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Looking back at 2009 Goals

I set goals at the start of 2009 for the year. They were:

  • Continue with 400 posts a month
  • Blog Daily
  • Speak at each Denver area user group
  • Speak at one SQLSaturday
  • Comment on blog posts that I think are interesting.
  • Update my blog roll to show who I think is interesting.
  • Grow the SSC audience to 1.4mm members by the end of the year.
  • Give all new articles a first review within 7 days.
  • Not miss sending any newsletters. I think I missed 3 this year.
  • Build something useful with .NET/SQL Server.

    I set a way for measuring my goals, and then had a couple updates during the year, Q1 and Q2. So how did I do? Here’s the evaluation:

    400 posts a month

    This got a little hard after the ASK SQLServerCentral site launched and I split time there. To be fair I asked more questions there than answered, but it still distracted me and ate up time. I ended up with 4628 as of Dec 19, which is closer than I thought I’d get.

    Blog Daily

    I think I blogged almost every day, or at least published something once a day. I ended up writing two or three many days and scheduling them, though I also published multiple ones some days. For the year I had 377 posts, plus one coming for tomorrow. Not bad.

    Speak at each Denver area User Group

    Complete, actually I spoke once at each group in the first quarter of 2009. That was a good goal for me. It got me out there, and while I only attended one meeting of Boulder and Co Springs, I got to 3 or 4 Denver area meetings.

    Speak at one SQLSaturday

    The idea was to support SQLSaturday and also get me out into the community. I ended up speaking at Pensacola and Baton Rouge. I cancelled SQL Connections, but managed 2 other remote deliveries, which was a pretty good number. Overall I exceeded this goal and was proud of it.

    Comment on Blog Posts

    I started out commenting on all blog posts since we really only had 3 or 4  regular bloggers at the beginning of the year. Since then we’ve grown to many more, including a lot of syndicated ones, and I don’t comment on all posts, but I try to read them all and comment where something strikes me.

    Update my blog roll

    I’ve done this 4 or 5 times, but not enough. I updated one more as I was writing this entry, but I didn’t really do this regularly enough. I should have set a monthly reminder and evaluated what I had down there.

    Grow SSC to 1.4mm members

    I failed here. Though to be fair, the rules of the game changed on me. rightly or wrongly, we’ve always required a registration to view most of our content. We had a time when you could read the forums, but not post, but as “payment” for the articles, we’ve wanted a registration. That changed substantially this year as Red Gate decided that we were alienating a number of people and we moved the “read” and “write” gates, as they were called, further back. I think now the read gate is gone, and it’s just the write gate if you want to post. That dramatically slowed down growth, and while we are still getting lots of traffic, we haven’t added a lot of members since September.

    Review New Articles within 7 days

    In hindsight this was partially a badly picked goal. I don’t have a way to determine what’s a “new” article other than memory since it’s not set up as a good workflow. It’s more like a waterfall model, and if I kick something back, it goes back to the top.

    But this was also a year in which writing seemed to explode. With so many people wanting to be MVP, so many people wanting to share, and maybe my expanded efforts in blogging and engaging with the community that I’ve often received 10 articles a week. Some are rewrites, and some are new, but it’s been a huge load and I’ve been behind quite often in editing.

    I think I failed here, not because of the workload, but more because the quality of writing has at times been horrible. I used to have relatively few writers, about 100, and they didn’t need a lot of editing. Now I have over 400, and many of them first timers. That’s OK, but they often scribble something down without proofing it, and I end up sending back more comments than they wrote!

    So I often put off editing for days, hitting it once or twice a week since it would put me in a bad mood. I failed miserably and I’m often not getting to a new article before it’s been in Q for 2 weeks.

    Not Miss Sending Newsletters

    I know I missed 1one I think that was it, though a couple were late. Let me know if that’s not the case.

    Build Something with .NET/SQL Server

    I had a few ideas, mainly redoing my own site, but never executed. This remains an unfulfilled goal.

    I think I was hesitant to tackle the process of relearning how to code in a language. It’s been a long time and while I don’t think the process of writing code would be hard, it’s the constant looking up of what methods to call, what properties exist, all the drudgery of re-learning the basic syntax and working with VS that I dreaded. I’m adding back this for 2010.


    I think I did pretty good, and these goals were definitely on my mind. Setting them does drive you towards them if you have any ambition, so I’ll add a few more for next year.

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    Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest


    Posted by Dugi on 30 December 2009

    Bloging daily ...For the year I had 377 posts, plus one coming for tomorrow. Not bad!

    Yea, I wonder where did you find these posts, don't forgetting the other posts daily or 400 per month so 400 x 12 = 4800!!!

    Posted by Dugi on 30 December 2009

    Yep, seems your goals for 2009 has been completed around 98% or 100% (confirm it!?).


    I'm checking mine but seems no more than 80% completed, I will recheck everything and sure reorganize 20% that has gone wrong to me!

    Posted by Steve Jones on 30 December 2009

    I think I did pretty good. Not perfect, but goals shouldn't be too easy.

    Posted by suhas on 4 January 2010

    Congrats Steve!

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