Hi, welcome to my new blog, Nodal Bits!
I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for so long, without ever having launched my own blog before! Doesn’t it seem odd?
The long and the short of it is that I’ve had my personal site, Silvery.com, hosted on the same server for many years now, and the downside of dedicated hosting is that I am not big on a lot of the parts of sys admin work that come with it, such as upgrading Perl, PHP, MySQL, CPanel software, etc. Added to that, my hosting company changed hands and migrated servers once or twice, and it all adds up to the server not being an easy place to install WordPress software.
But, I’ve now set up the blog on one of the top hosts recommended by WordPress.org (Bluehost), and I have to say it was fantastically easy and turn-key. Harder parts were strategic decisions, such as: did I want to host on a subdomain of Silvery, or a completely standalone domain? If standalone, what domain name would I want, and was it available? Then, the marketer’s usual agonizing over branding aspects — should I go narrow-focus, or broad? Finally, the endless tinkering with the custom theme I made and setup options. Nodal Bits is the result.
I first got into blogging when my good friend, Stephan Spencer, invited me to guest-blog at Natural Search Blog, along with a few others. I’d been planning to start blogging anyway, so Stephan’s invite was really timely, and having an optimal blog all ready to go was just too inviting to pass up! As it turned out, most of the other folx he invited to post there rarely every posted at all, so for a few years it was mostly my naive gushings. Some people even now refer to it as “Chris Silver Smith’s blog”, although it remains a group-authored publication.
After blogging there for a while, some of my posts caught the attention of Danny Sullivan, and he invited me to speak at a Search Engine Strategies conference. Also, I continued blogging at Natural Search Blog after leaving my company at the time (Superpages.com) to join Stephan’s company, Netconcepts.
This isn’t really intended to turn into any sort of detailed biography, but I just wanted to point out the importance of blogging. More than I ever expected before I started blogging, I find it to be empowering. I once had dinner with Mike Moran, who related to me that even though he’d been awarded the title of “Distinguished Engineer” within IBM (the job title is somewhat similar to reaching tenured status in academia), he’d found that only when he began writing on his Biznology blog did he feel that he really gained a “voice” within his company.
Mike’s observation really struck a chord with me, because it described my own experience somewhat similarly. Here he was, one of IBM’s top engineers, with major successes under his belt, with recognition from the top of the company, and with a title to make it clear to everyone — and he didn’t feel as recognized or respected as he might’ve UNTIL he began blogging regularly!
Mike’s experience, and mine, are not really unique. It seems that companies commonly have a bit of the mindset described by the old aphorism that “prophets aren’t respected in their own land.” Further, there are many employees, toiling away for years behind the walls of their corporations, who are rarely known for their accomplishments and abilities outside of their own companies.
Blogging seems to break down these barriers like nothing else. An employee who blogs consistently and well may develop a standing outside of their company, and this can give them greater influence within their company along with recognition from outside (which is a bit of a “freeing” sensation).
All this to say that I consider blogging to be highly important. Individuals working within corporate America should treat blogging as more important than keeping their resumes up-to-date! If you haven’t started blogging yet, start setting up your own blog somewhere today.
I hope you’ll find my new blog, Nodal Bits, to be informative and entertaining.