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I've decided to write a blog to see if it helps me, and maybe even others, as programmers, and to help invest myself in programming communities.

Because I've just started, I have plenty of ideas, but I've been unsure if I should write articles on all these ideas at once, or space them out more regularly.

I'm guessing it won't matter if I write them quickly, but I was concerned that my other content would be lost behind the newer content, and that I could exhaust content too quickly before I think of more topics.

So, should I write them quickly as possible, or publish them more slowly and regularly?

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@alecRN If you want to post a link to your blog somewhere, the "website" field in your profile is a great place for it. –  Anna Lear May 25 '11 at 4:02
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slowly and regulary. twice a week for example. If you have ideas, write them and post them later on. –  lukas May 25 '11 at 5:21
    
Twice a day: once in the morning and once before bed. ;-) –  Matt Ellen May 25 '11 at 11:28
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@Matt Ellen: But actually writing something besides just publicly logging these two events, right? –  user8685 May 25 '11 at 11:34
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How is this programming related other than you are a programmer? –  Walter May 25 '11 at 12:04

6 Answers 6

up vote 17 down vote accepted

Publish them slowly and with great care.

There's nothing worse than a blog with half-baked ideas that haven't been carefully and thoroughly thought through. Content won't be lost to new content. Use the SEO plugin for Wordpress if you aren't already - you'll get more visits to individual blog posts than to your home page.

Edit:

A couple small pointers for your current blog:

  1. Use github for a project like the standalone kernel you wrote. Provide links to your github account through your blog. I'm currently using the Find Me On plugin, which allows you to link several social services.
  2. Use gists from github for your code snippets. This allows them to be forkable, etc and can be searched for through github's search interface.
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A couple drawbacks to gists: they won't display in many (most?) feed readers and are not indexable by search engines. –  Rein Henrichs May 25 '11 at 3:43
    
@reins: Hrm, hadn't considered the feed readers - however, the gists themselves should be indexed, no? I don't see any noindex tags the gists generated code... –  Demian Brecht May 25 '11 at 3:46
    
+1: Additionally, unless you want to treat your blog like a diary, only blog about subjects you actually have something to tell about which you couldn't find that easily somewhere else. –  Steven Jeuris May 25 '11 at 9:18
    
This information is very helpful. I added the code to Github. However, there doesn't seem to be a way to add a plugin to wordpress.com. –  alecRN May 25 '11 at 23:05
    
Also, gists look useful, but wordpress.com strips JavaScript so I don't have a way to embed them. –  alecRN May 25 '11 at 23:15

I recommend writing your ideas down quickly. Then take your time editing them. Then, when you're satisfied that the articles looks good, go ahead and publish them.

The key is to capture your ideas while they're fresh in your mind. You may end up with a handful to several articles, in various stages of "completeness" and polish. It's only when the article looks good to your "inner editor" should you publish them. Strive for quality!

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Blogger and author Seth Godin answers this question in an interview and on his blog.

Highlight from the blog:

Key assertion: you don't publish it unless it's good. You don't write more blog posts than you can support.

With respect to support, blogging isn't just about posting. It is also about supporting the posts by responding to your readers comments. Clearly not every single comment needs to be responded to individually, but for long threads your presence should be known.

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Depends on what aspect of programming you are going to blog about:

  1. If you are going to blog something like the daily wtf, keep it regular and keep it coming - I use it as recreation/distraction. And I like an active rss feed.
  2. If you are going to blog about programming lifestyles / opinions - again keep it coming, But do this with great care. People tend to skip over blogs that waste their time.
  3. If you are going to blog about programming tips / tricks - do it at your own pace, but do it very well / right. I don't care if Raymond chen posts everyday, but I do appreciate his posts when I run into it via a search / link.
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How often?

  • No more often than you can actually create quality content - thoughtful, elaborate, with attention to detail, error-checked and providing value to your readers

  • No more often than you can take it personally without damaging your health and abandoning other important activities in your life (work, family life, other hobbies etc.)

  • No more often than it would make it stop being fun but become sort of hard and unpaid work

  • No less often than it is needed to keep the impression of your blog being alive


I know it is said by just about everyone to write 2-3 times a week but seriously it is a bad suggestion. You can only achieve it if you turn it into a full time activity. If you don't your blog will become junk because you won't have time to come up with quality contributions. With any sort of professional blog (programming or whatever) there is nothing worse than the abundance of empty posts clearly written for the sake of generating content at all costs.

I think it undermines the whole idea of blogging. If you don't write quality contributions then what is the value for everybody else? And if you're thinking about getting noticed, then again, what is the value for you for being perceived as a guy running junk blog?

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It actually depends on what you want to use the blog for.

I have several of them - none of them are programming. If you wish to use it as an ideas whiteboard for yourself, or a documentation respository for yourself, then obviously, audience is of secondary importance (and incidentally, there are alternative applications you could use for that).

If you want to build a brand, then quality is of serious importance. Pumping and dumping data on a regular basis is worthless if the content is no value to your audience or brand target.

Helping you and helping other programmers are two different objectives and should - if you are doing it properly - have an impact on your output.

Before deciding on your frequency/format, I'd really advise you to decide what your objectives are first and foremost.

You can write at any stage you want, and stagger publication by the way.

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