Tuesday, July 22, 2008

9 Reasons I Need to Blog More

Almost on a daily basis, I sit and stair at the Prestidigitation of Oracle and wonder what I should blog about today. I know I have a lot of ideas floating around in my head and all it takes is that mental kick in the arse to get it out. And yet, here I am sitting on July 22nd, 2008 with only 3 blog posts since starting in February (That is a) not a good average and b) 2 posts, as the first one was an inaugural post). This is my attempt to kick my brain in the arse and do what I set out to do this year. Seth Godin blogged the other day about 12 ways to get your blog to the top of digg. I thought I'd try some of the tactics he mentioned in an earlier blog. I've also been semi-inspired by Fred Wilson's A VC Blog over the course of the year. While he tends to dwell in a world completely foreign to me, it is rarely not an interesting read and can get my creative juices going. Without further ado, and in no particular order:


1. Everybody is doing it
- I just threw that in there for the high school affect. I'm really not a follower (well, I am on twitter). You can definitely argue that I am on the bandwagon a bit late. But, better late than never. In all seriousness, I read a lot of interesting blog articles from Oracle professionals, venture capitalists, Social networking sites etc. I think I have something to offer and give back to the community.


2. More Blogging = Less TV time
- I love TV, I really do. The DVR was the best (and worst) invention to come in the past 5-10 years. Although, now that I think about it, I can sit in front of my laptop with a favorite TV show in the background. Maybe I should find a better hobby :)


3. What goes better with beer than blogging?
- I've seen lists like "Best Beer Drinking Sports" and the like. Well, blogging is a perfect fit for beer drinking. I love beer, I love making it, drinking it, and finding new beer. The thought of sittin back, relaxing with a cold one, and writing the thoughts in my head seems like a perfect blend.


4. Time to increase my Oracle breadth
- I spent my most of my days working on company-related database issues. There doesn't seem to be nearly enough time to do R&D. Keeping an Oracle-related blog is a great way to force me to do my own research and improve my Oracle DBA skills on my own. Now I just need to get this laptop's memory increased so I can get Oracle 11g running on VirtualBox and I'll be in business. I've started keeping a daily list of topics I want to blog about. The next step is to get that done.


5. Aspirations
- I have aspirations to present at Oracle technical conferences. I look at blogging as a great first step to getting to that goal. This will force me to come up with ideas and not only find my voice, but also an audience (I hope).

6. Peer Pressure
- I suppose that sounds an awful lot like reason #1. However, it is a bit different. I look at peers and see the amazing things they are doing on their blogs and the great content they are creating and sharing with the oracle community (Look at Dan Norris, Eddie Awad, Greg Rahn, Don Seiler to name a few) and I say "hey, I can do that, and can hopefully add my own perspective".

- An interesting aside related to Greg Rahn. He probably doesn't realize it, but without Greg Rahn, I probably wouldn't even be an Oracle DBA. In 2000, I had just been hired on as a full-time developer at a local utility. Greg was a DBA there. He resigned later that year , I think to find his fortunes out west during the Dot Com boom. That left an opening on the DBA team. I was approached by one of their Senior DBAs to be a DBA. I thought it was a crazy idea. Those DBAs didn't do anything ;) I was a C developer, I knew it all. Luckily, I decided to take the leap and have been loving it ever since. Thanks Greg for resigning and opening up that door to me ;)


7.Twitter: Sometimes 140 characters just isn't enough
- I love twitter. It is a somewhat emerging social networking idea. Some think blogging is dead and microblogging is the wave of the future and replace blogging. I'm not sure I agree at this point but I do find it a very useful medium to share ideas and expand my horizons. Sometimes (okay, a lot of times) my thoughts take up more than 140 characters. That is where the Prestidigation of Oracle needs to take over.

8. Unload some of those brain cells.
- I'm a big believer in the Use It or Lose it Principle. I think this applies to daily life. Whether it be that new whiz-bang Oracle feature you just read about, the latest training class you are thinking about taking or documenting that new package you just wrote.

9. Comfort Zone
- I think it is real easy to get into a comfort zone. Life can get hectic and it is simple to get into a routine. You need to challenge yourself and shake things up to grow. I look at blogging as a natural way to do this. While I feel I've always been a decent writer, it has generally been with little purpose (essays, papers, etc). I need to find a purpose and hopefully this can get me on the right track.

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