I realized that I have just passed the second anniversary of
blog post, which caused me to ponder a bit about this relatively new
vehicle for communication. This is fair warning: some of you may find this post
to be self-indulgent piffle. If so, feel free to ignore it, but you have to
swear that you've never followed any of the Twitter twits who engage in
self-indulgent piffle all day, every day ("I'm driving to the airport" -- "I saw
a car that looks just like mine!" -- "I'm at the airport now") - you know the
type I mean.
A quick look back revealed that I've published 36 blog posts
over the two years. That's roughly one post every three weeks. Frankly, that's
less frequent than I hoped for when I started this endeavor, but of course we
all have lots of demands on our time. I have become more diligent over this
period, as shown by the following chart:
One factor that has reduced my blogging a bit is my adoption
of Twitter; sometimes it's more timely (though less detailed) to tweet out a
quick summary of an event rather than write a full post. On the other hand, the
emergence of the Universal Verification Methodology (UVM) and my passion for
the success of this standard have fueled a lot of blog posts in recent months.
I usually have no problem thinking of topics to blog about, but again there are
a lot of things going on every day and a quality post takes some time and
I've also found that I am using my blog as a substitute for
writing external technical articles. I used to publish numerous articles a year
in various trade publications but that's dropped dramatically in the last few
years. Reduced travel budgets have also taken their toll on the number of
conferences I attend, with the combined effect as shown in the following chart:
Clearly my effort has shifted from and trade publications
and industry conferences to blogging and company conferences such as CDNLive!
Probably half of my blog posts could have been expanded into full articles
easily, but as I've said before
the immediacy of the blogging medium makes it an attractive alternative to
traditional publishing. On the other hand, I realize that key industry sites
get more traffic (and thus more potential readers) than company blog sites.
It's clear that I should try to balance these two parallel activities a bit
So what have a learned from this bit of self(-indulgent)
analysis? The relative ease of writing a blog post with no effort needed to
publish it beyond a quick request to our blog editor means that blogs can
easily become the dominant method for external communication. There's nothing
wrong with that, but blogs should be complemented by the immediate nature of
tweets on the one hand and the archival nature of traditional papers and
articles on the other. Your thoughts and comments (as well as any corrections
to my Latin) are most welcome!
The truth is out there...sometimes it's in a blog.
You make a very good point about injecting personality into twitter; most of us do that to some extent so maybe it's just a matter of degree. Given the small amount of time that I have to look at twitter, I'd rather skip through 95% of the non-business tweets and focus on the meat. That's why I began this blog post right up front with a statement that it was mostly about me - anyone who wants just verification topics can simply skip this post. But you have 7x the number of followers on twitter that I do, so maybe I should tweet about my car too!
I resemble that Twitter remark. :) The reason I tweet "I'm at the airport" is because my kids follow me on Twitter and they want to know their mom is safe (they don't use Twitter so I can't DM). And "I saw a car like mine" delights many of my followers - they tell me so. I like to inject some personality into Twitter, not just work.
Congrats on your two-year anniversary. I'm approaching my third with The Standards Game. Blogging is a blast, no?