Thursday, December 25, 2008

A year of blogging

So I've been at it for slightly more than a year. I started this blog for three reasons.

First, I wanted to learn to write. In the very beginning, I had to correct or rewrite almost every sentence before making a post. There were typos, awkward sentence construction, and every stylistic problem known to humanity. Some amount of it is still there - after all, English is not my native language - but I think I am a lot better now than I used to be.

Second, I needed to have a place where I could jot things down for future reference. Some of them were simple facts that I would needed to recall periodically. Some were convenient shortcuts in coding. Some where points of view that it was convenient to have written down, for future reference.

Third, I wanted to write down a few lessons that I've learned in my career in computer industry. I was lucky to have been part of a whole bunch of interesting projects, the rise and the fall of the dot com boom, the emergence of broadband, the mobile phone revolution. It felt like a bad thing to have it go to waste: fools learn from their own experience, smart people learn from that of others. Hopefully, smart people everywhere will learn from my experiences. We need more smart people!

Attracting a lot of readers was never a goal. Yet over one hundred thousands people visited it since January 2008. Many left insightful comments from which I learned a lot. Quite a few served as a motivation for further blog entries.

The most controversial was the blog entry where I duscuss the reasons I went back to Microsoft after a year at Google (http://1-800-magic.blogspot.com/2008/06/back-to-microsoft.html). Alone, it accounted for 85000 page views out of 150000 site total. It elicited 180 comments on this site, spawned a small copycat industry of cross-posters, and was ultimately misquoted from ZDNet to NY Times.

The most visited technical article is the one on STL vector performance (http://1-800-magic.blogspot.com/2008/02/stl-vector-performance.html). It was viewed 6500 times, and is currently #1 entry on Google searches on "C++ vector performance", "STL vector performance", and just "vector performance" at Google.


A far less interesting article (http://1-800-magic.blogspot.com/2008/02/down-with-atoi.html) where I gripe about poor design of atoi API was read 3000 times, despite the fact that it is buried on the second page of Google search results on atoi.

The two articles on memory management that I consider my best technical entries - "Guerilla guide to native memory management" (http://1-800-magic.blogspot.com/2007/11/guerilla-guide-to-native-memory.html) and "Memory is not free (more on Vista performance) (http://1-800-magic.blogspot.com/2007/12/memory-is-not-free-more-on-vista.html) - have been read only ~1000 times each, despite prominent position on Google search.


I also used the blog to share a few bits of code I was toying with. About a year ago I got my hands on Sony Reader, and made a web proxy for Project Gutenberg that adds SONY LRF format to the list of available download options (http://1-800-magic.blogspot.com/2008/01/gutenberg-for-sony-pre-alpha.html). This post solicited the largest percentage of positive feedback :-). The site is still up, it has served hundreds of people who downloaded thousands of books through it.


Finally, the least popular post? This one: http://1-800-magic.blogspot.com/2007/12/us-electoral-politics.html. It's only been read 6 times :-)...

1 comment:

Jerry said...

Now the least popular one has at least 8 pv, cause I contributed two :P