When I wrote my first blog post here** in February 2014 I definitely did not imagine still being at it 200 posts and five-and-a-bit years later. Originally I set myself a challenge of writing something once a week for a year, just to see if I could motivate myself to do it.
Honestly, I didn’t really think I’d manage to keep it up for the entire twelve months, let alone still be here now – but somehow it’s become part of my routine. I may have scaled down to a post every fortnight, as kids and other responsibilities took over more of my time, but the process of making myself notes about issues I encounter as I’m working, and then writing them up when I have free moments has become part of my working life now…
What have I learned from all this?
Well, it turns out I like writing more than I thought I did 😉
One thing I am completely certain of, after 200 posts, is that I am no good at predicting which posts I write will get instant traction, which will be slower burners and which will be critically ignored. I’ve had posts I spent about five minutes on getting retweeted left, right and centre. And I’ve had stuff I’ve spent days researching and polishing sink without trace. I’ve just learned to roll with this, and not fret about it. In reality, stats and retweets don’t matter really – what’s important is that I’m adding to the body of answers to problems in Google. So more people who are confused by the issue they’re looking at have a chance to find helpful answers when they ask the internet…
(And, don’t underestimate the face-palming joy of googling an issue and finding your own blog post!)
What has been most popular? The top five posts over the lifetime of the blog are:
- Low-effort Solr installs (Perhaps obviously…)
- Banging my head against Git, Visual Studio 15 and SSL
- The official Sitecore NuGet feed is here!
- Fun with NUC servers
- Using Nuget for your references to Sitecore DLLs
Each of these have a bit under 5% of the lifetime traffic at this point. Some of that seems obvious – the Solr install script post for example, has certainly caught the community’s attention. But some isn’t – Intel’s NUC server brand isn’t Sitecore-related at all…
Interestingly, post 14 on the “most popular” list (An alternative approach to pipelines) has consistently been the thing that’s got the most feedback. Emails, tweets, comments, discussions at bars – but almost entirely from outside the Sitecore community. Seems like that one was a good learning resource for people studying Computer Science at university…
So what of the future?
Will I still be here in another 200 posts? No idea! What will be popular then? No idea! My plan is mostly just to keep doing what I’m doing.
I do keep meaning to move over to a better domain for the blog – and I have a prototype of a static site version, in keeping with the fashion for such things now. But other stuff like preparing for user groups and for Symposium (Come see me talking about deploying SolrCloud: Day 4, 09:40am according to the current agenda) keeps getting in the way of doing either of those things properly.
But for the moment, thank you all for reading – and thank you for making the Sitecore community a pleasure to be part of.
** Technically this oddessey started on Blogger, but I gave up on that platform because I found formatting code snippets to be tedious.