Archives for posts with tag: Blog

4 years blogging. That’s 620-odd Monday-Wednesday-Friday posts over 208 weeks. Blimey. It’s a long time, isn’t it? For nearly 7 and half per cent of my entire life, and roughly 20% of the existence of the medium, I’ve been blogging regularly.

The one thing that strikes me when I hit these milestones is this: where the bloody hell has the time gone and why is it going so damn fast? It doesn’t seem that long since I penned my first post on ‘domino chain’ theory, complete with fancy self-made picture.

Over this time I’ve stayed very true to the blog’s strapline, putting into words my ‘musings on things that I come into contact with’. True to that, I’ve written on a range of topics, from sales and marketing through to language and communication, behaviour and attitudes, cultures and conflicts, travel and tribulations.

As I’ve always said, I enjoy the discipline of penning the regular post, and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the odd one too.

How long will I continue doing this? Well, to borrow from the gambling phrase that sits under all ads, at least in this country: when the fun stops, stop.

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600 up! Yup, this is blog post number 600. I feel like I should take a bow, but it’s probably you that should be taking one.

For a while I wasn’t sure I was going to get to 600 blog posts or 4 years of blogging first. It’s rather like when you’re on a treadmill, running at a pace that doesn’t make for a simple arithmetic calculation of your distance within a certain time. You don’t know if you’re going to hit your distance target before your time target.

I should have done a better job with my maths though. 3 blogs a week is 156 a year, and since 4 x 156 is 624, I was always going to get to the quantity target before the time target. Speaking of quantity, I hope that its opposite, namely quality, has been there as well, and that you’ve got something out of the posts so far. I’ve enjoyed writing them. They’re quite relaxing.

There is one thought that always returns when I hit these milestones. That thought is this: where has the time gone? Can it really be 200 weeks since I started the 3-blogs-a-week thing? Was it really 8 weeks short of 4 years since my first post?

It’s always a reminder that time moves quickly and you need to fill it with the good stuff.

Hello. It’s Wednesday 9th November 2016. I know there’s been an important election, but I’m not focused on it right now.

This is my 500th blog post.

500. It’s a decent soccer or rugby win rate, a great test cricket score, a phenomenal baseball batting average. It’s a long book if you sew it together. I’m very pleased.

For the last 3-and-a-bit years, I’ve been sharing my ‘musings on stuff I come into contact with’, not caring that I finish my statements with a preposition. I’d like to think it’s a symbol of what I’m about; not quite iconoclastic, but certainly calling things and writing them the way I see them, without any sugar coating.

When I started this blog it was early September 2013. I had a little time and wanted to get into the discipline of writing regularly. I didn’t know how long it would last. I didn’t set myself a goal; maybe I should have. I’m surprised and delighted that I continue my Monday-Wednesday-Friday thing into a fourth year. I’m not quite in the Seth Godin league of 7-day-a-week pronouncements to the marketing masses for the last 7-plus years, but I’m still very pleased. My posts are generally longer than his short ones, and shorter than his long ones. I’ve always tried to go for consistency and occupy your attention for about 1-2 minutes, 3 times a week. I think that’s about the right level of intrusion for blog posts.

I’m conscious that this post has been almost all about me, which is something I always try to avoid, especially in the advice I dispense about marketing, sales, business and life. I think, however, that it’s OK to give yourself a pat on the back when it’s deserved, so I trust you will forgive this minute or 2 of self indulgence.

 

Hello. Today marks three years of blogging at pauldilger.com. Exactly three years. To the day.

From humble beginnings on the second day of September 2013, to today’s humble ongoing efforts, I’ve been sharing my ‘musings on stuff I come into contact with’, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, come rain or shine, work day or holiday.

This is post number 471, after 157 weeks of 3 posts a week. 471 posts is a very large book. Can I say that I’ve written my first book? I don’t think so. It’s more a collection of thoughts, rather than something that is stitched together conceptually by a broad idea and physically by a spine and covers.

I started the blogging because I enjoy writing and sharing my thoughts, and also because I thought the discipline of having to post 3 times a week would be a good habit to acquire and would keep the creative juices flowing. I wasn’t sure how long I would last. After all, anyone can start something, but it takes a certain resolve to keep it going and see it through.

Through ’til when though? When do you finish something like this? Is there a natural end? Perhaps it’s when you’ve nothing more to say. But since my guiding strapline is musings on stuff I come into contact with, every passing day brings new insights and learnings that I think are worth sharing.

I will finish blogging at some point, I have to, although I’m not sure when and have no plans to finish soon. And, when I do, the end will most likely go largely unnoticed by the world, just as the start did when I published the first post and just as the middle does, from the stats I see on my posts.

That’s hardly the point though, is it?

Here’s to the next three years of blogging. Thanks for reading :-).

I was at a commemoration the other day, to mark the centenary of an important event in Ireland’s history. As part of the ceremony they sounded a baleful and well known song called The Last Post.

Ironically, it reminded me that that very same day I’d forgotten to publish my morning’s blog post. From The Last Post to The Late Post, as it were.

My posts go out every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I’ve probably forgotten to post 3 times in 400-some posts. I’m usually a few weeks ahead on posts, but the combination of two weeks travelling pushed me out of my routine and all of a sudden I was one blog deficient.

A chap I used to follow a lot is Seth Godin – less so now because I spend quite a bit of my own free time writing. The eponymous Seth’s blog probably has in excess of 6,000 posts under its belt – or should I say roll? – at this stage. I’m sure he hasn’t ever missed one. He’s probably a lot of weeks ahead compared to my few, and either he has help to do the scheduling so that he never runs out or forgets to hit publish, or he is a superbly infallible machine that never misses. I suspect it’s the latter, since when I used to catch every single post I would on very rare occasions find a small typo that I would make him aware of. He never failed to come back within a couple hours to acknowledge my email and the fix.

Either way, I suppose it’s better that occasionally it’s my late post, rather than my last post…

 

If you’re a regular reader of this blog you’ll know that my blog posts are Monday, Wednesday, Friday things, relatively short and designed to be read in a couple of minutes.

I thought it would be useful to let you know how I write them. I use WordPress as my blog engine by the way.

First, the idea. I either come up with a series of posts based around an involved topic or I get a specific thought which prompts a standalone post. Then I pen the title and scribble some notes in the body. Then I click save draft. About 1 per cent of the time, I click publish by mistake, and since the default time is set to publish immediately, this results in a largely blank post being sent through social media and emailed to be subscribers :-(. Then I have to remove it. But let’s stay with the 99%.

My next task is to schedule the publication for a time in the future. I always set my time window between 7:30 and 8:30 in the morning Irish time, since for Irish and UK readers that’s a good time for them to be checking their social media. I then set the categories for the blog post and think about the tags that are relevant for this post. Then I click save draft.

Now I’m ready to write the post. I compose the post, staying on topic so I don’t mismanage the expectations of the reader and for SEO purposes, though I don’t use sub-headings since my posts are so short. I click save periodically, especially if I’m on the move and my wifi is flaky. I also insert outside links and links to other posts where I think they enhance the post, never for their own sake.

When I’m finished writing, I save the draft, then re-read the post carefully for spelling mistakes, typos, sentences that don’t make sense or that could be improved. I iterate, clicking save draft which each iteration. Then I click Schedule, before reviewing how the post will look to you the reader. I might further refine the post and then follow the same process.

Then I’m done! For a post that runs smoothly, it’s 15 to 20 minutes from start to finish. For a longer post or one that doesn’t flow as it might, it could be an hour. But that’s not an onerous responsibility for 3 times a week, at least in my view.

Two years ago today I published my first blog post on ‘Paul Dilger’s blog – Musings on stuff I come into contact with.’ I committed to do 3 posts a week, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, going out between 7:30 and 8:30 am London/Dublin time, regular as clockwork. It didn’t seem worth the commitment to do one when I felt like it, since that would degenerate into one a month, and pretty soon none a month.

Two years later, and some 300-plus posts later, it’s still going strong, regular as clockwork. I like to think that I’m still true to the values from the early days: mostly sales and marketing stuff, posts that take a maximum of 2-3 minutes to read – rather than 10 seconds or half your morning – and posts that I hope interest and enable people.

It serves as the chief dollop of fresh content for my business web site, but it doesn’t feel like work. I really enjoy writing the posts, and I know the discipline of creating them is good for me.

I hope you enjoy dipping into them as well. Here’s to the next post :-).

As we move towards a world that is, literally, the Internet of things, it’s interesting to see how this lifelogging thing is going to develop. For a good introduction to this phenomenon of using wearable devices to track your entire life for some kind of perverse posterity, see here.

The weblog quickly graduated – and shortened – to the blog, where people could write about what they see going on in the world, much like this blog you’re reading, and build up a following and a web 2.0/2-way interaction with people. It’s now become an important part of an organisation’s or individual’s social media strategy.

At the moment, it’s hard to see how lifelogging will develop into something more commercially relevant – and into a more concise and marketable word. Apart from flogging I suppose, but that’s a couple of bridges too far in the wrong direction methinks.

Perhaps it’s destined to go the way of other wearable tech that runs into privacy issue because of the collateral recording of other people without their permission. On the other hand it could presage some hideous dystopian world 50 years from now where we’re all tracked 24/7. Could go a number of ways :-).

 

Two hundred is a good number. In cricket, a century is considered a very good score by a batsman. A double century is a lot rarer, a lot more prized. ‘Not out’ means the batsman is still ‘at the crease’ and has the potential to score more ‘runs’.

Two hundred of anything is impressive I think. 200 fans or followers is more than the sacred 150, thought of as the maximum size for a ‘tribe’.  200 customers means you’re a serious player. 200 wins, well, you get the picture.

This, dear reader, is my 200th post. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them. I’ve certainly enjoyed writing them.

Here’s to 200 more – as long as they’re useful!

Where do you stand, dear reader, on blog post length? I won’t tell you how many online column inches have ben devoted to this. The consensus is that it doesn’t matter, it depends. One thing they all seem to agree on, however, is that longer posts get linked to more often.

The conclusion they draw is that longer posts are therefore better. I take issue with this and offer a different explanation. The reason is tl;dr syndrome. Too long; didn’t read. People are busy, too busy to read long posts, so they just scan them.

This is how it goes: “Boy this is a long post. It’s good though, at least what I’ve read of it sounds good, but I can’t read any more, so I’d better share it anyway.”

So you get this kind of social media message: “Very interesting, important article on blah blah blah, worth a read.” Does this create a kind of social media maelstrom of mediocrity?

Better to create a blog post that people have time to get through properly, no?