Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Does Blogging belong to Upper Echelon only?

I am having very interesting time since Hu Yoshida commented through The value of Blogging - Feedback on my blog entry about him. I received interesting comments from wide variety of audiences and thank you very much to everyone who took time to comment and send messages.

*** Ignore this section if you don't want to read about me. ***

One of my ex-colleague appropriately commented "stirring the pot again, aren't you?"

Those who know me in any capacity are aware of my tendency to create waves in a calm pool and shake the tree when there is no wind, time to time. Every 12 to 18 months, I like to question what I am doing and what I should be doing. And typically, if I come up with answers, I don't like, I change things just to get myself out of comfort zone.

Actually, I was reading a recent essay, Good and Bad Procrastination by Paul Graham (one guy on my list of people, I like to have lunch with). He summed it up perfectly with following quote which he attributed to a 1986 lecture: You and Your Research by Richard Hamming of Bell Labs. (paraphrasing here)

What's the best thing I could be working on, and why aren't I?

Hopefully this gives the first insight to anonymous who wanted to know about me and my stance. More to come.

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I can appreciate some receiving the insight from Hu Yoshida blog entry, Where should intelligence reside?. Storage vendors are not doing a great job in communicating the technology behind their products. I just can not fathom that an industry that claims to be "ahead of the curve" in meeting customer needs of data storage and distribution is so poor in disbursing data itself.

Blogging is a powerful tool, and if properly used, has the potential to bridge this information gap between storage vendors and its stakeholders. An anonymous reader commented "the data storage conversation in the blogosphere is still pretty small." I wish you could see the quizzical look of WHY on my face … may be I should look in to podcasting to incorporate audio and visual cues! Any partners for podcasting? If you are planning to join storage blogosphere, spend sometime reading different blogs and ask yourself:

What's the best thing I could be writing on in my blog? And start writing, nothing happens until you do something.

And, if you are a CXO and want to tell everyone in your blog how to write scripts to automate storage management tasks for your products, ask yourself: Is a CXO right source for such information? Or should I have someone else involved in blogging too?.

There is a disturbing pattern emerging in corporate storage blogosphere. Most blogs except one, Adaptec, are written by upper echelon of the kingdom. This trend of restricting blogging to upper echelon is a fatal mistake in leveraging the potential of blogging to bridge information gap. Just take a look at Microsoft and its blogging gang that includes from Ray Ozzie, Robert Scoble to its developers. How effectively these people are using blogging to communicate at different levels.

BTW, anyone interested in reading a storage technology blog, must have Adaptec's Storage Advisors in their Feedreader. With few tweaks, it can be an excellent storage technology blog. Kudos to their blog strategist for thinking differently. And if you are interested in reading storage business blog, include NetApp's Dave Hitz (Another guy on my list of people, I like to have lunch with) in your Feedreader.


  1. Anil

    You've got to take into consideration that nearly all business programs require some initial flight tests before a company commit many resources into it. You're a small company or a consultant where blogging can easily be obtained and resourced --this may not be the case for larger companies.

    Jonathan Schwartz has been talking about how the 'firewalls' are coming down between consumer and business, and I'm sure most companies are waking up to this, but it takes time.

    Companies that don't wake up and realize that a open and honest relationship can be shared between storage practioners and 'lower levels of the kingdom' have a lot to lose.

    so in closing, give it time, the storage market is JUST begginging to take off in the blogosphere, the companies that harness this will benefit.

  2. Jo,

    Thanks for your feedback. I agree with your comments. I am just being self-appointed vocal outside observer.

  3. On the topic of only the storage princes having blogs, one would point out that most storage companies still have a "keep your mouth shut" mentality. If you blog you have to be careful not to break any of the existing rules, such as those which deal with contact with the press, contact with analysts, and so on.

    While blogging currently might be like the wild west of information transfer it only takes the wrong post to have one's employer pointing out what career limiting moves you've just made.

    Then there's the small matter of data storage & information management being dull to everyone who isn't in that field. Anyone who works in the sector realises the importance and the depth, everyone else not so much.