Chris Webb's BI Blog

Analysis Services, MDX, PowerPivot, DAX and anything BI-related

This Is My 1000th Blog Post

with 22 comments

Just a few months away from the tenth anniversary of my first post here, I’ve reached the milestone that is my 1000th blog post. If you’ve been with me since back then, thanks for reading! I have no idea how I managed to write so much – it’s an average of around two posts per week, which I certainly haven’t managed recently – but I suspect that the answer lies in the fact that I posted a lot of rubbish here in the early years that I’m embarrassed by now.

I can remember the day when I decided to start this blog quite well. It was just after Christmas so the office was quiet and I didn’t have much work to do; blogging was the cool new thing back in late 2004 and having discovered that Mosha had started a blog I thought it was something I should be doing too, so as not to be left behind. Microsoft had just launched its own blogging platform so I signed myself up. I didn’t think I would stick at it this long…

At first I thought I would just use it writing up solutions to common Analysis Services and MDX problems, so that I didn’t have to keep repeating myself when I was answering questions on the microsoft.public.sqlserver.olap newsgroup. I kept going, though, for a lot of other reasons:

  • To remember what I’ve learned. If I didn’t write this stuff down I would forget it, and trust me, I’m always googling for old posts here. This also explains why there is very little overall structure or purpose to what I write about. Technical books need to cover a topic very methodically: start at the basics, explain all the concepts and functionality, not miss anything out, and so on. Here, if I learn something interesting and useful while at work, or helping someone on a forum, or while playing around with a new tool, I just need to write that one thing down and not worry about whether it fits into some greater plan.
  • I also find that the act of writing up a problem or topic for a post helps me understand it better. To be able to explain a technical concept you first have to be sure you understand it properly yourself, and writing for other people forces you to do that.
  • To pass on Microsoft BI-related news. I work with these tools every day and so it’s natural that I want to find out what new toys I’ll have to play with in the future. I find this stuff interesting and fun, and it seems like there are several thousand other people around the world who also want to know what’s going on (even if we might not want to admit this publicly). I like airing my opinions too: sometimes Microsoft does things I agree with, sometimes it does things I think are crazy, and since my career and business is wholly dependent on Microsoft BI I think the occasional bit of public feedback is healthy and allowable. Brent Ozar sums up my feelings on this subject perfectly here. I’ve got in trouble once or twice for things I’ve written, but I’ve never regretted writing any of my posts.
  • It’s marketing for my consultancy and training. I have to make a living somehow, and if I didn’t blog then it would be much harder to find customers – I think my blog is much more valuable in this respect than writing books or speaking at conferences or user groups. I don’t want to sound cynical, though, and I don’t see this blog as something that is purely commercial. I love to share and it just so happens that sharing my knowledge is also good for business. Some two years after starting this blog, just after I resigned from my permie job to become a self-employed consultant, one of my soon-to-be ex-colleagues said to me “You know, you’ll have to stop blogging now: why would anyone hire you if they can read everything you know on your blog for free?”. I didn’t have a good answer for him at the time but I soon found that if someone finds the answer to a problem on my blog, they are much more likely to think about hiring me when they have a problem they can’t solve. What’s more, I firmly believe that the way that people in the SQL Server community share knowledge publicly, even when they are aware that this knowledge could be used by their competitors, means that the community as a whole is stronger, SQL Server is more successful, and we all benefit more commercially than if we had not shared in the first place.
  • I enjoy writing so I’m quite happy to spend my spare time writing blog posts. There’s no way I could have forced myself to write a thousand posts if I didn’t enjoy doing it. I also travel a lot for work, so that results in a lot of time spent in airports and hotel rooms with nothing better to do. To make another comparison with writing tech books: a tech book has to be objective, impartial, polished, structured, sober and impersonal, whereas a blog is (or at least in my opinion should be) personal, subjective, haphazard, rough-edged and sometimes controversial. This makes blogging less of an effort and more of a pleasure.
  • Finally, I admit it, I get a kick out of knowing that when I write something there are people out there who want to read it.

Will I make it to my 2000th post? I have no idea, but I probably will if Microsoft are still making BI tools and I’m still using them.

Written by Chris Webb

August 31, 2014 at 11:45 pm

Posted in Random Thoughts

22 Responses

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  1. Congratulations, this is a great milestone!
    I’m just above 500 posts on my blog, no chances to reach you!

    Marco Russo

    August 31, 2014 at 11:51 pm

  2. Nice – and congratulations!

    Paul te Braak

    August 31, 2014 at 11:51 pm

  3. Congrats! … and many thanks for the first 1000 posts!!!

    Rafael Paim

    September 1, 2014 at 12:37 am

  4. Thanks! I’ve used your blogs as reference at least once per week.

    Donald Parish

    September 1, 2014 at 1:10 am

  5. Excellent job for the Comunity

    Jesús López (SYNTAX)

    September 1, 2014 at 7:46 am

  6. Thanks for me too. I have found your posts so informative.

    Mary

    September 1, 2014 at 8:28 am

  7. Thanks Chris for writing these posts. They are a great inspiration and information source.

    Jaro

    September 1, 2014 at 9:39 am

  8. Congratulations Chris!!! This is just awesome. And by the way, there is absolutely no need to feel emberassed about your early posts because your blog was a source of inspiration and help from the very beginning until today. So I’m really looking forward to the next 1000 posts :))

    Hilmar Buchta

    September 1, 2014 at 10:28 am

  9. Congrats on the 1k mark sir! I know I’ve referred people to your consultancy based off the blog, too. It really does help.

    brento

    September 1, 2014 at 1:50 pm

  10. Congrats Chris… And a big thanks for writing all of them. I have learned a lot from you and your posts, I actually owe my career to people like you (and I am sure that there are many others out there too like me! :)).

    jason

    September 1, 2014 at 4:05 pm

  11. well done Chris, you are the best of the best. Thank you for your GREAT contribution to the community.

    Binh Cao

    September 2, 2014 at 12:15 am

  12. Congratulations! Your fantastic posts (and books) have been invaluable to me through the years. Thank you.

    Jen Underwood

    September 2, 2014 at 2:57 am

  13. Keep up the great work Chris and keep em coming :)

    Herain Oberoi

    September 2, 2014 at 5:50 am

  14. Congratulations for all the good work you are doing
    I’m regularly forwarding some posts you write to me colleagues, and the thing I appreciate the most is probably the way you alternate from focus on technical stuff to wide overview of MS BI tendancies.
    Thanks and keep it going!

    VincentB

    September 2, 2014 at 8:57 am

  15. Congratulations Chris. I have learned lot from your blog posts, thank you.

    Vijay Pattar

    September 2, 2014 at 9:17 am

  16. Well done Chris, I’ve picked up many a tidbit from you over the years.
    Keep it up!

    Brian Keay

    September 2, 2014 at 9:32 am

  17. Congratulations, Chris! Keep up the good work, your blog is the place where I look first. Thank you so much!

    notaconsultant

    September 2, 2014 at 9:33 am

  18. Congratulations, Chris! Your posts and books have been an invaluable resource in my work. The cube design work you did for part of our production system is still in place. Thanks.

    David Clem

    September 2, 2014 at 1:47 pm

  19. Nice work Chris. This is why I still refer OLAP/SSAS/MDX newbies to your BLOG. Of course – I still use it too!

    Paul Goldy

    September 2, 2014 at 5:30 pm

  20. Congratulations! And, I believe that your posts have helped guide Microsoft as well as us.

    David Hager

    September 2, 2014 at 6:00 pm

  21. Congratulations, and well done!

    Rafal Lukawiecki

    September 3, 2014 at 6:13 pm

  22. Keep up the good work Chris your blog posts have saved me hours of head banging

    Geoff Lister

    September 12, 2014 at 9:53 am


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