May 14, 2012
Today is May 14th! Four years ago today, I wrote my very first entry on the Standalone SysAdmin blog!
In Free advice is worth what you pay for it, I wrote about the genesis of my blogging - it all started with my LiveJournal, and my friends complaining that they didn't "get" what I was writing...so I moved to blogspot, then to my own VPS.
The blog has really come a long way from this look!
Every once in a while, someone will ask me how to blog. My answer is almost always the same, and it sounds disingenuous, but it isn't. The answer is to write. Write. Write. Write.
My theory behind blogging is that if you start a blog, you want to eventually be successful and have lots of people read it. If you want lots of people to read it, you want to have stuff for them to read, so you need to write a lot, especially in the beginning. Even if your writing is bad (especially if it's bad, because then you're getting practice, too!). Even if you don't have anything amazing to say.
Just keep writing. Build a body of work, because some day, you're GOING to write something amazing, and people are going to wonder, "gee, I wonder what else that person has written", but if you don't have a body of work, they're not going to have anything to read, and they'll leave. So you need to write.
If you look at the early posts on Standalone SysAdmin, there are a few gems among a lot of cruft. But I kept writing anyway. Eventually I wrote better stuff, and more people read it. But it took time to build that body of work, and it took time to build a group of readers.
When I celebrated my first blogiversary, I had a bit over 500 subscribers, and I was highly impressed. Given how my writing was at that time, I'm still impressed ;-)
As it stands right now, I have over 2,700 subscribers (thank you everyone who subscribes!), and in the past six months, I've had around 2 million page views (!) according to CloudFlare. That is simply amazing.
I want to thank all of my readers, whether they subscribe or just visit regularly (or even just find me on a Google search). Thanks to everyone who has emailed me over the years offering support, advice, and asking for help. I'm thankful for all of the opportunities you all have given me, and I look forward to blogging for years to come.
OK, enough navel gazing, let's get down to business.
This past year at LISA'11, I won a drawing for a free pass to the Technical Sessions at LISA'12 this year in San Diego. Now, that's kind of silly, because as a member of the LISA Blog Team, I get free admission anyway. So what should I do with it? I guess I could put it on Ebay...
Or I could give it away! To one of you!
So here's how it's going to go. You have to work for your entry, but only just. Fill out the following survey for a chance to win the pass to the LISA'12 Tech Sessions pass. This doesn't get you into training, but it does include 3 days of tech sessions, plus the hallway track and BoFs. I don't know the value because the prices aren't up yet, but it's worth a lot of money.
LISA'12 is in San Diego, California from Sunday, December 9th through Friday, December 14th. The Technical Sessions (what this pass gets you into) is from Wednesady, December 12th through Friday, December 14th. It covers the conference pass only. No airfare, no hotel, no food (except that which may be provided by the conference itself). It's literally a pass to register for the tech sessions.
So there you go. Fill it out to throw your hat in the ring. Also, I included a thing for "don't include me in the contest", since some of you may not want (or need) to win a free pass.
If you have any questions, please throw them in the comments or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for 4 great years!