Tuesday, September 07, 2010

About Helen

My name is Helen Neely and I’m the creator and maintainer of this blog. I launched it in September 2004 and, just barely a year later, the site receives thousands of page views a month and has lots of  RSS subscribers. Even more, I have spent no money at all on direct advertising for the site – I have never spent a dime to steer readers my way.

How did I do it? I spent a month collecting every technique I used to achieve this success. This isn’t “how to start a blog” material – anyone can write about that. What I focused on is how to build an audience and write quality content. These ideas were originally posted as a series of entries at here and other various blogs. But over time, I had to move all my content in one place and work more to make this place the final home for those content.

 Today, I finally gave in and decided to put up a post so about myself, how I started this blog and to answer some of the questions people have been asking over the years. Like most bloggers I know, writing about one self is very hard - you don't want to be seen as beating your own drum, so that has put me off writing this for a very long time. Even as I type this, I'm still asking myself if it is necessary...so, being the sort of person I am, I will let this pass for now and come back to it later.

Will you link to me? Yes, I mostly link to those who have good quality content on the blog, it does not matter what sort of area your blog covers, as long as it is well written and thought through, I will add it to my blogroll. You don't have to linkback to me. Sometimes it makes sense to link to people and not ask them to return the favour.

Do you accept guest posts? I have never really thought of it, but shoot me an email or leave a comment if you'd like to post here. Keep your post clean, no offensive language, discrimination or anything that would cause offence - think of readers from different cultures and backgrounds.

 What's your day job? I currently work as a senior software engineer, my day is spent writing software with Python, JSON/XML, MySQL and Django, and I make heavy use of MongoDB and Pymongo. I used to be a Java developer for 6 years, but gave it up when I discovered the joy of Python programming. At night and when I have free time, I manage this blog and work on my second book. I also help out on the Python-tutor answering questions that those new to Python post on the mailing list.

What else? Yes, I once had a page here, but rarely update it these days, but do check it out.

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