What Are We Up to at DatacenterDude.com?

By on 03/23/2015.

You may have noticed some things changing over here at DatacenterDude.com. New names appearing, higher frequency of content, guest slots on the podcast, the list goes on.

History

Since the late 90s, I’ve administered more communities and websites than I can remember.  It was always done as a hobby or because “I was the tech guy that knew how to do it.”  Everything from car enthusiast forums to World of Warcraft guilds. I will admit, there is an incredible pride one feels when people use something you create, whether that be a product, website, or community. This is what I’ve always kept in mind when designing and building these sites.  “How would I like this? Would I use it? What would I like? What would I do differently?” And 9 times out of 10, I would always find a way to implement things.  This is in no way to say that I am a web developer, but I have a very strong opinion when it comes to User Experience (UX) and always focus my attention there.

2011

Even though this website was created out of a necessity to host a blog, and a lacking in the current platform that NetApp was using at the time, it has grown into something I never would have imagined. And I’m not just talking about a website. There’s something special that a blog does to you as an individual. A certain level of transparency, integrity, vulnerability. It’s hard to explain. It’s even harder to capture in a corporate platform, honestly, which is where I think a lot of corporate community environments fall down. The authenticity is lost.

For the past two years, you my wonderful readers have shown your support for me and we’ve been voted in at #17 and #23 on the vSphere-land.com Top Blog voting, and I thank you for that, wholeheartedly. It continues to push me to do more, write more, and expand the topics we cover. Best of luck to all of my fellow bloggers in the 2015 race, as we anxiously await the coming results!

UPDATE! We moved up one slot to #22 in the results! Top 5 podcast and Top 5 storage blog! Thank you to everyone that showed up to vote!

2014

…was an interesting year of introspection. I noticed the numbers were falling. I had to take a big step back and re-think my approach.  Over the course of the year, I talked with many of you about what was missing from the site.  Here are a few of the big takeaways…

  • More frequent content
  • More diverse than just NetApp
  • Make the podcast more engaging
  • Reviews and suggestions on Consumer products
  • Home Labs
  • Thought Leadership from a real practitioner, not just a NetApp mouthpiece
  • … and much more

Believe me when I say, I took all of the feedback to heart, and in a constructive/positive way.

2015

In order to accomplish a lot of these goals, I had to realize one thing:

I don’t scale.

I needed to take more of a backseat editorial role, and help usher in the next generation of great authors, bloggers, and technical writers. As it stands today, we’ve added TEN new writers to DatacenterDude.com! You can meet the one’s that have posted already on the About page. The first few are from NetApp, as they were talents I hand-picked, but we’ve also added two channel partners, a customer, and am in talks with a couple from other various vendors outside the scope of NetApp and even storage. I’m specifically looking for people that I know are great writers but perhaps don’t have the wherewithal to take on the overhead of maintaining a website. It’s a win/win for both parties, but especially for you, our readers! More content, more diversity, more often!

One of the other things that is in the works currently is the planning of migrating the NetApp Communities Podcast to a NetApp-owned property. Most likely, this will be a unique domain with one job: To host/stream the show. It will still be the regular cast of characters, and I’ll still be producing the show, but this will allow us to leverage the NetApp brand even further, have official placements in marketing efforts, and access to funds to improve the show. It won’t just be “some rogue employee” running a podcast with a NetApp logo on it.  I expect this to be a longer, drawn-out process over time, but we will keep you up-to-date with plans and any needs to update subscription URLs, etc. Stay tuned!

I’ve got a lot planned for the next year, and I’m thankful to have all of you along for the ride!  Please continue to support our new writers, share their posts, follow them on twitter, etc etc! Encourage them and tell them how awesome they are, and where they could improve! We’re all about transparency here, and we write all this stuff for you, dear reader.

Here’s to an awesome 2015!

Nick Howell
Tech Evangelist at DatacenterDude, LLC
One of the top technology evangelists in the IT Industry, Nick Howell has spent 15 years driving multi-million dollar solutions across multiple Fortune 500 companies and implementing new systems from an engineering, architectural, and consultant capacity across many industry verticals including finance, defense, retail & more.

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