I started this blog in January of 2008. Initially the posts were infrequent and poorly-written (as opposed to now when they are frequent and poorly-written). At the time I had a LiveJournal account that I regularly updated, but felt like I wanted to separate personal and technical content. Seven-plus years later, I haven’t logged into my LiveJournal account in years but Blog Fiasco is still going strong.
I was but a young sysadmin at the time, and this blog was an opportunity to share things I learned. Mostly for my own benefit, but I figured if it was new to me, maybe it would be new to someone else, too. As I started training our student technicians, I starting writing blog posts as a way to plan lessons for them. These days, the posts are less technical and more opinionated. That’s not really a change in me so much as a change in my focus.
In all of the years I’ve been writing this blog, I have made exactly zero dollars from it. That’s fine. Despite the half-hearted Amazon ads and the occasional affiliate link I toss in a post, I’m not here to make money (though I certainly wouldn’t object to it). Mostly I write for my own benefit. Occasionally, I hope that my bloggery will make me well-respected throughout the land. There’s still time for that.
It isn’t just that I enjoy writing. Every so often, a post will turn out to be really helpful to people. Less often, they will tell me that, and it makes me feel good. For example, back when GEMPAK was much more difficult to install than it is today, I spent several hours getting it to compile. I wrote a post, mostly so that when it came time to build it again, I’d already have the steps written down for me. Much to my surprise, people found it, and found it useful. In the comments, readers were even helping each other.
More recently, I finally got around to enabling site statistics. I was really surprised when I saw that another post from 2010 was still getting regular page views. I described how I hunted down and solved a problem with printing. As recently as 2014, people were still finding it useful enough to leave nice comments. Since I enabled site statistics, that page gets an average of six views a day. It doesn’t sound like much, but I’m generally getting 20 or so on days I don’t post, sot hat’s a sizeable contribution.
Another great thing about site stats is finding out that a quote has become very popular. One of my earliest posts used “reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life” as the title. I had never heard the quote before, but I wanted a title and I searched for quotes about reading. From May 14 through June 14 (the first month I had site stats on), the post got a total of 10 views. It’s had 33 more since then (and probably more than that by the time this post publishes). Either someone famous repeated the quote, or it’s being used in a freshman literature assignment.
I don’t always write here, either. I used to write for the local newspaper, basically as a public service. I’ve been a conference blogger for the LISA Conference for a few years, and have really enjoyed the experience. I would not have had the opportunity were it not for this blog. Lately I’ve also been contributing my company blog and to opensource.com. Now I just need to start monetizing all of these words. Maybe next year…