Category Archives: 50 Must Read IT Blogs

The World… for the World According to Mitch.

Somalia. Greenland. Vanuata. Montserrat. Cook Islands. Samoa. Mali. Sierra Leone. Burundi. Federated States of Micronesia, Liberia, Equatorial Guinea, Niger, Djibouti, British Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands.

What do these sixteen nations have in common?  Certainly not geography – some are tropical islands, others African nations, and of course Greenland should, by all rights, be its own continent (albeit a frozen one).  You cannot even say that they are all members of the United Nations, as Greenland is actually a Danish territory, and the British Virgin Islands are a British territory.

In fact, the only thing that these sixteen states have in common are that they are tied at 1… a single hit has been logged to The World According to Mitch from each in the year 2013.  Mauritania, French Guiana, Vatican City, and French Samoa are ties for second (with two hits each), and Bhutan stands alone with three hits.

In total, over 173,000 hits have been registered to The World According to Mitch to date in 2013.  I guess we sort of hit our stride this year, because with two weeks to go in the year (let’s face it, I expect the numbers to tank from Christmas) we have registered 72,000 more hits than the total of 2012 – a 73% increase year over year.

That number includes visits from 207 countries/territories/protectorates, accounting for every single member of the United Nations except one (No hits from North Korea), plus fourteen others (aside from the aforementioned, Vatican City, the Palestinian Territories (66 visits), Taiwan (1,219 visits), Hong Kong (1,204 visits), Puerto Rico (198 visits), Guam (15 visits), and a number of others.  Interestingly enough, Kosovo – the last of three independent states not members of the UN, also did not register a visit.

Owing to the free nature of the Internet and the fact that one little blog is hardly worth blocking, there were roughly 7,300 visits from countries that would prohibit me from entering (or worse, prohibit me from exiting).  Owing I would hope to my technical articles rather than those of my travels I occasionally am invited to consult for companies based on my blog.  In July of this year I was invited to consult for the national bank of one of these nations – an invitation I politely turned down.

The hottest month of the year (by far) was October… 17,333 visits based on twenty-two posts – eight of which were technical, the others mostly about travels and my experiences in Japan.  However the highest total hits was registered in June (the post was about the flood in Calgary, which I experienced first hand).  The second highest total for a day was in November (I was answering questions for a www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com Jump Start, and posted the link to an article I wrote), and the third highest was in December – the day I wrote about my hat.  Incidentally the week that started with that article was my highest per-day average over a week – 597 hits per day.

While I am not sure I have a definite formula for what does work and what does not work, it seems to me that a solid balance of all sides of me – work, leisure, travel, opinions – is what accounts for the best average for me… I never expect one article to be a home run (although there have been a couple, thanks Server Core and Netfx).  When I balance my articles between the technical and the non-technical both sides of my readership seem most content.  And so that is the direction that I will continue along in the coming year.

By the way some might ask what effect spending a year as a resident blogger for www.canitpro.net had on my own blog.  I would guess that a some of my readers were introduced to me from there (but I also expect some of my foreign readers found that blog because of this site).  I like to think that both blogs complemented each other, with neither leaning heavily on the other.  If the statistics are accurate then any readers I gained while blogging there have remained with me, as only one of the last four months is slightly below any of the preceding twelve… and that was September, when I was in negotiations with a client and trying to remain tight-lipped about leaving my position with Microsoft Canada.

The World According to Mitch received a number of honours this year – for the third year in a row it was listed on BizTech Magazine’s list of 50 IT Blogs You Must Read, and I retained my position on Evolven’s POWER35 Insightful IT Bloggers.  I was also selected as one of the SMB 150 – honoured by my peers with their nomination and votes.

Mitch HatAll in all 2013 has been a banner year for the World According to Mitch banner… and the promise I make to you, my loyal reader, is that I will endeavour to keep up or improve the quality of the posts… and I will try to keep up the pace as well!

May the holiday season bring you and your family blessings of joy, health, and happiness, wherever you are in the world, and whatever holidays you celebrate.  Most importantly, let us all pray for peace in the world in 2014.

Mitch Garvis

A Humbling Accolade, Year 3

biztech-mustreadit-300Two years ago I had not heard of BizTech Magazine, so when I found out that this blog had been listed on their list of 50 IT Blogs You Must Read I was truly surprised, and honoured.  I then started following them and reading the publication, and that increased the value of the honour.

A year ago this blog was again awarded a spot on the 2012 list.  It was amazing to me that people continue to read what I write, and as I have said before I am thrilled when even one person reads what I write.

Last week the 2013 list was released.  I do not know how many blogs have made the list all three years of this list’s publication, but I am over the moon to find out that I am one of them.  Again, I want to thank the staff at BizTech Magazine for putting me on the list, but more importantly I want to thank you, my readers, who continually inspire me to write.  Without you, this space would be empty.

Make sure you read the list of the 50 Must-Read I.T. Blogs 2013  at www.biztechmagazine.com.

Another Humbling Accolade

People may find it weird, but every time one person reads my blog I am thrilled.  It is why (when I have the time) I follow the hit counts on both The World According to Mitch and the Canadian IT Pro Connection religiously.  It isn’t about ego (although I do suppose it is a bit of a boost to that!), rather it is about knowing that I am able to influence, educate, enlighten, and touch people, mostly within the IT Pro community.

While I started blogging in 2002 (it was called something else back then) I only launched The World According to Mitch in July, 2007 – and re-launched it in November, 2010, which is when my current counters were reset and I essentially started with a blank page (replete with a lot of content).  In that first month back up I had 1,567 hits, which for several months would remain the high point (bottoming out in February, 2011 with 746 hits).

I don’t know if I got a lot more serious about blogging at that point, or if I just got better at it, or if frankly I just got better at self-promotion.  However the hits started coming, gradually at first, and the more hits I got the more I was encouraged to post.  I remember teaching a Windows 2008 boot camp in Virginia Beach last July, and while the students did their labs I dug up old posts that I had written and had somehow not made the move to the new site.  For the first time ever I started scheduling posts rather than simply hitting ‘Publish’.  Because I had so many such articles I put them out for 8:00am and 1:00pm daily, a trend that I have more or less followed – I found traffic much better when articles are published at 8:00am, and if I do need to post twice in a day then it is first thing in the morning and first thing after lunch.

Although I got plenty of comments from friends and students, the first official recognition I got for the blog was in September, 2011 when my blog was recognized as one of the 50 Must-Read IT Blogs by BizTech Magazine.  I had read their articles before but did not realize that they read mine as well.  I was thrilled to find out in September that I was recognized on this list for the second year in a row (see article).

This week I was humbled yet again to find out I was included on Evolven’s Power35 Insightful IT Bloggers.  According to the article, this is a handpicked list of insightful bloggers focused on IT.  It means a lot to me because I know there are a lot of really smart people in this industry and I work hard just to keep up with them.  I started blogging because I wanted to share my insight with my peers, and being recognized for that is absolutely heartwarming.

For the month that ends today (October, 2012) the hits on my blog will exceed 14,000 – close to (if not more that) it had in the first 10 months combined (14,099 from November 2010 through August 2011).  I hope that this is an affirmation of the fact that I continue to listen to your needs and wants, and continue to pay attention to the industry.  That is my goal – to remain current, to remain a resource to all of my readers (old and new).  I hope that my students see the blog as an extension of my classes, and that you all see it as a resource to use, reference, and share.

Thanks,

Mitch

A humbling accolade

A year ago I was in Phoenix, Arizona when I found out that my blog, The World According To Mitch, was selected by BizTech Magazine as one of their 50 IT blogs you must read. It was quite an honor to be recognized by my peers.  I was in Montréal, Quebec this year when I was informed I had been selected again for 2012, one of a select few to repeat. Again, I would like to thank everyone involved in making this happen. It truly is humbling, and knowing that this year readers were invited to vote made it all the more special.

The world has changed tremendously since I started blogging. In 2001 my blog was actually targeted email articles, to be replaced in 2003 by my first website, www.e-mitch.com. IT was only in 2005 that my writings would be codified into an actual formal blog, although a few peers and mentors had to twist my arm. They twisted harder when I left Montréal and told me that if I wanted to succeed I had to build my brand.

The process of building my brand began then and has continued to this day.  It continues on my blog, on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and at every event that I speak at.  It is the advice that I pass along to every fledgling IT Pro just starting out – build your brand, it will eventually pay huge dividends.

I want to thank the editors and readers of BizTech Magazine for once again seeing fit to honour me this way.  I hope that between The World According to Mitch and the Canadian IT Pros Connection I will continue to deserve your readership!

An Interview with BizTech Magazine

biztech_badge_300In September I was honoured to discover that BizTech Magazine had recognized The World According To Mitch on their list of 50 Must-Read IT Blogs from BizTech (Sept. 7, 2011).  Several weeks ago I was contacted by Ricky Ribeiro, BizTech’s Online Content Manager asking if I would be willing to do an interview about blogging and the IT industry.  I was delighted to do so.  On Sunday the interview was published.

Must-Read IT Blogger Q&A: Mitch Garvis

Sometimes it amazes me that I have come so far… I remember when I first started blogging, and who was responsible for it (there are two people).  I saw one of them in the cafeteria this past week, and I had drinks with the other in December.  When they told me to start (and then told me to publish at my own site rather than the MITPro site) I could not see the value… but I trusted and respected both of them, so I started.  I see the value now, and every time an up-and-coming IT Professional asks me for advice on how to get noticed, I have the same advice for them that Rick and John had for me… Build your Brand.

As hard as it may be to fathom, I remember starting out wondering who would care about what I had to say.  I also remember thinking that a few little articles would not earn me a lot of credibility.  I was probably right… but I have now been blogging for seven years, and The World According to Mitch (the third incarnation of a blog that was born in 2005) will celebrate its 300th article this week (if my Editor approves the complete rewrite she assigned me on Thursday).  We have had over 100,000 visitors, and a plethora of comments and conversations (many of which, unfortunately, were lost in the numerous moves over the years).  I am amazed every time someone refers to my articles as authoritative, and appreciate every single visitor.

Last week was the first time I ever referred to myself as a professional blogger, but I suppose I am.  I do not get paid to blog, but do get paid to do what I do in part because I blog.  I love doing it, and was not surprised by the envious cries of ‘How do *I* get a job like that?’ The answer is simple… build your brand, build up your library of articles, and most of all make sure that you absolutely love writing (It helps if you are good at it)!  I do… I always have, and thank my high school English teachers for that daily,

If I am the luckiest man in the world it is because I have an amazing family, I get to work with amazing technologies, and have an amazing job that affords me the opportunity to speak to and interact with some amazing people.  If someone were to ask me what are the qualities that make my blog successful I suppose it is the combination of my vast life experience and travels, combined with a love of life, a passion for technology, and an understanding that talking about high-level subjects does not mean you have to talk over peoples’ heads.

You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother.

If you can’t explain something simply, you don’t know enough about it.

Albert Einstein

I often hear from people who stumble across my blog who say “Wow… I have no idea what you are talking about, but it sounds really interesting.”  I do not dumb my articles down, but I do try to explain high-level concepts in clear, concise terms.  I have been asked to explain concepts such as Server Virtualization to non-technical audiences before, and I do… however you also have to know who your intended audience is, and speak to their level.  My technical articles would be useless if I wrote them for non-technical people.

The truth is that most of my articles will be easy to understand by anyone, but without the prerequisite knowledge of the subject matter they would not be able to do anything with them.  Occasionally I hear from someone that ‘Wow, I read your article, and I was actually able to understand what you were talking about!” That is because I make things as complicated as they have to be… and no more so.

I will continue to write as I have, and will aspire to do better.  I will try to continue to write about topics that I find interesting and relevant… that goal seems to have served me well over the past seven years.  Thank you for reading. -Mitch

A Humbling Recognition

mustreaditblog_160x200Last week a tweet came across my Twitter feed from Amy Babinchak congratulating me on being one of the fifty must-read IT blogs.  I had to turn to Bing for the details.  It turns out that BizTech Magazine published an article titled 50 Must-Read IT Blogs from BizTech.  The honour comes complete with a badge that you can add to articles and e-mails (and I suppose business cards and letterhead and maybe even storefront signs).  It looks strikingly similar to the one attached here!

I have been blogging since before it was fashionable, and since before it was called blogging. If you were on my mailing list in the late 1990s and early 2000s then chances are you would receive my writings periodically in a mass e-mail. I assume that these helped me find my way onto numerous spam lists, and I only wished there had been an easier way for me to share my opinions with so many people.

I feel like Sally Field in 1985 (You like me… you really like me!)… I was surprised and humbled to be mentioned in the same article as some of the companies and people whose blogs made up the list.  My friend Sean Daniel definitely deserves to be there (sbs.seandaniel.com) and the Tenable Network Security people who make Nessus is a no brainer, along with people like the CTO for EMC (Scott Lowe) and Hitachi Data Systems (Hu Yoshida).  A number of VMware employees made the list (Steve Jin and Duncan Epping) which is great to see, as did several Microsoft, Cisco, Citrix, and cloud bloggers (which certainly demonstrates a trend in the industry).

The World According to Mitch is all over the map; it is because I am truly an IT generalist with a great many interests.  It is easy to say ‘Mitch must be working with System Center Essentials this year because he posted three articles on it…’ but they may be intermingled with posts about virtualization, clustering, laptops, and travel.

As I wrote in a recent article (that will actually be published next week) The World According to Mitch was named temporarily (four years ago) because I had to change the name (I was no longer the president of MITPro, so The President’s Blog didn’t work), and because the movie The World According to Garp was on TV at the moment when I was prompted to enter a name.  Some (my mother, actually) thought it was an egotistical name, but it really fits because I write about a myriad of topics about everything from my point of view.  Who knows?  I might keep it.

Thanks again to the folks at BizTech Magazine for the recognition… I hope I can continue to blog and deserve the title!