Blogiversary

by Nate Hekman on September 19, 2008

Grokking GeoStudio was launched a year ago today.  I’d like to take a few moments to reminisce about the past year, and think ahead toward the coming one.

Last Year

This whole blogging thing was an experiment from the beginning.  I had a couple of goals:

  1. Provide help for GeoStudio users to learn how to use the software, with a different focus than the manuals and online help.
  2. Get a better feel personally for how our software is being used “in the real world” through feedback from readers.
  3. Be a friendly personal face to GEO-SLOPE.

I tried to blog weekly, and although I wasn’t that regular, I did (coincidentally?!) end up writing 52 posts over the year!

Did I meet my goals?

  1. Much of what I wrote about is not discussed in the online help or the engineering books, or is mentioned but is hard to find.  With the recent changes to the blog categories and layout, I hope that those 52 gems will be easier for newcomers to find, so the blog can be used as a bit of a reference tool.
  2. I receive several emails or comments a month, and from those I do get a small feel for how the software is being used.  A big thank you to everyone who felt the freedom to write!  This is an area I’d like to improve on next year–I would love to see more feedback, especially comments left on the blog, and even to have readers responding to other reader’s comments.
  3. I’ll leave #3 to you to decide!

Some interesting statistics (at least to me!):

  • 52 posts;
  • 12 comments from readers, and a similar number of emails (all of which I respond to);
  • Around 48 regular readers, and growing slowy, 37 of whom subscribe by email, the rest using RSS readers;  The biggest jumps in subscribers come when the blog gets mentioned in a Direct Contact newsletter, especially when it’s the main article.
  • The web site has been visited from 90 countries, but only gets about ten visits a day.

The most popular articles were:

  1. Global vs Analysis Objects
  2. Prettying Up Graphs

Next Year

Before starting to blog I wrote up a list of topics I wanted to write on, just to make sure there was enough to keep me going.  I’m mostly through that list now, but from the comments, from tech support we do, and from discussions at the Banff Workshop that just finished, I feel I have plenty more to keep this blog going another year.

To spice things up a bit, though, I’d like to have more guest bloggers this year.  It would be nice to hear some tricks from people who use the software regularly.  Do any of you have something you’d be willing to share on this blog?  Email me privately (hekman at geo-slope dot com) to discuss.

I’d also like to stretch my limits a bit and write about a few more engineering-related topics, like the Multi-Stage Rapid Drawdown article.  Those are harder for me to write, I normally have to sit down for a lesson with one of our engineers, but they are useful things for me to know and they are obviously topics you are wanting addressed.  If you have topic suggestions, please let me know by leaving a comment.

But mostly I intend this year to focus where my strengths lie, which is the user interface.  I’m going to take a look at DXF issues, dig deeper into functions and graphs, take a stab at plug-ins, and as much as possible help you to get past the software and focus on your modeling.

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