Itâs been a while since Iâve posted anything here, so Iâll just give a quick update on what Iâve been working on.
Iâve still been blogging, but Iâve created a new blog for the Overpass site. This is a place I can post all of my more technical posts. Itâs located at http://blog.overpass.co.uk/
Iâve been posting to this blog for over 6 years nowâeverything from personal stories to technical posts. My friends arenât interested in what I think of .Net 4, and the developers donât care that Iâve run a half-marathon. So, Iâve created a new site for the technical posts and can use this one for more personal posts.
This blog gets between 20 and 50 new hits a day from search engines. Most are from people who have a problem that Iâve had before and found a solution to. Nothing gives me more satisfaction than getting an email or a comment from someone who says âIâve been trying to solve this problem for hours. Your post really helped. Thanks.â Itâs nice to think that there are posts Iâve written 3 or 4 years ago that still help some people nowâlong after Iâve forgotten about them.
I might as well have some of that traffic go to by company site.
You need a blog!
When I started this blog, I was mocked. âEric, why do you need a blog?â Obviously, he thought I had nothing worth saying. No one needs one.
I think that everyone should have a blog. Even if they donât often post. A blog just a place to put down what you think where anyone can read it. Itâs not like you run a newspaper where you have to build a subscription base and keep readers entertained. Most of your readers are not regular visitors anyway, but find your posts through a search engine. Contrary to what these âSocial Media Consultantsâ will tell you, a blog is not always about self-marketing.
If you go to a bad restaurant, tell the world about it. If you have a good experience, tell the world. If you get screwed over by a company who wonât give you a refund for a bad product, tell the world. If you find a cool site online, tell the world. Itâs not likely that people will follow you or read everything you write. Itâs more likely that people will find your post when they are researching things on Google. Think of it as giving back to the web community.
If Iâm thinking about buying a product or service which requires any heavy contemplation, I Google it. I Google every company to see what people think about them before I go work with them. If no one has said anything (except the company itself on a crappy brochure site), I worry.
As a person in a technical industry, itâs even more vital you have a blog. If I ever spend hours trying to solve a problem and finally find a solution in the end, I consider it my civic duty to post the solution online so others donât have to go through the same trial-and-error process I did. In my job, I rely on Google and the generosity of people all over the world who have taken time to post their solutions to problems online. It would be wrong not to do the same.
A blog is not the same as Facebook or Twitter or forums or any of the other social media sites out there. Facebook is too closed (and it should be). I update Facebook for my friends. Twitter is too fleeting. No one reads a tweet written two months ago. Forums are more about debate and back-and-forth than about expressing ideas (a dialogue instead of a monologue). A blog is a place you can write something down and have it stay there forever.
Of course, since a blog is open to all, itâs not a place for pictures of your kids or tell people when youâll be out of the house. Itâs not a place to discuss personal problems (unless they could help others and donât infringe on the privacy of others). But it is a place to express your opinions and relate experiences that could be helpful to others. Iâm surprised more people donât use aliasâs so they can get really personal. A blog is also a great place to put your CV.
But just because you have a blog, it doesnât mean you think youâre Bill Gates, or Steve Jobs, or Walter Kronkite. It just means you are one of 6 billion people in the world who has something to say. Thatâs what the internet is all about.
Anyway, if you enjoy reading the technical posts here, you can now find them showing up on http://blog.overpass.co.uk/