I’m writing this for you, I just don’t know who you are…

I really enjoy traveling, and I’d say “and meeting new people”, but I’m a fairly introverted fellow in person, and tend to hang back a bit. None the less, I watch and I listen. I spent the earlier part of the summer in western Europe – where my knowledge of the language is not even rudimentary: dutch, german, french, danish, icelandic… fortunately tone,  body language, and the immense pervasiveness of english as a trade tongue made it possible.

I am now back in the US, doing a bit of wandering and traveling here. Stomping around in the midwest as I write this post, mostly doing the same – listening, watching, learning. There’s as much to learn next door as there is across the ocean.

I started “this blog” – which has moved a few times, and been re-hosted two or three times as well – almost 16 years ago when I moved from the midwest. Originally a way to “keep in touch” with friends, a sort of public journal. Since then personal writing has morphed to technical writing, the me of now self-censors very differently than the “me of 2000”, and the audience has both grown tremendously and shifted around. RSS news readers have given way to cross posting in social media or just sharing content through search engines. I do post a lot more directly in twitter or facebook, even with their faults and strageness, than I do here. I have a micro.blog account, but haven’t yet really engaged in using it to any depth.

I am thinking about the content here, because as I was looking at the “metrics and analytics” I was struck (not for the first time) how much I write for people that I haven’t met. It’s kind of cool – well, “astoundingly cool” really – to write for people I may never even meet.

I expect the majority of people find my content through a search engine, and even a decade ago I was writing with the idea that search engines would index this stuff and make it available. That Google or it’s competitors would add this to the wealth of knowledge and opinions accessible. But planning for it doesn’t really resonate the same way as seeing the actual reach.

This is a snapshot view of just August of this year – what people are reading and viewing of my writing.

aug2017analytics

I never would have expected to have people from germany, india, china and france reading my words. Hopefully getting something useful from it. Other than these analytic trails, it’s hard to see the evidence.

The post that tops even the current views was one I wrote 18 months ago, and didn’t seem to become popular for a good six months after I wrote it. For quite a number of years, the highest viewed post was one I wrote in 2009 – a walk-through example of setting up CI for a python project with Jenkins (well, Jenkins was known as “hudson” at the time) that I created as a “thank you” for the author of coverage – open source project.

My posts here are for me, and for you – I just don’t know who you are. Not yet anyway, and maybe I never will – hard to say. I think it’s a worthy endeavor, and there are a lot of topics I’m interested in learning and sharing. If you do happen across this and want to say “hi” – I’d love to hear from you, find me on micro.blog, github, stackoverflow, twitter, facebook, or whatever. A sort of pen-pal across time I guess – anyway, I like hearing the reflections.

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