Exactly three years ago this blog was launched with its very first article. This blog was somewhat of a leap in the dark for me, having had no prior writing experience whatsoever. A lot has changed since I started writing here, but there has been one single constant from the very beginning. A blog needs updates and safe a couple of vacations there have been no time-outs or breathers. Trying to keep a blog relevant is what it's all about.
Quite a few things changed this past year. The most glaring and obvious one is the complete visual overhaul started by some small css3 experimenting. You might even remember the short period of time dedicated to the live transformation of this blog. An interesting experiment where each component received a visual update spread across a period of a month or two, making the overhaul a lot easier to plan and execute. By now you're probably already quite used to the current design, but looking back at the very first design (png) it's hard to imagine where it all began.
The downside of the live overhaul can be found in the state of my current css files, which are a lot messier than U can accept. Together with cleaning up the css I've been working on the html code of the blog, getting it html5-ready. You won't notice too much of this change, though the blog might be a little faster to load. Hopefully it will be up and running by the time the ie6 graph remains fixed below the designated 0.5% line. So if you're still visiting this blog using ie6 (which will not be a truly pleasant experience I reckon), it's really time to upgrade now!
getting the ads right
Another important update came in the form of advertising. Not that this blog became impossible to manage without it, but toying around with ad systems itself has been a pretty interesting experience. The (small) monetary gain coming from it is a welcome plus but not a goal. Priority one remains to keep the ads as unobtrusive and valuable to the reader as possible.
By now the affiliate ads should be kicking in all over the personal blog, the coming month I will be adding ads on the work blog. These ads are not automatically generated so I can at least keep control over the quality of the ads. At the same time I can use them to link to relevant articles so I'm actually winning on both sides. Don't feel obliged to click on them though, clicks won't generate me any revenue anyway. But if you're interested in buying something, go right ahead!
A smaller addition came in the form of a Twitter link (footer of the blog). I'm still not a big social-lover but I believe that shutting people out because of personal preferences is not always the best way to go. If people want to follow me on Twitter and abuse the network as an rss tool, why not. A slight change of mentality that might have some impact on future decisions no doubt.
The past years has also been quite interesting cross-blog like. I've written an article for a respected Dutch blog and even landed one of my articles on Smashing Magazine. The overall gain of regular visitors of such endeavors is quite small but it does get your name out there.
Besides the technical overhaul I don't have much lined up, apart from continuing what I've been doing all along: writing articles. Things are going well with a steady rise in visitors and overall visibility, so I must be doing something right. Blogging takes quite some perseverance and patience but once you're used to the rhythm of writing several articles each week it's actually not all that stressful.
So I can only hope you keep coming back to read more of what I have to say. Here's to another year of blogging!