5 days 5 blogposts was an idea for a challenge that appeared in my head some time ago. I never remember where ideas come from - was it my idea, someone told me about it? I don't really care - I'm fascinated by ideas regardless of the author.
Anyway, I disgress here. Which is a common problem in blogging, btw. You sit down and want to write about something and then, BAM, 100 new connections appears and you want to blog about all of them in one blogpost.
I believe in blogging as making the world a better place.
I see blogging as a way of documenting what you know, sharing what your learnt. Sometimes, just 3 sentences can "click" in someone's mind.
I don't buy the counter-argument - "there are too many blogposts already".
Nope, people are unique. The way I think (and blog) about something is unique too. There are certain people with whom my writing resonates.
I don't blog to make millions of people happy, I blog to those 20 people who get inspired/educated from my writing.
The 5 days 5 blogposts challenge was this idea that we can encourage each other to unblock in blogging. The sense of community and the bond is important here too. That's why it all became easier to organise, once Arkademy has started.
Arkademy is this community of programmers, both very very senior and also very very junior. It includes many Ruby programmers, but is not limited to any special technology. We are a welcoming community and the goal is to create a university-like environment of learning/supporting each other.
One part of Arkademy is courses (including 2 blogging courses), The other part is communication - also via Discord.
When Arkademy started - it was possible to start the blogging challenge. The community is already big enough that targeting 5-10 people was a realisting goal. At the same time it's still not too crowdy and it's easy to recognize people by their nicknames.
The first thing was a blogging conference. This consisted of 4 talks and was like a preludium to the actual challenge. The Arkency bloggers + Mira (English expert) shared their tips during online talks.
It's worth wathing this talk if you're worried about your English.
After the conference, we have started the challenge.
During the first day, I was a bit worried - what if no one joins?
It was a great relief to see the first "submissions". We've used one "Blogging" Discord channel. My goal was to review and motivate in the first days of the challenge. Somehow it happened that I joined the actual challenge too. It was nice to see also that Paweł from Arkency has joined the challenge too.
You can see all/most blogposts grouped here: http://5days5blogposts.arkademy.dev/
Most of the people who joined the challenge are people who either never blogged or tried but got stuck and didn't blog for a long time.
It was so nice to see how they unblock in writing. It was also very motivating how they overcome all the possible problems:
- I hate my writing
- noone is going to read this
- I'm tired, I blogged already yesterday
- I have nothing to write about
But somehom most of us stayed till the end.
As you can see, the format of the blogposts was varying a lot.
Some of my lessons here:
- It's hard to write a tutorial-like high-quality blogpost every day.
- Perfectionism is a hard opponent
- Showing code makes blogging much easier
- Sharing opinons may be controversial but is easy to write as you stay true to yourself
- Maintaing the persona of who you write for helps
- Keeping a backlog of blogging ideas helps people
- Trying to use my strengths (somehow simulated by for example Gallup talents) is a good idea, as it helps me with focus
- People like reading my opinions
- A little clickbait in the title can help
What helped me the most, though was the "team effort".
I'm an indivudual but I love being part of the team where we can support each other. That's why the success of the Arkency blog (listed as top-10 ruby blogs in the world) - we help each other, we trust each other, we embrace our differences.
During the challenge, at first I wasn't sure if the "team effect" could help that much. We didn't really know each other that well.
In the end, it's the group that helped me finish the challenge. In the moments where I wanted to give up it was motivating to see Discord notifications that Mikołaj, Anna, Piotr, Manuel and others have posted their blogposts.
My Gallup's Maximizer (the talent to see a true potential in other people) is very happy. I've seen people transitioning from not bloggging at all to be almost addicted to blogging after only 5 days.
This is the kind of challenge I dreamt of.
Thank you to all the people who started the Arkademy Blogging Challenge. You're great.
I'm already motivated to prepare and organize other such challenges at Arkademy.
- work on a fresh Rails app for 5 days
- implementing typical ecommerce challenge as a programming kata
- designing a good architecture for existing systems - architectural kata
- React component a day
- Improving test coverage via mutation testing
But that's a topic for another blogpost.
Thanks for reading!