Two Years of Blogging Dangerously

On April 9, 2012, a little more than two years ago, I started on a project to write a blog that would help me establish myself in the new career I had chosen for myself as a project manager.

1.  How it Started

I had been urged by Greg Johnson, who ran a blog for his Above the Rim Executive Coaching business, to start a blog to establish my identity or “brand”, and I set one up at the end of 2011.    I did a few posts, but didn’t really “get” what I was to use the blog for.    Then I took a 7-week course from the Project Management Institute’s Orange County chapter that would help me prepare for the project management certification exam.    A group of us who were taking the course got together for a study group, and I decided I would take the material we were studying for that week and write one blog post every day reviewing it.    On the weekends I relaxed and did blog posts on subjects I was interested in personally, if not professionally.    I started on April 9th and produced that first post–and I have been going every day since then, missing on average only one day per year.

2.  How it Grew

Gradually, not just the people in our study group, but others in the class started looking at the collection of notes I had built up, and then those studying for the certification exam in other locations around the world  happened to look up my blog articles on project management by looking up key words like “earned value management” and being directed to my blog.

When I first started, I was excited if I got 10 “hits” on my blog.   Now there are days when I’ve reached 1,000 or more.  Here are my current statistics for the blog:

Number of posts:  739

Number of viewers:  179,340

Number of countries:   186

The last statistic is the one that is actually the most impressive to me, because it means that people from 186 out of 196 countries around the world.  Practically the entire globe contains people who have read my blog.

Compared to some internet celebrities, this figure is probably not that impressive.    Stephen Fry has over 4,000,000 followers on Twitter.   Prof. Juan Cole often gets 100,000 visitors regarding a single post alone.    But compared to where I started, it is a clear tale of growth and success.

3.  What it Means

When I say “two years of blogging dangerously”, what I mean is that the contents of my blog are not dangerous.   I may cover global warming and other risks of global scale, but what I mean is that the blog has given me confidence, the confidence that I allowed to be taken from me when I was laid off in 2010.    The dangerous idea is that I will not wait for someone to give me a chance, a lament I heard from so many other people who like me had been laid off.   I will use this space to take myself from an amateur to an expert in my new profession, and I will refuse to internalize the low regard some members of society manufacture towards those who are looking for work in order to absolve itself of any responsibility for the welfare of its members.    I absolutely refuse to believe that narrative, and instead I have used this blog to create my own narrative.

Here I work hard every day, at least an hour or sometimes more, to create notes that I write to myself and others on subjects that I am passionate about.    It is an online journal, if you will.   I have a private journal which I use for planning purposes, but also to inspire myself into thinking positively.    I take the same attitude that Lincoln did in the midst of the Civil War, when according to Doris Kearns Goodwin in her book Team of Rivals, “Lincoln withstood the storm of defeat by replacing anguish over an unchangeable past with hope in an uncharted future.”   No, I cannot change the fact that I, along with many others, were cast out of their jobs and in some cases, their professions by companies that were doing this in order to survive in the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression.   I can, like Lincoln, spend time hoping in an uncharted future, but even more than that, this blog allows me to be able to, to the utmost of my ability, chart that future.    This makes it dangerous, but only to the status quo which I used to believe in.   It didn’t believe in me, and I now return the favor of not believing in it.   What I believe is that engaging the world every day in a passionate way will cause the world to engage me back–and it’s already starting to happen.

That is why I blog, and will continue to do so.



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