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Mike Rohde (Color - Square)

ROHDESIGN is the website of designer Mike Rohde, who writes on design, sketching, drawing, sketchnotes, technology, travel, cycling, books & coffee.
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Rohdesign Weblog's 3rd Birthday!

Wow, 3 years. It's hard to believe that 3 years have passed since I began this blog on February 20th, 2003 with the post Get that Weblog a Rollin', posted to my former Blogger account.

Now, exactly 420 posts later, I'm amazed at the variety of posts and topics I've covered, including blogging, books, computing, creativity, cycling, design, family, film, food, drink & coffee, iPods, kids, Macs, Milwaukee, Moleskines, music, observations on life, Palm PDAs, photography, sketches, tech, travel, web design, WiFi and other tidbits.

When I started the blog I had no idea where it might go, only that it was freeing to write about anything I wanted to, after 6 years writing and publishing the Palm Tipsheet. I loved the Tipsheet and those years producing it, but in the end, it had become a burden. It was so narrowly focusing on PDAs. I still enjoy Palm PDAs, mobile tech and so on, but it's become just another facet in my interests, rather than a dedicated focus. That's a good thing.

I still recall friends teasing me a few months into my blogging that I was writing more than I ever did with the monthly Tipsheet issues. But in fact, those comments confirmed I'd made the right choice. Writing became a joy again and not the burden it had become while pushing out Tipsheets each month.

So what wisdom can I impart from my 3 years as a blogger?

Share what you love with others.
I love to write and I love to sketch, so it's been a natural combination to combine sketch work with detailed explanations of the thoughts behind the sketches. Sharing stories from my life have been fun exercises too, including posts such as: A Challenge to Encouragement, A Day Downtown or Surprised by a Diary. Each one of those stories was a joy for me to capture and share, and (I think) were also enjoyable for visitors to read.

Take breaks.
I think it's also important to know when you are dried up and walk away for a while. If you pressure yourself to come up with good stories or posts, then it may feel forced. This is of course more true for my style of long, thought-out postings than those who post many small tidbits each day. Still — we all need a break from time to time.

Be generous.
Spend time leaving good comments on the blogs you read regularly. Write back personally to those who leave good comments on your blog. Make mention of those you admire in your blog, especially those blogs with excellent stuff which might be less well known.

Thank You!
Thanks to everyone who has left a kind word in the comments, or have emailed me directly. You guys are the ones who encourage me to keep cranking out the posts. Special thanks to fellow bloggers Matt Henderson for providing Movable Type for my weblog and to Michael Ashby, Sammy McLoughlin, Shaun McGill for their encouraging words and frequent mentions.

Here's to a 4th year at Rohdesign Weblog! :-)

Reader Comments (10)

Happy Birthday Rohdesign!

I found your blog through searching for info on Palm 'back in the day' but have kept reading long since your emphasis changed and enjoyed it all.

I really enjoy your logo design articles as I'm in awe of people that can take a pencil sketch and create great artwork.

Looking forward to year 4.


February 20, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Hughes
Congratulations Mike.
February 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterNeal Dench
Thanks David & Neal! I's nice to have you guys here to leave good comments so consistently. Cheers!
February 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde
Well done Mike- can't believe it's already been three years:)

By the way- who's Sha'W'n?:)
February 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterShaUn
Shaun � sorry mate! I've now corrected the text. :-)
February 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde
I love visiting your site.Cheers.chinchorrero
February 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterchinchorrero
Hola Chinchorrero! Thanks for your kind words! :-)
February 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde
Hi Mike!Congrats on your birthday - that's 21 years in time spent right?I appreciate your influence in motivating me to start my own blog and come to think of it, I'm almost a year old.So how are you celebrating? A nice bottle of Merlot? Dinner with the family?Seriously, do you still feel motivated as you were on Day One?And thanks for the wisdom!Blessings my friend,Kerry
February 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKerry Woo
Kerry, thanks for the very kind words. Nice to have a "blogchild" visiting and leaving nice thoughts.

Heh, good point on time spent. Maybe "blogyears" are similiar to "dog years" -- a ratio of 7 to 1, right? :-)

Celebration consisted of a little happy dance in the home office.

As for motivation � I am still pretty motivated, but after the Tipsheet I've realized that I need to think longer term with projects like this.

Its for that reason I'm never too worried about not posting if I am not inspired. I would rather sustain the weblog over many years than burn out in a few months (as can easily happen).

The other thing is to never let a lack of posting stop me from starting again. Blogging is about stories IMO, and you must keep getting yourself up to share them, even if it's been a while.

So, just keep on moving along and writing � that's my advice. :-)
February 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde
Dear Mike,I wish to add my congratulations as well! I stumbled across your site because of the Palm connection but have since discovered Moleskin notepads, the Palmart site that I posted some drawings, Allen's 'Getting Things Done' book, pondered about starting to drink coffee (so far I've resisted) and generally really enjoyed hearing about your life. Thank you! Long may you continue. Best regards, Jo
February 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJo T-C

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