Sunday, October 01, 2006 1:00 AM bart

A busy month - "September 06: The Daily Blogging Mission" revealed

Tons of blog reader traffic lately on my blog, which is just great. September was a great month on a lot of fields, including my "Daily Blogging Mission". There were just so many posts in the Notepad-queue waiting for publication. Well euhm, sort of. Most notepadded writing skeletons were even not of interest to hardcore archaeologists, due to the lack of bones, having just a head. Random thoughts, that should be the right name for it. Nevertheless, I managed to free enough time to sit down, relax and write many many hours of blogging fun.

The triggers to do this?

  • First of all, it's a personal mission, something I just want to realize. In the end, this blog should be a technical blog, and 95% of recent posts show the technology in action. On the other side, it's also about technology evangelism. The distinction between both? With evangelism posts I hope to see more people take a look at (new) technologies. Introduction posts showing how to realize something that really works in 5 minutes are great examples. However, there are also a lot of experts and development die-hards who read my blog: for those people, I want to provide more "going deeper" kind of posts (e.g. it's funny to receive mails with ILDASM outputs and associated questions; I like that guys, so keep'em coming :-)). In the end, I just want to have less meta-posts (compared to technical hardcore posts). You might have noticed that last month, every day there was a technical post. Things like .NET Framework 3.0 September CTP containing one or more links to a download somewhere online are just posted when I'm pushing the download button myself.
  • Secondly, the positive feedback from readers and questions by mail (and IM). A lot of these questions are of interest to much more people, so why not blog about it? The C# Quiz - 'virtual', 'new', 'override' is a great example of this, as well as User name to SID mapping in C# using System.DirectoryServices. Do you have a question? Contact me on info@bartdesmet.net and maybe you'll see the answer posted on my blog somewhere in the future (you'll get an answer by mail upfront of course).
  • Third, similar initiatives. I'm referring to Bruno Segers, the former general manager of Microsoft Belux who took up daily blogging about his management experiences months ago. Daily technical blogging is more difficult however as it requires code testing, making screenshots, code upload, layout formatting, etc. Nevertheless, I keep reading Bruno's BlogBoek (in Dutch).

Deferred publication was the magic keyword to realize this. A certain point in time I found myself writing posts to be published 10 or more days later. Quite funny actually, once you start browsing to your own blog on a daily basis to find out what you've written for that particular day. It also feels a bit weird to walk 28 km (Gordelen in Brussels) and 40 km (Kroenkelen in Bruges) on Sunday afternoons while the server clock ticks to the second of automatic publication. Yes, there's still time left to do hobbies :-).

But why deferred publication? In times of rapid-changing technologies and CTP madness a few posts take absolute priority, that's true. Think of .NET Framework 3.0 technology, Windows Vista, 2007 Microsoft Office System, etc. So, you'll see these posts as soon as possible (deferring it grows the risk of becoming outdated, e.g. due to API changes between CTPs). Others however can benefit from deferral to perform additional reviews and finetuning. And also quite important (at least for me), is to find some more regular posting frequency. When browsing blogs myself, I like to go to have some guarantee of reading interesting technical posts on a regular basis. Some blogs succeed in doing that fairly well. On the other hand, an overflow of posts on one day is demotivating (I guess you know the feeling: "I'll read this one when I have some time" and when you finally have time - if ever - the post is quite outdated).

Btw, I don't hand out "avant première" ticket for deferred blog posts.

Images, images, images. Visual attraction seems to work out rather well. No, I'm not a marketing guy (would be a nightmare for me I think) but illustrations are important. Personally, posts with images are much more attractive to me, certainly when talking about IDE-supported technologies. Okay, it's rather time consuming to make the screenshots, save them in a well-suited format and upload the bunch, but I hope you like it too.

The absolute highlight were the Windows Workflow articles that generated a lot of traffic on the server (and they still do):

Special thanks to Scott Guthrie to link to the first three of those. Okay, these posts were published in late August but my daily blogging mission started on Saturday 26th of August with 5 posts after a quite long period of blog silence.

One other thing I really like is growing two-way communication nature that blogs have those days. Last month, I received a lot of constructive feedback both via direct mail and via online comments. Keep'em coming I'd say!

What the future will bring? I don't know yet, but one thing I can assure: lots of posts are in the blog queue right now (both online with "deferred posting" and offline in a notepad - and a few in OneNote 2007 too - skeleton). For the moment I'm spending much of my time with .NET Framework 3.0 (WCF and WF mostly), IIS 7 and C# 3.0/LINQ. Some projects last forever, such as SSCLI experiments and reading many many books (some "currently reading" titles to check out: Conceptual Blockbusting, Software Engineering, The Art of Computer Programming and Shared Source CLI Essentials).

So, thanks to everyone reading my blog. And stay tuned, there's yet more to come!

Bart De Smet - 09/25/06 - 0:40 AM

PS: No worries, there will be a technical post today as well.

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# The October 06 Month Report

Tuesday, October 31, 2006 11:44 AM by B# .NET Blog

One month after the start of the Daily Blogging Mission I'm happy to see I survived yet another month:

# The November 06 Month Report

Friday, December 01, 2006 4:06 AM by B# .NET Blog

Yet another great (well, at least in my opinion) month of Daily Blogging . Once more, feedback from readers