Paul Kilfoil's World of Travel, Technology & Sport

Posted on  by Paul Kilfoil.
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Five years ago today, on 22 February 2010, I started this blog and published my first entry - a comment on the excellent service provided by Loot Online, a shopping web site based in Cape Town, South Africa (you can read this original post here). At first I simply wrote about anything that piqued my interest, as and when this happened and I had sufficient motivation (and time), but later I started categorizing my posts and I set myself a goal of how many blog entries I wanted to publish each calendar year.

Rather than aiming for one a month, my goal is to write 12 blog entries per year - this allows for periods when I'm so busy that I simply cannot blog, but I can always catch up later by writing three or four entries in a few weeks. Since I've made this commitment I am pleased to report that I have managed to keep to it without exception ... although 2014 was a close shave because I only wrote my 12'th entry of the year on 30 December.

Blog History
My tally of blogs per
year is as follows:
  2010 6 
  2011 6 
  2012 16 
  2013 17 
  2014 12 
  2015 (so far) 4 

  Total 61 

I don't use any content management system (such as WordPress or Joomla) to maintain my web site - everything is hand-coded in HTML, XML and JavaScript. Initially each blog page included a menu of recent entries in the top left corner, but after a while this became tedious to keep up to date. So I created some simple JavaScript that allowed me to store the details of each blog entry in an array and wrote some code that would auto-generate the menu on each page from this array. Now when I create a new blog entry, I simply add another element into this JavaScript array containing the details of the new page and after that all pages and menus automatically include links to this new page. Quick and easy. There are some disadvantages to this approach (mostly related to Search Engine Optimization, or SEO), but that is a price I'm prepared to pay for the convenience it gives me.

My blogs are also "tagged" into the following categories:
- Coffee
- Sport
- Travel
- Science
- Information Technology
- Railways
- Politics
- Books, music & art

Some entries fit into more than one category (for example, there is a lot of overlap between "Travel" and "Railways", as well as between "Science" and "Information Technology"), and some entries don't fit into any category. I did this because people are generally only interested in one or two of these topics and don't want to have to wade through a lot of (to them) boring bumpf. Now I have a custom URL for each of the categories, so I can send somebody who is interested in (say) my coffee shop reviews a link that will only show blogs tagged in the "coffee" category. For example, this is the direct link to my "coffee blogs".

So that's how this blog started back in February 2010 and how it has developed since then. Thanks for stopping by, please keep reading and I'll try my best to keep going for the next five years ...

  © Paul Kilfoil, Cape Town, South Africa