I cannot believe it's been 3 years since I first decided to build my own blogging engine as a coding exercise one lonely night back in 2003, and here I am still pounding away at the keyboard in an attempt to keep my 5 loyal readers somewhat entertained. The most notable thing that happened to my site was that traffic congestion finally forced me to move it off my home network and over to a real hosting solution. Site content also noticeably started going more towards the Community Server end of the spectrum, as well as just branching out into general technology related posts (among others).
I still read most of the core technology blogs I started reading 3 year ago, and one thing I've noticed over time is that most of us (in one way or another) found more of a focus for topics we post about; in a sense we've all kind of grown up and found our specific voices. Three years ago, the whole .Net framework thing was still relatively new, so most of us were plugging away with topics like stack vs heap types, or cache vs session, or the differences between httpModules and httpHandlers, etc. As we've all grown familiar with the intricacies of .Net, I've seen a shift towards less code oriented posts, and more towards design and conceptual topics. Reading code-centric posts is still great, but most of us who hopped on .Net early on are beyond that now, which bodes well for the future of the framework in my opinion. Of course the big bad buzzwords of the past year have been SOA, AJAX, Scrum/Agile/Unit Testing/etc, which also shows the overall maturation of programming within the .Net realm. How buzzworthy these will be in another year remains to be seen, but it's great to see stuff like this popping up.
Whereas the first 2 years of me blogging were more about getting into blogging (and technology) itself, this past year has been more about honing in on the community aspect of the web...hence my involvement in Community Server. Through posting over on the CS forums, participating on internal CS email threads, and getting more involved in the CS MVP program I've met some great folks who've really inspired me, namely ScottW, Gary, J-O, Keyvan, Rick, Rich, Nick, Jaxon, Thommi, Trefry, Burke, Ben, Jose, Ken, et al. I'm a firm believer that you can't get better at what you do without hanging out with folks who do it better.
From a personal standpoint (and as regular readers of this blog already know), the past year has been an absolute rollercoaster. Things went from bad, to worse, to almost unbearable...perseverance has paid off and things are most definitely on the up and up though. As I've said before, it's easy to get caught up in the minutiae of life and get sidetracked from things needing more attention (well, easy for me at least). Before you know it a year has passed and you're left scratching your head saying "what the fuck happened?" C'est la vie, and at least I was fortunate enough to have people around me who cared enough to kick my ass back into reality. And at the very least it kept life interesting :-).
Regardless (which seems to be my favorite word lately), here's hoping the coming year is a good one...if the past couple of months are any indication of things to come, it should be.