My friend and brother K. Brian Kelley (Blog | @kbriankelley | SQLPeople) recently wrote a meta-blog (blog about blogging) post entitled Don’t Wait to Start Blogging. Just before that, I received an email response to an earlier post (I Am Here To Help™) requesting advice on how to get started blogging. I directed the person asking me for advice to Brent Ozar’s (Blog | @BrentO | SQLPeople) awesome series called Blog Better Week.
Starting anything is hard. Steven Pressfield tackles this fact head-on in The War of Art and Do the Work; two excellent books on creating, in my opinion. When communicating with folks interested in starting a technical blog, I’ve noticed a pattern; a theme:
- “I don’t have anything to say.”
- “All the cool stuff has been covered.”
Bah! No, no, no!
While the objections may be technically accurate, there’s a lot more to consider:
- You have a unique way of expressing the technical details.
- You are writing after other people who have blogged before you.
- More is better.
Allow Me to Elaborate:
You have a unique way of expressing technical details…
Geeks often suffer from terminal humility. We believe what we know must be easy to learn because, well, we know it. We think the stuff others know and that we want to learn must be hard because we don’t know it. Not all geeks suffer from terminal humility (I wish many that don’t, would…).
How long did it take you to learn the last thing you learned? Did you find a blog post, forum post, article, or book that was exactly what you needed? I bet the answer is “No, Andy. I had to dig around and I found part of the answer here and another part of it there.” That. is. a. clue! Put everything you found in one location – blog about it! Don’t present the ideas as all original because they’re not. You found the information in several locations. Link to them! Always attribute the work of others and never plagiarize.
Do I have to write this? Yes, yes I do: Plagiarism is copying work from somewhere else and representing it as your own. If you find yourself beginning an explanation of how someone’s work got on your blog with the word “But” – that’s also a clue. Don’t rip people off. Never. Ever. Got it? Good. Let’s continue…
Expand on the ideas you found. Some of what you read may not have worked for you. I may be simply incorrect or it may be outdated. This brings me to the next point:
You are writing after other people who have blogged before you…
Why is this important? Because technology changes daily! Odds are the posts and articles that helped you were written months ago. There’s been a new release, Community Technology Preview (CTP), service release, or patch since that time. You have the latest and greatest information available – right there in your head with you. Why not share that?
More is better…
When you did that search for information about your issue and found the answer scattered across 2-17 sites, that search took you five minutes or less, right? Wrong! It took hours. The more information out there, the easier it is to find it! Get your post out there so it can help someone struggling with the same issue.
Brian and Brent offer fantastic advice about blogging. Jump in, the water’s fine.