Answers to unasked questions or reflections of the popularizer

    In 1978, military pilot Mike Mullein was selected for astronauts. And one of the psychologists asked him: "What is your unique strength?" Mullein replied: "I always do my best in what I am doing." When I read this story in the memoirs of astronaut Mike Mullein, I inevitably thought that I would answer this question. Say the same thing does not work - in memory enough episodes where you could give more. But, after thinking, I still found a character trait, which is documented. It turned out to be persistence. At the end of 2013, as a “compensation” for freezing the remakeRace into Space I set myself the task - to write at least one publication per week without taking into account the New Year holidays. And now, at the end of 2016, I note with surprise that I managed to work another year in this mode. Traditionally, under the cut reflections on GTD and motivation, statistics Geektimes on their own materials, arguments about changes in LJ and so on.

    Picture of Rina Zeniuk (there are still a lot of very cute blue cats)

    GTD and motivation

    It would be wrong to think that motivation and desire to work are constant in time. I like to talk about space and other interesting things. And in the best moments I can get close to the state of Archimedes, to run through the streets and shout: “People! See what a cool thing that is! ” But this happens infrequently. Of course, there are also opposite failures to the peaks, when the teeth “set tomorrow to write down the figures of the next” break through their teeth. And here I would mention some GTD techniques, but I don’t use them specifically. Rather, there are some intuitive habits that really help.

    Time structuring and planning. I work as an IT specialist for a full day, even on a free schedule. Therefore, Sunday is consistently allocated for writing publications on Monday. As a rule, on Sunday morning I already know the topic on which I will write. That is, it is thought out and selected at least on Saturday. Already about half a year I try to write not even one, but two publications a week, but, with the beginning of the hobby for the mono-wheels, all three. As a result, Monday and Tuesday evenings are spent on the conditional heading “mono-wheels on Wednesdays” or something light space. The topic of the Friday publication is simpler, and the complexity is lower - evenings of Wednesday and Thursday are shorter than Sunday. Friday evening and Saturday - rest. But, if it were not for the help and support of my wife, I would be able to do much less. My wife “got sick” with the space program with me, she edits the material before publishing and tolerates her husband,

    Discipline . People are different, but the “commitments” made to me to do the material regularly definitely help. Yes, of course, the quality may suffer from this, but, in my opinion, the winnings are greater here - a few good materials are regularly better than the ideal one is not clear when. I can not say that I always maintained reasonable terms, it happened that the publication on Monday was getting ready very much after midnight on Sunday, but it still “sought” and came out in the morning.

    Stocks . If for me writing articles would be a full-fledged work, it would be worthwhile to have a reserve of drafts and prepared materials. I have in stock only potentially interesting topics on which you can write, if nothing more is suitable.

    Find incentive. Many and many good authors I read here stopped writing after some time. In order to do some business for a long time, you need to find something that will “cling” to you. Vanity? Altruism? Anything to work.


    Now there are quite a few people who did not find the historical division of Habrahabr into three portals in 2014. At first Geektimes sprang from him, where the cosmos and the science center went, then Megamind separated, where the management issues went. Megamind recently merged back with Habr. Before the division, a very interesting publication could well have gained more than one hundred thousand views and a rating of several hundred. Such publications can be found on the first pages of the “Best for all time”, and for a long time this list will remain unchanged - attendance and user activity will not give such figures now. As a user of non-fiction materials, I completely moved to GT, having suffered certain losses, but on the whole I supported the idea even then. On Habré 2014, we had to use almost tricks like the publication of the material on Sunday evening, so that he could gain a +5 rating by Monday morning and appear on the main page. Then the competition between the authors was great. It feels that in 2016 the authors are still not enough for serious competition. As usual (@varagian, I will no longer shame you every year, but Habra analytics was a cool service), I collected statistics on the views and ratings of my publications, which can be used to estimate the dynamics.

    After falling in October 2014 due to the sharing of resources, the graphics are not much different from each other. And what if you count the same thing in numbers?

    The good news is that the average and median values ​​of user activity are higher than in 2015. The amount also carries a serious error, because in 2014 I wrote 59 publications, in 2015 - 63 and in 2016 - 86, and is given just for estimates of the order of numbers. The bad news is that the figures are still below half of what it was.

    Another not particularly pleasant thing noticed the other day. All three years, I was always in the top 10 users, and in 2016, probably more than 90% of the time in the first place. In 2014, there was a noticeable activity in PM - then an invite would be asked, then some kind of side job would be offered like reviews of Chinese goods or rewriting. In 2015 and 2016, however, unless they sometimes write something related to a recent publication, for example, they will point to a typo. And invites have now lost their value, and this is an indicator of a decline in attendance and user activity.

    In general, it is good that Geektimes sample of 2016 is more vigorous than 2015, but it will take a long time to simply return to the original numbers.


    If someone does not know, I copy the materials from here to LiveJournal. And this year there were big changes with LiveJournal - instead of a top on the main page, where the most readable materials by registered users fell, the main page began to be formed by the editors. Many bloggers were outraged and forbade the administration to place their posts on the new main one, because attendance on duplicate pages was not initially taken into account. I decided that I wasn’t losing anything, and, on the contrary, I often began to offer my materials (in the new main there is a button “Offer news”, a post, of course, may not be taken, but at least viewed). The result was not slow to wait for myself - if at the beginning of the year I was in the area of ​​2000 seats, now I am in the third hundred.

    The new home page has dramatically increased the chances of little-known bloggers who make good content. Without the opportunity to get to the main page for free, by making quality material, the numbers would be much smaller. From the user's point of view, the content of the main one with an augmented top (it was first completely removed, but then partially returned) became much better.

    About rating systems

    If I were a novice blogger without a budget for promotion, I would choose as the main resource one in which the rating of the material is determined by the readers' vote, for example, as in Geektimes. In this case, good and interesting material can easily get to the main page and get a large number of views. Rating systems based on accumulated friends (LJ or social networks) require effort and time or resources to promote. For example, it took me a little less than three years from zero social capital to place in the third hundred, and this with changes that turned out to be very beneficial.

    About done

    From the point of view of popularization, the year passed much better for me than 2015. It turned out that I made friends with the Ufa planetarium, in April I went to Moscow, established contacts with the Museum of Cosmonautics, thanks to which I visited Moscow again and, after a long break, visited Yekaterinburg. Thanks to familiar popularizers, we managed to see the museums of RSC Energia. Interaction with the media has shifted to a qualitatively new level - it turned out to be on Internet TV , radio ( one , two ), in a podcast , to give an interview to a Belarusian entertainment portal, and even to participate as a scientific consultant in infographicsRIA News. Accumulated audience in LJ poured out into funny non-space activities like hockey. In general, there is no need to complain, and it will be necessary to work even more and better in order to exceed the set bar in 2017. According to the experience of previous reports, it makes no sense to write plans for the next year here, changing circumstances or interest quickly makes them irrelevant.

    Thank you for reading me in 2016. Ideas, comments, questions, thanks, curses and other feedback are accepted in any way you like - in the comments, in a personal, Vkontakte or FB. Happy New Year!

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