This post was originally published on May 13th, 2010. I was forced to take it down less than 2 days later because my employer didn’t like how they were portrayed. This was one of the reasons I chose to leave the company less than 5 months later. It’s been over three years, so I’m going to take a few of these posts out of the drafts folder and put them back on the site.
So, I’m three months and about 2 dozen posts into my blogging experiment, and it’s been interesting to say the least. I started the blog at the urging of collegues and partners right before the VMware Partner Exchange and the goal was to start a dialog about virtualization and the incredible changes that are happening in that space, and to do it from a service provider standpoint. At the time there weren’t many voices from that perspective, and I figured I’d give it a try. The benefits have been more than I expected, but there have definitely been challenges…
On the upside, I really like the process of blogging. It forces me to think things through, find creative ways to simplify subjects and just the act of structuring and researching the posts has been fun. I have to crystalize my thoughts before I start, and that’s been helpful as a general practice. At any point in time I have 5 or 6 posts that I’m working on, and I jump in work on whichever one is front of mind at the time. Once I get a post about 80% done I’ll set aside some structured time to finalize the content and formatting before posting, but I haven’t found a need to set aside a regular time to work on the blog. It’s almost a natural extension of me thinking about things, and that’s worked well for me. It’s also been fun to see the slow and steady growth of the readership. The site is up to about 180 regular readers, if Google Analytics is to be believed, and the amount of new visitors is steadily rising. I’ll do my best to give you all something interesting to take away from your time here.
The only real downside to the blog has been it’s relationship with my employer. As a company with an extremely conservative view of “marketing”, they have eyed this experiment with suspicion since the first. There’s no amount of distancing myself that is going to be sufficient, it seems. Despite the disclaimer that none of the posts here have been approved or pre-screened, it’s certainly true that many edits have been forced after the fact, and some posts have been taken down altogether. I knew going in that this would cause some friction, but it’s fair to say that it’s been worse than I hoped. Fears about publicity (good and bad), competition and internal politics have really put a damper on things from their perspective, and that’s a shame.
My hope is that as I continue with this blog, my employer sees the benefits of leading the conversation rather than just participating in it, and those benefits combine to allow me to have the benefit of the doubt more often. Between the feedback I’ve gotten from readers, the participation we’ve seen from partners and others in the space and the new friends/collegues that I’ve met, I consider this to be an unqualified success! It only gets better from here.
What do you think? Is this forum useful? Does the service provider space have something to say to the general public? With the move of more and more enterprises and systems integrators into the SP space, I would thing that there is an appetite for this dialog, but leave your thoughts in the comments. Thank you to all of you for reading, for your participation, your feedback and your encouragement.