Random Acts of IT Project Management

Project Management for Information Technology

Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’

Dangers of Blogging

Posted by iammarchhare on 24 August 2009

I’m sure you’ve all heard the advice.  Become an expert in your field, get on LinkedIn, get on networking sites, answer questions, network, participate and start your own blog.  Well, perhaps that is good advice, but the last one can be a little more dangerous now.  Or, at least if you are a celebrity chaser.

The Telegraph reported on 19 August that “Google reveals blogger’s identity after Vogue model’s ‘skank’ insult”.  The blogger, who went by the ever so original “Anonymous”, described Vogue covergirl Liskula Cohen in several unflattering terms.  A New York supreme court judge quoted an earlier Virginia ruling that online critics can be held accountable once they cross a certain line.

I’m all for civility online, but the constant eroding of speech on the web is somewhat of a concern to me.

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Don’t Try to Get a Job

Posted by iammarchhare on 2 April 2009

I got a pointer that Seth Godin was guest posting on another blog, so it was with considerable interest that I read his post on the What Would Day Say blog.  He argues don’t try to get a job.

There are a few philosophical reasons, of course, but one that really hits home is that the opportunity costs are the lowest they will ever be.

You know, it’s funny because just yesterday before reading it, I was talking to someone who started their own business.  He said he started when the economy wasn’t so hot either, although it certainly wasn’t at bad as it is now.  What he found is that you start out stronger because you have solid coworkers and solid clients.  If he had started prior to the Dot Com Bubble, then he easily could have been one of those who had the carpet yanked out from under them.

IT project managers are usually an independent lot anyhow.  We’ve had to endure higher executives who didn’t understand what we did or what value we added.  We’ve had to run against the stream occasionally when a team went dysfunctional and developed the herd mentality while running full speed towards the cliff.  We’ve been unpopular when we said, “You can have it quickly, or you can have it work.  Which do you want?”  Let’s face it: You cannot be a successful PM and be a pushover.

Many PMs are contractors already, I’ve noticed.  It probably has a lot to do with layoffs, either to Dot Com-type situations, outsourcing or just plain businesses going belly-up.  Perhaps it is easier to hang up a contractor shingle than deal with the full-time routine.

Someone not long ago stated something very wise, I thought.  “No job is stable.  We are employed at the whim of our employer, and they can let us go at any time for any reason.  Let’s face it, we are all contractors.  The days of doing 20 years somewhere and getting a gold watch is long gone.”

Posted in Economy, Employment | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Book Review on The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging

Posted by iammarchhare on 26 March 2009

This post is for the bloggers and would-be bloggers out there. Release your inner blogger, I say!

It was with some amusement that I picked up a copy of The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging. Why did I pick it up? It’s written by the staff of the Huffington Post. Why was I amused? It’s written by the staff of the Huffington Post. No matter, how you slice it and dice it, a book about blogging from the Huffington Post is simultaneously the best and the worst of things. They are certainly the most well known and widely read political blog out there. Arianna Huffington herself has been interviewed by the BBC and others. On the flip side, it’s difficult for anyone with 2 brain cells of common sense to read half of the articles on that site without cringing. It doesn’t seem to matter if the writers are more on the liberal or on the conservative side of things (yes, they have some token conservatives, it appears). You just have to scratch your head and wonder how people can believe half of what they write sometimes. Yet, if you are going to read about a subject, it helps to learn from those who are doing it well. Agree or disagree, Huffington Post does it well.

During Passover, we are supposed to take inventory and examine ourselves. After moving a lot of articles onto a new blog site, it is time to take stock and remind myself of why I’m doing this. Perhaps other bloggers can relate (I know there are a couple of you peeking in). Perhaps others who have considered it can relate.

So, Why Blog?

  1. Today, we have instant communication. Yet, it has created a paradox that there is so much information that important information gets overlooked or even ignored by the traditional media.
  2. It is a lot more open than traditional media. It becomes personal, conversational and allows the writer to express their passion.
  3. Writing blogs can be a lot of work, but they can be a lot of fun.
  4. “Why blog? Here’s a better question: Why not blog? As you’ll learn in the upcoming chapters, blogging is easier than smoking, can take less time and money, and isn’t banned in restaurants.” ~ p 18
  5. To know you’re not alone. You can get instant feedback.
  6. To establish yourself as an expert. This is one of the reasons I recently started the Random Acts of IT Project Management blog. I was recently certified by the Project Management Institute, and I have 13 full time years in IT. However, some things a resume just do not do justice to.
  7. To make money. It doesn’t pull any punches about telling you that you won’t make oodles of money right away. Of course, the Huffington Post does make money, and it is one of the few really big ones. Don’t forget that if you own a business, then you can use a blog to drive people to your product if done correctly.
  8. To create a community. To me, this is important thing for the Church of God Perspective blog. I want it to be a place to have discussions and civil debates on topics of doctrine, prophecy and current events. It has become obvious to me that with the COG community scattered everywhere, it would be nice to have a place where real discussions about some of those differences can take place. Furthermore, print media all over is failing, and even The Journal has had difficulty getting its editions out on time. While there are a lot of websites, there didn’t seem to be that many blogs at the time. Print and web sites are fine for static content, but they don’t allow for other points of view.

Getting Traffic

The book goes a little into Google alerts, Technorati and Alexa. In addition, some mention of tools is in the book. I’m not convinced that enough time was spent on these, especially the former. In addition, some sites like MySpace, Facebook and StumbleUpon aren’t even mentioned until the appendix.

One thing the book does do a good job of is explaining Search Engine Optimization. Although it is not listed under it, the book talks about the URL, and states in several places that good content is the main key. It even goes into keywords. It explains it with just enough detail, I think, for the beginning blogger.

Downsides

Jonah did not take “a dark journey in the belly of the whale for his complacency and relentless triviality.” Someone needs to lay off the wacky weed.

Well, like I said before, it is Huffington Post, and the example blog posts reminded me of why I don’t frequent that site. The language is enough to turn me off towards visiting it regularly, quite frankly. One of the example posts perpetuates the lie that Bush vetoed a bill that would have enabled health care for “poor kids”, when in fact the bill in question tried to raise the bar to somewhere over $100k per year. It even had the audacity to praise Communist medicine. Seems they have forgotten that people in the Soviet Union often had to stand in line just to buy bread, let alone that many waited so long for medical care that they died in the meantime.

If Huffington Post wants to use borderline language or use metaphors and language with graphic sexual imagery, that is their right under the 1st Amendment. However, please don’t call it “journalism”. Furthermore, Arianna & gang, it isn’t a requirement to sell your book!

Wanna Blog?

I hope that a few of you may be considering taking up blogging as a result of this post. I hope that more of you will be encouraged to comment on blogs you follow. If you are a fellow blogger and have an interest in the COG or IT PM, please stop by and leave a comment or two (on the appropriate blog, of course). We are all a virtual community, after all.

Posted in Book Review, Mostly off-topic rambling rabbit holes | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »