WordPress pointed out to me that I have published 102 posts in just over 2 years. I decided that this is a good moment to look back and see what it has brought me.
When I started my blog in December 2009 I was curious what it would be like to blog and I wanted to improve my English (I’m still working on that). The biggest change is that there are now people who read my posts and who respond to it. My blog now has an average of almost a 100 views per day. That of course is nothing in the greater scheme of things, but it is much more than the average visits that I had in 2010 (7 views per day) and 2011 (37 views per day). The fact that you have an audience makes a big difference, it turns your blog from a diary into a publication and most important: you get feedback. When I started out I just wrote about my learning experiences in my work and at conferences. But that has now shifted. I use my blog to try out ideas. With the responses I can improve my idea or decide to drop the idea.
The first time I used my blog for this purpose was when I became CEO of easygenerator. We were working on our Vision and Mission statement and I decided to publish a first draft of it in my blog. Scary to do on one hand but it paid off. I got a lot of comments on it and some people (like Jay Cross -thanks again!-) took the time for a real in-depth reaction. This enabled me to improve the statement and it gave me a better start at easygenerator.
A highpoint for me was a post on learning metaphors. The post got a thousand views in a matter of days and I got a ton of responses on it. It clearly was a subject of interest to many people. This inspired me to follow up on this with some more posts and I did a well-attended presentation at LSCON in Orlando. As a result the implementation of new learning metaphors has now become the major goal of easygenerator for 2012.
Writing on demand
In 2011 I was asked to contribute to the ASTD’s blog Learning Circuit. A question was posted every month and we (5 ‘thought leaders’) replied on it with a post. The goal was to spark discussion. I found it an interesting experience to write about a given subject and compare my own thoughts with the others. I write posts too for easygenerators company blog. This is quite different. Although we try to keep the blog informal, you have to write mostly about concrete product related things. There is less room for loose ideas and opinions in comparison to this personal blog.
I write my blog in WordPress and they recently added ‘Views by country’ to the statistics. It shows that my largest group of readers is from the US and it shows that since February 25 I had people from 98 countries read posts on my blog.
Quit cool! Although the map shows that I have still some work to do in Africa and Asia. Fact is that I gained a lot of international contacts from the blog. This is very helpful in my work.
ELearningLearning (an aggregator site on e-Learning related blogs) brings out lists with best e-Learning post of the day/week/month and year. One post I wrote for the Learning Circuit blog made it to the top of that list for 2011. That is a nice form of feedback!