In a recent article for 'Partner Perspectives' I promised to talk about why I had been blogless for so long. I have to be honest; I started out being a little sceptical about the whole notion of blogging. I had conversations with many people that blog, I read books/magazines and internet articles on the entire area of blogging (please see reading list at the end of this post), but I still had reservations in having my own blog. These included, but were not limited to, Why should I start blogging? (we already publish over 3.5 million pages on www.microsoft.com), Who would read my blog (with over 50 million other blogs already live) and how could I have a voice in such a busy arena? Finally why does Microsoft Word not understand the word blog and keep putting that wiggly red line underneath every time I type it? (This last one just came to me while typing this post).
It took a series of separate events to come together in my mind for me to begin writing a blog and I'd like to share them with you and if you're thinking of blogging, but have yet to get started, I hope it will help.
Compelling Event Number 1. I realised that this year is perhaps the year of greatest potential I have ever seen in my 20+ years in the IT industry. Microsoft is about to release over 20 billion dollars of research and development through product and technology releases. There is so much new opportunity that this will enable for customers and partners of Microsoft that I needed a way of communicating more of the details for both technical and business audiences. I wanted to compliment some of the great blogs my team and other colleagues had created by bringing my own insights and useful information to as many people as possible. The answer 'Blog'.
Compelling Event Number 2. If you have ever seen me present at an event you will know that I present with passion. This means that I have been known to speak with a high verbalocity (speaking very fast). I once received feedback (from a respected professional) that, and I quote, "I go like a train!" which I took on board and have tried to slow my presentation delivery. The problem is there is so much information and yet so little time to present. What I needed was a way to communicate the ideas from my presentations in a way that is at the right speed for everyone. The answer "Blog".
Compelling Event Number 3. Now I had a number of good reasons for why I should blog but I was still facing the challenge of how I would blog. Now for those who are expert bloggers you are perhaps thinking it's easy, you just create a hosted blog site and use some blog publishing tool (I use Microsoft Word 2007) and away you go. As you can see I had got that far but I wanted to ensure I created a style for my blog posts that I would be happy with and hopefully people would enjoy reading. I decided that I would create a 'Blog Style' similar to my 'Work Style' which would give me a voice in the ongoing conversations in the blog world. At work I try to ensure I maintain a healthy work / life balance and for my blog I hope to maintain a good balance between 'What I do' (the technology, solutions and people I engage with) and 'Who I am' (sharing my own personal views on business and technology). Now I could have done this through publishing articles on www.microsoft.com, but I wanted to engage in conversations, if possible, taking direct comments from readers and also enable readers to subscribe to new information. The answer "Blog".
So there you have it... I knew why I should blog, I even knew what style I would try and use for my blog. The only remaining question was when would I start to blog. (I'm not sure but I have a feeling there may have been a sweepstake running with my colleagues on this one.) This was on my mind for some time and like many people time management can make or break how successful you are with execution. Would I ever find the time to start blogging? I then had a revelation when reading a book called 'Eat that Frog' by Brian Tracy. I then knew where I was going wrong. The answer "Eat that 'Blog' Frog".
If you are a Microsoft Partner, Microsoft Customer, Microsoft MVP or just someone with a passion for technology innovation and you have a blog or have recently started blogging then please comment on this post with your blog link. If anyone is inspired after reading this to enter the blogging world then I would especially like to hear from you.
Books : Blog Wild, The Corporate Blogging Book, Blog Rules and the essential Naked Conversations