Some Thoughts On Blogging

It’s been a bit over eight months since I left Microsoft and moved my Computer Science Education blog to a new location. The move went surprisingly well all told. I didn’t migrate my old posts from the old location but didn’t start completely from scratch. The blog had been around for a while and I had occasionally cross posted so there were some posts there. Also I used Feedburner so by changing that link I kept most of my RSS subscribers.  Other traffic tool longer to build up. But Blogger claims I’ve had a bit over 130,000 page views since then. That’s not bad.  Recent page view counts have been similar to what I was seeing at the old location.

Otherwise I have noticed some changes. Especially lately I am blogging a bit less frequently. Sometimes only twice a week. Other times three times. I used to always post at least five times a week. A couple of reasons for this.

One is time. Or rather how I prioritize my time. At Microsoft part of how I was measured at salary review time was on traffic to my blog. That was a serious incentive to work on quantity as much if not more than quality. These days I don’t have that incentive. In the long run that is good I think.

I also used to have an email inbox that regularly filled with requests from others at Microsoft to promote their products or events. Occasionally driving action to those events or products was also rewarded. These days I don’t have many Microsoft people asking me to promote their stuff. I still do promote some things for friends especially when I think it has real value to my audience. Mostly I do it on my own though. I do miss getting some updates on products directly though. I’ve hardly heard about the Imagine Cup for example. I used to blog about that a lot. I still think it is a great event but my time priority is not to track down the news on it.

Thirdly I am not going to cool events like I used to. I’m not complaining as I am really enjoying being back in the classroom but those events were both a nice change of pace and something good to write about.

On the other hand I am writing about more non-Microsoft things. Not that I didn’t do so before as I often wrote about things like Alice and Scratch. I don’t hesitate to write about Google or Apple these days. I used to occasionally write about them before but always very carefully. A Microsoft employee could get into real trouble commenting too much on competitive products. Not as much from inside the company as outside though. Being publically critical of the competition was not encouraged at Microsoft. In fact they’d rather people said nothing at all than be hyper critical. Promoting competition was also not going to win you any friends but was actually easier for me than being critical. It’s all easier now though.

I’m not sure what the blogging is going to look like over the summer. My blog is evolving and I’m not sure in what directions it will really go. All I know is that I still have a need to share ideas, tools, events and other information. So the blog continues.

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