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Launching LotusGuru Blog

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Rocky Oliver's recent thoughts on consulting success deserve credit as a key inspiration in finally taking the necessary steps to make this blog happen. Five years ago when I first became an independent Lotus Notes consultant, I wrote an article for DominoPower.com which didn't generate much (noticeable) interest, leading me to conclude that taking the time to write more articles wasn't very cost-effective.

Since then I've learned that I have been underestimating the bottom-line value of that sort of exposure. The point is not to expect a potential client or employer to read the article and then call you up with a job offer. Rather, when a recruiter finds your resume on Dice or Monster or wherever, published articles (or in this case blogging) will lend you instant credibility and sets you apart from much of the pack. It helps that I have a lot to say, and enjoy sharing knowledge, helping others, and generally sounding off anyway.

My friend Jim Knight over at Lavatech provides a good example of how being published can pay off. Aside from publishing articles in his own right on his site, he also includes a section many Lotus professionals may be familiar with for posting resumes that recruiters (or anyone for that matter) can then browse for free. Last summer, before I even knew who Jim was, I posted my resume on his site thinking not much would ever come of it. Not long after, Jim himself called me up having seen the resume and read my article. As he tells the story, it was the article that really made a difference in his perception of me, and I've been picking up much of his overflow client work ever since. He might have called me anyway, but he certainly called me sooner thanks to the article.

As my tagline "One man's quest to promote global enlightenment through Lotus Domino, and a few other bits of wisdom" would suggest, this site will be largely but not entirely Domino focused. Like many other Domino bloggers, I plan to include plenty of code snippets, development tips, tool recommendations, and other technical articles drawn from my many years as a Lotus Notes Developer and Consultant. Of course there will be pictures of my baby boy (due next month - our first), our two cats, and whatever other interesting subjects that might find themselves in front of my camera lens. And expect to see an occasional rant sounding off on the general topic of "what's wrong in the world today".

In addition to Rocky Oliver, I'd like to send out a special thanks to the other Blogsphere creators who have helped make this endeavor possible: Chris Brandlehner, Declan Lynch, Joe Litton, and Tom Duff.

And last but not least, I'd like to encourage everyone to support the Domino open source community at OpenNTF.org, where the Blogsphere project came to life.


1 - The one thing which is guaranteed to get people onto your blog (and interested in your work) is to put up some new sample code or tool. I am not overly worried about that on my blog, but when I have put up code I see a doubling or even tripling in traffic for about a week afterwards. I guess that's demonstrated by Jake over at Codestore who manages to pump out content so consistently, personally I don't know where he finds the time!

There is no doubt that a presence in the Domino community can help us roving consultants, even if it's just that our names are known when going for interviews. So although it may be hard to quantify it's worth sticking with.

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