Mark Gilbert's Blog

Science and technology, served light and fluffy.

A little four-thought – My four-year blogging anniversary

Today is the four-year anniversary for my technical blog.  I decided to take this opportunity to look back, and look forward.

I am by no means a prolific blogger – in the past 48 months, I’ve averaged only 3 posts per month.  However, with a few exceptions, I’ve managed to post something every month in that time.  Here are a few major categories for what I’ve written:

  • My first few posts were about a SQL Server Management Studio plugin that I wrote called the SSMS Scripter.  I wanted to show it off to the world, and at the suggestion of my boss and mentor at the time, Matt, I started a blog to do just that.  This was the first of several Tools and Toys that I would unveil with the blog.
  • I’ve documented strange errors, bugs, and other quirky items – things that caused me hours or days of grief and had limited or scattered solutions on the ‘Net.  I used my blog to poull those resources together, and document what I did to troubleshoot and eventually solve it (or at least work around it).  My goal was twofold – document what I did so if I ever hit it again I would have it written down somewhere (‘cause, if I don’t write things down, they cease to exist pretty quickly), and provide a walkthrough for anyone else out there who was hitting the same thing.
  • I’ve also written several pieces on agile methodologies and the software process, as I tried to sort out the best way to build software.  And just for the record, I still don’t have a good answer to THAT question.
  • I’ve used the blog to announce several meetings, topics, and other news for the Microsoft Developers of Southwest Michigan user group (of which I am a member and co-coordinator).

Why have I kept it up for 4 years?  Why do I want to keep doing it?

Do I make scads of money from ads on my site?  No.

Have I gotten offers to write books based on the blog?  No.

Have I gotten job offers because of the technical prowess demonstrated on the site?  No.

What do I get out of it?  All of those pieces are interesting in their own right, and bring value to at least a few people on the planet – myself included.  However, I think when it comes right down to it, I think the real reason I’ve done it, and continue to do it, is because I enjoy the writing.

I like telling technical stories: how I got myself into a predicament, how I waded through, and the way out.  I like incorporating humor into the posts, such as with <rant /> tags, references to movies and movie quotes, and nefarious puns.

If you had told me in high school – where English was one of my weakest subjects – that I would be writing for fun twenty years from then, I probably would have laughed.  But enjoy it, I do.  Here’s to another four years!

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December 15, 2010 - Posted by | General

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