8 years of blogging in retrospect

This is quite an unusual post, as it is the first post of 2016. Moreover, it’s also unusual because it’s my 300th post there! Though it might seem like an ego trip, I feel it’s important to think about the things that lead here.

This blog started in April 2008, a little less than 8 years ago. At the time, I was between 2 missions and had much time to spare. I knew I wanted to start a blog, I just didn’t know what I wanted to tell - which basically is the first thing you have to know when you start writing. That’s one reason why my first post was about me having succeeded in the Sun Certified Java Developer 5. Yes, you read well: Sun and Java 5…​ Remember it was 2008.

The second post was much more interesting - or at least I hope so, and was about the now defunct display taglib. However, it was an important step to realize what I wanted this blog to be. I wanted to write down what was in my head so I could get back to it in case of need. If a few people were interested in what I wrote, so much the better. After a few other out-of-target posts, I followed with better ones: JUnit vs TestNG and DBUnit on Java DB.

Though getting traffic is not my main goal, it sure is nice to get some. Interestingly enough, those stats have changed much over time, sometimes because of Google’s change of PageRank computation algorithm, sometimes because of…​ I don’t know.

Statistics

As for the content, here are the top 10 pages:

Page Title  Pageviews Unique Pageviews  Avg. Time on Page  Entrances  Bounce Rate % Exit

1,083,022

1,000,231

00:04:38

908,882

86.47%

83.92%

1.

A Java geek

48,777 (4.50%)

43,097 (4.31%)

00:02:43

30,249 (3.33%)

78.47%

66.96%

2.

Customize your JAXB bindings

39,888 (3.68%)

37,394 (3.74%)

00:07:45

36,852 (4.05%)

91.03%

92.05%

3.

Thoughts on Java logging and SLF4J

38,852 (3.59%)

35,880 (3.59%)

00:05:48

35,552 (3.91%)

90.58%

90.40%

4.

Flamingo tutorial

31,522 (2.91%)

25,872 (2.59%)

00:06:38

24,829 (2.73%)

77.26%

76.63%

5.

Custom LoginModule in Tomcat

23,759 (2.19%)

20,452 (2.04%)

00:06:05

20,083 (2.21%)

85.51%

 84.62%

6.

hibernate

20,200 (1.87%)

19,138 (1.91%)

00:03:53

18,147 (2.00%)

84.32%

82.34%

7.

CDI, an overview - Part 1

19,752 (1.82%)

17,563 (1.76%)

00:04:05

15,827 (1.74%)

81.38%

78.74%

8.

vaadin

16,712 (1.54%)

15,966 (1.60%)

00:04:30

14,742 (1.62%)

87.37%

86.66%

9.

Bean validation and JSR 303

16,603 (1.53%)

15,544 (1.55%)

00:06:07

15,383 (1.69%)

92.53%

92.36%

10.

dozer

16,512 (1.52%)

15,507 (1.55%)

00:08:04

15,371 (1.69%)

89.38%

90.17%

The lesson there is that the top posts are on tutorials and how-to’s. The good thing, is that readers are staying pretty long on those pages. For example, the JAXB binding post I wrote in 2009 (6 years ago!) is read for more than 7 minutes. I guess that many marketers would be jealous of these kind of metrics.

Thing is, those are not only topped because they’ve been read for a long time but also because they’ve been very well indexed on Google Search. Just try searching for JAXB binding and you’ll notice this article is on the first page of results!

I still try to keep a rhythm of one post per week if possible. That’s becoming harder and harder, mainly due to my book writing and my speaking engagements. Still, I see value in this blog and I’d like to involve you dear readers further, perhaps by letting you propose subjects?

Right now, subjects of interest I’m thinking to write about are:

  • Android
  • Kotlin
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Continuous Integration of Android applications
  • Spring Boot
  • Cloud applications

Of course, those will probably change during the course of the year. I’m also thinking about creating a newsletter and inviting guest writers, for those interested. If by chance you’ve any idea to improve this blog, please feel free to write it in the comment, I’m a big fan of continuous improvement.

Nicolas Fränkel

Nicolas Fränkel

Developer Advocate with 15+ years experience consulting for many different customers, in a wide range of contexts (such as telecoms, banking, insurances, large retail and public sector). Usually working on Java/Java EE and Spring technologies, but with focused interests like Rich Internet Applications, Testing, CI/CD and DevOps. Currently working for Hazelcast. Also double as a teacher in universities and higher education schools, a trainer and triples as a book author.

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8 years of blogging in retrospect
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