I have been involved in various technical social networks and blogging for quite a while. Beginning in about 2008, I started spending a lot of time helping others over at the Cisco Learning Network. About the same time I launched PacketU.com. In May of 2013, John Harrington and I coordinated the site that you’re currently visiting and are very appreciative of several others who have spent their time contributing their experiences and perspectives.
Over time, I have had a few people ask me why I blog. I have even had some people ask me if I’m going to be rich (to which I simply have to chuckle a bit). I think most people who haven’t blogged, struggle to understand what bloggers get out of the process. I wanted to share a bit of perspective and some of the reasons I continue to enjoy what is an otherwise time consuming process. The intent of this article is to answer the “Why Blog?” question for techs.
I would probably want to preface my reasons with the fact that blogging, at least how and why I do it, is not about making money. Without getting creative with affiliate marketing, having millions of hits a month, or using a blog to market your own products, don’t expect to quit your day job. I will, however, say that I have had some unique opportunities as part of my participation in social media and blogging.
For example, I have been to two of Stephen Foskett’s Networking Field Day events. And although it is closer to a forum than a blog, I have also had some unique opportunities with Cisco as a result of my participation on the Cisco Learning Network. Between Cisco Live Events, Network Field Day 4 and 5, I’ve met most of the wonderful techs who are active on twitter or associated with Packet Pushers. This has allowed me to convert many of my online interactions to real and personal relationships. These relationships have been quite beneficial over time and I suspect this will continue to be the case.
Before I get too side-tracked on what I do and don’t get out of blogging, I wanted to bounce back to the primary topic of the article. While this is obviously about why I blog, you may find these techniques beneficial to you and your technical career for similar reasons.
6 Primary Reasons I Blog
- It facilitates relationships (with peers, industry leaders, and the future generation of technology rock stars)
- Blogging helps me polish my own knowledge regarding the topics I choose to write about
- Writing provides an outlet to document my own experiences
- My Contributions are an avenue to give back to the technical community and help others
- Blogs Provide a platform to express personal opinions and ideas
- Writing allows me to create record material for future reference
Blogging is one of the more rewarding things I have done that relates to my profession and my place in this industry. While I haven’t experienced significant direct monetary gain from my efforts, I do believe it has helped me to establish myself in a greater technical community. In addition, it has really been a growth experience for me personally. I think everyone should make an attempt to share their unique experiences and perspectives. While getting started isn’t difficult or expensive, it may promote growth in ways that are completely unexpected.
Do you blog about tech? Are you considering launching something in the future? I’d love to hear your questions, concerns and experiences, so log in and comment them below.