Hi, I’m Bob … and I am a Architect Blogger

March 10, 2013 — 28 Comments

LoaA main header

This is day 1,152 since I started writing Life of an Architect. In that time, I have written 465 posts, received 4,044 comments, and edited or created a total of 3,769 images. I’ve also been fortunate enough to have 4,496,987 visits to my site during the past 3 years, 1 month, and 25 days. I love all of that and if you couldn’t tell, I have a thing for the numbers regarding my site. It is these numbers – along with my competitive nature – that make writing / blogging for this site an addiction … an awesome and sucky addiction.

I might need some help. Possibly of the “12 Step” variety.


Bob Borson - blogging is painful

I am not the slightest bit ashamed to admit that I get a large percentage of my motivation from trying to constantly improve myself. This is a character trait that I would generally say is an asset to my personality. However, when it comes to writing this blog, it definitely has its darker side. I still enjoy scheming and preparing the posts that I publish here. I enjoy the interaction with the readers (I actually LOVE that part) and I am appreciative for all the doors that have been created AND opened for me as a result of Life of an Architect. BUt for you to truly understand my sickness, I need to show you something …



Record Keeping

This is a page out of one of my sketchbooks. For a month in January 2012, I tracked the traffic on my site – once an hour, every hour – over the course of a workday. I did this because I was interested in seeing if certain patterns would present themselves (other than the apparent crazy person OCD  pattern right in front of me). Did I learn anything during this month – other than getting an inkling that I was heading down an unhealthy road? Sure, but nothing that made me a better architect or communicator, the only really goals I have left for my blog experiment.

Luckily, despite the current evidence at hand, I am not crazy and I didn’t maintain this sort of behavior beyond January 2012. I don’t document things like this (much) any more a computer does it for me but that doesn’t mean I don’t pay attention to the numbers, the sweet, beautiful numbers. I just don’t know how people don’t look at the numbers. To clarify, I don’t really care what other people’s numbers are, I’m not competing  against them … this is all about competing against myself and improving …

Can this Tuesday beat last Tuesday?

Cant this week beat last week?

Can this month beat last month

Can March 2013 improve upon March 2012 in the same manner that March 2012 improved upon March 2011?

Sadly, I can actually tell you the answers to all those questions. I want to continue to improve and grow the visitors to my site but at what cost? I write less now than ever before and traffic still improves. I don’t really want to stop but is that the blog junkie in me speaking? Is this how baseball junkies feel, knowing the batting averages for every player dating back 70 years??


Blog 02

There are loads of positives to having this sort of traffic to my site. Foremost, I can use it for altruistic pursuits – the Life of an Architect Playhouse Competition (seriously, if you are a designer and you haven’t registered, follow that link and do it today! It’s free and it benefits abused and needy children). Without this site, I’m not sure how I could have been able to put something like this together at this scale. It’s truly remarkable and maybe one of the main reasons I will continue to maintain this site.

There are other real positives to having a blog site. As a direct result from vastly improving (enlarging?) my digital footprint, I have met other people who I am in awe of … people who inspire me with the things they are doing. I’ve met other writers, creators, bloggers, podcasters, owners, clients, artists, inventors … everything. I barely know my neighbors but I now know (and have meaningfully connected) with real people from almost every conceivable location on this planet. There are times that I think I should start a video travel site where I go and visit all these designers and architects I’ve met from around the world and have them show me where they live, their every day architecture and design. Not just the stuff in the magazines, but the architecture that makes up and defines the neighborhoods where they work and live. That would be an amazing site and I know I could do something like that now. All thanks to this blog.

There are other struggles that I am dealing with, things I never considered but I will save those for another day – maybe do a part 2 post to follow this one up.

I encourage everyone to start a blog, you might hate it … but you also might discover something amazing about yourself that you never knew existed before. I certainly did



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  • Xiaosheng Wu

    HI Bob,

    Your posts are great. I really learn something from your website. Do you know any other architects who also write blogs like you ? I want to know more blogger architects like you.


  • I vote for the travel blog. Come stay any time.

    • I would! I might even if I don’t have a travel blog.

      What am I saying?! I’m not going to have a travel blog, unless someone else wants to fund it 🙂

  • Bob, that is a great post. Can’t wait to subscribe to the new travel blog? : )

    • It would be interesting and since I have so much free time …

  • Bob,

    I meant to add that Pharrell is a talented artist, as well. Worth checking his work out.

    • Kathy,
      Since your first comment had a link in it, it was held back for approval (I received an email notification and read your comment). For some reason, I can’t seem to find it on the admin side of my site. I am so sorry! I will continue to hunt for it, maybe I can still find the email notification and I’ll cut and paste it in here for you.

  • Blogging is a great tool to help promote your business, that’s true. And you’re right. It helps you grow as a person. You meet new people, think about different ideas, and increase your critical thinking skills.

    Thanks for the post.

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment and adding your thoughts to the comment section!

  • “There are times that I think I should start a video travel site where I
    go and visit all these designers and architects I’ve met from around
    the world and have them show me where they live, their every day
    architecture and design.”

    My architect husband and I have often talked about starting some sort of professional cultural exchange program through our company, Emu Architects, only we don’t have a huge audience on our blog yet.

    We’re now located in Italy, but lived/worked n Australia before that. I’m originally from Dallas, though (I was at your house, in fact, for the AIA tour!).

    We were thinking we could offer some American architect a fun week of Italian architectural history, Passivehaus and CasaCilma construction sites, and really great food!

    In exchange we’d love to be hosted in the US for a week of exposure to things like LEED Homes, contemporary residential design, and small architectural business development.

    I think it could be a really fun and fruitful project!

    • Cory

      You certainly have my interest and I’m only a lowly engineer.

      • c’mon Cory, there no such thing as a lowly engineer … that would be redundant (zing!)

        It would be interesting though wouldn’t it?

        • hehe, my husband went to an arch school here in Italy that was part of a university better known for its engineering school… He’s very comfortable making fun of engineers on a daily basis, but he rarely admits that some of his closest friends are engineers. 🙂

          Well, I’ll have to see if I can drum up some more interest. I feel a post coming on.

    • robert.brown

      I’m in.


    Monday mornings are much easier (somewhat easier, okay only a tiny bit) since I subscribed to your blog. You’re an inspiration for blog writing (not that I have been moved yet to actually write one – I do have a very long topic list though.).

    I love your posts, keep up the good work. Thank you

    • Thanks – I appreciate you taking the time to say that.


  • Tara Imani

    Hi Bob,

    I love this idea where you said:

    “There are times that I think I should start a video travel site where I go and visit all these designers and architects I’ve met from around the world and have them show me where they live, their every day architecture and design.”

    I can see you doing that; you’d make a great TV host.


    • I don’t have the face for TV, in that regard, you would be a much more suitable host 🙂

  • Cory

    It is 11:35 at night (I hate daylight savings time since it saves me nothing) and I really need to be working or sleeping, but here I am writing on your blog and ignoring mine among other things. First of all you must be either overpaid, underworked or both to find the time to write a blog and do all the metrics you mentioned. I know very few architects that are either one of those so congratulations, I guess. Second, to paraphrase a far more famous person than either of us, you can’t manage what you can’t measure (W. Edwards Deming), so congratulations on measuring. While not being quite as OCD, I do play with several non-profit facebook pages that I administer and try to see what posts increase the stats and which ones are ignored. An interesting experiment but I also find that what I want to post, write, and discuss are not always what anyone else wants to. Since I’m not getting paid to do it, in fact I’m probably losing money by not doing paying work, I don’t get overly concerned. On the other hand, I do enjoy your posts so please keep writing. It is now 11:51 PM and Monday is rearing it’s ugly head..

    • I am crazy for some of the things I do but I can’t help it – it seems to be the way my mind is wired.

      I will admit that after maintaining and writing this blog for over 3 years, some of the polish has worn off. If it weren’t for the personal side of things, I’m not sure I would continue. In that regard, thanks for taking the time to comment, I really appreciate it.

  • Robert M. Longo, AIA

    Bob you’re on your way to a full recovery, as the first step is recognizing the problem 😉 I always enjoy your posts.

    • Thanks Robert, at times I think I am losing focus and I will stop looking because who cares right?

      It never seems to work. I even published this post a little early so I could interact a bit more before I get on my plane to Hawaii!

  • Jared Banks

    Great post. And I feel your pain. I wish I could stop running those numbers myself. But it’s impossible to stop. I keep waiting for the numbers to stop climbing. Keep telling myself to just write for myself and not care. But then I do that and the numbers climb more and I keep competing more with myself.

    • Maybe we should start a support group…

      • Jared Banks

        I would totally be up for that. And I definitely could use that! Just need to make sure it’s just for the real obsessive crazies though. The ones of us who get the shakes if we don’t post enough each week. Hi my name is Jared and my last post was 2 days ago…