A look back: February 2009

Another month is over, and in my recently established tradition, I’m taking a look back at the past month to give you an overview of developments around NavigateIntoSuccess.com.

This was both a great month, and a rough month for me. Rough, because I had terrible hosting issues, and great because in spite of that, you visited this blog regularly and engaged in discussions more than ever before. Thanks!

So, let’s take a short overview of what this blog did in February 2009.

The poll

Last month, the poll was about you. I asked you about who you are and what you do, and I was pretty surprised with the results. This is what you had to say about yourselves:

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From the most-searched queries that led people to visit my blog, I’d say that there were far more NAV customers (existing or prospect) among my readers, and some of my contents (and plans) were tailored to that audience. Since there are many more consultants here than I anticipated, I’ll try to deliver what you folks need.

Honestly, I’m totally astonished at the number of prospect NAV customers—only one! (or at least, only one who bothered to vote).

I also did a small experiment with this month’s poll: for all those visitors who haven’t responded, the blog displayed a yellow box with a reminder to do so. I’m thrilled to find out it worked: I got 83 responses, which is a 40% increase as compared to January. Thanks for giving me those two clicks, I truly appreciate it! Although, I wonder, with only 5% of unique visitors actually voting, what else can I do to solicit those two clicks from you?

The content

This month was mostly about project management and project success topics. I started with posting about project budgets, and 9 reasons why customers can benefit from revealing it to their prospect consultants. It picked up the attention of the folks at Project Management Hut, a leading project management blog, and a site featured in Alltop for Project Management. So, it got reposted there, and they were even as kind as to agree to have me as a regular contributor. I don’t know when it’ll be, but I’ll make sure to let you know.

My next post explaining 7 reasons why to avoid customizations got a lot of attention too, and it got quoted in blogs as well. It became 4th most read article on this blog ever in less than three weeks. I also suspect somebody tweeted about it on Twitter, because not too long after it got posted I started getting visitors from there. It made me finally open my Twitter account and I now have 20 followers. If you have a Twitter account too, why don’t you just follow me, and I’ll follow you back?

Sometime in February Microsoft Dynamics NAV Developer Center was started on MSDN. I blogged it, and the nice folks over at MSDN have been so kind as to include my blog in their blogroll. I’m yet to see traffic from there, but I appreciate the link.

On February 12th I delivered a presentation at a partner event, about how to cope with economic recession with the help of Microsoft Dynamics NAV. As a part of preparation efforts, I blogged about 12 features that help you defeat recession. I admit that it might be hyped a little, because optimizing the supply chain is only a small (albeit important) step in navigating through recession, but yet you found it good enough to give it 4,8 stars out of 5. You read it as much as to make it number 5 most read article of all times.

My next post was an extension of avoiding customizations topic, and it was about why I believe add-ons are generally a better choice over customizations. It was the most commented post this month, and second most commented post here ever. It was pretty controversial, and I hoped to spur some discussion with it, but I didn’t think it could solicit so much opinion from you. I see now that I’ll have to be more controversial in the future if I want to get you to comment more. Blogging about free porn, Britney Spears’s latest sex adventures or Madonna’s new boyfriend, all in perspective of ERP implementation and project success, would probably be as controversial as it gets, but also far over the limits, now wouldn’t it?

Another post, that was lurking deep in my to-post list for quite a long time, finally saw the light, and it was about Microsoft Azure Services Platform. I titled it Associazione Marittima di Sabioncello, to pay tribute to what is the stupidest business failure I ever heard about. Since Microsoft Azure Services Platform will surely bring much breakthrough to the IT world, I believe there will be many similar failures if companies keep ignoring the fact that cloud computing has actually arrived. I’m glad to find out you gave it a clear 5-star rating even though it got some naysaying about it on blogs. But again—this only proves that controversy is good, and that you like it regardless of whether you agree with me. Debate—that’s the beauty of blogging, and if I give it some of my brain-processor time, I’d say it’s the top reason why I blog after all.

I closed the month with two more posts, one about Microsoft Dynamics NAV events and webcasts portal, and another about preventing failure by educating your customer in project methodology. The latter was probably my weakest blog post in a long time, and even though I wanted to convey an important standpoint with it, I somehow feel that I failed at it.

The troubles

Sometime mid-February, this blog started being unresponsive, slow, and even outright down for extended periods of time. I complained to the hosting company, and they apologized for inconvenience, then moved me to “new hardware”, which was even worse. Last week, it was down for roughly one quarter of the time, due to an incompetent hosting company (if you want to know which one, ask me, and I’ll tell you).

After a while, I gave up on E-mailing to their support (which has a 24-hour reply policy which they themselves don’t give mosquito’s crap about) and I moved to new provider. It was a painful experience for me, and I believe for you as well, but now it should be all sorted out, and I haven’t noticed any problems with the blog ever since.

I’m sorry that a lot of you have come here only to hit a 500 Internal Server Error or similar system messages. I can tell from the statistics that the downtime has truly damaged the interest you have in this blog, and even though the blog now works and responds like charm, I still have to catch up with the previous trends. I’ll do my best to make it up for you in March.

The statistics

February was the best month ever on this blog. If you remember my statistics from my last post in 2008, the trends have skyrocketed since then. In February alone there were 4,837 visits, which is more than 20% of last year’s total traffic. Last year you came here from 42 countries, now you regularly arrive from 100 countries. There were 70 RSS subscribers, now there are 200. These figures keep my enthusiasm high, and I hope this blogs delivers (or keeps delivering) the content you need.

The stars

Finally, one of the new features of this blog introduced in February is Star Rating for posts and pages. It’s a useful feature which lets you express what you think about an article in a just a single click. So far, 33 of you have done so, and I got a 4,2 out of 5 stars overall rating for this blog. Thanks!

See you around in March, and now that you are this far, why don’t you just click that little star bar and give me a couple of stars, just to let me know you’ve been here? Namaste!

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