That’s a lot of hits! It’s taken over 7 years since I posted “I did something stupid – deleted myself!” (dated 2010, but I used the dates from when it was originally posted elsewhere) to hit this mark, and it took 4 years to get to 100,000 hits.
Not much has changed on why I keep blogging. If I can’t find it easily online and had to work it out myself, then I’ll usually write it up. In some ways it’s documentation for myself, just generalised instead of specific to my environment. Working out a good solution to a problem is satisfying in itself, moreso if you can help others hitting the same wall.
Blogging has opened many doors for me. I’m now a Microsoft MVP – originally in Cloud and Datacenter Management, now in Office Apps and Services. I get to sometimes review things I generally am a fan of – particularly devices from companies like Lenovo, but other companies such as Poly too. Lenovo even flew me to Beijing in 2019, a few years back Intel flew me to Sydney for Vivid and I would have been at Microsoft HQ in Seattle last month if it weren’t for that pesky virus. I did get to to 2 years ago though, and back in 2014 I attended Microsoft TechEd North America as Press in the most part due to Trevor Pott. He gets a special mention for helping me make a lot of this happen – and even though we don’t always see eye to eye, I don’t think I’d have nearly as much success without him in the early days.
I do paid articles for reputable websites, picking the things I want to write about. I get to talk to a bunch of smart people because of all this. I can blog how I want, when I want because it’s not a primary source of income. I can throw my ideals out there and have them picked over by the internet. I’m a quoted source of ‘“On-Premise vs On-Premises – Who Cares?” on Wikipedia. I can say I run an award winning blog, thanks to Netwrix. I’ve tried to tell everyone my ‘Secrets to IT Success and Happiness‘ from doing this stuff for 20 years now. I’ve been on a few podcasts like CIAOPS and Defrag This. I co-run a local user group called Adelaide Microsoft IT Pro Community with Brett Moffett and Andrew O’Young.
The point of all this is not to brag – I don’t think I’m doing anything special in the slightest. I’m always questioning my own abilities and knowledge – there’s always plenty of people that know more than me on every single topic I work with. However, I still find something of interest and write it up. That’s all I really do. I test things enough so I believe I’m right to be able to share it, but I’ll happily accept corrections (ESPECIALLY if I do something as amateur as misspelling ‘Windows’ in a blog post title). I’m lucky enough to have a supportive working environment and boss so I can do all this too, and I believe they benefit as much from this side work I do as I do personally.
Also since starting this blog, I’ve had two kids. Free time has gone from what feels like infinite, to little snippets here and there. It means I do less of blogging/writing/community things, but the trade off is more than worth it.
As you’ll see from the below explanations of people who’ve donated a prize, Twitter is somehow a reasonably large part of my life. I don’t spend hours on there every day, but still enough that I’ve managed to make a lot of valuable connections; valuable in the sense that I get to engage with a bunch of people I highly respect, and very occasionally with my introverted and recluse tendencies, meet in person.
Anyway, if you’re reading this I hope I’ve helped spread good information somehow. If you have an inkling that you want to do the same, then go for it. You need to start somewhere, and the more you write the better you’ll get at it. Feel free to contact me directly if you’d like any support or guidance, or even feel like trying a guest blog post I can put up here (I’ll edit and provide feedback too).
I’ve also run a few giveaways before, but I figured I’d put some good effort in to source a bunch of prizes to give away as part of hitting 2,000,000 views. I asked around and found several more meaningful prizes from people I know of and respect. Probably won’t do this again :) Thanks to them all for being a part of this!
If you see any 503 service unavailable errors below, reload. Gleam.io that hosts these might be having some issues.
1. Powershell for Sysadmins: Workflow Automation Made Easy by Adam Bertram – Donated by Adam Bertram.
Adam Bertram I’ve had several chats with over Twitter as a fellow Microsoft MVP, admiring his personal passion for IT and projects he works on like TechSnips.
Competition:1. Powershell for Sysadmins: Workflow Automation Made Easy
2. Surviving IT – Essential Advice for Building a Happy and Healthy Technology Career by Paul Cunningham – donated by Paul Cunningham.
Paul Cunningham has now transferred blogs are something that most Microsoft Exchange admins have read – Exchange Server Pro which changed into Practical365. I have Twitter banter with Paul now and then, and briefly met a few times back in the old Microsoft TechEd days. Paul offered to send me a few copies of his book – one I’m keeping for myself, and the other is being given away here.
Competition:2. Surviving IT – Essential Advice for Building a Happy and Healthy Technology Career
3. Adopt & Embrace Microsoft Teams by Paul Woods, Helen Blunden, Benjamin Elias & Darrell Webster x 2– This group of people I don’t know very well, but they produce great content and I follow them all on Twitter. I should work on getting to know them all more! :) Thanks to the 4 of you for donating these books!
Competition:3. Adopt & Embrace Microsoft Teams by Pauls Woods, Helen Blunden, Benjamin Elias & Darrell Webster
4. Lenovo Pack – donated by the Lenovo Insiders program and me (I bought the Smart Watch). I’m a part of the Lenovo Insiders program which has driven a lot of the reviews I’ve done – I am a general fan of their hardware (particularly the ThinkPad stuff!) and they’ve supported me greatly, including my great trip to Lenovo Tech World in Beijing. The watch I bought and had second thoughts about, so I added it into this bundle. I’ll also add a cool Lenovo backpack that’ll contain all these items!
Competition:4. Lenovo Pack
5. Cin’s Chainmail – Industrial Strength Rainbow Stress Ball – Donated by Cin and her Cincurios Twiter account where you can see her handy work. I first met Cin a few years ago at Ignite the Tour – Sydney event. We hung out for a bit and went around to a lot of the vendors trying to get swag; and we’ve been on Twitter talking ever since. Beyond being a highly skilled IT person, she also hand makes these chain mail stress balls among other items that you can see on her site https://skyalin.com/ccc
Competition:5. Cin’s Chainmail – Industrial Strength Rainbow Stress Ball
6. The IT Business Owner’s Survival Guide: How to save time, avoid stress and build a successful IT business x3 – Richard Tubb. Richard I’ve only met on Twitter, but he comes across as a very passionate and positive person. I’ve had a few great chats with him, and if I ever manage to make it to the UK, will definitely meet in person!
Competition:6. The IT Business Owner’s Survival Guide: How to save time, avoid stress and build a successful IT business
7. White Ibis Soft Toy – Mark O’Shea – donated by Mark O’Shea. I don’t actually remember where I first met Mark in person, but he’s a fellow Microsoft MVP and avid animal lover. If you’ve seen him on Twitter, you’ve probably seen a picture of a White Ibis; aka a Bin Chicken. Why is Mark giving away a soft toy of his favorite animal? I’m actually not sure, you should ask him :) I get to catch up with Mark occasionally when we happen to be in the same city – if he’s over in Adelaide for work, or if we both fly to Redmond (I’ve been one time ever). Until Mark actually provides me a photo of this White Ibis Soft Toy, here’s an example of a real one:
Competition:7. White Ibis Soft Toy
8. Uroboros Saga Books 1, 2 and 3 by Arthur Walker. Donated by Arthur Walker. Arthur is in the same Lenovo Insiders program I’m in, as a fellow tech enthusiast. However, he has many talents outside of gadgets which includes writing an ongoing book series (8 so far), and being the creative director of a computer game. I hadn’t spoken to him too much before meeting him in person at Lenovo Tech World in 2019. Not long after meeting him, I’d realised I was missing out by not knowing him better. I had the privilege of spending the week with him and the other great Lenovo Insiders in China, and wrapping off the trip going with him and Onica Cupido to the Beijing Zoo. Anyway, after finding out that Arthur wrote books, I bought a digital copy of one to read on the way home… and really enjoyed it! I’m onto book 2 now, and was waiting for my next trip to read it, but that might be a while away. You can buy his books in digital or tree format, or read the Amazon reviews for yourself to see what people think. Arthur’s put up the first 3 books of the series as a giveaway, and you can decide if you want the digital version, or for him to send them out to you.
Competition:8. Uroboros Saga Books 1, 2 and 3 by Arthur Walker
OK, that’s all the prizes. I’ve broken them all up into separate competitions so people can just enter for the prizes they’d like to win.
Stay safe during these uncertain times everyone, and thanks for being a part of my little part of the internet.