I’m Nine Years Old – Old Age

As party week comes to its conclusion, we look at the final year – 2018 – and acknowledge that Life of an Architect is now an old man. 

Life of an Architect – Year Nine (2018)

Year nine in most ways was just like year’s seven and eight. One thing that non-blog writing people (otherwise known as “regular” people) can’t truly understand is the constant need for something interesting to write about in a serial manner. In short, for the last two years, I have a few fairly large projects that I’ve been working on but I don’t have a lot to show for it. The thing that feeds me, and in turn feeds this website, is having things that I think are worth sharing with others. This typically means projects of mine are under construction and I can talk about sorts of construction techniques, details that were developed as I show the executed product, amusing anecdotes from job site visits, my love/hate relationship with the software Procore … in other words, tons of what I think would be interesting posts.

The two commercial projects that I should be able to focus on in 2019 basically sat in building department purgatory all of 2018 – and while complaining about the building department is fun, nobody really cares. Another project that I will most likely be spending time on in 2019 is a massive renovation and addition to a Robert A.M. Stern house here in Dallas – and that project will be full of potential blog posts.

Other than that, there is the podcast – which quite honestly might be the lifeline to keeping Life of an Architect interesting and worth reading.

My favorite blog post of 2018 is:

Life of an Architect - The Podcast

Life of an Architect – The Inevitable has Arrived
Since I have become bored with blogging, it is time to turn my attention towards something that will allow me to recapture that creative spark – and it’s just what the world needed … another podcast

That’s right – my favorite post is when I broke up with my website and confessed that I was stepping out with a podcast. Trying to figure out how to podcast was almost as much of the attraction as anything else, but I am happy to say that I much prefer talking over sitting in front of the computer and typing for hours on end. Interestingly, I received a few messages from people who were actually really irritated that I was not going to be blogging as much. Little did they know that finding this outlet might be just the thing I needed so that I would still continue to blog at all.

After four days and 8 previous images of site metrics, I think we can all take a moment and relish in the fact that this is the last image you are going to see for awhile where site traffic is concerned.

Life of an Architect Metrics - Year 2018

So here it is … living proof that the website has been slowly killed by constant attacks. While there has been a steady erosion of traffic once the hacking began, this was the year when there were about 3 precipitous drop-offs that occurred. After a high of  8.2 million page views in 2016, things have hit rock bottom, at least rock bottom for me. Whenever I complain about how bad my traffic has become my blogger friends are still quick to point out that they would kill for what I am currently getting – but there’s no comfort in that. What I see is an erosion of 8 years of ridiculously hard work and sacrifice being wiped out by people hitting me with constant DDoS attacks.

The good news is that as of this writing, it seems as if the latest round of precautions and systems seem to be working and the traffic appears to be returning. While I might not want to admit it, that would certainly help my motivation to continue putting in the effort of writing blog posts.

2018 – Year Nine Page Views – 2,547,200
Year Nine Countries/ Territories – 237
2018 – Year Six Top Five Cities – New York, London, Dallas, Sydney, Boston

The Popular Post

2018 saw my lowest post count since I started – a bucolic total of 46 articles were written. Since I didn’t have any work that was under construction, a recurring theme for my entries is that they were technical in their nature. I also started the podcast in June and the practice of writing a blog post one week, and the world’s most extensive podcast show notes the next was born.

Here is the most viewed post from 2018:

Modern House Drawings Bob Borson A501

Just Draw it Up (96,370 year nine page views)
Calling an architect to draw up plans can be the wrong first step in certain circumstances. If all you need is someone to take your plans and turn them into serviceable documents, who should you call?

This was one of those “Don’t blog when you’re angry” sort of posts (is that a saying? I bet it is). I wrote this post after having a long chat on the phone with someone who was just looking for some help, and they wanted it from me. Normally I am on board with that – if I can help someone I will typically try to do just that. The issue with this particular call, and the one or two just like it I receive each month, is that the people calling don’t care who I am or what I do, they’ve already solved all their problems and some building department has told them that they need to hire an architect to prepare drawings, so all they want from me, is for someone to “just draw it up.”

As I sit in my chair writing this post, reflecting back on the narratives for 2018, there are really super positive things that come to mind.

  1. I have three amazing projects that will be built this year
  2. I have amazing clients that I truly like and feel blessed to collaborate with them on their project.
  3. I am really enjoying the podcast and while it has experienced some challenges, it’s still early, it’s getting better with each recording, and a lot of people are listening to it. If you haven’t checked it out yet – give it a chance and go here
  4. 2018 was probably the best year I’ve ever had as a professional and 2019 is shaping up for a repeat performance

I have nothing to complain about and I realize that I am blessed in so many ways that even when things aren’t going right, they aren’t going left. All we can ask for is a chance to work with people we like, projects that enrich us and look for outlets that feed our souls. If we are lucky we might get one or two of those things, to hope for all three … well, let’s just say that I know just how lucky I am.

So that’s it – 5 consecutive days that tell the tale of the Rise and Fall of the website Life of an Architect. What does the future hold for me?


Bob signature FAIA

This is the last in a series of 5 articles. If you want to know the whole story, I think it’s best if you start at the beginning.

The Birth Year covers the first year of the site (2010)
The Early Years is a closer look at years two and three (2011 and 2012)
The Teenage Years is a look at years four and five (2013 and 2014)
Middle Age is a look at years six, seven, and eight (2015 – 2017)

Source: Life of an Architect