The weather is starting to turn cold here in the Northeastern United States. The leaves are falling from the trees, pumpkins are starting to show up around the porches and Halloween is just around the corner.
All of the talk for the past few days has been centered around Hurricane Sandy aptly named Frankenstorm by some weather forecasters in the region. While the storm isn’t expected to really get going the NJ/PA area until late Sunday night it could carry on until Wednesday potentially souring Halloween and Trick R’ Treat for all the kids (and parents).
In any event, this is the time of year I contemplate what I’ve gotten out of blogging and what I should do now or usually how can I refocus and re-energize myself. I generally post some thoughts about the past year and try to solicit new ideas for the coming year. I’m still amazed when I think that it’s been 5 years now since I started blogging. It’s been 2 years now running the discussion forum and we have a great bunch of moderators and a pretty solid following which is growing every day.
This past year has been pretty busy both professionally and personally. I did find time to take the family to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL. The girls were growing up fast so I decided we had better get to Disney before they were too old to enjoy it. That said I know a lot of adults that enjoy Disney just as much if not more than the young children. It was the kids first trip to Disney and the entire family had a great time.
While I haven’t been winning any awards for my journalistic talent (and won’t be anytime in the future) I promise to make better use of the spell-checker. The feedback I get from people all over the world continues to amaze me. It’s still amazing to me how small the world actually is these days thanks to the Internet. I’m still trying to broaden the topics I write about although I’ll honestly say I don’t feel comfortable writing about topics that I don’t understand 110%. And I’m not really interested in writing about topics that have already been covered by much more knowledgeable sources than myself.
Would you believe that I wrote 53 posts last year. I’ll admit that some were weak (yes very weak) but there were a few that stood out. As with last year there’s been a slow but steady increase in blog traffic over the past 12 months. Looking at some of the Google Analytics data I can see that there has been approximately a 43% increase in visits (368,578 total), unique visitors (241,100 total) and page views (658,133 total) comparing the past 12 months to the previous 12 months. I’ve stayed to topics and subject matter that I believe hasn’t been discussed or documented thoroughly although I’ve started breaking out from what I would term my comfort area.
Last year I migrated our VPS server from RIMU to Linode which allowed a higher transfer bandwidth allocation (I was starting to run into the upper limit of RIMUs bandwidth transfer allocation at 20GB/monthly). I was quite happy with RIMU but Linode had a better offer and I’ve been very happy with Linode. I’m going to be upgrading to a Linode 1024 (referral link included so please feel free to make a purchase ;) ) in the next few weeks as I start looking to host some new projects. While some of these projects will be public a few will be private. I’ll probably look to migrate from LAMP to LEMP and Nginx just because I still enjoy toying with Linux being a System Administrator in a past life.
If you’d like to guest blog or have ideas you’d like me to blog about please drop me a line in the comments below.
Network Infrastructure Forums
The discussion forums continue to be a big success in my opinion although there’s still a lot more I’d like to see us achieve. I’ve had a lot of help which I need to acknowledge here from Flintstone, Dominik, Paul, Telair and Artur. Without their help and expertise the forums would probably have closed last year. And without our members taking the time to post and share their questions, feedback and opinions we wouldn’t be much at all. Thanks guys!
Have you noticed any changes? In November 2011 we added a commercial theme from DzinerStudio and in March 2012 we added a commercial logo from Logo-Design-Studio. You can see the new logo on the right hand side of this article. We’re talking about adding a chat box and potentially a portal mod to host other content.
The forums have grown significantly over the past year. We’ve seen a 50% increase in page views over the past year compared to the previous year. We had 108,402 unique visitors to the forums generating some 172,054 visits and 413,953 page views. We currently have a total of 1,420 registered users with 826 users having made at least one or more posts. Over the past year we’ve had visitors from 199 different countries or territories so we are truly international.
I get a lot of requests for forums around different topics, ex. Microsoft Server 2008, CentOS Administration, etc. I’m happy to create whatever forums anyone would like but there’s a catch to running a forum. You need subject matter experts to answer questions and offer advice or no one will every post any questions. Without that commitment most forums never get off the ground. I’m happy to create additional forums but don’t be surprised if I ask you to help moderate that forum and provide users some insight on how to work through their problems or issues.
Is there anything else you’d like to see over in the discussion forums? Any critiques? Leave a comment below.
I started doing small consulting engagements last summer and that endeavor has slowly grown over time. It’s been a great learning experience running a (very) small business and all the paperwork and communication that is required to be successful. This is where I thank my lovely wife, my personal secretary without who I would be lost – no really I would. While I’m no where near quitting my full-time job but the consulting has kept me busy on the weekends and my off time.
A few months ago I decided to take the endeavor to the next level by securing a PO box, registering for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the IRS, registering a fictitious name with the state, and setting up a business checking account. I also setup and registered a new domain and KJMJ Consulting was born. I’m currently working with a local graphics designer to design and refine the draft logo you see to the left. What do you think? Be honest please! As you can expect I don’t have a lot of free time so I have to turn away a lot of work. Where possible I will actually refer companies to other full-time/part-time consultants who I personally vouch for in terms of their technical knowledge and work ethic.
If you have a problem or issue that requires more than just a discussion thread post please contact me here and explain your problem. I’ll let you know if I feel I can help or provide value and we’ll take it from there. All communications will be kept in strict confidence.
I’m actually in discussions with a few individuals about starting a podcast although I’m not sure if that endeavor will ever get off the ground. I think it’s a great idea but there’s a large commitment needed to make something like that successful. There are a few folks still following me from the first days I started blogging and they have already commented to me that it’s evident to them that the discussion forums are really soaking up a lot of my free time which is hindering my blog writing. I make a huge effort to reply to every comment although I know I’ve missed a few in the past year and all I can say is sorry! I’m also hoping to start making some screencasts this year (I know I said the same thing last year). I think they are a great way to demonstrate various concepts, ideas and configurations although again they can be time consuming to edit and assemble.
It was energizing to meet all the guys and gals from Networking Field Day 4. It helped spur me at a time I was beginning to consider hanging up the mouse and keyboard. I thought we could have taken a few hours to solve some mammoth world problems – the delegates were that smart. And it wasn’t that they were arrogant or pretentious, they were confident and passionate about technology and specifically the future of the networking industry.
Interested in getting involved in a technology (networking, server, storage?) focused podcast? Want to be involved at the start? Drop me a line on the discussion forums or here.
Let me say Thank you to my current sponsor, Thycotic Software.
And all those that take the time and effort to follow my blog and participate both here and on the discussion forums!
What would you like to see? What would you like to see changed? Let me know what you think?
I really do promise to use the spell-checker more! Sorry!