Looking back on a year of blogging

Well, it’s been a year since I started blogging, and honestly, I’m a little surprised I’m still at it. But somewhere along the way, even after getting through the things I initially had in mind, I realized I still had some things I wanted to say. And so, here we are.

By the numbers:

  • 12.5 months
  • 64 posts
  • Best day: 30k views

Watching one of your posts go viral is a funny thing. You can write a brilliant, insightful, witty post that dies a sad little death, then toss off a random set of thoughts, publish it late at night, and wake up the next day with thousands (or tens of thousands) of views. My most popular post was one I felt ambivalent about, almost didn’t publish, and in fact intentionally pushed live late in the evening (not generally a popular time). But, you never know. It ended up spending almost an entire day on the front page of HackerNews, much of that time in the top ten. It was meant as a personal reminiscence, but I guess it hit a chord.

I should mention that each post which went viral did so as a result of HackerNews, so please upvote early and often! :)

Here are my top posts, in order of popularity:

But what of the other posts, the ones I slaved over, sent out into the world proudly, only to see them sink without a trace? Were they too long, too boring, not relevant, just plain dumb? Did I publish them at the wrong time? Did the butterfly’s wings not beat at the right time? Did they not get a critical nudge from a retweet, upvote, etc.? Impossible to know, but here are some posts I thought should have gotten a little more attention than they did:

Lastly, there are the posts I decided not to write. When writing online, you need to accept that everything you publish will exist and be easily searchable, forever. Of course, this is true of any online publishing platform (e.g., Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, etc), but it’s a lot easier to say something awe-inspiringly dumb and/or career-threatening in a long form opinion piece. I frequently remind myself that a lot of people from work read the blog, and that any future employer could do the same – it keeps the political posts, work-related gossip, and late night profanity-laced rants to a minimum.

And so, starting year two. I will try to make it to year three. I will try not to repeat myself. And I will try to stop telling people in the middle of a conversation, “you know, I wrote a blog post about this.”

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