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Andy Leonard

Andy Leonard is an author and engineer who enjoys building and automating data integration solutions. Andy is co-host of the Data Driven podcast. Andy is no longer updating this blog. His current blog is

Blog (Durnit!)


The past few days I've read several blurbs from folks expressing why they don't blog. The reasons range from "I have nothing interesting to say" to "I don't know enough" to "Everything I want to write about has been blogged already."

Pfffft (to quote @RachelAppel)

Come on. Seriously? If you think, you can blog.

I Have Nothing Interesting To Say

Yes you do. And you'll say it in a way that no one else will. One day - perhaps months or even years from now - someone will encounter some problem you solved and about which you blogged. They'll search for an answer and your post will pop up in the results. They'll click on that link, read your post, and solve their problem. All because you blogged. Every now and then, someone will leave you a comment or send you an email thanking you. That's a cool feeling right there.

Andy's Little Secret: If I solve the same problem twice, I blog about it... for me!

I Don't Know Enough

Yes you do. You solve problems for a living. No, they're not the same problems I solve, nor are they the same problems Bob Ward or Jimmy May solves. But they are problems and you solved them. You know enough to blog.

Maybe you solved them with help from another post. That's great! When you blog about how you solved the problem, link to that post. Then describe how you used that technique to solve your problem, and include anything you learned along the way. 

I can hear you asking "But why Andy?" I'm glad you asked! Because everyone writes in their own style (you should! See Steve Jones' article on plagiarism), you will use different words and phrases than others. The way you describe the issue may be the best match for a future search.

Andy's Other Little Secret: I learn more from mistakes or false assumptions than anything else.

Everything I Want To Write About Has Been Blogged Already

No it hasn't. Technologists the world over suffer from a terrible bias when it comes to evaluating their own knowledge. In a nutshell, we think if we figured it out, anyone can. We value own knowledge at 0. And we consequently over-value everything anyone else knows - especially if we know little or nothing about the same topic.

As stated earlier: Even if it has been blogged before, write about your experience solving the problem.

Andy's Last Little Secret: I get my best blogging ideas from forums.

The Rules of Blogging

Rule #1: There are no rules.

Rule #2: Please see Rule #1.

Brent Ozar has an outstanding post called Building Your Blogging Momentum. It's a classic. Done reading it yet? Wasn't that an awesome post? I thought so too! The next post in the series is good too.


If you think, blog.

:{> Andy

Published Friday, December 11, 2009 8:00 AM by andyleonard

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Jack Corbett said:

Great post Andy.  I know one of my recent blog posts turned out to be  a combination of 2 other people's blog posts, BOL, and a answer I found on a forum.  When I started I hadn't found all those resources, but as I researched to make sure I was being accurate I found those resources.  The way I put it was different than the others, and easier for me to understand.  I credited all the resources in the post.

I'd also point out that all these points apply to technical speaking as well.

December 11, 2009 7:58 AM

Mike Walsh said:

Andy -

They say great minds think alike. Apparently not so great minds think alike also because this is a thought process that has been going through my head lately. Next week a series of posts about why I blog, what I've found blogging and an invitation to folks to get sharing is posting. The couple posts will be book-ended by a two part video interview I had with Brent Ozar about his experiences blogging and some encouraging advice.

I think  this is a great perspective and I'll update one of the posts to link to it before they go live. I think all experience levels have something to say. Someone just starting out with a technology may blog about things that a person with 10-20 years of experience may have forgotten about. But whatever the gem of knowledge is, it would be great to see it out there because it will help someone, somewhere. Get out and blog!

December 11, 2009 9:40 AM

G. Andrew Duthie said:

On several occasions, I've gone looking for a solution to a given problem, only to find an old blog post of mine that addresses it. Not sure whether that indicates prescience on my part in knowing that I'd need the solution again later, or rather that my memory could use an upgrade, but it's worked out well in the end.

December 11, 2009 9:41 AM

Allen Kinsel said:

Great points Andy,

Im very late to the game but, I'd add that for me even knowing that I have a blog to write things on has opened up a different way of thinking about problems.  In the very near future Im going to start using it as a notebook to myself, as I think thats where the real value lies.  If someone else finds it usefull then all the better!

December 11, 2009 9:50 AM

Steve Jones said:

Nice post and hopefully you encourage someone to blog. I had someone contact me recently about a blogger that was interviewing. Their blog came up pre-interview, so it was a good thing.

December 11, 2009 10:19 AM

Rob Paller said:

Outstanding post Andy. It's a well needed kick in the tuchus for some of us, myself included. I'm trying to find the right balance between work, personal life, and personal/career development (aka blogging).

December 11, 2009 10:27 AM

Sai Vargheese said:


This article was awesome, short and sweet but addresses 3 questions which stops us blogging.

Now I would like to blog, but where to start from? Which blog specialize which topics? I want to blog about SQL Server, which is the most apt place to blog?

In a nutshell I am looking for "Blogging for dummies".

Looking forward to see response from you.


December 13, 2009 5:08 AM

Dave Millar-Haskell said:

It needs to be said - the excuses people make all look good to me. I'm not an MVP, just a trenches guy. If the experts blog and the rest of read we'll have better quality blogs and way less noise.

December 14, 2009 9:40 AM

Ravinder Pal Singh said:

Very motivating post Andy. Its true that each of us have their own unique way to understand and explain things and that sure adds a lot value to the community.

January 30, 2011 1:40 PM

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