Every quarter I like to do a little update just to give our readers a behind-the-scenes look at what is happening. Oftentimes there is a big difference between what folks see publicly and the inner workings of STH, so I like to peel that back. In this edition, we are going to talk about the hustle of Q2 and the stretch goal for Q3.
If you want to check out how this series has evolved, here are the links to the previous ones:
- STH Q1 2019 Update A Letter from the Editor
- STH Q2 2019 Update A Letter from the Editor
- STH Q3 2019 Update A Letter from the Editor
- STH Q4 2019 Update A Letter from the Editor
- STH Q1 2020 Update A Letter from the Editor
- STH Q2 2020 Update A Letter from the Editor
- STH Q3 2020 Update A Letter from the Editor
- STH Q4 2020 Update A Letter from the Editor
- STH Q1 2021 Update A Letter from the Editor
- STH Q2 2021 Update A Letter from the Editor
- STH Q3 2021 Update A Letter from the Editor
- STH Q4 2021 Update A Letter from the Editor
- STH Q1 2022 Update A Letter from the Editor
That list is getting quite long.
STH Q2 2022: The Hustle!
Q2 was personally very interesting. A few things happened behind the scenes that folks who follow me or STH on Twitter may have seen, and that was not just the ISC 2022 Pretzel Tour.
— Patrick J Kennedy (@Patrick1Kennedy) June 1, 2022
First, travel picked up. In May 2022 I averaged one flight every other day. In 2019, pre-pandemic I did 147K flight miles just on United. That excludes airlines like China Eastern Airlines that I flew between Jinan and Shanghai for Visiting the Inspur Intelligent Factory Where Robots Make Cloud Servers. As an aside, that has easily been one of my favorite pieces we have done on STH. Still, 2019 was a ton of travel.
In 2020 I think I had flown 27K+ miles and was trying to reach all seven continents that year when the pandemic struck. Then, it was a big deal just to be able to drive down the street to Supermicro.
In late 2021, I did OCP Summit and SC21, as well as we moved STH, but travel was still relatively limited.
This quarter, travel took off like a rocket ship. I will have done 44 flights by the end of this week and by mid-July will have done another international trip. Not all were for STH, since I also have had the opportunity to see friends and family along the way.
Why this matters is because during the pandemic I realized that we took travel for granted. I was on the road, but that rarely translated to anything on STH. Post-pandemic, or perhaps post-acute pandemic, I realized that STH needs to do a better job of embracing that. Folks that saw the This Changes Networking Intel IPU Hands-on with Big Spring Canyon video saw me (re-)record a portion in Hamburg, Germany for the video. It was a bit distracting because folks were constantly stopping me while I was trying to record that to say hello. If you do see me, please say hi and grab a silly selfie.
— Mike Laufer (@mjlaufer103) June 1, 2022
I want the travel and devices to also make it into other aspects of STH like the recent Beelink GTR5 / GR9 review where the cover image was taken at Newark Liberty International (EWR) in the terminal.
Q3 and Q4 look absolutely packed with travel to the point that I realized that after hitting 1K again for 2023 on United already this year, I could easily do status challenges on 1-2 other airlines during the remainder of 2022. It will be that busy.
That much travel also had some challenges. Namely, I ended up getting COVID. It was not too bad at all (only 3 shots), perhaps like a slightly longer flu. Still, I realized that in this new realm getting a cold is more challenging than it had been. Even feeling unwell and with travel, the show must go on, as we saw in our HP Secret Shopper video.
One other challenge this month is that we lost someone who was working behind the scenes at STH for around 24-32 hours/ week. I was very excited to write a recommendation letter, and seeing folks like William Harmon who was part of the STH journey for years do well after STH is a big part of what I want to foster here.
With that said, increased travel, feeling unwell, and being down a person made for an absolute rush of a quarter.
STH Q3 2022: Is there a pattern?
You may have noticed above that the images are now also focusing on YouTube. Here is the deal with that, and what you are seeing on STH. As I am writing this, we are now at 91.5K subscribers on the STH YouTube and we will likely exit Q2 with 92K subscribers. Summer tends to be slow for the STH main site and YouTube. My best guess is that we will hit 100K subscribers in late October 2022, or at the start of Q4.
We have had many months, especially during the winter, when STH YouTube has added over 3K subscribers per month. It is not impossible that we actually hit the 100K mark this quarter. It is an important milestone for STH to hit to add the extra digit to the subscriber count. To me though, 100K is my 2022 goal, and I like to exceed my target numbers.
If you have not already, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel. I know most of our readers do not subscribe, but it would be amazing if somehow we managed to get over the 100K mark by the end of Q3. I think it is highly unlikely with 98K being more realistic, but there is a chance.
At the end of the day, I always want to say thank you to our readers, the STH team, and those in the broader STH community that help support the site and what we do. Q3 is usually our slow quarter, and this year’s Q3 will be slow just because we are getting to the end of this server cycle. Over the past few weeks, we have been planning some cool features on STH for the summer so stay tuned.
Subscribe to the STH’s Newsletter and YouTube
Did you know STH has a weekly newsletter that comes out Saturday with curated “Top 5” pieces from the week? We know you cannot visit every day, so we can deliver our picks for weekend reading directly to your inbox. Subscribing to the newsletter is easy. Here is the form.
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We are not promoting the newsletter via overlays and pop-ups. Those are very effective, but they are bad for readers. I do not like them, so as long as I have a say, we are not going to have newsletter signup overlays. I run STH as something I would want to visit daily even if I did not work on it.
Finally, subscribe to our YouTube and check it out here. This is an area that we are going to have more of in 2022, especially if the pandemic subsides a bit more.