A friend and fellow securities investor provided some unsolicited but constructive feedback on my blog. In his experience, blog quality is directly proportional to the perceived effort invested to maintain it. That is, the minimalist nature of my blog looked like a second-rate rag not worth reading.

After directing him to my home page which enumerates the consumer benefits of the layout, I dissected his statement more. The website was built from scratch as I was learning about cloud computing technologies. I wrote the whole thing using vim, the world's greatest text editor. I built a continuous integration pipeline to scan my code for syntax issues, check all my hyperlinks to ensure they were responding, ensure my images were compressed for faster downloads, hash every downloadable file for security, and more.

Every time I commit code, a continuous delivery process automatically deploys the updates into production only if all of the tests pass. I integrated email alerts into the pipeline for rapid feedback. I recently wrote my own Atom/RSS subscription code, which was a fun challenge. All this was done within the cloud using software-as-a-service, and I take pride in having built it myself. And, because I am always seeking to share knowledge and elevate the state of our industry, 100% of the underlying code is freely available.

My point is that the website took tremendous effort to initially build. Compare all this to the typical blogger who, with a few clicks of a mouse, subscribes to a faceless website building service. Presto, you've got a cookie-cutter blog. Nothing wrong with that, but I am writing about perceived effort. I've come to love the phrase "big hat, no cattle". Things and people are often not what they seem.

Perception in the military is all about looking smart/busy/cool/tough. No doubt perception plays a significant and largely negative role in our civilian lives, too. Seek to truly understand before deciding with your eyes. Paraphrasing Eric Ries, "which product is low quality, again?"

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