Offtopic - 3 years of blogging

Already 3 years passed since the first article on this blog. Let me take some time to talk about the things that happened, how the project changed, and how it feels to work continuously on something that does not profit in a single penny.

Offtopic - 3 years of blogging
Photo by Pixabay

Already 3 years passed since the first article on this blog. Let me take some time to talk about the things that happened, how the project changed, and how it feels to work continuously on something that does not profit in a single penny.

πŸ•“ Time

3 years ago, I started this small community for people that wanted to collaborate. After some time, I was working on my own again, but wasn't willing to stop writing. First, let me say that I am neither sad nor mad at anybody that wanted to help, but wasn't able to. It's just how life goes. Sometimes, we prioritize one thing, just to prioritize something else very soon. In the end, I might even be grateful for these people. They pushed me to create something, put some effort in it and start writing on a regular basis.

But, what is "on a regular basis"? As you might know, I am coming up with one article every week. Sometimes it might be zero, sometimes it might be two. There are still things like vacations, the occasional sickness or other priorities in my life. Anyway, I try to publish once a week. But, why is it this way? Why not one article every two weeks or 3 articles a week? Well, there are reasons.

When I started writing, I committed to invest 1 hour per day in the One hour for writing, development, community work and infrastructure. This is only 7 hours per week or ~1000 hours in the last 3 years. Not a lot, if you compare this to working hours, which sums up to over 5000 hours in 3 years. But still, I wanted to make this thing working. For your convenience, and since you might want to start your own writing, let's bisect one week, in a simplified way.

  • 1 hour of research per article
  • 1 hour for code samples
  • 2 hours for writing ~1000 words
  • 1 hour for illustrations, diagrams, and graphics
  • 1 hour of reviewing and publishing everything

As you might calculate correctly, this is only 6 hours. Sometimes, it is even less, and I can write something down in mere 3 hours. But this is my basic layout for writing and the time I want to invest. On top of this, I talk to people about tools and projects they are working on. Do interviews with project owners and other contributors, create polls for ideas, and other minor things.

Do I skip this one hour often? Sure! Do I stretch it? Yes, I do. But after all, it is not about keeping the schedule on the minute. It is about my personal investment, maybe a bit of discipline, maybe a bit of stubbornness. πŸ˜…

πŸ’‘ Ideas

Since I cut into this topic already, let me also sum up where I am getting ideas and new topics from. The below list is in no particular order.

  • feedback from the community (meaning you, the reader)
  • polls and surveys in social media
  • news, releases and whatever is in my RSS reader
  • analytics about what the readers like and read often
  • things that I am personally interested in

In the end, it boils down to "gut feeling + some numbers". πŸ˜›

⭐ Updates

In addition to the articles, I also updated the underlying infrastructure over the last 3 years. As you might have seen, we have a new theme. It's not that I like it more, but it was time for a change.

Also, I added some analytics. With, I found a solution that I am investigating right now. If you are interested in the numbers, please check out the public dashboard. I might start self-hosting plausible soon. But, before doing so, I wanted to see how it works and if it helps me.

Furthermore, I added pages that might be either required or interesting to you. Now, you can find my read books, some projects, contact options and legal information on the page. Also, there is a dedicated page about my new series "Featured", which tries to tell you more about Open Source developers. Yes, there is an article coming in January.

πŸ”­ Outlook

And what's coming next? Good question, and honestly I don't have a precise answer. I will dig more into community news, like the featured series or spotlights, for sure. I am thrilled to get in touch with other community members, projects, and I am already in the interview process with some people. Likewise, I also had the idea to provide this kind of content in a more modern way, maybe podcast or short interview videos? Not sure.

Featuring FOSS people
In a world, full of automation, web services and solutions for everybody’s needs, we often forget the people behind these projects. I want to tackle this, by introducing the Open Source community to the audience of my blog.

I also want to dig more into development content. The first Go article went pretty well, and I think, that I can add value here, too. What do you think? Is there any other development content you want to see? Possibly the development of my own Ghost blog theme might be interesting for you or Python?

Then, there are even more topics, I wasn't able to fully tackle. Security and databases are on my backlog, but also more Podman and Ansible content.

On top of that, I also thought about doing some personal blogging. Things like sharing recipes, vacation trips or books I am reading. But I am not sure if this fits the blog, and maybe I will set up something dedicated for this purpose.

I am also migrating a lot of stuff to its new place at GitLab, where you will find the setup of all this infrastructure very soon. I know, I know, I moved from GitHub to my own thing, back to GitHub, etc. Well, GitLab is just something I am super used to, and that I can really use to its fullest potential. Please expect the Ansible collections, Podman Quadlets, Kickstart templates, CloudInit content and more over there. The idea is, that you can reproduce all the stuff I am running on my home server, my VPS or workstation.

Lastly, there is the other community work in my meetups, projects and side efforts. I am not sure how I can share this content with you, but I will find ways, if there is enough time. For now, you might want to check out the Projects and Meetups page.

This page provides an overview of projects (Open Source, Free, Charity), that I find useful or organize myself and that I want to share with you.


Anyway, I am happy that I started this journey 3 years ago. It's thrilling to get in touch with you guys, be it via mail, social media or in person. I am stoked how many of you share ideas or just write a small "Thank you" mail.

Thank you πŸ™ for reaching out, getting in touch, reading the blog, sharing the results, linking it in your Wikis and documentations. Thank you for being such an awesome community.

Let's have an awesome 2024 together. Let's discover more Open Source, more development, infrastructure, and community!