When Did You Last Blog? A Fresh Start

You know it’s bad when the most influential people in your life have all ganged up on you.

My best friend Ben Balter wrote a script called When Did Nacin Last Blog (don’t worry, it’s on Github).

My girlfriend planted the “When did you last blog?” question at WordCamp Richmond last month.

My own father called me in October while I was in Seattle to quiz me on when my last blog post was (“April 16,” I knew off the top of my head), after which he pointed out I was also in Seattle then.

My boss recently sent me a friendly reminder letting me know it’s been 229 days since my last post. I wouldn’t be surprised if Matt used Ben’s tool.

It’s not that I don’t post to blogs. In the last 233 days, I’ve posted 19 times to the WordPress development P2, 16 times to our translators blog, and three times to the WordPress Blog.

And it’s not that I don’t write. I use Twitter as a microblogging tool to share links and ideas. And since April 16, I’ve posted more than 2,600 comments on the WordPress bug tracker, and opened 81 tickets. (Exactly one-third remain open.)

I think the problem is two-fold. I don’t make time to blog, even though posting to a personal blog might as well be a job responsibility for me. I truly love blogging and web publishing, it’s just that after spending 60 hours a week on building, testing, and using web publishing software, I typically want to take a break. Second, I find other ways to publish most of the content I would publish, whether it’s on our bug tracker or on Twitter.

I’d like to change both of those things. So I’ve done some things to prepare for a change in routine.

I’ve switched to the Twenty Eleven theme using the one-column layout. I probably prefer Twenty Ten visually, but Twenty Eleven supports a number of post formats that I hope to leverage while microblogging. I have a feeling I’ll continue to tinker with this blog’s appearance — I’ve liked the designs and blogging styles of a few good friends.

Just a month ago, I finally acquired the nacin.com domain, which I’ve wanted for many years. Until this weekend, the site resided at andrewnacin.com, but given that nacin is my identity both online and in real life (I’m called Nacin more than Andy or Andrew), it was symbolically important to me. (Thanks Pete Mall for being my proxy for negotiations.)

I have been keeping a list of potential essays to write, and started to draft a number of future posts. With the final release of WordPress 3.3 is just around the corner, there are a number of tutorials for cool new APIs I could probably cover. There’s a lot more I can write about — in the last nine months, I’ve worked on both coasts to get open source in newsrooms and government agencies. I’ve attended meetups in New York, Seattle, and of course D.C. I’ve evangelized WordPress at nine WordCamps, a PHP conference, and a BBQ festival.

I’ll also be posting links, quotes, and ideas that would normally go straight to Twitter. Lots of WordPress, yes, but you’ll likely see an infusion of non-WordPress things I find interesting, particularly in the areas and intersections of technology, open source, journalism, and politics (based on some of my recent tweets). I last blogged 233 days ago. It’s time this has changed.

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Andrew Nacin

Lead developer of WordPress, living in Washington, D.C. Follow me on Twitter.

18 thoughts on “When Did You Last Blog? A Fresh Start”

  1. Your post was pretty timely for me since I’m writing a post right now.

    Your timing might be problematic though with the holidays almost upon us. It might have been better to make a New Years resolution. I’ve been putting off writing some thoughtful content now for a while, kinda like loosing that extra 15lbs I’ve put on in the past few months, I’ll start tomorrow…


  2. I 1000% understand and empathize with your situation, because in many ways, it’s my situation too. While I don’t spend 60 hours a week testing/building web publishing software, I spend that much time writing content (and posting the vast majority of that content in WordPress, after a trip through TextMate).

    I have to thank you for writing this, because it is invigorating me to achieve what is my ultimate year-end goal: revamp/revive my blog/website. I want to integrate microblogging functionality into my blog (because I use Tumblr far more often, in large part because of how easy it is to publish content — God WordPress needs a REAL bookmarklet with custom post format support a la Tumblr, seriously, it’s my #1 personal feature request) and also do a better job of auto-publishing and syndicating content from other networks.

    I’ve got 26 days to go, but you’re giving me hope Nacin!

    Thanks for all your continued hard work on WordPress — my job would suck considerably more without you.

  3. I cheat. Sometimes when I find myself making a long G+ post, or a series of Tweets, I copy them into a new post on my site and fiddle with it instead of Twitter for an hour or so.

    Mind you, I can bang out 1000+ words in 30 minutes pretty easily when I have a topic to write on (and the WordPress forums sure give a lot of topics to write on, when I’m not head-desking, since I often can’t write about the inanity of my office in great detail).

    Keep writing 🙂 I’ve updated my rss feed to nacin.com

  4. Ah shoot, now I can’t make fun of you anymore the one time a year we meet. Guess I’ll have to learn another date than April 16 by heart now.. 🙂

    All jokes aside: Looking forward to your posts man!

  5. Congratulations on the domain.

    Blogging is the easiest way for most people to contribute, but it takes loads of time to do it right. And you’re contributing plenty elsewhere.

  6. I cheat!

    I just take lots of photos whenever I travel anywhere or do anything exciting, then I schedule them for a LONGGGG time in the future. At the moment I have posts scheduled through to July, but it’s not uncommon for me to have 18 posts scheduled, which at a single post per month stretches out an awfully long way.

    As an added bonus, it’s always exciting seeing my posts pop up in my feed reader as I’m usually oblivious to what the next post will be since it’s been so long since I wrote them.

  7. Excellent, and spiffy domain!

    I too have been forcing myself to blog more too. If it’s more than just a throwaway item, I try to remind myself to post it to my blog and then tweet a link to that instead of only tweeting it. Twitter is nice but so in the moment, unlike a blog.

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