Up and To the Right: A Blogging Milestone

6a0128779ad48c970c015435ba5d5c970cJust a quick post to share with you a milestone that I’m pretty excited about.  I made my first post to this blog on February 13, 2010 and what started out as a way for me to help organize my thoughts and share things with my internal team has turned into one of the best parts of my professional life.  I started strong, detailing my involvement with a Vblock POC, but quickly got mired down in political wrangling and marketing nonsense.  By August and September of that year, I was down to no more than a couple posts a month.  I was writing a ton of content, but for many reasons (including my own stubbornness) a fair amount of it never got posted, or was posted and then removed.

In late September, after the acquisition of Peak 10 by Welsh Carson was announced, I started looking at other opportunities in the market.  It was becoming obvious that my desire to continue innovating on the services side wasn’t going to mesh well with the new outlook and personality of my employer, but my time there had exposed me to a ton of great people and there were opportunities out there.

As I was discussing opportunities with various people, one of the things that I brought up regularly was the blog.  I didn’t want to end up in another place where something that I loved doing conflicted with my employer.  There were companies I interviewed with where the blog was a take it or leave it kind of thing, and I could see that some of them had no idea what I was talking about.  There was one interview, however, where the subject of the blog was actually brought up as part of why they were interested in having me join the team, and that was VCE.  Jonathan Donaldson was very straight forward that I was not only allowed to continue the blog, but that I was encouraged to use it however I saw fit to interact with the community at large.  From day one, VCE, and to an even greater extent our parent company EMC, has given me more access, more encouragement and more support than I ever expected.  They have always allowed me to be as independent as I wanted to be, and even when I’ve crossed the line Jonathan has been there to watch my back.

So with that, September is the first month where I’ll have over 2,500 unique visitors combining for more than 4,000 pageviews.

6a0128779ad48c970c015435ba5d71970cBoth of those numbers have climbed steadily over the last year, and I’m very grateful for your continued participation, and very excited to see that people are getting value out of the content.  I’ve posted 44 articles (43 of which are still available…) over that time, averaging around a post a week, which is much closer to where I want to be.  With luck, I intend to keep this level of output (or slightly higher, if possible) for the foreseeable future.

Big picture, I have a long way to go, a lot of work to do and much to learn.

4,000 pageviews a month is impressive to little ‘ol me, but there are a lot of bloggers out there that I respect a lot who dwarf that number.  I have to keep working, I have to keep learning, I have to keep finding ways to get to the truth of things and find ways to provide value to all of you readers.  Luckily, there are a good group of people out there who have been very willing to spend their time and experience with me.  While the whole list is too long to name, Chad Sakac, Tommy Trogden and Chuck Hollis are three who have gone above and beyond for me.  Tommy is my partner in crime, and he proof-reads and gut-checks almost everything that I write.  I’m amazed at the amount of enthusiasm he brings to the table.  Chuck has invested a fair amount of time and attention to helping me on the strategic side of the blog.  I’m (slowly) learning how to play in the sandbox with the other kids (especially the competitive ones) and how to stay on message.  Chuck has forgotten more about blogging and social media in general than I’ll ever know, and I’m lucky to have him as a resources to lean on.  Chad was the person who suggested I start blogging in the first place in the run up to our Vblock POC at Peak 10, so for better or for worse, this is all Chad’s fault.  He’s also incredibly generous with what little time he has to give, and when I’d gotten into some hot water because of a blog post I’d written he was the first (and only) one to leave me a voice message telling me it was going to be alright, that everyone gets called into the principal’s office sooner or later.  Gentlemen, thank you for all you’ve given me.  If’ I’m getting any better at this over time it’s you three who deserve the most credit.

I have no idea where this blog will end up.  I’m toying with the idea of starting a second blog just for my personal use, as sometimes the fairly narrow focus of this forum doesn’t let me run with all of the ideas that I have in my head.  I’d like to find a way to generate more discussion on the site, since I typically don’t see a lot of commentary or discussion on most posts.  What I do know is that it’s become a very important part of my professional life, and as long as there are people who enjoy reading it, I’ll keep writing it.  Thank you all, this has been a lot of fun and there’s definitely more (and hopefully better) to come!