Yearly Blogging Roundup #1

posted by Craig Gidney on August 26, 2013

A bit over a year ago, this blog was basically empty. A sad page on Twisted Oak’s website that wasn’t justifying its existence. I decided to help fix that situation by taking up new responsibility: writing one technical blog post per week. My fellow coworker Harrison has also contributed several posts, and several people have reviewed posts now and then.

In terms of readership, the blog has exceeded my expectations. We’ve accumulated almost a half million views, not to mention on the order of a thousand consistently returning readers. If we were professional bloggers those numbers might be considered mediocre, but we’re developers doing this on the side.

Overall I’m extremely happy with how things have been going. I’ve especially enjoyed the feedback, both direct and indirect. It’s really gratifying to see people recommend the blog, or note “Oh! I follow that blog!” when they find out the person they’re talking to works here at TO.

Looking Back

We published just over sixty posts this past year. Which ones stood out?

Most Viewed Posts

  1. Computer Science Blows My Mind
  2. Mouse Path Smoothing for Jack Lumber
  3. Breaking a Toy Hash Function

My Favorite Posts

  1. Grover’s Quantum Search Algorithm
  2. When One-Way Latency Doesn’t Matter
  3. Accidentally Attacking Warcraft 3

My Worst Post

Interesting fact: I am really bad at predicting how well a post will do. For example, I expected Transmuting Dice, Conserving Entropy to do well, but there was only minor interest. Based on that, I expected Searching a Sorted Matrix Faster to also only get minor interest because it was also an algorithmic puzzle+solution sort of post. Instead, people loved it. What? Why? Did I introduce the problem in a more motivating way (i.e. “people consistently get this wrong”)? Did the animations contribute? Did I just write better? Is there a large random component? I have no idea.

Updates

Page titles now start with the post title, instead of always being an unhelpful “Twisted Oak Studios | Unity3D Consulting | Technical Magic”. This should fix scrapers and other automated things using “Twisted Oak Studios” instead of the post title when linking to posts.

The logo no longer links to “#” instead of “/” (I have no idea how the heck that happened in the first place).

I’ve integrated comments via Disqus on a trial basis, mainly for posts like this one that don’t make sense on Reddit. If there’s spam, or lots of people complain about tracking/privacy, I’ll get rid of it.

Something will be done about browsing the post history. Eventually. (Instead of the ever-growing flat list of titles from a UX designer’s nightmares.)

Upcoming

Given the blog’s success, I fully intend to keep writing one post per week.

Actually, even if the blog wasn’t working out, I’d want to keep going. It’s been an excellent way to get ideas out of my head, and there’s still so many things to write! I have enough post ideas lined up to last into April of next year, including the likes of:

  • Making map hacks impossible demo
  • Third-party bit commitment
  • Defersplosion danger

and so many more.

See you next week.

(Edit: See you tomorrow morning. This post was published too soon. There’s actually a non-meta post for this week, but it’s not quite done yet.)

My Twitter: @CraigGidney

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