Blogging can be seen as a very inwardly focussed activity, it is all about me, me, me. I have always tried to maintain a fairly balanced online presence, keeping it professional if a little informal, striving to only blog, or tweet quality rather than quantity. On the whole this has worked for me. The downside to this though has been a slow increase in my online presence (or brand, whatever term works for you) and therefore Twitter followers and blog visits. For example one of the primary reasons for blogging this year has been to “practise” writing about my profession in a way that I don’t get in my place of work and not to gain fans and followers (although that would be a nice by product!).
That said, the automated report that WordPress sends out prompted me to consider what I have achieved over the last year and realise how positive I feel about my online presence. To put it into context here are some very quick (and totally unscientific) stats: In 2011 (when I joined Twitter) I had four blog posts in a self managed blog page, attended one conference (RSA), had less than ten followers and tweeted maybe ten times. I had publicly spoken once, for two minutes, at the Christmas RANT forum. In short, I had no idea what the community had to offer or indeed how to engage with it.
It was at the aforementioned RSA conference that two things happened; firstly I realised that 80% of the presentations I watched were of a quality that I felt I could reproduce. Secondly I met a few folks on the last night that in all honestly changed my perception of the industry and how I could participate in it, namely Brian Honan (@BrianHonan), Kai Roer (@kairoer), Alex Hutton (@alexhutton) and Aaron Barr (@aaronbarr) amongst others. They showed me (unknowingly) how they worked with the community, staying in touch through Twitter, communicating through blogs, articles, podcasts etc.. I have since stayed in touch with Brian and Kai, both of whom I respect greatly and would like to thank for their openness and friendliness to me back in October 2011!
Fast forward to today and my stats are a little better: 26 blogs posts, nearly 500 tweets (not all of them are rubbish either!), 111 followers, six public speaking engagements including one panel and the RSA conference itself, a video blog with the almighty Javvad Malik (@j4vv4d) and contributed to two articles (for Tripwire and (In)Secure magazine). I attended in one capacity or another nearly twenty events/conferences/forums. The best part is that these stats don’t do the experience itself any justice. I have made friends and met many people for whom I have the most deep respect for and who I genuinely like and enjoy their company. I have submitted a joint CFP for a conference with one of them, and hope to continue my relationship with Acumin and the RANT forum (@Acumin & @GemmaPats) who gave me my first big break in public speaking (thank you!). In short, 2012 has been awesome as both a learning experience and a source of fun and enjoyment as regards my chosen profession. The blog stats below are of course modest by most peoples standards, but they are interesting and encouraging to me nonetheless in the context of the above.
I tweeted over the Christmas holidays that my word for 2013 is “growth” both professionally and personally; while I hope that my 2013 “stats” will continue to “grow” more importantly I hope that my new friendships and opportunities to learn in this odd, frustrating, challenging yet ultimately rewarding industry and community continue.
And before you ask, yes, New Year, New Theme for the blog; I’ve grown out of my dark goth and emo phase and now it is time for some colour and class!
Here’s an excerpt:
The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.