Today we celebrate the second anniversary of the Developers 42 Blog. In this article we look back at the past years and we look forward into the future.
Wow, it’s been two years. Part of me feels like it’s been forever and part of me feels like I started yesterday. If I think about what I started this blog for, I guess it comes down to sharing my experiences as a developer with anyone who’s interested. However, if I now look back at what I got from this, I feel I got a lot more from building and maintaining Developers 42.
A learning experience
I guess I was a little ignorant when I first started out. I figured it would mostly come down to discipline to maintain a reasonable blog, but I found that it takes knowledge and skill to promote a blog and to keep everything running smoothly.
But also I found out that writing for a technical blog like this one, brings with it that you have to adapt your workflow to facilitate blog posts. One thing I find myself doing over and over, is generalizing scenario’s I run into in my day to day work. It can be very helpful in getting a better feel for the problems you work on, but it can also be a time consuming challenge to come up with good examples of something that is very specific to the field I work in.
Another thing I learned that surprised me, is the way referrals work. I never thought that putting a link in a signature for a forum would generate the results it did. Nor did I think republishing to CodeProject would bring me much hits but it does bring reasonable results.
Another thing I got from running Developers 42 is opportunity. Because of running a blog I get the occasional job offer, including offers to join interesting startups (unfortunately all kinds of reasons prevented me from jumping on to any of these so far). I also got invited to write for SilverlightShow.com, which I still enjoy doing from time to time.
I’ve also met new people and got the opportunity to help people from around the globe with issues they encountered, which is rewarding in itself.
Obviously is wasn’t all a big party. I’ve had to take a step back in posting at more then one occasion. Personal life and work life both interfered with my goals for Developers 42. This resulted in me only posting 18 times (not including this post) over the past year.
Defeat was also part of the deal. I decided to scrap the CodeEmbed4Web project, as it was clearly not going to a success. In fact I have lots of unfinished projects laying around, which I’m not likely to continue.
But enough of that. Let’s move on to more positive things.
In fact the numbers might not all seem so positive. There was a reduction in both visitors and page views of around 27,5%. But if you compare that to the reduction of posts (around 35% less content), this suddenly becomes promising. If I would have posted the same amount as last year, hits could have doubled!
Looking at the number of subscribers reflects this positive image. There was actually an increase in subscribers of the past year. Check out the graph below!
I’m really happy with the progress made in this area. It it really motivating to know that people are interested enough to actually subscribe to my RSS feed.
Looking to the future
So what about the future? Well, if there is one thing I learned in the past year is that you can be to ambitious. I do have some plans for new things, but overall my main goal is to keep posting regularly. However if there is a topic you would like me to write about, even if it is only remotely connected to software development, I’d love to hear about it.
Further more, I hope to welcome more new readers in the coming year, both as subscribers, but also as loose visitors.
The last thing that remains is to thank you, the user of this blog, for sticking with me here. Without you this wouldn’t be much fun. I hope you have enjoyed yourself the past year as much as I have and that you have learned as much as I have.
A special thank you goes out to Dave Campbell from Wynapse, for so patiently following and linking to my blog. Another thanks goes out to Svetla from SilverlightShow.net for helping me out with getting published on their website.
I really value your feedback, especially if there is anything you would like to see different or added, or if you have any suggestions about topics to discuss. I hope to see you around this coming year and I hope we can share some insights.