It took me some time to realize, but the rant about turning 25 that I posted last week marks my 100th blog post. I’m never one to pass up an opportunity to celebrate a meaningless milestone, and although I’m sure you’d much rather read something about Lisp, Carp, programming languages, or anything technical really, I’ve decided to bother you with this celebration as well.
Firstly, let me rave a little bit about these past one and a half years. It’s been exciting seeing my audience grow to people I haven’t met, and hearing that people actually derive value from me writing about a topic. It’s certainly also been scary, but I’m usually okay with speaking in front of an audience, and blogging really doesn’t feel that different to me.
It has been heartwarming to have people who I’ve never met before come up to me at a social event and tell me that they like my writing. I’ve even been hugged once!
I also enjoy the things people value. My technical blog posts are often received in a more lukewarm manner, and that’s alright. If it doesn’t concern you in your every day life as a programmer, it can be hard to get excited about some random intricacy of a tool you’ve never used.
In reality, there are only four aspects that people have expressed excitement about in the past, two of them technical, and two of them decidedly non-technical. They are:
The fact that I show my vulnerability in some of my blog posts. This kind of honest bit of humanity seems to draw more people to my writing than any of the other factors combined1.
My Koala and Turtle stories. I often wonder whether I should post more of these, or whether the more technically-minded readers of my blog would feel left behind. It’s great to know that there are a number of people who I’d describe as “technically-minded”, who seem to enjoy these stories a lot.
My blog posts on Carp. People seem to want to know more about the language, and for the time being, my blog posts are probably the best documentation we have. This should change soon, though (but I’ve been saying that for a while now).
My series on Lisp macros. This is a very niche topic, and there is only a small number of people who are actually interested in the posts, but the people who do read them have been very excited, and it’s been enough to make me want to continue writing these.
Something that’s interesting about this is that I don’t have a good idea what people actually care about. I don’t run Google Analytics on this blog post, or really any analytics for that matter. I don’t want to do that, because I want you to be able to feel just as vulnerable reading my blog posts as I am writing them, and I don’t want you to think that your behavior is being monitored. It’s just you, and a little note left behind by me.
But, marking the 100th blog post, I’d like to invite you to email me if you want to give me feedback on my blog, or if you want my opinion on anything, or if you just want to chat. I’ll also remind you of something that I wrote about a while ago: this blog has an issue tracker. If you want me to write about something, or fix something, or reach out, you can use that as well, as an open forum. Do keep in mind that others can read these as well, so if you have more private things to discuss, e-mailing me is probably better. If you’re privacy-minded, my PGP public key can be found here and should also be available on the keyservers.
And lastly, I currently live in Berlin, and if you’d like to go out for coffee, beers, a meal, or an all-night rave in an abandoned industrial complex, you can reach out as well!
1. I’m very happy that this is the case, because whenever I publish a blog post I feel exposed. When people tell me that they understand, feel the same way, or even that they’re grateful that I talk about it, I feel not only less exposed, but also that showing my vulnerabilities is useful.