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First words revisited

My blog has been up and running for about an orca’s gestation period, so I think it’s time to check on the progress. In my first post, I mentioned some of my hopes and expectations. I also wrote that I’d come back to that to see what has worked out and what hasn’t, so here goes.

The blog experiment has been a success so far. I’ve manage to write down quite a lot of things, which has freed up my mind a bit. There is still a lot of ground to cover, but it’s a start, and I’m glad I did it. I did manage to write a bunch of articles on work related topics, that I have successfully given to clients and co-workers as a sort of guidance and knowledge transfer.

Article frequency is another thing, and I think that I overestimated my journalistic qualities. I was aiming for one article each month, and I’m constantly missing that mark by one, with this being the 17th article in 18 months. I keep finding myself in the situation where I know exactly what I want to share, but I’m having a hard time finding the right words. Every new article tends to take at least a few days, but mostly it’s weeks or even months. I just keep rewriting and reordering entire blocks of text when ever I find the time. On the upside, my writing has improved a bit, and it’s getting easier for me. There are also about five to ten drafts, at any given time, that I keep working on. With my writing skills improving, I’ll catch up eventually and might even exceed the initial goal.

But I’m still concerned about the quality of my articles. It’s not the content that bothers me, I tend to do my research properly, and I’ve noticed that I’m putting even more effort into it than before my blog. It’s the way I write sentences and the way I choose words. When ever I re-read an article, I get a strong feeling that it all sounds a little patronizing and sometimes even arrogant. I’m not sure if that is related to me being German and English not being my mother language, but it’s enough of an annoyance to keep an eye out for in the future.

One unexpected side effect of my blog is that I’ve found it to be a good place for manuals and documentation of my own software. I used to put everything on GitHub in the beginning, but having code and docs separated is much cleaner and easier to handle. It’s also easier to share content this way, and it’s definitely easier to write and structure documentation using WordPress instead of GitHub Markdown. As for sharing content, my site gets a good amount of hits every day, but I’m convinced that it’s almost entirely bots and spiders. I do however see spikes on days when I’ve linked articles at work, so there is some human traffic occasionally.

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