NaBloPoMo: Summing Up

Happy December to all of you!

NaBloPoMo
NaBloPoMo (Photo credit: udge)

We have all survived National Blog Post Month (NaBloPoMo)! I am moderately amazed I completed the challenge of writing a post a day for the 30 days of November. While a few did feel like cheating (the post from the WordPress mobile app a few minutes before midnight Nov. 2 comes to mind), I’m pretty pleased overall with the output.

Before I share a few more things learned this month, allow me to point new readers to my halfway-point summary, What I’ve Learned So Far. I shall try not to repeat myself.

Primary Goals Reached

I did this for two primary reasons: To see if I could, and to see if I’d get more readers. I succeeded in both. Be aware that in October, my posting had gotten so sporadic, I seriously considered dropping this blog entirely, and focusing on my author site. Now, I don’t think I want to do that (though I won’t rule out moving this blog over there someday). So y’all are stuck with me for the foreseeable future. Readership has increased, returning nearly to the maximum numbers this blog has reached over the years. I think that bodes well for 2014.

NaBloPoMo: Glorious Madness
NaBloPoMo: Glorious Madness (Photo credit: cizauskas)

Deadlines are a Good Thing

When you know you have to get something done, it’s amazing how you can organize yourself to do that something. While Douglas Adams’ sentiment from The Salmon of Doubt resonates strongly:

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”

it still feels quite good to complete the challenge of daily posts. It may not be sustainable over time (for me at least), but as with many NaBloPoMo’ers, you can do this for a month.

Journalism is Hard

NaBloPoMo
NaBloPoMo (Photo credit: underdutchskies)

Feeding a hankering to return to my journalistic roots, one goal I didn’t reach was writing one “newspaper story” a week. I went to a public forum on mining with the intention of covering the event and writing a story as if for a  news outlet, online or not. I didn’t like the story as written, and it was a day late too.

My intent with Mark Shuttleworth’s keynote was also to cover it as news, but I succumbed to the temptation to blog about it instead. It’s just easier.

My link posts on news events (Prince Fielder, the Space News post, and some of the Typhoon coverage) consisted of curating other people’s news stories, which is one form of journalism. Just not of the traditional variety. I’m still going to try to get better at that.

Zemanta is a Wonderful Tool

Speaking of links, I want to recommend the Zemanta plugin (for both sides of WordPress). Credit this tool for all the Related Articles down at the bottom of every post, the Wikipedia links for common terms that might need clarification, and more than a few of the images accompanying my posts. It simplifies so many things, and speeds up publishing too.

Seems OK to Stray From the Main Topics, But…

The audience still likes the tech topics. The Top Five posts for November are (as of this moment):

openSUSE: Porting YaST to Ruby
Tracking the Worst Storm Ever
Kubuntu and the “Sinking Ship” of KDE: Really?
New Life for Vivaldi Tablet? Improv Takes the Stage
Big Linux Day: openSUSE 13.1 and Ubuntu Dev Summit

All but one of these five posts appeared this month. The interloper: My rant about Kubuntu is well over a year old (and yes, Kubuntu and KDE are still thriving, BTW). Again, out of the five, all are Linux-related except for my first post on Typhoon Haiyan. So you can probably expect continuing coverage of Linux and other open source topics here. I am at your service.

Well, this has gone on way too long. Congratulations to all those who successfully completed the NaBloPoMo challenge. To those who feel like they fell short: it’s really all about the effort. Life intervenes. But please keep on posting! Writing every day is essential for anyone who considers themselves a writer; blogging offers the opportunity to publish every day too–take advantage of this as often as you can!

I have some serious catching up to do on my next book, so it may be a few days before I fill this space again. I do hope that the day never comes again when I start a post with “Apologies for not having been here for so long.” So — see you soon!

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