Reflections on the Year of the Blog

I’ve been rambling inanely on blog.crossedstreams.com for a year now, and it seems like an opportune time to briefly reflect on the experience.

Here’s some figures, to start with.

  • Posts: 61. (about 4.5 posts per month for thirteen months)
  • Genuine Comments: 52.
  • Spam Comments: 5,337. (Thanks Akismet, you rule!)
  • Feed Subscribers: 27. (My subscribers also rule!)
  • Most Visits in a Day: 75.
  • Total Visits: 3,556.

Here’s some highlights.

  • I’ve helped out a bunch of people from all over the world (and many of them took a moment to thank me, which is awesome).
  • I participated in (possibly even started?) an internet meme.
  • I recorded the ups and downs of my first year of doing an MSc for posterity.
  • I didn’t annoy anyone or get flamed.

And some stuff I learnt.

  • How to use WordPress. It was kinda clunky when I first started but the current version is a joy to use. The plugins I use (I use Feedburner feeds, Akismet spam filtering, Google Code Prettify, Google Analytics and Google Sitemaps, plus others) are totally transparent – they just work. Even the update process is a one-click thing now. Although I can’t help the cold sweat when I do that click, even though I have backups…
  • How to use Google Analytics. I pay nothing, but I have a toolkit telling me what pages people are looking at, where my viewers are in the world, what the trends are… I even have instant access to the complete historical record of that information – right back to last October. Just awesome.
  • How to use Feedburner. Takes the load of providing feeds off my site (OK, so that’s not really a problem with 27 subscribers I’ll grant you) and gives me some idea of how many subscribers there are and which posts get clicked through.
  • How to set up the blog.crossedstreams.com subdomain. I knew about DNS beforehand, but it was an fascinating experience to watch as this incredible global phone book lurch into action at my command. I have renewed respect for the genius of Paul Mockapetris in coming up with something so simple and yet so powerful.