2013 draws to a close, for some of you it ends in just a couple of hours. Time to look back and maybe think about what 2014 will be like?
Nope, everybody does that.
Instead, I’ll tell you a bit about who I am and why I am doing this.
I started this blog in March 2013 after a week of internal calls and external meetings that all had one thing in common: development teams who were at ease with web technologies needed guidance on web analytics.
Some of them needed an interpreter, for the marketing department or a web analyst had given them a task and they had no clue where to start. Others were expected to implement analytics without any help.
While all the information was (and is) available, a lot of it was (and is) targeted at marketers and analysts, people who understand what all of this means. But often, even simple concepts are difficult to understand for developers, who a) don’t know about analytics and b) look at it from a completely different angle!
I felt there was a gap. So I started writing.
My own career started as a C developer. I programmed C on Solaris (2.6, I think), then for Palm OS. That switch was an interesting one… But I liked the Palm and so I built some hobby apps for it as well.
Later I taught myself Java, and even though I haven’t officially been a developer since 2004, I still write the odd program when I need one or just want to see what I can do (Android is a nice playground). I am comfortable in a bash and with tools like
grep. I can even write perl code that does what I want it to do.
Whilst I am not a developer by profession (and it would be a stretch to call my skills anything but mediocre, at best), I still think like one. I have an opinion on vi vs emacs, I can use
sed and regular expressions, and I get very frustrated when routine tasks on a computer cannot be automated.
When I moved from Germany to Southern France in 1998, I started writing down my experiences and emailing them to friends and family. A week later I started putting those emails on a web site – it wasn’t even called a blog back then.
15 years later I am still blogging, both privately and in a work context.
The private web site with my reports from France and then England slowed down a lot, but in 2011 I started blogging about analytics in German and 9 months ago I posted the first article on this blog.
Blogging is something I enjoy a lot. Just like for Avinash (see his This I believe post), blogging is part of my blue circle. Like him, I see this blog (and the German counterpart) as a personal retreat, a space that is my own, that I can fill with my thoughts and my ideas.
And for this blog specifically, I feel that I have found the gap that I can fill and that actually needed filling.
I am obviously biased and maybe I shouldn’t make a statement like that myself, but looking at the content consumption over the last 9 months, I would say there clearly was a need.
Given the two aspects above, I’m sure you won’t be surprised if I say that the reactions to this blog (in terms of comments but also just numbers of subscribers and consumed content) so far have made me very happy.
I am grateful that you are listening to me, and I hope that you have found something useful on this blog, something you could apply to your own work, that made your life easier or more successful.
I hope my approach is useful and I am planning to continue like this throughout 2014!
This one goes out to all of you!