The difference between blogging about something you know, and something you are learning (Love blogging! Live!)

4

January 31, 2018 by Kenneth Fisher

Challenge accepted!


The first thing I do when starting a blog post is open notepad (yes I blog mostly in notepad) and create a text file. The first line is the working title of the blog and then I get it saved. That way, going forward, I just have to hit ctrl-S. Next, I’ll paste in any links that are my inspiration, if any. In this case the tweet above, and save again.

Now, if I have time/interest I’ll start writing. In this case, I wasn’t quite sure where to start so I put it aside and let my subconscious work on it for a bit. In this case, I had the idea to do it this way with the creative process in little blocks on the side.

Blogging about something I know pretty well
This was originally the second part but I decided it made more sense to put it first.

A while back I did a checklist of a whole bunch of things I know about identity columns. I’ve been working with them for a long time so it was a pretty long list. If you look in the comments, though, you’ll see that several people added things to the list.

I started with just pretty well but decided didn’t quite cover what I wanted so I added the expert comment. No one knows everything.

Just because I know something pretty well doesn’t mean I know everything, heck, even if I’m an expert I never assume I know it all. So I always anticipate corrections, additions, etc. I don’t always get or even need them, but it’s always nice when I do. I get to learn something new.

Blogging about something I’m learning
This is the post that started me thinking about writing this so it’s where I started. Honestly, at this point I was just writing in stream of consciousness.

Recently I did a blog about installing SQL Server on an Azure VM. You’d think it would be a pretty simple subject. I mean you create a VM, then you install SQL on it. But I’m still pretty new to Azure so a lot of it is a learning experience for me. I made a comment that once you had the install media on a drive you could attach it to multiple different VMs (one at a time).

At this point I’ve told the story as it stands. The I’m new to this part. So where do I go from here? Well, I need a post where I know something reasonably well. This led to the identity post I mentioned above. I had some good comments and learned some new stuff. It was perfect and tied the blog about learning part in nicely.

But Azure, so I wasn’t all that certain. I asked online and got a variety of answers. Including using sysprep (I know nothing about VMs so this was completely new to me), an Azure file share, or just copying the disk to each VM. Each has its own benefits, and honestly, I have no idea how to do any of them (yet).

Tying it together

Took a break here to think about how I wanted to talk about this part. By break I mean play a game for a bit, watch some TV that type of thing.

You’ll notice that regardless of how much I know about a subject I expect/hope to learn more. The big difference is really about confidence and anticipated volume of new information. With something I know I don’t feel a need to ask a lot of questions. I typically know enough to

At this point I deleted about a paragraph. Some of which I really liked, but overall it didn’t seem to be going the way I wanted it to. One of the things I’ve learned over the years is don’t be afraid to throw away something that isn’t working and try again.

do a search for information rather than having to ask someone more experienced. With something new, I’m far less confident and question myself quite a bit more when posting information. Note that this doesn’t stop me from posting. In some ways, I’m even more excited about these posts and the potential comments. Just by asking a random twitter question I learned a ton, and on top of that got several more places to look at.

I almost continued here but sometimes shorter is better.

In fact, one of my lingering questions about the cloud (how to create a copy of an existing VM rather than using a template) was answered.

I said at the beginning that I usually write the first pass of my blogs in notepad. Not this one. This was essentially writing two blogs at once, one of them inside the other. Way too complicated for my normal method.

Normally once I’m done with notepad I dump it into the WordPress editor and check the layout, formatting (I write in HTML formatting as I go), spelling and grammar (aside from the built-in checks I also use the free version of Grammarly), wording, etc. I’ll preview, read for a bit, make some changes, preview again, check some more etc. In fact, I frequently have to stop myself at some point or I’ll just keep making changes for the sake of changes. The big difference here is that I wrote it completely (other than the first few paragraphs) in the WordPress editor. That meant that I was doing grammar checks, wording changes, etc constantly. While I might usually have 10 or so revisions, this particular post had more than 40. I will admit though that this was one of the more fun blogs I’ve done in quite a while.

4 thoughts on “The difference between blogging about something you know, and something you are learning (Love blogging! Live!)

  1. This is probably the first time I read a meta-blog 😉

  2. sarakhan121 says:

    Very cool article !!! thank you

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