Today marks eleven years since I started writing here at mattgemmell.com. I’d like to thank you for reading my words.
I began publishing my thoughts at this domain while I was in the 4th year Computing Science lab at the University of Glasgow, during the Summer break between the third and fourth years of my degree. I had a grant from the department to undertake a research project on keystroke-based authentication, and two months earlier I’d met a girl called Lauren (who worked alongside me on her own project in that same lab all Summer).
iPhones and Twitter didn’t exist yet, but blogging was in vogue, and I felt that I had things to say – sometimes personal, and sometimes about technology. All I needed was an audience.
Eleven years and millions of readers later, I’ve already begun and ended one career in software development, and I’m pursuing a new one as a writer. I’m happily married to Lauren, and we live just an hour or so away from our undergraduate haunts, in the city of Edinburgh. I’ve never felt more certain that my life is on the right track.
I write for myself, of course, and so should you – but words need to be read.
Sometimes your own attention is enough, revisiting what you’ve written, but the real power of any creative endeavour is in reaching others. Making them think, and hopefully feel. Perhaps introducing an opinion, or even changing one – whether directly with an argument, or by stealth via a cleverly crafted tale. I try to do both, from time to time.
You can find almost 675,000 words here, in over 1,100 articles. More than a million people visit this site each year, and some of them even send their thoughts and responses to me. Whether those messages are a paragraph or a page, positive or negative, they’re reassurance that what I’m doing has some meaning. Words are just building blocks; writing only has resonance when it encounters another person.
Without you, I would still write, but I’m driven forward by knowing that my words are being read. Despite having written so many, I still can’t adequately express my gratitude for your time and attention.
If you’d like to help ensure I’m still sharing my words here for the next eleven years, please consider supporting my writing. You may also be interested in revisiting some of my favourite pieces from the archive.
Thank you for reading.