Sometimes I really do wonder why I bother…

This content is 15 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

It’s a new day and the sun is shining, I spent some time playing with my kids before starting work – I should be in a good mood.

Except I’m not… I’m actually feeling quite insecure – and one of the reasons is the comments I get about this blog.

Last week I wrote a piece about getting Vodafone Mobile Connect working on a Mac. In that post I linked to someone who had managed to speak to a suitably skilled technician at Vodafone who talked him through the process of installing the application as the root user. Thankfully that person blogged about their experience, I found his post on the ‘net and it helped me, so I did my bit to spread the message. Then somebody (for whom I can apply several four-letter words… but I won’t in public) leaves a comment which says:

“This bears no resemblance to my experiences. I have installed VCM [sic] on about 100 Mac Laptops now and have never, ever had to use the method you describe.

The standard installation works fine and is a hassle free process.

I get the feeling you are making a simple installation process complicated by looking for problems where there are none.

Your advice is incorrect and you really should not attempt to act as a source of knowledge on subjects you know nothing about.”

Well, great, 15 years in IT (not including the time spent in education before that), over 1300 posts on this blog, some of which have apparently been useful to others, and now the insults start to arrive. I responded, then stewed about it for a while, before deciding that I have better things to worry about and to ignore the comments… until I heard that my efforts aren’t necessarily appreciated by technology companies either…

…a few weeks back, I was sent some information from a (very large) technology company in which the e-mail said “please cascade as appropriate”. I thought that the information would be of interest to people reading the blog (even though there’s a lot of stuff I chose not to write about) but it seems that some people in the company thought I had breached an NDA (I did not and would not – indeed I have many blog posts stored up that I can’t publish yet because of such agreements) and that small blogs (written by real people) shouldn’t be reporting things that company blogs (written by marketing departments) should be spinning. I double-checked my source – it definitely said cascade as appropriate, which meant I was in the clear – phew! (Furthermore, thankfully, there are people inside that technology company who have been prepared to defend my position).

Right now it seems that I have a blog which is neither small enough to just take a few hours a week, nor large enough to pay the bills. If I write about real world experiences with technology, I get flamed by fanboys who tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about; meanwhile if I write about technology subjects that are less “hands on”, then the companies those posts relate to get jumpy. It seems I can’t win.

I spend a huge about of time writing on this blog and if I work out how much it pays me then it’s well below the minimum wage so it’s certainly not worth it from a financial perspective. I used to find the writing therapeutic but now it’s just something else that I don’t have time for in my day. I need a break… especially if all I’m doing is creating Internet noise. It would be a shame to undo 5 years’ work and to pack it in, but sometimes really do I wonder why I bother…

15 thoughts on “Sometimes I really do wonder why I bother…

  1. Ignore them.

    There are plenty of people who do appreciate your efforts and they’ll outweigh those who don’t

    The person who commented about the Vodaphone post should really have stopped with them “i’ve not come across this” comment

    the rest of it was just plain rude. as you quite rightly pointed out every installation is different

  2. @Andy – thanks for the feedback (and the same to the guys who e-mailed me too – you know who you are!). I guess you must have had similar experiences on your blog too and I guess I need to become a little more thick-skinned!

    @everyone – Apologies to anyone who didn’t want to read the ramblings of an IT blogger letting off steam, but it helped me… and that’s the good thing about something you read… you can stop reading if you get fed up!

  3. I appreciate you Mark. Its always a high point to see another post pop up in my RSS feed. Your diverse ramblings are great for expanding the mind. Keep it up. You are appreciated :-)

  4. Im sorry to here you got a comment such as this, but you shouldnt feel down. People will always have different views and expirences to you own, even if they are not always correct. Keep posting and cheer up.

  5. Mark,

    I’ve been reading your blog since the early days, and for the last 9 years I’ve been working in IT Infrastructure doing exactly the sort of projects you write about here in your blog.

    What you write about is a brutal and blunt description of what I see on a daily basis in my job. Regardless of whether others agree or not, you write about your own experiences, and whilst they may not match the experiences of others (even my own on occasions) they are YOUR experiences!

    What you write here has helped me, and I’m sure may others in the course of our work, and I for one hope you continue to write frequently to your blog, for it is always the first site I check of a morning, just on the off-chance you’re working on a project similar to mine, and I happen to learn something I can use that day!


  6. Mark, ignore them – please.

    There are always arseholes out there who only want to carp and bitch (I’ve had more than my fair share of them in other fields than IT), but there are many, including myself, who read your blog regularly and value it.

    I’m not sure about making a living from it (is that the idea of blogs? I didn’t think so), but if you’re worried about value and appreciation, don’t.

    “Non illegitemati carborundum” **

    (** Don’t let the bastards grind you down)

  7. Hi Mark – I came across your blog since it appeared out of the blue on my top referrer list (thanks!) given your kind link to my experiences with Vodafone connect.

    FWIW before I found this answer I trawled the web seeing gabillions of routine and essentially pointless generalist advice (er – restart, zap the pram, sacrifice a small vole etc etc) which of course didn’t work. The point about my post is that it worked for me. That’s all that one can vouch for. I also wanted to set out the things that _hadn’t_ worked in order to aid other people’s diagnosis.

    You may like to know that the posting is one of the most read on my site (not sure that’s a good thing since it was a bit off-topic) so it’s clear that the problem still resonates.

    The level of traffic to that post has led me to post other solutions I’ve been forced to find, and in many of those I’ve been helped by other people’s work, kind experts and some luck. One of the main benefits of blogging is sharing that insight, especially given that we’ve benefitted from it.

    So – a long note by way of simultaneous appreciation and encouragement. Mind you, you’re still blogging so it can’t have put you off ;)

    Meanwhile, welcome to my RSS reader :)


  8. Thanks for your words of support Ian – and thanks for blogging about it in the first place. If you hadn’t, I’d probably still be waiting for a Mac support technician from Vodafone…

  9. Mark, i know i read this post late, but i just wanted to add that i have been an avid reader of your post since finding it a while back, it has helped me countless times, i have mailed you personally on occassion and you have more than once gone out of your way to help me and then blog about it, i am truly grateful for that and hope that you do not pack it in because of a few big mouthed haters, people are so quick to judge and so slow to show appreciation. Please keep it up its a refreshing view of the IT world that we are all so caught up in on a day to day basis, at least we know we arent alone :)

    regards and encouragement,
    Greg [3rd Line Data Center Engineer/Everyday Geek]

  10. Hi Mark,

    I to have come across this post and just wanted to say that your knowledge and the fact that you share it with relative newbies like me has been invaluable.

    I hope that you continue to share your insight and as – lets not forget – sharing information is the premise the internet was originally based.


    Company Formation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.