My last real milestone to hit just came up. This blog has now been around for one whole year. I’m shocked to say the least. I never believed that having a scratchpad for jotting down my ideas about troubleshooting would blossom into this. Those of you that have followed me for a while know that I tend to flit around technologies from wireless to security to switching and back to posts about Apple computers from time to time (even though I don’t own one). To see that I’ve been able to keep this going for as long as I have is either a testament to my stubbornness or the large amount of cruft floating around in my head.
My initial ideas about troubleshooting hit a writer’s block wall pretty quickly. I started posting some things about my CCIE studies and the occasional voice-related article. It took a couple of months before I started writing pieces based more on opinion than fact. I was afraid at first. I’m normally the kind of person that keeps my opinions to myself. However, it was interesting to put my thoughts and ideas down on “paper” and see what people thought of them. Opinion pieces don’t require paragraphs worth of console output or exhaustive testing. Of course, they can also be wrong or inaccurate and subject to debate or correction. Other bloggers have told me that opinion pieces aren’t for them due to the possibility of angering their audience or fear of rejection. My advice is to give it a shot on something simple first. Put your thoughts out there and see what the reaction looks like. Remember the old adage, “If people agree with everything you’ve said, you aren’t doing your job.”
I find myself spending more time commenting on current events in long form now. I do get a chance to discuss things on Packet Pushers from time to time, but when something really juicy comes up, I can’t resist adding my voice to the din. Some of these articles are interesting, others not so much. I tried my hand at adding some link aggregation pages every week or so but found that I didn’t really keep up with new things like I thought I would. I really spend a lot more time out in the field doing rather than learning. I’m not one for going over simple things that are well-documented elsewhere. I tend to talk about the more esoteric configurations or things that you just can’t find anywhere else. Those posts are as much for my benefit as anyone else’s. If I know that I’ve run into a particular situation and I write about it, I know I can always find it here as opposed to sifting through Google for hours on end. I just hope my readers can get some use out of it too.
I still blog about the CCIE a fair amount. It feels a little different commenting on it from the other side of the line, but people seem to like reading about all things lab related. There are a ton of great blogs out there that detail the process that lab candidates are going through and the little gems of knowledge that they unearth from time to time, whether it be revelations about Dynamic Trunking Protocol (DTP) or alias lists or even TCL scripts. I should probably create a CCIE candidate blog list just so those of you out there that hunger for my CCIE-related material can get your fix from them as well. My CCIE posts tend to be more on the commentary side and focused on the details in the process rather than the content. I think it’s more of a way to talk about the things that I see are important to keep in mind besides the ability to remember OSPF LSA types on demand. A “forest for the trees” approach, if you will.
Once again, I’d like to thank all my visitors and readers for your time. I appreciate your feedback and comments about everything. You help me be a better blogger with every post. It helps me to know that the things I post can be useful. Tanner Ezell and I discussed the idea that people should provide help and support because they can, not because they’re doing it for fame or recognition. I like helping people solve problems. It just so happens that the most efficient way for me to do it is by writing a blog. The more you wonderful people read it, the more popular and well-known it becomes. While I appreciate that, know that I’ll still be here plugging away and talking about things even if I’m on page 30 of a Google search.
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Way to go Tom, as far as keeping your opinion to yourself well thats another subject, but your insight is well appreciated.