Saturday, September 20, 2014

5 Years of Continuous Blogging, Part 1

I initially started blogging to create writing samples in addition to samples I have for my technical writing portfolio. Every month for the past 5 years, starting in September 2009, I have published something. My monthly count has been as few as one and as many as five. I know the quantity does not come anywhere close to many prolific bloggers, but I know of many bloggers who were sporadic or stopped.

For me, a motivator for publishing was imposing a schedule for myself. Initially,I posted three times a month. During one contract writing/editing job, I cut the posting to once a month throughout 2011. Since then, except for a 16-episode of weekly century plant posts in 2013, I have posted twice a month.

Not sure I'd return to more often if and when I again exit the working world. In any case, when I publish, the motions remind me of the clock reset (countdown timer) in the Lost TV show.

My graphs reflect the stats for the 5 periods for September through August (2009 through 2014). Wanting to generate stats, formulas, and graphs sent me scurrying to some Excel how-to Google searches. (I hardly ever use Excel.) Was I rusty! Couldn't remember how to assign repeating rows, create a formula, or generate a graph! Conveniently, during my research over my 130 articles, I ran across my SurveyMonkey article, which I had foresight to list some Excel formulas.

A couple of handy Excel-info webpages:
The images show 5 years for total posts, posts with images, and recipe posts. Although the 3D graph is cute for the depth looks, I feel the line graph actually shows better contrasts among year-to-year and also type-to-type trends.

I had a bit of fun playing with Excel in creating the tables and graphs, then playing with them in my ancient PaintShopPro 7.04. In Excel, I became reacquainted with inserting some basic formulas and creating graphs. I rediscovered graphing options for type (bar, line), inserting numbers and titles, and moving numbers. In PSP, I further played with moving pieces, cropping areas, and combining the charts.

Related posts, besides the one about SurveyMonkey and using Excel:
For "5 Years Continuous Blogging, Part 2", I will focus on word counts and number spreads.

October 31, 2014: Links to the series
  1. 5 Years of Continuous Blogging, Part 1
    Focus on single- and five-year views for total articles, articles with images, and recipe articles.
  2. 5 Years of Continuous Blogging, Part 2
    Focus on numbers of words in articles and graphical representations.
  3. 5 Years of Continuous Blogging, Part 3
    More details on collecting the data.
  4. 5 Years of Continuous Blogging, Part 4
    Emphasis on data sorting and distribution of word count groupings.


Ricardo Schillaci said...

Looking forward for more details

whilldtkwriter said...

Thanks for reading, Ricardo. Just generated a scatter chart for next article preparation by using helpful YouTube video

Andrew Brandt said...


Congratulations on your five-year anniversary of your blog. Doing anything for five years shows discipline and gumption. Many bloggers never get close to that.

Best wishes in anticipation of the 2nd five years of blogging, too.

From Andy at the Frugal Guidance 2 blog ( 2 years at that address, so far. I'm working at it.

whilldtkwriter said...

Thanks, Andy! I'm publishing Part 2 today. I have enough material for a third part.

Your blog does have some good ideas about frugality!

Phoenicia Oyeniyi said...

Hi Wanda,

Congratulations on passing the five year mark!

Interesting blog. Not many people commit to a blog long term. I have visited many abandoned blogs where people have given up.

I had hopes of posting more often but decided at once a week. This is more realistic and allows me time to focus on other projects.

whilldtkwriter said...

Hi, Phoenicia. Thanks for your kind words. I just posted the last of this series of blogging 5 years. Initially, I thought it'd be one article. As I kept writing trains of thoughts and formed themes, the articles evolved, one by one. I truly am done with the series and will publish something else for the next one. Maybe return to a favorite--recipes.

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