Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Blog With a Life of its Own

One of the interesting facets of writing a blog is that, over time, you start to get a volume of work together that has many themes. Since this is my first post for 2013, I figured it would be fun to see what has caused my blog to become what it is over time, what this really represents, and what I actually do here with this blog that is, supposedly, dedicated to software testing.

The first thing I noticed is that the page views for my blog have been remarkably consistent on any given day. They often double when I actually make a post, but even during weeks when I only post once a week, the daily page views remain in the few hundreds each day. Granted, that's not setting the world on fire, but for a niche topic like software testing, that's still pretty cool.

What's really interesting is to see what people are looking at over the course of a given week, or a month, very often, I find posts I've written months ago getting more traction than things I've written more recently, and it often surprises me to see which posts "top ten" in any given week or month. It seems my recollection of events I've been at rate highly, such as my recollections from the POST Peer Conference in Calgary in March 2012. Just about any given week, I see this entry showing up in my top ten, and very often in the top three. My Live Blogs from various events also make their way into my top spots each week, sometimes months after the events have taken place. I think this stems from a wish for many to be a certain place, and when they can't be there, then perhaps my recollections make for a modest substitute. I can live with that.

For grins, I decided to see what areas I wrote about and which ones tend to be the most commonly used. Here's the top 10 tags that I use:
  1. life experience (312) 
  2. learning (295) 
  3. people (247) 
  4. career development (219) 
  5. software testing (209) 
  6. education (206) 
  7. skills development (196) 
  8. books (171) 
  9. goals (143) 
  10. collaboration (122)

By comparison, here's the top ten posts that, to date, you all think are the most interesting:
What does this tell me? In general, it looks like my roving reporter pieces, at least one book review, my reflecting on what I've learned over the past few years, a tool my friend Tim Coulter developed, and looking at a different way of thinking is what you value most about this site, at least by what has made the top ten in this slightly shorter than 1000 day period I've been running this experiment :).

To all my readers, regardless of what I might try to interpret out of the data that has been presented here, there's one thing for sure, and that is that you all are the ones driving it. Your input, your interest, your comments and your encouragement have helped make TESTHEAD into a living entity where, frankly, I'm not sure day to day what it's going to become. You, however, help me make those decisions, so thank you for helping me rear such an unruly toddler, and I'm looking forward to seeing what interesting things develop in the next year and years.

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