300 Subscribers to Think Artificial

On May 27th 2007 I launched ThinkArtificial.org, a symbolic step up from my earlier blog that I’d been running for some months.

Following that step I was faced with whether I should flag the number of subscribers on the site. To set myself a goal I decided I wouldn’t reveal the number until it reached 300. And now it has happened.

Subscribers to TA have been holding at around 300 for about a month now—subscribers being people that are either subscribed to the site’s RSS feed or via email. Not counting those that visit the site regularly.

My thanks to everyone who’s been reading. You’re the reason I’m still at it.

Where we’re headed

Compared to my usual posting frequency I’ve been non-verbose lately. Business, but mostly personal issues have had my attention. I won’t make any promises on whether this will change anytime soon, but if it does I find it likely that posts will continue at the current pace (c.a. 1 post per week) but gain more meat and originality instead.

People sometimes think it’s easy to blog on a regular basis. It’s not. Keeping to a posting schedule without spending too much of your time or turning the whole thing into a chore is difficult. There’s also, at least for me, the importance of saying something for a reason — not just talk about your sore throat and the weather. Not to mention that you’ll hit dry spells or lack of enthusiasm and that’s when you have to push yourself to keep interested; to go out and thread your mind, the web or something completely different to inspire a fresh perspective.

.. a fresh perspective

One of my explicit goals when I started to blog was honing my writing skills. As it turns out, blogging couldn’t have been a better way to challenge myself with regards to content and especially presentation. It’s very hard to notice developments in writing because it happens very slowly. But there comes a time when you’ve changed so much that you look back and suddenly realize how much you’ve improved.

It’s not uncommon to realize at the same time that you’re ready to take things to a new level. At that point you need to take a step back and think about how you want to change. What new directions you can head in to continue to grow and develop.

I feel I’ve outgrown pure reporting or brief commentary in the way I’ve done so far. I (we) need a paradigm shift that makes better use of the new skills that I’ve developed. There’s no point in writing in the same manner you wrote when you were a baby. I recently started writing [science] fiction and I’m allotting some time to that on the expense of TA posting frequency. I may post some of it here later on, but in any case I’m sure that my new area of writing will prove vitamins to Think Artificial articles.

As I develop this fresh perspective we’ll have to wait and see how it translates to blogging. Creativity can’t be rushed. For the moment a lower posting frequency will continue to reign. And we’ll possibly a few oddball content experiments.


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10 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Wow, Hrafn! Congratulations! It’s an impressive milestone, indeed. :)

  2. Thanks Esther. I’m really delighted so many like reading.

  3. You make a lot of VERY great points about the progress one goes through when writing a blog and the challenges of keeping it on schedule. The fact that you’ve been able to keep things mostly off yourself and completely off your bodily functions (or malfunctions) and precipitation (or the lack thereof) is one of the things I’ve most admired.

    I look forward to reading your science fiction, should you ever decide to share it (here or elsewhere).

    And of course, most importantly for the purposes of this post, congratulations on the 300! You finally have enough people-power to keep Xerxes and the Persians from taking over your blog. Huzzah!

  4. Yeah, it’s gotten dreadful at times when I was tight on time, or inspiration, but really wanted to push that post to both stand promise to myself and readers. That’s something I’m sure many others of similar mindset go through. But as long as I keep evolving it pays off, me thinks.

    Thanks Gnorb. (This. Is. Sparta.)

  5. Elijah

    Congratulations on your achievement and I wish far greater things happen for you. It would seem that the fiction you’re working on is destined to be a great and interesting read if you write it as well as this sites articles. Also be sure to remember that your personal matters are far more important than a multitude of posts.

  6. Congrats on the 300 subscribers. Only the first 10,000 are hard to get; after that, it’s a breeze :)

  7. @Elijah – Thank you for the kind words man. I appreciate that.

    @Awesomeo – Hehe. Thanks :)

  8. I like your blog. AI is not really the main focus of my blog but I have talked about it once and a while. 300 subscribers is a great milestone. I myself have just recently passed the 100 mark. I put up my feedburner statistic once I got to 120. I’m surprised you waited so long to mention your subscriber count. I usually consider anything above 100 as respectable and it usually attracts more subscribers when you display it.

  9. Congratulations, Hrafn! I’m feeling the pinch of sporadic posting as well, so I’m pleased to see that at least one of us has made it despite real life poking it’s nose into our blogging lives.

    On to the next 300!

    =)

  10. @Mike – Thank you Mike. I set the milestone very early on and stuck with it to challenge myself. I thought that if it meant harder to gain subscribers then, well, all the more challenge.

    @Eli – Thanks! But you had your own leap the other day as well, with the traffic spiking and evening off at triple what it was before. So on to the next for both of us! ;)

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