Why I Blog

James McGovern, in one of his parting blogs (only time will tell if that’s really the case or not), asked some questions of me. Here’s his comment:

Todd Biske: I can count the number of peer enterprise architects from Fortune enterprises who are credible bloggers on one hand and I must say that your blog is the gold standard in this regard. Could you make your next blog entry on the topic of why you blog but more importantly provide a sense of why in a way that will encourage some of our other industry peers to come out of hiding? Please also share what other topics are of interest to you besides SOA? Curious to know if you have drunk the Kool-aid on $$$$ ECM technologies that really should cost $ or whether you have ever attended an OWASP meeting, etc?

First, thanks for the compliment. While we definitely have different styles, the fact that your blog exists is a continual incentive for me to continue to do so, as it is a sign that there are practicing EA’s who are also willing to share publicly. Furthermore, your efforts in calling attention to other bloggers through your blogs popularity helped a number of other corporate IT bloggers to build an audience which is critical for keeping the information flowing.

The reason I blog has always been very simple- sharing information. I have a hard time believing that there aren’t other people who are thinking about the exact same problems that I am. There are plenty of paid services that can provide access to “the network,” whether its buying a vendor’s product, paid analysis, consultants, etc. I have no problems with them trying to make a business out of it, but I also think there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be sharing information with our fellow peers for free. While there will always be work that must remain private for competitive reasons, how much of what we do every day really falls into that category? Does my recent post on EA services reveal anything private about my employer? No. Can the comments and discussion in public Internet forums help make those definitions better? Absolutely, and many organizations are already doing this, only through closed, paid networks. These networks provide great information, but you have to pay to join the club. So, that’s a long way of saying that I prefer to be an example of public sharing, and allow people to learn from my experiences in the hope that they’ll share some of their own. It’s been far more giving than receiving, but I’m 100% okay with that.

To your other questions… other topics of interest to me: anything of strategic nature with regards to the use of IT. I’m a big picture thinker, and always have been interested in the application of technology rather than the technology per se. I did a lot of work in usability in my early days for just this reason. I’m also very interested in the human aspects of things, taking a social psychology angle (just heard that term on a podcast and really liked it). Outside of that, the rest of my time revolves around faith and family in one way or another. On ECM technologies, I haven’t had to do a ton of work in this space, but I do know I haven’t drunk any Kool-aid. I’m fortunate to do some work for my kids’ school which has to leverage IT on a shoestring, so I’m able to keep an eye on some less expensive tools, including ECM recently. On OWASP, I have not attended a meeting, but have spoken with a colleague at work who wants to get a St. Louis group established. I will put him in touch with you to get some advice on getting the group going.

James, I hope you continue share your wisdom, and I’m sure you will, even if it’s not through the blogosphere anymore. Thanks for your part in making my blog better and building my audience.

2 Responses to “Why I Blog”

  • Tom Rose:

    First, I agree with James, Todd you have a lot of great information on your blog! However, keeping a public blog about enterprise architecture while being an enterprise architect is a daunting effort when trying to stay in compliance with corporate communications relative to not talking about anything related to your work. Between all the NDAs with the multitude of vendors, and almost every document tagged as confidential, working in the fortune 50 is like working in a highly classified government facility. I suspect that is why many EAs just don’t bother.

    Best Regards,


  • Yes, there are still corporate cultures that do nothing but put up roadblocks for communication amongst peers. But, I don’t think that’s why most EA’s don’t bother. Frankly, it’s hard to find time, and on top of that, networking takes work. Some are willing to pay others for the “network” to save time. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, because these paid services (especially ones focused on establishing peer-to-peer networks) can provide very good information.

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This blog represents my own personal views, and not those of my employer or any third party. Any use of the material in articles, whitepapers, blogs, etc. must be attributed to me alone without any reference to my employer. Use of my employers name is NOT authorized.