This has been my first year of blogging! Whew! 1 year and 42 articles later - I never thought I'd be writing this. I had always thought about starting my own blog to write some technical articles, but I just never made the time and always had an excuse not to get one started. At first starting your own blog might seem quite daunting. I was also worried that the articles I wrote weren't going to be technical enough. Another worry was that I didn't have enough things to write about. So finally, towards the end of last year I decided that it was time to finally get one started. Would anyone bother reading it? Who knows - It would be a good learning curve though!
The next big question was whether or not to use a ready built CMS / Blog engine or build one myself? Well, I decided to do it the hard way and build my own engine. If you've got the time and passion to do this, I would definitely recommend it. There are a lot of things to learn from building every aspect of your own site. That said - there are some awesome CMS / Blogs ready to roll out there. I quite like Wordpress, BlogEngine.NET and maybe even Tumblr. You could always look on Codeplex and even contribute to one of the existing ones on there.
If you do decide to build your own blog, I do recommend getting some form of source control in place. I use beanstalk to store all my code.
They offer great support for Subversion and Git and currently have a trial account option that is more than sufficient for a single developer.
When I first started out it took a while to get visitors flowing regularly through the site. Patience is definitely a big part of blogging - but you should also blog because you love it. You might not get as many hits as you expect on your site or on a certain article that you wrote - but it definitely takes a while to build up the content as well as the traffic on your site.
Throughout the year there have been a few highlights and things that have kept me blogging. I spent some time and recently wrote an HTML5 toolkit for MVC which has had an awesome response from the community out there. I got a few tweets from ScottGu and Scott Hanselman. It was definitely an exciting moment to get recognized by some of the big dogs!
I also got the toolkit featured on the Asp.net homepage which was great. Unfortunately, when I signed up for my profile to Asp.net I grabbed a goofy picture of myself that I could find on my PC - bad idea. I didn't actually think that I would get an article featured on the front page of Asp.net! This is what happens when you add goofy photos to your profile!
There was also some coverage on the Channel 9 weekly roundup video.
If you haven’t already had a look at the HTML5 toolkit for MVC, please check it out on Codeplex.
I originally started off hoping that if more than ten people read my blog that would be awesome. Surprisingly however there are a lot of developers out there just like me that are constantly reading and crave knowledge from the internet, the response from the community out there has been great.
Throughout the year a few ideas popped into my head and I decided to give them a try - having a blog is a great way to get these ideas out there. For a lot of people out there blogging might not be for you, which is totally understandable considering the time and dedication it takes to keep on writing and editing articles. However, if the idea of having your own blog appeals to you - I would definitely recommend it. It has been a great learning curve for me. It forces you to constantly keep up to date with what is out there on the net and keeps you thinking all the time. There is a great article out there by Scott Hanselman entitled - 32 ways to keep your blog from sucking I would definitely recommend you have a read.
If you feel that blogging is for you, get out there and get writing!
And finally some stats from the past year -
- Hits - 32,872
- Visits - 51,290
- Around 400 ReTweets ......and loads of research!
Thanks for visiting my site!