Last summer Kevin Sullivan and I had a conversation about blogging. We had been to a series of meetings with customers and each of them had been nearly the same, it was a discussion on delegation of security in SMS 2003. It occured to us that we had no good way to publish what we knew about delegation and how it worked best in higher education, at least not in such a way that told people we were from Microsoft so had some idea what we were doing but in no way represented official Microsoft support.
Blogs were becoming very popular, Scoble and Channel9 were very active, and the TechNet community appeared to be perfect for our intent. We decided to start with a blog (Kevin's) focused on management technology based on the idea that any time we heard a reoccuring customer question or a question that we felt many people were working on, we would publish the answer and send a link in our response. This way our effort to assist people with architecture and design issues would hopefully reach a broader audience and in the future if somewhat caught us in passing we could always just say "sure, just go out to this URL and search for this keyword, I did a write-up a while back on exactly what you're looking for".
I really liked the results of this effort so I decided last winter to create my own blog instead of just posting to Kevin's. I had put off starting my own because 1. I felt it would be just another source of information in a landscape that is already increadibly widespread and 2. I'm not the type of person that feel's I have a lot to say that others would want to hear. Still, I could sense that blogging was a good thing and was worth a solid attempt.
So I started with the same theme as Kevin and told myself I would write 50 posts. If after 50 posts I found the exercise to be a waste of time then I would shut it down... Then last spring I reached post 35. I don't recall the topic, I just remember it was in a series of frequent posts and I noticed 35 go by on the ticker. I had just written on a couple of topics I found to be really interesting and it occured to me that blogging had become part of my workload and further I really enjoyed it. I don't know if 35 posts is a magic number but it was for me, that's when I decided to keep this going.
The theme of my blog has changed focus a little, I try to keep on the Windows client track but I also feel someone needs to let customers know Microsoft cares about other topics in education as well and I don't mind being that voice from time to time. Yesterday I finished a write-up on BitLocker and it was my 50th post. I titled this article 50 first posts because in the first 50 many times I felt like I was approaching blogging for the first time with every post, just getting a feel for my approach. I hope in the first 50 I learned enough to make the next 50 count for something!