Thinking Parallel

A Blog on Parallel Programming and Concurrency by Michael Suess

Welcome, New Readers!

WelcomeMy series of interviews with the parallel programming idols has brought in a whole bunch of new readers, especially regular ones that have subscribed to my newsfeed. I would like to take this opportunity to say Welcome to all of you, it’s nice to have you here! I will also share some thoughts for the future in this post.

Before I go into details, let me tell you some basics about me and this blog: my name is Michael Suess and I am presently a PhD.-student located in Kassel/Germany. My PhD. is about parallel computing in general and I have chosen the topic of how to make parallel programming easier for my thesis. I have blogged about my work in the past (e.g. here or here). I plan on continuing that, especially since I am presently getting ready to release the last project of my thesis-time: AthenaMP – a parallel library of generic components implemented in C++ and OpenMP. If you want to know more about its goals, I have posted a vision document about them some time ago. More on that later, as I will post about some of the components included in future posts.

The second big part of my blog are articles, where basic concepts of parallel programming are explained. These are my most-read posts, with e.g. the article on thread-safety having had close to 10.000 readers. Unfortunately, these are also the most time-consuming posts to write, with some taking more than ten hours total. Therefore I have not written too many of them yet. But I will do some more, I promise :), especially since they are a sure way to attract new readers.

The third kind of articles I write are commentaries on various content I find on the net or in blogs – the most popular presently being the one, where I have taken the most heat for, which is called Please Don’t Rely on Memory Barriers for Synchronization.

Last but not least: the interviews. This has not been something I have been planning to do in the beginning, since I did not think people would take the time to answer any of my questions. But I stand corrected, as by now the responses to almost all interview requests I have put out have been great. Since this is so successful and you obviously like it as well, I will make sure to continue with it.

So much for the general introduction, let me add a few personal remarks. I have been overwhelmed by the amount of traffic this blog has been generating. Although I usually only find the time to do one post each week, tens of thousands of people have been reading parts of it and as of now it has more than 750 regular subscribers. If I had only concentrated on writing and publishing papers like most PhD.-students do (and which, of course I also do – most of them are even available online at my homepage for work), maybe ten people would have read about my work and my opinions. I am glad to have increased my readership a couple of orders of magnitude ;). I have also generally received very encouraging comments – thanks to anyone who has shared his/her opinion here!

One of the original goals I have stated for this blog at my About page was to use it as a tool for self-marketing. My life is changing rapidly at the moment, as me and my little family prepare to buy a house and move back to my home city Leipzig. This of course means I have to go look for a new job there pretty soon (actually, I have a first meeting with an interesting company on Thursday). I had hoped for job opportunities related to parallel programming to pop up because of this blog, but this has not happened. I suspect this has two reasons: first because my readers are mostly from the US (more than 50%) and second because parallel programming has not yet reached the mainstream. But at least the latter will change sooner or later, I am sure.

Two more thoughts before I have bored you enough for today ;). As some of you may have noticed, I have gently started to monetize this blog. Most of the links to books I have put up are to affiliate links to Amazon (.com or .de, depending on your geographic location). Every time you click on one of these links and actually buy something in the next few hours afterwards, I get a small commission. This has been hardly enough to cover my hosting bills, but I still enjoy looking at the stats and seeing a dollar or two trickle in from time to time :). The second option I have been exploring has been Text-Link-Ads. As you can see on the right column under Sponsors, success has been limited this far. I have stayed away from Adsense, because I find the links mostly annoying and because developers are known to not click on ads anyways. Maybe I will allow sponsors here in the future if I can find a way to do so without annoying me or you and of course if anyone is interested in actually sponsoring this blog.

To add more value to this blog I have also thought about setting up a job board. Everybody and his cat seems to have one now, and as this blog is focused and has a narrow audience (developers interested in parallel programming and concurrency), I could image this being a nice place to search for a new employee that is experienced in the field. But this is just a thought experiment at this point, will see where it goes.

Anyways, I think I have bored you enough for today, thanks again for joining me here in my little corner of the world and hope to hear from you in the comments-section!

3 Responses to Welcome, New Readers!


Comments

  1. Comment by Alexander Petrov | 2007/04/25 at 21:33:40

    Hi,
    As I’ve read this post, I feel I must say thank you for your work and blog. 🙂 It seems to me, that there isn’t blog like yours in the i-net(or simply I can’t find it 😉 ).
    May be I’m too overwhelmed , but it might be good to create somethink like forum to discuss news and problems in “parallel field” of computer science…Not only about C++ HPC systems, but about concurrent programming in general. Or may be it’s too soon… I don’t know really.

  2. Comment by Ricepig | 2007/04/26 at 01:02:55

    Hello,
    I’ve translated parts of your interview into Chinese, and I also subscribed to your newsfeed:)
    I’m expecting more exciting articles about concurrency from you.
    Finally, I have to say: Thanks a lot!

  3. Comment by Michael Suess | 2007/05/03 at 09:47:17

    Thanks for the kind words to both of you. I think it’s to early for a forum, especially since I would need moderators to maintain it. But I will keep it on my list 🙂


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