The Best Virtualization Bloggers Announced — A Vibrant Community of Passionate Bloggers

In an open vote, the best bloggers were just voted on by the community. Blue Shift received the fewest votes and I’ll explain in a bit why I’m pleasantly surprised with those results, but first I’d like to talk about this exciting and growing community.

Eric Siebert runs vsphere-land.com and held the vote for the top virtualization bloggers. According to Eric, 115 blogs were considered which is almost double the amount of blogs at this point last year. The fact that there are so many new bloggers demonstrates that there are a lot of knowledgeable and passionate people out there who want to share their knowledge and ideas on virtualization and cloud computing.

Why is the community growing so much? I think a big part is the technology and the great products that make it possible to use. Virtualization is a game-changing, paradigm shift, disruptive technology. It changes the way we do things, and opens up new possibilities. It reduces costs and increases business agility. In fact all these things speak to how Blue Shift got it’s name.

Of course the other side is a really great group of people who have stepped out to share their knowledge and passion with the community. This really is a strong community of professionals with some really outstanding people. I’ve been following some of the top blogs for years now and it’s been really exciting to see the community grow and flourish around them. There is a huge demand for information on virtualization and cloud computing and this community is stepping up to fill that need on a daily basis.

The top blogs in the voting came out pretty close to how I would have ranked them and the result is a really good “who’s who” in virtualization bloggers.  You should be following the Top 25 if you’re not already.

Today less than 25% of all servers are virtualized and cloud computing is just getting started in many areas, so I only expect this community to continue to grow and thrive.

Blue Shift and advice for new bloggers

When I started Blue Shift my motivation was simply to share my knowledge and ideas around virtualization and it already has been very rewarding for me personally.

Being last in the voting (as far as number of votes) I’m not in a great position to be offering advice but hopefully by the end of this post it my offer will make more sense. 🙂

First of all I want to explain why I am pleasantly surprised that Blue Shift did as well as it did. Consider the following:

  • Blue Shift was started as a personal experiment 3 months ago (July).
  • Blue Shift has been on Planet v12n for about 6 weeks.
  • Most of my first six weeks  of posts were never seen by this community.
  • I haven’t touched a VMware product in almost a year (I expect this to to change soon).
  • I don’t work for VMware, EMC or a consultancy. I’m just another in-house IT guy.
  • I did not vote for Blue Shift nor did I ask anyone else to.

Given all these obstacles, now you can see why I was surprised that even 10 of 700 voters would have even considered Blue Shift to be in their top 10! And to those 10 of you who voted for Blue Shift, thank you very much! 🙂

By the way Eric, at one point you did mention prizes for the results and I’m holding you to your promise. You can send my whoopee cushion to my office address.

I didn’t start Blue Shift to be in a popularity contest, I don’t collect any ad revenue (but I have expenses), and I doubt that under any circumstances that I would ever be in the Top 25, but I enjoy doing it and my reward is knowing that some in the community find my contributions valuable. The fact that I am even on this list is with some of the great community bloggers is an honor as far as I am concerned.

If you’re a new blogger or thinking about starting a blog there’s still a great demand. A few years ago VMWare had just a handful of products but today there are more than two-dozen VMware products and growing. The community needs good storage, networking, security, cloud and business-minded bloggers who can go deep and specialize in the wide array of products and technology that now comprise virtualization and cloud computing.

If you have started a new blog or are thinking of starting a new blog here are some tips I would offer:

1)  Don’t be an echo chamber

You often see the “echo” effect when there’s a major new product release, or event (such as the top blogger results) as many bloggers are writing about the same event around the same time.

Try to be unique and create your own content as much as possible. Refer to other blogs when possible, but don’t rely on them for the bulk of your content. Write something that is either unique itself or offers a unique perspective on the topic.

2) Drill deep but don’t lose the big picture

Good technical articles will drill deep but don’t become myopic (nearsighted). Take a step back and consider the broader picture and any underlying concepts or relationships that will make your post more relevant and more interesting.

3) Be passionate and enjoy what you do

If you believe what you are writing about and are passionate about it, it will show. The best bloggers here are very passionate about what they write about. If you enjoy what you are writing about it will show, so choose your content accordingly.

4.  Be patient

I remember in the first months writing some posts I was proud about and having less than 5 unique visotors a day on my site :). It takes time – months in most cases – for search engines and other bloggers to notice you. So don’t be discouraged – be persistent and over time you should see steady improvements.

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