Note: This was originally posted to www.endusersharepoint.com.
A few weeks ago I had the chance to speak at SharePoint Saturday in New York. Once again, a tremendous event. This time, I spoke about “learning SharePoint” – a very broad topic. During the presentation (which you can get here), I talked about a variety of techniques for “learning” SharePoint, including stuff like book learning, class room training, creating your own VM and most importantly (to me), community participation. One way to participate in the SharePoint community is via blogging. Someone asked me about blogging in particular and asked my opinion on a few concerns he had that I’ve heard others mention before. It’s been itching at the back of my head for a few weeks so in my usual fashion, I’m scratching that itch by blogging about it.
Some people seem to think that there are so many quality bloggers out there on the scene today and that so many quality blog entries have been written that in a sense, there’s nothing new to write about. Or, the “new” thing is so narrowly focused that it’s not going to be interesting to anyone. I don’t agree with those sentiments or the underlying assumption about them.
For starters, if you’re blogging because it’s part of your personal attempt at learning SharePoint well, it’s really irrelevant if someone has written on your topic or not. One of the drivers behind community participation, whether it’s for personal learning or not, is that you need to get it right. No one wants to put up some weak blog entry and look silly in front of the world. In the course of getting it right, you’re going to think the subject through more carefully, etc. Thus, you’re thinking, studying and considering this topic from all kinds of angles, left to right, up to down, inside and out (or at least you should be). That’s a very valuable exercise. In fact, it’s almost beside the point of pushing the “post” button by the time you finish writing it since you’ve already derived much of the benefit by now. Of course, you do want to push the post button anyway for a variety of reasons, but I digress. The bottom line is that blogging is a valuable learning exercise in and of itself, period.
I also reject the “it’s already been done” argument. So what if it was? The terrible consequence is that people who are looking up your topic via bing will now find two or five or a dozen articles. Who cares? I always prefer to find several articles on the same topic when I go searching the tubes for stuff. Different points of view, different writing styles, different approaches to the same problem – they all help me understand what I need. In my opinion, the community is no where close to reaching a saturation point on good quality blog articles on any topic in the SharePoint world.
So, blog away! You won’t hear me complaining about it. I guarantee it 🙂
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