One year of Cyde Weys Musings

It’s been a year since I wrote my first blog post on Cyde Weys Musings, back on December 15, 2006. That blog post was a tutorial on installing WordPress on Ubuntu GNU/Linux. And yes, those were the exact steps I took to get this blog installed on my server. That tutorial has remained fairly popular over time. Even a year later, everything in it is still correct, and lots of people are finding it through Google and using it. I love figuring something out and then giving back, because I use online GNU/Linux tutorials all the time and I find them incredibly helpful.

I no longer host this site on my personal server though. In March 2007 I started another blog, Supreme Commander Talk, and I bought hosting through a hosting service. That turned out to be a very wise decision. They can handle much more traffic than my residential cable Internet connection at home, and their stability is much better too (at home, I dealt with the occasional flaky power and flaky net connection). SupComTalk was only using a very small fraction of my storage and bandwidth capacity with the hosting service, so I gradually transitioned the rest of my sites to be hosted there, including Cyde Weys Musings.

I’ve written 380 posts on Cyde Weys Musings thus far, averaging out to a little bit more than one a day. I’m pretty impressed with that rate of posting (as you may have noticed, I don’t do small posts with little substance). Amazingly, I don’t feel burnt out at all. I rarely force myself to write for the blog. I just write about whatever interesting topic comes to mind, and that’s usually good enough to write about one post per day. On days when I can’t think of anything to write about, I simply don’t. Admittedly, it may be too unpredictable for the reader who craves steady content, but at least the content is never uninteresting. If I were to get more professional at this, I would build up a backlog of time-insensitive posts and publish one on every day in which I could think of nothing else to write about.

At this point, I’m asking myself, where do I go from here? Traffic is way up from when I first started this blog, but it’s still nothing stellar. The trend is going in the right direction though, so I’m just going to keep amusing myself with writing here and see what happens. I have learned a lot about writing in the interim. It’s been worth it, even if no one was reading this blog. The feedback from you, the readers, has been icing on the cake. So please do continue commenting; I love hearing what others think about the things I write about. Writing to a vacuum isn’t encouraging, but writing for a responsive audience most definitely is.

I definitely plan for this site to be around for at least another year, so I’ll look back on everything that’s happened with the blog on December 15, 2008, the two year anniversary. I bet a lot will happen in the interim.

8 Responses to “One year of Cyde Weys Musings”

  1. K.T. Says:

    Cyde,

    Congratulations! If only you could have celebrated this occasion with a salad, a luscious butter-drenched steak, mashed potatoes, broccoli, creamed spinach, either chocolate cake or cheesecake for dessert, and a lot of embarrassingly inebriated co-workers.

    I’ve always held that life is not made meaningful by the grandiose gestures, but rather the small, repeated gestures. You could buy someone a car, or you could give them a ride every day for five years. That ride, simple as it sounds, will (should?) mean more in the long run, as each has a little value, but the cumulative value exceeds that of owning the car. Same thing with blogs, you’ve given your audience a bit of your time and effort each day, and in turn, it’s given all of us something to read and ponder for a bit each day. That really adds up over a year. Thank you, and color me impressed.

  2. K.T. Says:

    I note that the commenting timestamps aren’t synchronized with Eastern Standard Time Daylight Savings (at least, mine is not). As a developer true, I ask you (as I often do for my code-related inquiries), is this a setting that needs to be adjusted client-side, or a code change you have to effectuate on your end?

  3. Cyde Weys Says:

    K.T.: Yeah, the time was off by a timezone (and incidentally this website is hosted in a data center that runs on Mountain Standard Time). And if changing a timezone setting ever required a code change or a recompile, someone needs to be fired. No, all you have to do, in WordPress at least, is go into the options page on the web admin interface and adjust the offset, which I’ve just done.

  4. snaked Says:

    Congratulations, Cyde. Like I’ve sort of said before, since you first linked me to it, I’ve always looked at your blog as one of the best examples of what a personal blog should be. Your writing always manages to extract and illustrate the interesting and important things from daily life.

    Now I just have to read through the backlog…

    Good luck with your scope.

    -snaked

  5. William Says:

    I agree entirely with snaked here. I found SupComTalk from this blog and returned here when SupComTalk petered out. In both places, you’re writing has been above-par and your topics interesting.
    I have to admit that I was hoping for more from the small-moment-in-time writing style you were playing around with. Have you thought of giving it another shot?

  6. William Says:

    And you seem less prone to mistakes likes “you’re writing has”, but maybe you just proofread.
    Do you proofread your blog posts?

  7. Cyde Weys Says:

    William: Absolutely I proofread my blog posts! (And I did for SupComTalk too.) I generally write in three passes. The first pass is just to get everything from my mind onto the paper (as it were). The second pass focuses on reordering things to make them fit in a natural order, as they don’t always come out of my brain in the order that would be most logical if you were starting to read it without knowing it all from the outset. I also finesse paragraphs to be a reasonable length, work on flow, and correct any spelling, punctuation, grammatical, etc., errors that I may find. The third pass is very brief, and I’m primarily just looking for simple errors in sections that I didn’t examine too closely in the second pass. Then I hit “Publish”.

    I can’t fathom publishing anything without proofreading it. It doesn’t take a lot of time, and considering hundreds of people may end up reading it, it’s really worth my time to excise all of the distractions like sentences that don’t flow, spelling errors, etc. I’m a very quick reader, so even this comment right here got a second pass before being submitted just to check for any errors (I didn’t find any).

  8. Cyde Weys Says:

    And I should point out that the single greatest addition in Firefox 2.0, in my opinion, was the integrated spell checker. Nothing else even comes close. You wouldn’t believe how much that one change has improved the quality of Wikipedia.

    As for the moment in time thing – sure, I’ll give it another go. I haven’t actually finished my NaNoWriMo novel yet; I just got it to the 50k word mark and I’ve been dragging my feet ever since. Soon as I finish that, though, I’ll write some shorter fiction.