On this day in 2005 I started blogging, 12 years later and I’ve written 1874 posts. I’ve actually written more posts than that, but some of them never see the delights of publication, I have certain standards.
Most popular blogging sites focus on a particular subject or agenda, I don’t. For me, blogging has, always been about expressing myself and not about driving a particular set of topics. Sometimes I dive into series, sometimes I just write what I want to write in a single article.
I’d like to say thank you to those of you who read and those who comment, it’s humbling to recognise that you invest your time reading what I write.
When I started blogging I used TypePad which I quite liked, but had some limitations so eventually switched to a self hosted WordPress.org site. Running your own WordPress installation comes with some overhead, particularly if you want to keep your site out of the hands of hackers.
More recently I’ve migrated over to WordPress.com which is the WordPress application hosted by WordPress.
There were a couple of glitches in the migration, but all of my information made it across without any problems. The only lingering issue is that some of my older posts are missing their header image which is a problem I can live with.
There were several reasons for switching over to WordPress.com:
- I wanted to move to HTTPS as the primary protocol. Google and other search sites give preference to HTTPS and it was going to be tricky (and expensive) to go HTTPS with my existing hosting provider.
- I’d learnt what I wanted to learn about hosting WordPress which I’ve used on a number of private projects.
- Maintaining WordPress does require some effort, it’s a lot better than it used to be, but it was still more effort than I was wanting to expend.
- I wanted to save some money. My existing hosting was coming up for renewal which gave me the impetus to change and using WordPress.com was cheaper than the hosting provider I was using.
- It’s good to change.
I’ll be back soon with some more writing, but until then I’ll leave you with a thought from someone else:
“Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.”
11 years ago today I wrote a couple of posts on a typepad blog site which began the journey that has become this blog site.
Today is this blog’s birthday.
The first post was titled Welcome which did exactly that. In those early days the blog was called Oak Grove which is related to the origins of my surname.
The second post was titled Aspirations which outlined a number of personal observations. It’s quite a ramble, I hope my writing has improved since then.
On the 8th April I wrote a post titled The always-on social impacts which set a theme that has reappeared in various forms across the 11 years. Since that time we have become ever more connected and now travel everywhere with a smartphone and access Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. every waking hour. I suspect that this is a theme we will come back to again.
From time to time I decide that this little piece of internet real-estate needs a bit of a makeover.
As we move further into 2016 I’ve decided that it is again time to do some tinkering. That tinkering isn’t finished, by any measure. These changes are always a bit of a journey where I start with a blank-sheet and customise until I’m happy. What you see now is the blank-sheet which will be tinkered with until I’m happy.
This year’s blank-sheet is the current default WordPress theme – twentysixteen.
The tinkering helps me to remember some of my coding skills and also challenges my aesthetic eye. The eye is uncomfortable at the moment due to the number of anomalies in the blank-sheet, they will be tinkered out.
My first post on this blog was simply titled Welcome and was written on the 5th April 2005.
In those days I was writing under the title Oak Grove which is the root meaning of my surname.
I can’t tell you what the most popular posting has been over that entire time, because I’ve not managed to maintain a consistent statistics platform for all of it. I can tell you though, that the most popular post since 2009 has been this one on Rich Pictures.
I try to write positive and informative items.
I try not to write rants.
I could easily write rants, but there are plenty of people doing that already and I don’t see any value being just another voice in the crowd.
This morning I started writing a posting about a phrase I’ve been hearing quite a lot recently. It’s one of those management phrases that gain popularity, are repeated endlessly, but don’t stand up to scrutiny. These phrases get under my skin. Having written most of the posting I read through it to realise that it was just a rant, so you’re not going to get to see it. I’m going to have to think a bit longer before I can write something informative.
I do write critical articles, but I hope that they are informative rather than ranting. If I do write something that you think is just a rant please feel free to point it out.
I primarily write this blog for my own benefit but I still find some value in understanding who is visiting.
The best that can be said about 2014 is that the numbers held steady on 2013. Actually, if I’m honest the volume of visitors actually reduced by 1.8% which isn’t great.
There are some interesting insights behind that raw statistic:
- The number of direct visitors fell off significantly.
- The numberofreferals from social media sites grew dramatically:
- Facebook continues to be the largest and grew over 20%.
- Twitter and LinkedIn referals grew ten-fold.
- Google+ referals were small and down 50%.
- Google continues to be the largest referer and stayed the most static.
- There was a 50% growth in visits from mobile devices.
- There was a 60% growth in tablets.
- Chrome continued its growth with Firefox being the biggest loser.
- The UK is the largest visitor and continues to grow, up 50%.
- The United States is the second largest visitor, but has shrunk by 40%.
Onwards into 2015.