thing I'd like to ask you all is to spread the word if you really like my blog or a particular article. Please let your peers know.

Thanks again, and I'm looking forward to your comments.


  1. As a colleague of Jonathan I want to encourage him to keep on blogging.
    I love his reflections on his work and new developments (although I don't understand everything because I ‘am not a developer but a product manager).
    I ‘am sure that it will help many of you facing the same problems and challenges (and himself).