Looking Back, Looking Forward

Everyone else is doing it, so I figured I might as well also: publish something about how the site fared during 2010. I’m going to do that, yes, but I’m also going to talk a little bit about my commitments to the site (and to the readers) for 2011.

Looking Back: 2010

The site ended the year with just shy of 1.2 million views during 2010. That’s a pretty impressive number (at least to me), but it’s barely unchanged since last year. I guess I’m going to have to find new ways of driving visitors to my site!

Here are the top 10 articles on the site (these articles could have been published anytime, not just in 2010):

  1. ESX Server, NIC Teaming, and VLAN Trunking
  2. VMware vSphere vDS, VMkernel Ports, and Jumbo Frames
  3. vSphere Virtual Machine Upgrade Process
  4. Linux-AD Integration with Windows Server 2008
  5. ESX Server, IP Storage, and Jumbo Frames
  6. VMware ESX, NIC Teaming, and VLAN Trunking with HP ProCurve
  7. Understanding NIC Utilization in VMware ESX
  8. Linux, Active Directory, and Windows Server 2003 R2 Revisited
  9. Linux-AD Integration, Version 4
  10. Creating a Bootable ESXi USB Stick on Mac OS X

The top 10 articles published in 2010 is interesting as well; I found that all of the most popular articles on the site were published in previous years. I don’t know if this means my content is getting worse (so older content is better than newer content) or if it just means the older content shows up better in search results. Anyway, here are the top 10 articles published in 2010:

  1. PXE Booting VMware ESX 4.0
  2. The Future of NetApp
  3. The vMotion Reality
  4. Setting up a CCNA Study Environment with GNS3 and VMware
  5. Enabling RAID 1 on a Mac Mini Server
  6. A Couple GeekTool Scripts
  7. Understanding Network Interface Virtualization
  8. EMC Celerra Optimizations for VMware on NFS
  9. New User’s Guide to Configuring VMware ESXi Networking via CLI
  10. vMotion Practicality

The thing I found interesting about this list is that some of the posts I expected to be on there—like some of the FCoE-related posts—are nowhere to be found. Interesting…

Looking Forward: 2011

For 2011, I have a few commitments to the site and to the readers:

  1. One thing that I haven’t done a good job with over the last year or so is responding to readers’ comments. So, this year, I’m committing to do a better job of responding to readers’ comments here on the site. If you post a comment, I’m going to do my absolute best to respond to your comment, even if that means simply saying “Thank you”.
  2. I am committing to continue to provide full RSS feeds and not just summaries. I’m also committing to not include advertisements of any sort within the RSS feeds. That being said, I might end up switching to excerpts or summaries on the home page in order to draw more readers deeper into the site.
  3. A lot of readers have asked for the return of search functionality. So, this year, I’m committing to bring back search functionality to the site.

I do appreciate every single person who visits the site, subscribes to the feeds, or posts a comment. To each and every reader: thank you! I will strive to provide solid, useful, pertinent technical information that will make it worthwhile to continue to be a reader!

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  1. Brad Hedlund’s avatar

    Scott,
    Just want to say THANKS for the all the awesome stuff you do, inspiring folks like me.

    Have a great 2011.

    Cheers,
    Brad

  2. slowe’s avatar

    Brad, what makes it all worthwhile is getting to have great technical conversations, both online and in person, with people like you. Thanks for reading and participating, and keep up with the fantastic content on your site!

  3. Jacob Beneke’s avatar

    Thanks for everything you do. We appreciate the time you take to share your knowledge you share with us.

    ~Jacob

  4. Matt’s avatar

    Have great 2011! I second Brad’s comments.

  5. slowe’s avatar

    Jacob, Matt, thanks for your comments. I truly enjoy writing here and sharing information with others! I guess you could call it a labor of love. :-)

  6. Brandon’s avatar

    Have to agree I love your blog, I check it for new stuff everyday (I need to use RSS :X). I think your 2010 content has trended out of the realm of the more casual admins and gotten quite a bit deeper. Nothing wrong with that at all, but I think that will affect readership. It is also why I’m not surprised to see that FCoE is not on your top 10, and it explains both of your top 10s, those posts have a much wider base of people who the information could be helpful to.

    Caviar vs a Big Mac, you can’t say something is bad because it is less popular ;). You also dropped in the polling from #2 to #3 in the vmware-land poll. I don’t mean what I’m saying in a bad way, but it just adds to my point. Having said that though, don’t change what you’re doing. PLENTY of people need the info you post. I’m one of them!

  7. slowe’s avatar

    Brandon, I appreciate the feedback–it’s very useful! Looks like I might need to start writing some stuff that appeals to the “broader” reader base as well as my more advanced readers. Thanks again!

  8. Eric Gray’s avatar

    Happy New Year, Scott!

  9. Chris’s avatar

    I would throw out there that since you became an EMC employee, your content has shifted focus or became more focused (depending on perspective), and thus less relevant for the broader masses.

    I still love the blog but I find my above comments explain why I skip over more of the content now than I used to.

  10. slowe’s avatar

    Eric, thanks–Happy New Year to you as well!

    Chris, thanks for the feedback. The change/shift in focus is natural, but I’m wondering if you could provide some specific examples of the sort of content that is “less relevant for the broader masses”? Is it less relevant for the readership as a whole, or less relevant for you specifically? Obviously I can’t seek to please every single reader, so I’m just trying to get a feel for the kind of content you are describing as “less relevant.” I appreciate it!

  11. theodore’s avatar

    Re: more hits on old topics. I think this has more to do
    with the fact that majority of your visitors are just beginning to
    implement things that you’ve done in previous years (LDAP in CentOS
    comes to mind in my case). I wouldn’t say that indicates a lack of
    relevance of your blog, but rather an indication that the rest of
    us are not trying to keep up with your pace.

  12. slowe’s avatar

    Theodore, that’s an interesting viewpoint that I hadn’t considered. It’s certainly very possible that a lot of the newer content is just “ahead” of where many readers were during 2010. If that is indeed the case, I wonder what topics, aside from those above, would be most relevant to readers in the coming year? If you have some thoughts, I’d love to hear them. Thanks!

  13. Stuart Miniman’s avatar

    Scott,
    Thanks for the posts. My observation is that the top posts from previous years are ones that give overviews of technology and also not as deep technically as the newer posts – they are more approachable to a wider audience. My favorites have been when you are trying to understand and sharing what you think the use for a solution, the alternatives and the impact. Remember that in college or at a conference, the 101 classes will have a much larger audience than the 200 or 300 sessions. Broad posts also have a longer shelf life than deep posts on specific issues or summaries of the latest links/posts.
    Cheers,
    Stu

  14. slowe’s avatar

    Stu, good perspective–thanks! You make some really good points that I’ll have to keep in mind as I shape content for the coming year. I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts!

  15. Donny Parrott’s avatar

    Scott,

    I recently had the privelage to attend your presentation in Knoxville and enjoyed experiencing the person behind the site.

    As others have already stated, your content is becoming stronger. This will naturally prune some readers, but the senior personnel will continue.

    You may want to start a sub-section on 101 type topics to refresh the foundational subject matters. This could maintain the broad base while not alienating the more experienced.

    After your presentation in Knoxville, I had the opportunity to setup my first VAAI implementation with block level locking enabled. Your posts and presentations on the subject were a great help. Now, having experienced the benefit, wow!

    BTW, FCoE not being on the 10 best list… That speaks volumes all by itself.

  16. slowe’s avatar

    Donny, thanks for your comment. I think the idea of a “101″ sub-section is a good idea and is supported by several of the other comments here. I’m glad the Knoxville presentation helped with your VAAI implementation!

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