As you may have all noticed (or at least those that read here more often-ish), I have been posting less lately. Partly because I am fixing up a new house and partly because I have not felt very inspired. I think the recession is starting to get me down a little unfortunately. Worrying takes its toll as I’m sure many can attest to. But fear not! I have some things I would like to reaffirm about why I enjoy blogging thus far and why I think it’s a good idea to keep going with the blog:
- Resume 2.0 — I have seen it written that blogs are the new resume. I believe that a little bit, but only for certain industries. If you’re in a field like marketing or PR, you’d BETTER have a blog, and it should be better than the other gazillion marketing blogs out there. The people in non-traditional writing fields like engineering don’t have quite as much competition but I’ve never seen whether employers like new hires to write blogs. Heck, some might even discourage it for fear of a leaky mouthed employee talking about the company’s next great patent or product (I’m so much smarter than that though). Any way you look at it, if you have a blog you are much more visible to employers than those without a blog.
- It opens new windows — My site is hardly a high traffic site. However, I get enough visitors that when someone leaves a comment I can take the time to write them back and try to get to know them. Already I have emailed with some people in the industry that I don’t think I would have ever met otherwise. I have had some people contact me for job interviews and others contact me about potential projects. I like that the blog helps me communicate with people.
- Build a brand, brand yourself — Chris Gammell is a brand now. It’s a search term. I’m even thinking about making it into an LLP. But when all else fails and people don’t make that association, scream out what you want people to know you are. That’s why I bought Analog ElectricalEngineer.com last month. If nothing else, blogging has taught me a lot about marketing, especially with “New Media”.
- Options, Options, Options — I’d like to think if nothing else in this down economy, I might have a few more options than my non-blogging engineering brethren. I think of writing for magazines, trying to blog full time (probably would need more people in the world interested in engineering), consulting, doing contract work, shifting completely and trying marketing (see above) or looking for another engineering position and advertising myself on my blog. While I have learned more and more that it is your experience that gets you a job, the tough part is showcasing that experience to an employer.
- Analog electronics suits me well — I’ll be honest. I feel that my strengths lie in improving upon existing ideas as opposed to coming up with completely new ideas (engineer vs. scientist). And I think analog electronics intrigue me because even after all of these years since electricity was discovered, there are SO many things that are hard to get right. And there will always be problems with analog circuits where others will need help. You can put everything into digital format but there will still be significant portions of a circuit that need to be processing analog signals. Not only that, I could see a future where more signal processing moves back into the analog domain. Ka-ching!
- Renewable energy has a long way to go — I love writing about analog because it makes me geek out. I love writing about renewable energy because it’s such a new and exciting field with so much going on and so many new developments. While I don’t like talking about things “going green” just for the sake of it, I really do think there are some significant advances in the technology that need to be discussed (or dismissed).
- I like writing — Of all the things that blogging has taught me, I was most surprised at enjoying finding my writing voice. Perhaps it’s my creative side trying to escape or perhaps I enjoy others reading what I have to say. Either way, I like trying to get my ideas across to people, especially difficult technical ideas that may have been inaccessible otherwise. I hope you enjoy it too.
I know this and other posts have been a bit more introspective lately, but I think that’s what tougher times do to people. We stop expecting answers to be external to ourselves and we start to analyze how we can enjoy what we have and what we do. I fully expect to publish more technical entries in the near future because that is something I enjoy doing.
If you have posts you would like to see, technical or otherwise, feel free to suggest them in the skribit box to the right. Others can vote on ideas and I will write them if I can. If you have anything else to say, the comments box is always listening (as am I).
Photo by Woplu
Damon Hart-Davis says
Yes, let it all hang out! B^>
Seriously, writing can be fun and therapeutic, though in my experience don’t expect it to pay well. I used to edit a supercomputing trade mag before the ‘peace dividend’ for example, and I’ve had some Web properties for many many years now. None of them pay a fraction so well as ‘engineering’. (You have a real engineering qualification, mine is more by experience…). On the other hand my dad is on about his 20th book and I’ve lost count of his TV series, radio programmes, etc, and he’s not starving so far as I can tell.
You might wish to have a look over one of the sites that I participate in, http://www.publisher-world.com, where we all one way or another do sorta real grown-up publishing on the Web, from nursery rhymes with music for kiddies up to … well … real-estate and football results!
Anyway, take advantage of the nature of the medium and only write when you feel the urge: don’t pressure yourself.
Damon Hart-Davis says
PS. As to the worrying part: my client’s share price more than halved again (well dropped 67% in fact) yesterday. I continue to invoice every week. %->
I stumbled upon your site while looking for an analog design forum. While the downturn has made you write less, it’s been the catalyst that has spurred me into starting a new blog (http://flyingflux.blogspot.com), which went live the very day we went through layoffs.
Out of all of the engineers that got let go this time around as well as the previous two times, not one of them were analog guys/gals. Let’s hope the trend continues.
Like you, I find it therapeutic and forces the right side of the brain to get a bit of exercise.
You need to write more about your Uncle.