So today I have been blogging about VMware, Virtualisation and Cloud for 10 year and I could not be more excited and prouder to be still part of this industry and its huge community. I have met a lot of people along my way and for those who work close with me they are usually awe struck by the number of people I know. Usually the line is “Ricky you know everyone” my response is a little more modest when I say “Not everyone, just 50% of the industry” 🙂 But the reality is that whilst the community is vast for those who have been around long enough you make many friends along the way and a few enemies too. 🙂
Back to the blogging and where it began:
2005 the company I worked for recently became a European distributor of VMware and the question came about who would lead the technical and educational services for Virtualisation. The list of people who already knew something about virtualisation, Wintel, Storage, Networking was whittled down until I was left. To be honest I was resistant to the job because I never wanted to become a trainer. On November 5th we had our first meeting with management in VMware and that was the day it sank in and I decided to build a blog.
The old blog: in 2005 I’d never created a blog before so I created a flat website using dreamweaver. I blogged about the products we were taking on-board mostly VMware eco-system products. I didn’t even have a dedicated domain name, I used a sub domain “virtualisation.djsho.co.uk”
2006 I was assessed for VCI (VMware Certified Instructor) and the assessor gave me some great advice. Use a content management system like Joomla or Mambo and buy a domain. So I switched from a flat website to Mambo and purchased the domain www.virtualizeplanet.com and things got serious from there. Instead of focussing on just product information I started posting helpful tech posts. If I worked on something useful I decide I would try to give back to the community.
2007 I’d got to know Mike Laverick earlier in 2006. By now I was developing small maybe useful tools that talked to the VMWare API. Mike kindly linked back to an early tool I built for reverting VM snapshots. That got me some traffic. Thanks Mike
2008 I joined Veeam Software and was advised to use twitter. From Twiiter I started to pick up that bloggers were using WordPress more than Mambo and WordPress had lot of community plugins so I switched to WordPress. Problem was I couldn’t take my old blog posts with me. So I recreated a few important ones like links to my tools.
2010 I developed two very useful tools vSphere Plugin Wizard and vDisk Informer. Those tools also generated me some traffic. I also became a vExpert and started being aggregated on Planet v12n. I already had a big following but that got me a stage with the who’s who (vRockstars) of the virtualisation bloggersphere. Because of the tools I got some link backs from Duncan Epping and Kendrick Coleman, Thanks Guys
To date I still do what I do. If it’s useful I blog about it to educate others and that is what it’s all about.
Why do it: It’s true I like the lime light (a little) but I like to believe I do it to help others. It’s a bit like religion, give and you shall receive. I believe by being helpful through blogging it has helped my career and being vExpert has sent some nice toys my way. So here’s to the next decade and if you like this blog please tweet this post.
Shout out: Actually I funded my blog and lab mostly myself over the years but just over a year ago I started taking in sponsors which now pay for my blog and lab. So a big thanks to my sponsors:
- Liquidware Labs
- Devolution Software