A Thank You

by Jin, 12-23-08 // 24 comments

It’s hard to believe 2008 is coming to an end.

It’s even harder for me to believe five months ago I started this blog, and so far I’ve kept up with it. I’ve resisted the idea of having a blog for a long time. As an avid blog reader, I never thought I’d have enough to say, or the skill to write a blog. Also, it seems like everything under the sun has been said by other people already.

In July I reserved 8164.org to start my blog on Tao Te Ching translation, and planned to write a few web design related posts as a filler. I didn’t think I could maintain a subject restrictive blog, I’d eventually run out of things to say, or maintain several more focused blogs at once. Funny how things turned out to be the opposite. I found myself ended up writing more about design than Tao. Lesson learned: Tao is lived, not talked about; I love design more than I thought.

There are two blogs that served as an inspiration to me. I basically modeled my writing after theirs. My former coworker and friend Jeff Atwood’s Coding Horror, and Modern Capital by “Mid-Century Mike.” If you check out their blogs, you’ll notice one thing in common: they write about what they’re passionate about, and they keep at it. Their writing pace is not affected by how much traffic they get, or what kind of comments they get.

If I have to give anyone an advice on blogging from my limited experience, I’d repeat what Jeff said in his article “How To Achieve Ultimate Blog Success In One Easy Step”

When people ask me for advice on blogging, I always respond with yet another form of the same advice: pick a schedule you can live with, and stick to it. Until you do that, none of the other advice I could give you will matter. I don’t care if you suck at writing. I don’t care if nobody reads your blog. I don’t care if you have nothing interesting to say. If you can demonstrate a willingness to write, and a desire to keep continually improving your writing, you will eventually be successful.

Is my blog successful? Yes! But it has nothing to do with the traffic or RSS#. It is successful simply because I picked a schedule I can live with(1-2 posts a week), and been consistent about it. Also I try my hardest to write original content. In doing so, I’ve discovered my love for writing, and learned something new every time I wrote. More importantly, I’ve learned the most from readers who shared their thoughts and critiques. Sometimes I think the comment section is far more informative than my own writing.

A big Thank You. Have a safe holiday break, see you in 09.

Jin.

24 comments

also feel free to contact me on twitter or via email
Michael 12-23-08

I’ve really enjoyed reading the blog, keep up the good work.

I hope you and yours have a great and safe holiday Jin.

Teck Hua 12-23-08

It’s a wonderful thing to express yourself in writings that spur conversations. Your posts are good read. Pardon me for being a silent reader who does not reciprocates much comments.

You are what you write…to paraphrase McLuhan, your blog is the message.

Look forward to your new compositions in the new year!

Happy Holidays!

Janko 12-23-08

Thank you Jin for extraordinary content, I enjoy reading your articles. You are right, being a successful really has nothing to do with traffic or number of readers.

Have a nice holiday and have another successful year!

Eric & Hananh 12-23-08

Jin, your articles are touching! We love to read them whatever you write. blog is a real cool thing to understand a person better! Cheers! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Love!

Jeff 12-23-08

What a beautiful family! Keep the momentum going. I look forward to reading your translation of the Tao Te Ching when you get around to it. Until then, I’ll remain entertained by your posts.

Bradley Cooper 12-23-08

I’ve love reading your blog and love the way you handled the design. Keep it up and I’ll continue to mention your site to all my colleagues and friends.

Aja 12-23-08

You are the Awesome. I’m glad you joined the blogosphere.

Aaron Irizarry 12-23-08

Jin,
Great article… it has been awesome to get the chance to talk a bit through twitter, and our blogs. Have a great holiday, and I am looking forward to more great reads in 2009.

~ Aaron I

Jin 12-23-08

@Michael, thanks!

@Teck, thanks! I’ve enjoyed your process on the UI tab! Looks good!

@Janko, thanks! I really like your blog too. You’re not only a good programmers, but also a great artist as well. I hope to do more digital drawing in 09. I’ve been slacking.

@Eric & Hannah (aka mom&dad) thank you for everything.

@Jeff, your blog is my Dooce. I admire the honesty in your writings, and how you’ve been writing for this many years.

@Bradley, thank you!

@Aja, your tumblog is a daily read for me. you have good eyes for interesting things out there. I wish you and your adorable daughter the best!

@Aaron, I’m glad I found your blog. You have a lot of good articles on design. Looking forward to more!

Jason (Sneed) S 12-23-08

Happy Holidays JIn and Fam. My wife is in love with your kids. All of ours are in their teens. She misses the good old days. Not sure what that means.
So no more posts until 09? i need to read during the morning status meetings LOL

See ya and take care.

Soh 12-24-08

Thanks for this post Jin :-) Ive been blogging for about 4 months now, and I feel the same way~ Always enjoy reading your posts. Happy Holidays~

David Airey 12-24-08

Hello Jin,

It’s uplifting when I think how many insightful comments my readers have shared, and I’m sure I’d have quit blogging some time ago if it wasn’t for their encouragement and critiques.

All the very best to you and your family for 2009!

Jin 12-24-08

@Jason, I’m really not looking forward to their teen years… But I suppose it’s less headache than having three teenager girls. /shudder :)

@Soh, thanks! Good job on all the tutorials you made on your site. I’m aiming to write more tutorial based posts in 09 too!

@David, I agree totally! I enjoy reading your design process. I wish there were more blogs like yours!

Kode 12-26-08

Hey Jin,

I found your site through “David Airey’s Blog” and I’ve been digging through your archive. I wanted to say that there are a lot of really interesting articles here, I’ll definitely check back to see what else you come up with!

I also wanted to wish you and your beautiful family “Happy holidays” and a “Very successful new year”!

-Kode

Jin 12-29-08

Sorry about the late response Kode. Thank you for your comments, and same to you.

Steven Clark 12-29-08

Merry Christmas and a happy new year Jin. You have a lovely family and a healthy approach to writing…

You’re right, I see so many people obsessed with blog success. When I’ve had blog success I shut down the site, ditched the URL and started over. Why? Because it stopped being about writing and became about nasty emails in the morning… hopefully those people will never find me again. Obscurity has it’s benefits.

As a lifelong compulsive writer I find it’s entirely about the writing. It needs to be about what blogging gives back to you for it to be sustainable. Best wishes from Lindy and I… thanks for sharing Jin.

Jin 12-29-08

Thanks Steven. BTW, I got the “nifty fifty” 50mm 1.8D lens over Christmas. It’s fantastic. So much sharper than my kit lens. I’ll post some photos later.

Steven Clark 12-29-08

Ahh I’m jealous. I’ve got my eye on one at the moment and the funds stuffed away, but I’m just making sure it’s the right one for me. If I could enquire, what brand / model did you pick up?

I particularly want one for street photography – lighter, less intrusive (people hate zooms pointed at them) and clearer. And after listening to the bokeh discussion I’m kind of interested – 1.8 makes my mouth water(er)… :)

Steven Clark 12-29-08

My partner has been an avid amateur photographer for over the last 20 years and we were talking about prime lenses. She said all cameras used to come with a nifty fifty and you had to buy zooms. The commercial pressure came onto manufacturers to market to the mass that demanded more features and wanted everything, but everything means compromise. So the market moved away from prime lenses to the kit lenses and zooms.

And the funny thing is that most of the shots I take are around the 50 anyway, so I don’t see my compromise as that great a value. So will be picking up a 50 in the near future, too. Not that I won’t still use the current one, but bang for the dollar seems to be good on the prime lenses.

Jin 12-29-08

Steven, I actually got 2 50mm lenses.

Sigma 50mm f2.8 macro and Nikkor 50mm 1.8d

I know it’s a bit redundant to have 2 50mms. But I do like taking macro shots. I haven’t taken a lot photos with them yet. here’s one I took of my son with the 2.8

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jinny76/3146705156/

I need to stop buying anymore equipment… otherwise I may lose focus..

Steven Clark 12-30-08

Lindy was just over my shoulder saying “nice photo”…

Yes I’ll be picking up the NIKKOR 50mm 1.8d. I’m a sucker for macros too but as a struggling student I’m having to pinch the belt as it is to buy into another lens.

Sander 01-02-09

Happy New Year Jin to you and your family! I have enjoyed reading your blog the last couple of months, keep it up! Looking forward reading more in 2009.

Dmitry 01-02-09

Happy New Year ;)

Jin 01-02-09

Sander, Dmitry, thanks! Same to you guys too.