Michael J. Swart

June 22, 2011

Midyear Resolutions

Filed under: Tongue In Cheek — Tags: , , — Michael J. Swart @ 12:00 pm

So it’s been about half a year since Jen McCown invited SQL Bloggers to post their new years resolutions. I made mine and I’ve kept up with it, but I’m going to reassess that resolution now.

If you remember, my resolution was to blog once a week (with articles to go live every Wednesday at noon), keep to technical content, and include an illustration with each post. Check, check and check. My goal was to get 4 times as many readers than the previous year.

Well, I’m not quite there. Google Analytics tells me I’m at 3.3 times as many readers as the first half of 2010 …  So what do I need to do to get to 4.0?

Some ideas that came to mind were:

  • I could post five or six times a month instead of four. Going for volume.
  • I could focus on plugging my site in other places.
  • I could participate in every meme monday, t-sql tuesday and un-sql friday out there.

But none of those are appealing. Those thoughts don’t light a fire under me. So I’m going to say “You know what? 3.3 is good enough“.

So what does light a fire under me?

  • Writing about SQL
  • Drawing stupid illustrations.

I’m Giving Up My New Year’s Resolution

So I’m giving up the goal of the resolution, but I’m not changing my blogging habits… At least not too much. You’ll notice this post still got posted on a Wednesday at noon.

In The End It Wasn’t About Readership

Besides, I’ve realized that it’s not really readership I was after, it was the commenters! (Commenters! Commenters! Commenters!). The lurkers can continue lurking, but I’d rather have 10 comments on a post than 10,000 page views. The feedback is really good to have and I’m happy with that.

And to other bloggers out there, I suspect that you feel the same. My guess is that you’d prefer ten new active readers versus ten thousand new passive readers.

An Illustration

So I’m breaking my own rules. This isn’t a technical post and the illustration here has nothing to do with the subject of this post. So why do I include an illustration of Wicket Baggins here?

Because I can!


  1. Good for you! I found that doing the resolution thing was a useful exercise. It made me think about goals and moving forward with a purpose and milestones and such. But at mid-year I find myself making adjustments, and that’s fine. My resolutions were ambitious, plus a fair amount has changed in my life in recent months.

    Comment by Noel McKinney — June 22, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

  2. I hope you do keep blogging, resolution or no. I *still* love your illustrations.

    Comment by joe positive — June 22, 2011 @ 12:53 pm

  3. Quitting on a resolution at the halfway point, surely not! I’m outta of here.

    Comment by John Sansom — June 22, 2011 @ 1:26 pm

  4. @Joe, I have the feeling you won’t be disappointed. It’s something I still love doing.

    @Noel As a useful exercise, resolutions are awesome. Unless I reassess, I have a tendency to stay loyal to them, even after the benefits of a resolution disappear.

    Comment by Michael J. Swart — June 22, 2011 @ 1:28 pm

  5. @John You’ll be back (I have foreseen it)

    Comment by Michael J. Swart — June 22, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

  6. From a reoccuring ‘lurker’; here’s your comment.

    Comment by Joe P — June 22, 2011 @ 5:01 pm

  7. Hi Joe, A reoccuring lurker? Or did you mean reformed lurker? 😉

    Comment by Michael J. Swart — June 22, 2011 @ 9:04 pm

  8. Here’s another lurker appreciating your blogs.

    Comment by Jan — June 23, 2011 @ 3:00 am

  9. I really enjoy reading your blog, keep going! (the 2 MS exam posts was really a helpfull one) Illustrations are also welcome :).

    Comment by Tibor — June 23, 2011 @ 7:46 am

  10. @Jan: Thanks!!
    @Tibor: I’m glad to hear it Tibor. I think you’ll find I will keep going (so don’t worry about that). It’s just that if I go on vacation and miss one, I’m not going to sweat it.

    Comment by Michael J. Swart — June 23, 2011 @ 8:35 am

  11. I would always take a few active readers over many anonymous ones. You get so much back from the former, and they become, essentially, free cheerleader-cum-publicists.
    And sure, you could post more, but quality>quantity, and I’m sure those illustrations take some time!

    Comment by Claire — June 23, 2011 @ 10:29 am

  12. @Claire, Case in point: you. Thanks for all the times you’ve stopped by.

    Comment by Michael J. Swart — June 23, 2011 @ 10:47 am

  13. Great post!

    I especially liked the example on how the query optimizer treats the recursive CTE containing the ranking function. That was really cool!

    The comment here has nothing to do with the subject of this post. So why do I include a comment about CTE’s here?

    Because I can!


    P.S.: You’re certainly right about the comments vs eyeballs. Keep up the great work… and the great artwork!

    Comment by Brad Schulz — June 24, 2011 @ 1:05 pm

  14. @Brad: Touché and thanks

    Comment by Michael J. Swart — June 24, 2011 @ 1:37 pm

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