Blogging Reducing the Potential Benefits of the PDC?
I’ll continue the Your Career thread, but with a different twist. First off, I’m going to the PDC, and as an indie consultant, I’m taking the time off (without pay), and paying my own way. The major reasons I go to events like this are:
- Devoting time to learn new technologies – Usually learning a new technology is easy compared with finding the time to learn that technology. Paying all that money, and also separating myself from the usual distractions helps me concentrate on learning all I can learn. You can pick up the new technologies from your home, but it takes a dedication that most folks can’t seem to handle.
- Networking – This is a side effect of going to a conference. Meeting large amounts of people with a similar desire to learn the technology. Network can lead to new jobs, or just expanding your techie support structure. The best consultant aren’t the ones that know everything, but the ones that know the experts that do, and have enough of a relationship with them to get the answers.
- Influencing the Vendor (MS in this case) - Vendors are always looking to their customers to provide feedback. How do you give your feedback to a large company like MS if you are just a little fish in a big pond? Talk to one of their product managers at a conference.
That’s the way I’ve always approached conferences. But now with blogging you can effectively perform my last two points all year long, and not need to attend a conference, which then reduces the need to attend something like the PDC. Blogging doesn’t totally replace the conference, but it does change the cost to benefit ratio. By blogging, you can actually increase the effectiveness of going to a conference (by having people looking to talk to you, rather than the other way around). But, now you have an option not to go, and still accomplish my last two points.
I’ll be at the PDC, and because of blogging, it will be a much more cost effective experience, but I know I could elect to not go, and still accomplish most of my goals for the year. But if I didn’t go, I’d miss partying with all the people I’ve met over the internet, and I wouldn’t miss that for the world.
[Listening to: Strap It On - Anthrax ]