RobSearles: 1 Year Old!

This is just a quick post to say Happy Birthday this blog. Yes, I began my little journey into the Blogosphere one year ago today. Looking back on that first article, now is a good time to see if I managed to stay focused on the topics that I laid out in the beginning, as well as looking at some stats for the year and why I’m doing this.

My first big regret is that I haven’t spent nearly as much time as I would have liked on Open Source and in particular Timesheet NG. There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, yet again we’ve had a hectic year here at ibrow, which has consumed the majority of my time. However I think mainly it is bad organisation my end. I’m currently living a little “out of my inbox” (something that Sup is helping me to put right) without doing much forward planning.  I”m getting better at that, but it is clearly not one of my strengths! However, I am aiming to change that all, with Open Source becoming a core fixture at ibrow, and this is something we are all very keen on.

My lack of organisation skills have also put a dent in my consistency and frequency of posting. Some months I’ve posted nothing much, where as other months (read October) I have posted a huge amount. This is something I’m looking to put right and will be trying to consistently post at least once a week.

I haven’t posted nearly as enough code up here as I wanted. I think it is because of the sheer amount of time needed to create a decent blog post that is both useful, informative and the has a large amount of code in it – the formatting is a bit of a nightmare. However, again this is something I’ll be addressing over this next year.

Finally I’ve moved away from XFCE4 (in the form of Xubuntu) and am now running Fluxbox instead. This is a truly great Window Manager, even if it still has a few glitches on my system still. I’ll definitely be posting some Fluxbox related stuff up here soon.

I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed in my stats as I started doing this. I had a frankly pathetic amount of visitor to this blog and I looked on whilst others were getting thousands (interesting to note that they haven’t posted for almost a month now, I wonder what’s going on). I honestly don’t know what the secret is of getting loads of visitors to a blog. This is probably why I don’t call myself a “marketing guru” and spout crap on Twitter all day long. Little dig there (again).

In total I’ve had 5,634 visitors over the last year (this is according to Google Analytics). The busiest month was last month with a whopping 1,067 visits, so almost a fifth of all visitors for the year visited in October alone and November looks like it will top that. Event though this is continuing a general trend or increasing visitors each month (December only had 213!) I think there is no surprise that October was my busiest month for posting articles as well.

One thing I’m worried about are the pages-per-visit, bounce-rate and time-on-site – basically if visitors, once they find there way onto my blog, stay around. Looking at the evidence, clearly they are not finding much to do here, with an average for each visitor staying just over a minute.  Clearly I need to do something about the “visitor engagement” as people who know more about this than me call it

So is it worth it? All this time and effort to create a blog that not very many people read?

Obviously it is disappointing that not more people are visiting my site, and those that are run screaming for the hills, but in total I’d say yes, it is worth it.  And it is worth it for these three reasons:

  1. I’m not doing this to become some sort of famous blogger and make a living out of it, I’m doing it because I’m making a living doing something else.
  2. I find it relaxing, and when an article is finished and goes live I get a tremendous feeling of satisfaction.
  3. I’m primarily writing this blog to share ideas and thoughts, and if people find them useful then, well, that’s pretty good all round.

Onward to the next year!