I recently received some exciting news from Google Search: my blog at venkatarangan.com has garnered over 4,000 organic visits in just the past month! In today’s world, where short videos are all the rage, the fact that people still take the time to visit a traditional blog like mine is truly heartening.
Rewinding 20 years ago, I embarked on my blogging journey around the same Pongal festival. Since then, I’ve been consistently sharing my thoughts, managing to post almost every other day. This commitment has resulted in a trove of over 4,000 posts, which have collectively drawn more than 2 million pageviews—all organically.
During the first 15 years of my blogging adventure, I balanced my responsibilities as the founder and CEO of a software services firm in India and the USA. Blogging became my refuge after long, challenging workdays, offering a space to relax and disconnect from work stress. I’ve always made it a point to keep my professional projects, clients, and family life separate from my blog content. Currently, I’m engaged in an intriguing experiment: developing a custom ChatBot for my blog using ChatGPT 4, which will be able to learn from my existing content and answer queries on areas where I have expertise.
Striving for accuracy in my blog, I meticulously verify each detail, including dates, names, and locations. I’ve dedicated countless hours to researching and validating information from reliable sources. Regular checks on the links and the structure of my blog, including images, are also a part of my routine. I refresh the blog’s theme every four to five years to maintain a modern and appealing look. Initially, my blog was self-hosted on a Windows Server with IIS, using dasBlog1. Later, I transitioned to self-hosted WordPress on Azure for easier maintenance and vast community support, interestingly WordPress powers a staggering 43% of all websites on the Internet.
As for the content I’ve created, it’s diverse and bilingual, appealing to both English and Tamil readers. My blog features 820 articles on technology, 1,200 movie reviews mostly in English for broader reach, 320 detailed notes of events and conferences I’ve attended, 400 posts celebrating Chennai, 170 book reviews, 120 travel stories, 112 restaurant reviews, and around hundred talks and keynotes I’ve delivered. Additionally, there are 360 Tamil posts where I share technology insights with my fellow Tamilians, recount temple visits, or express thoughts that naturally flow in Tamil. All this content is my creation, and while I use Generative AI to polish language and grammar, I ensure it remains true to my style and voice. For me, AI is a supportive tool, not a substitute—I’m the pilot here.
1. DasBlog is an ASP.NET-based open-source platform, written two decades ago, by then my fellow Microsoft Regional Director in Germany Mr Clemens Vasters. The project is now under the stewardship of Microsoft’s Scott Hanselman and available as a GitHub project. The beauty of dasblog is that, it doesn’t require any third-party services, there are no databases, and all content is stored in the file system and as XML files.
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