WordPress alerted me that this will be my 500th post, so I felt it was an opportune time to reflect on my blog. I hope this reflection puts my posts into perspective and helps you decide if blogging would be useful for you.
A brief history
I started this blog in December, 2010, at the request of my boss at Disney. He thought it would be a great way to increase our local presence as virtually nobody knew that Disney had a social gaming operation in North Carolina (unfortunately, it no longer does). It took a few months to find my “voice,” but over time I discovered what topics interested me and my readers and how to explore them.
While I have tried to blog regularly, with summer breaks, work and family do sometimes impede my capacity. I get the most views when I post twice a week but I think the content suffers, so I have settled on one post per week plus additional posts if there is an exciting topic I want to comment on.
For many years, Wendy Beasley, helped proof read this blog. Without Wendy, it would have been far less readable. Wendy not only edited the blog but offers suggestions on how to make it better.
Why do I Blog
The first question I asked myself when I saw this was my 500th post was “Why?”. My blog does not generate revenue, nor did I ever plan on using it for income; I have no advertising (I actually pay a fee to eliminate WordPress serving ads). I am not a consultant, so I do not use it to attract new business. Given that most of my posts are 3-5 pages in, blogging takes up a fair amount of my team but I would not be doing it if I did not derive value from the effort. In retrospect, my blog helps me in several ways:
- It provides a great way to clarify my thoughts. When I consider a topic important, writing a blog post allows me to organize my thoughts around the key issues and explore these issues further.
- It helps me analyze third party material. Many of my posts are taken from books, articles and other blogs that inspire me. By blogging about them, it forces me to pay attention and focus on the key points the author is making.
- It provides an archive for topics important to me. I will often go back to my blog to remember best practices or analytic techniques and tools. Also, when I start a new position, I will go back to my blog so that I ensure that I can convey all of my learnings to my new team.
- It provides a history for my team. While I use my blog when starting a new position to remember the key ideas I want to convey, I also find it is a great way to explain concepts to my colleagues. If we are planning to build a leaderboard, rather than reinventing the wheel, I would point my team members to my post.
- While I do not know if my blog has helped or hindered my ability to get new job positions, it has helped ensure a good fit. Having blogged over eight years (I started my blog December 2010), I have stated positions on most standard interview questions. Thus, when I discuss a topic with a potential employer, they can see I have held the same belief for years and am not just telling them what they want to hear. They now what they are getting and if my approach is consistent with their goals.
- Blogging makes me an open book when hiring. Potential employees understand my philosophy and priorities and it thus helps reduce bad fits.
It is also satisfying
While I blog for the reasons above, blogging and speaking also provide an avenue to give back to the industry, which is quite satisfying. One of my fondest memories is when I was talking to the CEO of a top-10 social casino and he told me that prior to starting the company he attended a bootcamp I gave on social gaming and entrepreneurship. He may have started the company regardless, but knowing that I played a small part in his decision and helped set him on the path for success is incredibly satisfying. Not only did it help him, but he now has over 400 employees.
Without you, this blog would be is a notebook, so please keep reading. If there are any issues you want me to cover, please ask. If you have suggestions on how I could make it more relevant, again let me know. Most of all, thank you for reading.