A Cohesive Brand of Incohesiveness

This blog has been through a number of iterations, almost all of which have been of different platforms (e.g., Wordpress, Octopress / Jekyll, now Ghost). For a while, the only things I posted were technology or software related - nearly always about Linux in some way. While I haven't stopped posting about software and Linux, I've recently started experimenting with other blog topics. I've made several posts about travel, shared some of my thoughts on engineering management, and started getting into product reviews.

Based on Google's numbers, no one is actually reading the posts on engineering management. While I would obviously love if they garnered some traction, I honestly just really enjoy writing them, and so will probably continue to do so regardless of their reader popularity. The posts about travel are similar - they aren't hugely popular, but they are fun to write, and I usually try to provide information that I wish I had when I went on whatever trip I'm writing about - so, hopefully, the small population of people that stumbles on them finds them useful.

What has surprised me, though, is actually how much I have enjoyed writing product reviews. By far my favorite part about them is that they generate far more discussion and interaction than any other type of post I make. When I recently posted a review of travel pants, for example, I was getting tweets and e-mails about it for the next few days - especially from the companies I wrote about. They aren't necessarily getting more views than my software posts (my post about Rainbow Parenthesis in ViM actually gets a ton of hits, for example), but a larger percentage of readers engage with the post, and with me, when the topic is a product review. And, for me, that is the most enjoyable part of having a blog (along with actually writing).

So, I expect that product reviews and other such posts will start to make up for a larger portion of my blogging. Perhaps the biggest downside, here, is that I can no longer say my blog is really about anything, in particular. There isn't a cohesive brand. It's travel, it's product reviews, it's Linux, it's software, it's management, and sometimes it's just comedy. And, going forward, it's going to be about 'Dad Stuff' - what that will look like, I haven't quite figured out, yet.

But, hey, it's my blog, so I can post what I enjoy. I haven't monetized the blog, so diluting the brand identity isn't really doing harm. This blog isn't supporting me, it's a hobby, so I'm much less constrained in terms of where I take it.

So, going forward, this blog's new tag line is:

A Black Hole of Engineering, Product Reviews, Travel, Dad Stuff, and my Soap Box.

Here's to a strong cohesive brand of incohesive topics. Cheers!

Ben Hilburn

Ben Hilburn

bits, nibbles, bytes, and words
D.C. Metro Area