Today I am celebrating the 5th birthday of visualisingdata.com and I wanted to thank every single one of the half a million visitors who have been to my site. Whether you have been along just the once or have been back time and time again, you have all helped to make this such an incredibly rewarding activity.
I would never have really expected to still be blogging after five years. I am someone who gets bored very easily but I have been extremely fortunate to have arrived in this field during a really important period of development, expansion and excitement. The natural energy of the field makes it so easy to profile and talk about on these pages.
I dearly wish I had more time to keep the new content flowing. With 560 posts published I am surprised that I still have things to say but I have so many draft posts and planned subjects. As any other blogger will know, it is always such a time-consuming task to craft a post (even the smallest and simplest) and often other work simple gets in the way. I am going to try and keep a better rhythm of new content this year but I am also battling against the demands of writing a book, for which the priority will have to shift sooner or later.
I recall an exchange with Robert Kosara on the event of his 8th year anniversary where I was musing about what age multiplier we can apply to blogging years. I can't remember the number I proposed but it feels likes a blogging year should be equivalent to about 6 human years: I feel this site is about 30. It has been through the painful early stages of growth, getting to grips with what a blogging existence involves. It has gone through some experimental years of finding its true self, what it wants to be and what it doesn't want to be. Eventually it has established something of a consistent identity. In more recent times, it has grown in maturity and responsibility, with a more dynamic design befitting this subject we love. It is a site I now feel is comfortable in its own skin.
I still have more things I want to do on here. I have lots of archive posts to tidy up and set up with featured images and certainly there are further fine-tuning tasks for how it works on smartphone and tablet. This month, when time permits, I will also need to move to a new hosts because things have been extremely volatile of late. The site has been hacked, attacked and breached from several directions and the security measures we've put in place are just holding it together. I fear that access to the site is being compromised in how some firewalls are now seeing it as a virus risk so I need to act fairly swiftly.
Anyway, I don't want to focus on that nuisance. It has been a career defining thing this blogging business and I am ever so grateful that there are folks out there who find any part of it of value to them.
The classic thing to do here would be to list the most popular posts or my favourite posts. I prefer to say just find things yourself, that's the aim of the new site design. Whether it be the current popular posts on the front page, the last 50 posts on the blog page, the archives down the 60 months I've been doing this, or a serendipitous discovery via related post links - just follow your scent about what interests you.
So have yourself a jolly good Friday, thanks for the last five years and here's to the next five, cheers!