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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.

Not thrilled with WordPress today…

image I want to be clear that this is a one-time rant.  I generally LOVE WordPress.  I think it is an excellent blogging platform and I recommend it to everyone who asks.  This is probably ‘just one of those things.’  As well, it is actually a rant about the WordPress App for Windows 8, and not actually about WordPress at all.

Last week I got my new computer, complete with Windows 8.  Of course I am not new to Windows 8 – it has been my primary platform for nearly two years now – and I am certainly not a novice.  As I am sick and stuck in a hotel room for a couple of days (by the way, any Montreal peeps who want to bring my chicken soup will get a prize – don’t know what) I decided to get blogging.

I usually blog from Windows Live Writer.  I have been using it for years, and have never seen a good reason to change.  However I have been hoping since the release of Windows 8 that they would come out with a modern version, and barring that would have tried a different blogging platform if I found a really good one.

I installed and configured the WordPress app, and it dutifully found my blog and all that rot.  I then remembered a colleague mentioning that he had used that app to actually write his articles, and it wasn’t bad.  I decided to try it out.

I started writing, and it seemed pretty intuitive, with some features that even the newest Live Writer doesn’t have (autocorrect).  I was getting into it, but someone pinged me on Lync and I tabbed to that conversation.  When I was done chatting I went bac…. huh?  It’s gone?  It’s not there?  Whatchu talkin bout Willis?  It was simply… gone.  No auto-save, nothing.  It was as if I had never sat down at the computer.

I think we are in dire need of a better app, and until we get one I am back to Windows Live Writer… from which I am happy to say I have tabbed away from several times during the writing of this rant and it has not been lost even once.

Vacation Time!

Dear friends, colleagues, and loyal followers.

I want to thank you for visiting The World According to Mitch.  It is because of you that I have been able to achieve the incredible successes I have over the past year.

Since returning from vacation last January I have posted over 250 articles in this space.  Granted, some of them (maybe a dozen) were older articles that I had pulled from my archives, but the vast majority of them were new, which means that I wrote (conservatively) two hundred and forty articles in 2012.  If writing was all that I did I expect I would still deserve a vacation!

Freedom ResizedBut of course, that is not all I do.  I have spent most of 2012 on contract to Microsoft, which has had me traveling some 190 days… Air Canada and Marriott thank me profusely for that.

On Friday January 4th Mrs. Garvis and I are flying to Miami where we are meeting up with some friends.  On Saturday the four of us are boarding a cruise ship that will take us out of cell phone range, out of Internet range.  We will spend a blessed week cruising the eastern Caribbean with tropical ports of call, fine food, fine drinks, fine cigars, good friends, and hopefully great weather.  We will relax, we will tell jokes, and I will not use my computer for anything work related.

That does not mean that I will not be bringing my laptop along with me; unfortunately my primary laptop crashed and burned last week in my car accident, but fortunately I have a few spares, and I will take one of them with me.  During the week I will write about whatever suits me – probably a travelogue or two – along the way.  It may be about ship-board activity, or I may ponder the meaning of life.  If we are to be entirely honest, I would bet on the former over the latter, and it will likely be with a tinge of leftover intoxication.

Do not fear, I have not left you empty handed. I would not want to go dark for a week and see my hits drop like a stone.  So in preparation for my absence I have prepared five articles that are scheduled to publish while I am gone.  Three will be published first to my other blog, and two are unique to this one.  I hope you enjoy them, and have comments and questions waiting for me upon my return!

Mitch & Theresa

Yes, this is what I look like in a bathing suit! And yes, she married me anyways!

Friday January 4: Installing NetFx3 on Windows Server 2012

Friday January 4: Microsoft’s 2012 Products: Why can’t they all just work together?

Monday January 7: Shared Nothing Live Migration: Goodbye Shared Storage?

Thursday January 10: iSCSI Storage in Windows Server 2012

Monday January 14: Failover Clustering: Let’s spread the Hyper-V love across hosts!

As you can see I have spent a great deal of focus on storage; In November my colleague Pierre and I sat down to plan out our blog topics, and realized that many of you are playing with Hyper-V, but are stuck in a single host because you don’t have a SAN device in your practice lab.  We agreed that I would write this series taking you from zero to Failover Cluster in Windows Server 2012.  The first article in the series was published in December, and the last three are here.  I look forward to hearing everyone’s comments upon my return.

With that I bid you all farewell, not for long, but just long enough.  Again, I want to thank you again for making my blog one of the most popular IT blogs on the Internet.

Yours Always,

Mitch

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!

A Banner Day!

In 2007 I was asked to write a guest blog post for the Canadian IT Pro Connection.  Over the course of the next few years I wrote several articles for them, many of which were cross-posted to or from this site.  However it was last month when I joined the team I went on a blogging frenzy… until I realized that parts of the job were also a bit of a frenzy Winking smile  I’ll be getting back to that this afternoon though.

For now I am thrilled to see that the site banner has changed.  Both Pierre Roman and I are now officially resident bloggers for the Canadian IT Pro Connection.  As of this morning the banner reflects that.

image

As a longtime follower of this blog, remembering back to the days when Rick, Rodney, and others were resident bloggers, we know that we have some big shoes to fill (and hats!) and we will do our best to maintain the quality and relevance of the content.

As always we are interested in your feedback.  If you have a comment a specific post you can put it in the Comments section; if it is on the blog in general (or the team) then you can e-mail any of us directly – my e-mail address is b-mitchg@microsoft.com.

Oh, and for those of you who are sure to comment that they are disappointed that I am not wearing my hat in the banner picture, I’ll try to post one here later on Smile

Thank you!

Over the past few months I have been astounded to see the growth in this site’s readership.  One of my goals over the past year has been to make this site as relevant as possible to as many IT Pros as possible, and I can tell that it has worked.  The site has received a number of awards, and I have to admit that it is really cool when someone comes up to me in a foreign country to discuss an article that I wrote.

In November, 2010 I reset this site and started from scratch; I did not wipe the content, of course… I ported over as many articles from the original site as I thought were relevant.  Thanks to Cory Fowler The World According to Mitch had a new home on WordPress.com, and all of a sudden all of my comments and statistics were reset to zero.

Building my brand has been an uphill battle, and a rewarding challenge.  It is amazing to look back at February of 2011 and see that the site had 746 hits.  Eleven months later, in January of this year, it had (at the time) a record 4,720 hits.  I was thrilled by that number!  I was however surprised to see as I wrote more and more that the number kept going up, month over month.

This morning I woke up and checked the counter; I was watching it all evening last night because there was a very special milestone that would break either Friday or Saturday.  When I went to sleep last night there were 9,950 hits for the month of September, so when I checked the counter this morning and it said 117 hits I knew we had done it… our first ever month with 10,000 hits!  It is certainly a milestone worth celebrating.

Speaking of milestones, there are a few that I have hit this year, and a few more that I expect to.  For example, sometime in the next week the site will welcome its 60,000th visitor of the year (2011 had 26,487 hits).  That is really exciting for me.  Also, since the reset, the site has had (as of Saturday morning) 88,000 hits, which means that at the current pace sometime in early November we will be celebrating 100,000 hits.  Not bad for a kid from Montreal, huh?

I want to thank all of you for your support; I have enjoyed blogging, and will continue to do so.  However I want to make sure that I am staying relevant, so please feel free to ping me and let me know what topics interest you!  I don’t make any promises, but I am writing this blog for you, and so I want to continue to read it!!

Thanks again… here’s to making the next 88,000 as interesting as the last 88,000!

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