2012 blogging in review

I wanted to talk about how the blog got started, what’s been going on this year, and what my plans are for next year.

1.   How did this blog get started?

I’ve been coaxed, wheedled, cajoled, encouraged, or whatever verb you wish to choose, to start blogging this year by colleagues, friends and family, and I started in a half-hearted fashion to do so starting in January.   However, I made the decision on April 9th of this year to start blogging seriously, so every day without fail for the past 8 months or so, I have written a blog post.      Two things that have helped me to become a prolific writer:   this thing called a weekend, when I have more time to devote to writing blog posts, and the Hootsuite platform, which allows me to print the posts on WordPress later on during the week if need be.

2.  What was your initial goal as a blogger?

I wasn’t really writing for an audience, it was more like a public journal where I would write about the things I wanted to write about.   In particular, I wanted to write about a philosophical framework called Integral Theory, about issues related to globalization, and that’s all I started with.

3.  What made your blog start getting noticed?

Shortly after starting the blog, I took a two-month course on project management put on by the Project Management Institute to help prepare for the project management certification exam.   I was the leader of a study group that met every Thursday evening to discuss what had been covered during the week.   Not everybody could make it every week, so I decided to go through each chapter’s material and explain the material as best as I could and put my notes online in the form of a series of blog posts.   It was helpful for those who missed the study group, but then something magic happened.   Through being connected through the Internet, the blog posts I was writing about relating to project management were picked up by those studying the subject as well from places all around the world.   When I say all around the world, I mean from more than 120 countries!    This encouraged me to keep on doing so, and now I am focusing on Six Sigma Lean related topics because of a Green Belt course I took recently.   I’m putting these notes online so others can read them but frankly I need to refer to them from time to time myself.    They are public notebooks, if you will.

4.  What are the areas you’ve been blogging on in 2012?

About 70% of my blog posts have been on project management and Six Sigma related topics.   About 10% are topics related to globalization, meaning topics having to do with some point of interest around the globe, such as the Middle East, Myanmar or China, OR topics relating to some phenomenon such as global warming.    Another 10% are topics related to Toastmasters International, an organization I joined two years ago and which I have been heavily involved in ever since.   The last 10% are topics related to books I’ve read, movies I’ve seen, or more personal topics such as high school reunions.

5.  What’s going to be your focus in 2013?

I will continue with a series of posts on the 5th Edition of the Project Management Body of Knowledge or PMBOK Guide, because I’m volunteering for the Orange County chapter of the Project Management Institute to put on the project management workshop classes like the one I myself took last year, and to update the curriculum to reflect the changes in the PMBOK.   So I will cover the entire PMBOK guide’s 5th edition, chapter by chapter.

I have covered about 20% of the material in the Green Belt Six Sigma class, and will finish the last 80% as well.

The topics of globalization will continue.   I will write on the intelligence community’s assessment of global trends of the next 20 years, as well as that of the World Economic Forum which meets early this year.    I will continue to write about Toastmasters International, as I move some steps closer to my goal of becoming a Distinguished Toastmaster.    I want to read more books and publish reviews of them online.   The new area that I am starting just now is that I want to do summaries of various lecture series I’m listening to from The Teaching Company on topics as varied as the history of philosophy, religion, literature, and U.S. History.   I realized I needed a more rounded diet not just for myself but to let people know that there’s a liberal arts side to me as well as the technical side.

6.  What about the exposure of your blog?

When I started in earnest, I was happy if I got, oh, 10 hits on my blog in a single day.   My record now has been 279 views on a single day which happened just recently.   But more than the 13,000 hits I’ve had this year, the fact that those have come from over 120 countries around the world is for me the most impressive statistic.   This is a medium which can truly reach the entire planet, and it is humbling to realize that.

There are some people who might sneer at the size of my readership.   One of my blogging heroes, Prof. Juan Cole, had 100,000 hits on a single day when he was writing about the constitutional crisis in Egypt.   To put it in perspective, he got  more than 10 more times the number of people in a single day than I got reading my blog all of this year.

But as a Buddhist nun named Pema Chodron said, the best way to proceed in life is to “start where you are.”   You don’t win at life by being better than others, although society will often judge you in that fashion; you win by being better than you were, one day at a time.

So one blog post at a time, at a rate of one per day, I will proceed into 2013 and start the Great Conversation that WordPress has made possible.   To paraphrase a title by Robert Heinlein, the blog is a harsh mistress, but she eventually yields her boons to those who are faithful to her.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 13,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 3 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.


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