8 Years of blogging, and counting!

8 years of blogging

The History

It’s amazing how fast time flies but as of today, I have been blogging for 8 years! Before I started blogging back in 2005 while in my last year at university, I remember talking to Paul Andrew, who was working at Microsoft New Zealand at the time when I was a Microsoft Student Partner. Back then, my title was ‘Microsoft Student representative’, which then was changed to *Microsoft Student Ambassador *and currently is called *Microsoft Student Partner. *It’s hard to believe that this was 10 years ago now for me!

Putting the student ambassador story aside, at that time, when I was involved in some stuff with Paul, I found out that he had a blog. I thought to myself, hey it would be nice to have one of these. I asked Paul how he got his blog and he mentioned that these are allocated to Microsoft employees. I still wanted one, so I thought why not start my own. I started thinking of domain names to use and ended up going for https://www.dan.net.nz at the time. I’ve since also acquired .au and a couple of years ago which is what I currently use as my main domain. In 2005 I thought it would be nice to call myself DanDotNet and that’s how I came up with the first domain name – dan.net was not available to use. A couple of months ago I decided to let that domain name lapse after using it for so long. Since I’ve been using it has grown on me so it felt like the right time to let https://www.dan.net.nz go. That’s basically how my blogging journey started and it’s good to see that 8 years on I’m still doing so.

Thoughts on blogging and blogging tips

Looking back at my blog posts over the past eight years, what I notice most is that in the very early days, the majority of my posts were very short in length. I suppose this is what you could refer to today as the equivalent of what we now know as tweets! However, as I started gaining experience, knowledge and an audience, my posts have also matured a lot in nature of content, value and style. In addition to that my blog now has much more exposure than it did in the old days and I hope it continues to grow.

When I started blogging, most of the people in this blog list had active blogs. However, a few have disappeared over the years. I think social media and sites like twitter have taken content away from blogs, but, there are also some who have decided to retire. This includes one of my favourite blogs along that time of Xero CEO Rod Drury who now occasionally blogs on the Xero Blog instead.

Like Rod, who these days probably needs 72 hours in a day, we all have times when we are busy and that takes us away from blogging, other times there may not be much to say or blog about. A couple of years, ago I started regularly reading Scott Hanselman’s blog – my current favourite blog to read – and he has some great tips for bloggers in his posts Your Blog is The Engine of Community and Your words are wasted. The key message for me from both of these posts is that when you blog, you own your words, you are in controland that your words contribute content for the community and this can be useful in many ways. *That’s why if you have a blog, you should blog more*. Reading Scott’s posts has definitely encouraged me to keep blogging and even make more effort in blogging well and not just rant!

A trip down memory lane

Now given my blog’s anniversary I thought I would share 8 of the most popular – viewed/clicked – posts I’ve had on this blog. Here’s the list in alphabetical order which I hope you enjoy.

A lap around the New Windows Azure Portal (several posts)
Breaking up Microsoft
Fixing your BlogEngine.NET theme in Windows Live Writer
From Windows Live Search to Bing Social in 6 years!
History of the Start button
Steven Sinofsky: Other reasons why he left Microsoft
Visual Studio 2012: New Features
Windows 8: Where’s my start button?

So remember, if you have a blog and haven’t blogged recently, blog more and keep the content coming!