During the last two months I haven’t updated this blog. This calls for a thorough explanation and some planning for the future. Let’s take a look at the latest articles that I’ve published:
All of them, except for the PlanetDB2 one, were highly researched articles which saw their fair share of success. I define the success of a post by evaluating the size of the audience and the volume of feedback received. Even when they were somewhat misinterpreted by a few people (for example in the case of Top 10 Rails tips), I was still happy with the outcome.
The last post was not particularly successful, but that was not a surprise. In fact, it was just an update focusing on DB2, which seems to be one of the most underrated gem in the development community (it really deserves much more attention).
So how did two months go by without publishing anything? It’s a mix of three factors: I’ve been very busy in my professional and personal life, I had a hardware failure, and I’ve been a bit too much of a perfectionist.
I wanted to top my previous articles and started working on a new, bigger and better shootout. Then the machine I was running my tests on decided to die unexpectedly. It sucks, but such is life. And here the exact mix of perfectionism and busyness kicks in. I didn’t want to come up with smaller, less interesting articles while the PC was out on warranty repair (as it still is), and I didn’t want to run the tests on a different machine. The result is that despite having many topics to talk about, this blog has shown 2 months of ugly silence.
It’s time for me to change this trend. While I strongly believe in quality rather than quantity, and I’m very busy, a blog that is not updated is a blog that won’t have a bright future. For this reason, I’ve decided to try to update the blog at least once a week if not more often.
Clearly not all the articles will be highly popular, but it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that the site is and will keep growing with qualitative material about programming. I’m adopting a Dan Fante’s approach1 to this. And if it means that the blog becomes more “personal” so be it, the URL has my own name after all.
In the meantime I’ve launched another blog about Mathematics (a long standing passion of mine). It’s called Math Blog: Mathematics is Wonderful! and you can find it at http://math-blog.com.
This blog received so much attention during the first days of its life that Digg users forced my hosting provider to pull all the sites on my account off the web.
I’ve now gone with a server from Liquid Web.
They are fully managed and they take care of preparing, maintaining and securing your server (albeit I did some further hardening myself).
After researching a lot about managed dedicated servers and managed VPSs, I’ve settled with LW because I’ve found only great reviews about them and their prices are more than fair. From what I’ve gathered so far, they are equivalent to a cheaper version of RackSpace. If you can’t justify spending 400 bucks at RackSpace, then a dedicated or Virtual Private Server from Liquid Web may be the way to go, especially if you are moving out of the shared hosting market (by the way they also provide shared hosting). So far they’ve truly gone the extra mile more than once, and answered my calls at 3 and 5 AM right away. Math Blog is already hosted there and I plan to move AntonioCangiano.com there within a month or two. I’ll probably blog more in detail about LW very soon.
The new server is great, but it also costs more than a shared hosting solution, therefore I’ve decided after more than a year and half of blogging here, to add ads to all my sites and blogs. If I invest time, passion and energy in this, I don’t see why recovering the expenses and then some isn’t the right thing to do. How I see this is: a blog can be seen as an online magazine that is often published by one editor only. You usually pay for printed magazines and inevitably you still have advertising in them. Blogs on the other hands are entirely free, which means that ads – in my book – are well justified.
As soon as I’ve gotten my PC back from having it repaired, I will prepare the Ruby shootout and publish the results. Until then I won’t stop the presses though.
 I don’t know if any of you have the exact quote, but Dan Fante said something along the lines of that he would write 10 pages every day no matter if they are good or bad. This is very loosely paraphrased and don’t worry, I won’t publish the bad ones ;-).