Simply a day for a local chat at this blog

Blogs are very broadcast-ish form of online media. After all we like to hear ourselves talk. Otherwise there would be millions of people running forums instead of blogs. It is tricky to get into readers’ heads that your opinions and comments are welcomed, even on a blog.

I am not doing milestone posts in second year (got slightly boring), but I decided that I still need occasional post about this blog and for your feedback.

Confession to make

I was having this vague feeling for a while, but passing five hundred (wow!) posts had kinda crystallized it. Frankly I had covered almost all of my core software. Whatever I use for a long time, whatever I recommend with absolute certainty – it had been posted. Best stuff (and plenty of simply good).

This doesn’t mean I am out of topics, far from it. However this does mean I have to move from settled things into realm of new discoveries.

Care enough to share your opinion?

As beginning of post put – this one is explicitly for you to talk. :)

I know some of you are extremely long-time readers which had seen this blog go through many changes and cycles. I know some had been vocal and supportive, and some are lurkers as usual.

Some of you are probably new readers, who have missed this blog struggling in desert of first months and other fun periods.

I am glad to hear from what you like about this blog, but it would also be invaluable to hear what you don’t. Strangely much more rare of an occasion.

  • what kind of posts you like? what kind you don’t?
  • does design help you get around blog? does it get in your way instead?
  • too much snark? too little? :)

Anything and everything – know I am glad to hear it.

Things to come

At one year mark I gave myself next year to develop and move to new theme. Might seem like too much time, but I have way too many things I want implemented as well. Still I hope I will be done by mid-summer as planned.

New theme will come with additional advertisement at this blog and plenty of tests to determine how viable financial stream can it be. Advertisement increases are known to cause community outrage. I wonder will I get one. :)

Anyway around now would be a perfect time to request what you want in new theme or talk about things you want gone.

Reality check

I had seen posts much like this right before blogs went into crazy course changes in (successful) search of an iceberg to waste them.

Don’t worry – today is day just like yesterday, and tomorrow will be just like today at this blog. It won’t stay static, but only changes that come to it will be in line with my mind and my life. It’s my cynical thoughts you are reading after all.


I must learn to publish such posts for discussion without dread feeling that no one will care to comment. I know better than that by now. :)

So on topic or off topic either – unlurk and hit those comments to say hi to me, other readers and share your opinion on this blog and what you want from it. I’ll be waiting and as always no one will be left unanswered.

Related Posts


  • Angelo R. #

    Congrats again on passing the 500 post mark! As to your comment about the content on the site, it's great. Sure I'm not interested in everything you put up, but most times it is something that I've never seen before and something I want to look into further. The only thing I'm not a fan of is the layout. Yes it stays minimal and is fast loading but it seems so plain to me.
  • The DataRat #

    . "too much snark ? too little ?" . Oh, just about right. ~Some~ snarkiness makes you seem genuine. Too much, nasty. Too little, disengaged. . "what kind of posts you like ? what kind you don’t ?" . Bottom line on this: Stuff I can ~use~ ! This encompassing both proggies and techniques/methods/strategies. [ Perhaps that's too generalized to be useful for you. ] Nothing overly-complicated or esoteric. But I'm ~always~ looking to do things better and quicker. . The Computer Rodent .
  • MK #

    Wow, 500 posts is a lot, way surpassed my old local blog (sembangkomputer.com) which I started two years ago. Honestly I haven't been coming to this site for an awful long time, been busy with new job and all. But it always stay in my feed reader as I scan the titles. And I keep coming back, eventually, perhaps because it feels more personal, like I am talking to a real person here. You have done a great job there Rarst. If there's one thing I don't like about the theme, is the header with four little box cramped below it. Give em some space, Rarst :P
  • Ishan@ILoveFreeSoftware #

    500 Posts!! Congrats a lot! I love whatever you write, and the way you write. So, keep doing the same :) Best of luck!
  • Rarst #

    @Angelo Strange, because I don't consider my blog much of "discovery" type. There are blogs around (primarily gHacks and Freeware Genius) that are much better at digging up underknown gems. I tend to pick tried and true stuff over that. New layout will be less plain. Slightly. :) Anything in particular I should know on looks or functionality? @DataRat It's not generic because I think about this blog in same terms - stuff that is genuinely useful and usable. Better and quicker that is computers are all about for me. :) @MK Titles are nice, but actual content is in the posts, you know. ;) Hope you make great use of your time and hope you will be able to stick visiting my blog again in there. Header is so getting changed. Its development was evolutionary and it is currently in state when thought of one more tweak makes me sick. :) @Ishan I think you have more than that? :) Your blog is more prolific, but style is substantially different as well. Anyway will do! Familar faces so far. What, no lurkers coming out at all? :) And push up on critics, praise will spoil me.
  • Ishan@ILoveFreeSoftware #

    Reminder: Make sure you keep a place for my link in your Blogroll in your new theme :) I do have more than 500, but as you said, they are styled differently than yours. Your sometimes non-tech related posts as well (which I do love), while I tend to keep the focus on freeware. Even when both of us are writing about same software, the posts can be entirely different (That's what I like about blogging. There can be hundreds of articles about a software, and each one still styled differently, and pleasure to read.) In terms of criticism, I hope your new theme is not as bland as this one ;)
  • Rarst #

    @Ishan I actually hadn't even thought what blogroll in new theme will be like. I currently have over twenty folders (ooooouch) of bookmarks I need to get through: read up on stuff I need to implement and decide on stuff I am not sure about. As for bland - rejoice! New theme will have third color on top of black and white! :)
  • rvdmast #

    Though you describe your blog as "Cynical thoughts", i think critical would be a more appropriate description. Nevertheless, i think you hit just the right balance of critical without being (too) negative, which i think is refreshing. I actually like the somewhat sober design of the site, although i'd like it even more without the animation in the header. Personaly i find it a little distracting. Keep it coming, i've been looking forward for your posts everyday for the last one and a half (or two?) years.
  • Angelo R. #

    It's not so much that I've never seen them before, but that there is always a different spin on the topics that those other Blogs. They tend to gush over every new app out there, but I suppose that's where the Cynical Thoughts come in ;)
  • Rarst #

    @rvdmast I am just kinder about computers than I usually am. ;) Glad I get balance right without having to restrict myself from being too negative or too positive either. I have mixed feelings about featured stuff in header. Code is disgusting, unmaintained and nightmare overall. But I know some readers like it a lot and when I heatmapped it got steady amount of clicks. This plugin will be gone for sure and there will be no featured area in header in new theme. But I most definitely want to implement in better coded and more flexible way. Thanks for reading! :) I remember I promised you post on MySQL and AutoIt, but lately I've been distracted with PHP a lot. Still I have that AutoIt code around so I will get to it. @Angelo New things are poisonous to mind. I can drool on stuff myself, but I know it rarely as good as it first seems. And even more rarely I really need it as much as I want it. :)
  • Saurabh #

    Congrats for 500 posts! Honestly speaking most of the stuff you write about is not for me. But the thing I appreciate about your blog is that you don't go gaga over every new trend that hits the market, unlike many other tech blogs. As you say, 'cynical thoughts' :)
  • Sandrina #

    Congratz! I like this blog because it is different from other blogs. It is more, how to say, hm, independent! Keep up the good work!
  • kelltic #

    It was the "cynical thoughts" part that brought me here in the first place - and keeps me coming back. A bit of snark is good. As for design element, I agree wholeheartedly with #8, rvdmast. I can't really address the content of your posts. Some topics interest me, some do not. How could it possibly be otherwise? We all have different interests and we have different levels of technical savvy. I've used computers for a very long time but without digging too deeply into their workings. I'm good with applications, poor with the intricacies of OSes (Is that a word?). I read what applies to me specifically or what is within the range of my capabilities and understanding. One of the things I like most about your site is that it's friendly.
  • JeeMan #

    I find you do an excellent job. What I like? 1) I like when you post about freeware. 2) Your posts are always very structured, easy to follow. 3) One post a day. 4) You answer all comments. 5) You stay true to yourself. 6) Your posts are about quality, not quantity. What I don't like? It is true that the theme is very plain... But on the other hand, too much is not good either. Even if I don't comment on all posts, I read them all.
  • Rarst #

    @Saurabh Still you always leave great comments on posts that do interest you. :) I think nowadays it is easier to follow blogs with content you are only partly interested in - RSS, filtering tools and such. @Sandrina It amazes me that blogs actually became alike and boring. Too many people treat it like a job and write about things they have no real interest in. Re-phrasing that anecdote "98% of bloggers give rest a bad name" :) I am quite good and gifted at ignoring trends and boring social expectation (some people don't really like that about me :) so it's only natural that my blog is genuine. @kelltic I've read that regular visitors start to ignore design completely. Guess it is indeed too plain if there is "boring" emotional response lingering in long time readers. I do not say that some posts are better than other. It's just that it is easy to see what search crowd likes - analytics give hard numbers on that. But it is trickier to figure out what daily readers enjoy and it is not a crowd that deserves to be disappointed - mistake many blogs make, blinded with search traffic. As for friendliness - it comes easier for me online. Some people choose to be jerks online because they can. I choose to be more friendly, because people online is less likely to screw with me and it's not like they can much. @JeeMan Yeah, it took some months to settle with that structure. But when I did it really clicked with me and made posts easier to write and more coherent. I'd say my posts balance between quantity and quality. I could go for longer and more detailed posts, but such are likely to burn me out for few days after. So I prefer consistent mid-range post. After all I can alway post again to explain things in additional details. Again, thank you all for reading and awesome comments! :) I honestly fail to remember many places online where people bother with such long and thoughtful replies all the time.
  • rvdmast #

    @Rarst I'll be around here for a while i think, and looking forward to your MySQL/AutoIt post. I'm surprised you remembered that, that was september last year and i had already forgotten about it! Btw now that i'm writing this i noticed a minor thing about the site. the text boxes are really hard to see, i have to look real close to see where to put the mouse cursor to start typing. It's the really thin lines on a white background...
  • Rarst #

    @rvdmast Another confession - I cheat with comments. :) If there was long time since previous comment by someone - I look it up and refresh in my memory what were we talking about then. On text boxes - they are low contrast, but should be visible fine. Maybe you should check monitor settings? I know first hand how crappy settings can make you completely miss subtle contrast details. I am not too good with forms (rarely need them) so it means I will have to read up and get it better in new theme.
  • Ramblinrick #

    Rarst, Keep 'em coming; which I know you will. Your blog is one of my daily stops. Rick
  • Rarst #

    @Ramblinrick Will do. :) Thank you for visits, comments and always including me in digest posts at your blog!
  • Jonny #

    500, well done! I still read nearly everything you post about (which is more than nearly any other blog in my feed reader). Personally I like the app reviews rather than online service reviews / commentary - but that's my slant / preference... You get lots of comments because you write engaging and interesting posts and no-one should blame you for increasing the monetization of the blog... Keep it up!
  • Rarst #

    @Jonny Thank you for reading! Too much of any one thing isn't good, I'd be bored to death writing about software alone. :)