I keep my How to Start a Blog post updated, but here’s some of the more advanced tools I’ve been using lately. These aren’t really install-and-go – they require a weekend of work to set up and configure in total, but the payoff is worth it. MailChimp email subscriptions – free for up to 2,000 subscribers, and really reasonable above that. MailChimp makes it easy for people to keep up with you by watching your RSS feed for updates, then sending those updates as nicely formatted emails to your mailing list. Plus, when you want to promote something else like an…Read
Quick background: I started BrentOzar.com as a blog over a decade ago, and today it’s a successful consulting company that gets tens of thousands of spam comments per day. I failed at a few other side projects before that. This post is a brain dump for IT people who are thinking about starting their own thing. Most of the people who start businesses do it for the love of what they do, not because they want to go into finance, sales, and management. Most founders (myself included) have no idea what they’re getting into. That doesn’t mean they’ll fail, though, because passion…Read
(Dear reader – PASS just announced a few changes to BAC 2015. The strangely-worded announcement is already causing a hubbub on Twitter, and I thought, “There’s gotta be a way to say this stuff clearly and positively.” So I’m taking a shot at it – here goes. Keep in mind that I have nothing to do with the BAC, I’ve never attended it, and I don’t even know why they’re doing this stuff. I’m making this up as I go.) Our annual PASS Summit is an incredible, mature event for data professionals. Every year, we’re lucky enough to get thousands of…Read
So you want to be “Internet Famous” in the IT community, but you don’t want to spend your mornings and weekends slaving away on the work I described in my last post? I’ve got good news – there’s an easier way. Think About Celebrities You “Know” If you’re like me, you watch television, and you’d count some/many/most of the people on TV as celebrities, for various values of celebrity. For example, I was walking down a New Orleans street after dark once and saw Josh Harris, now skipper of the Cornelia Marie, a crab boat on the show Deadliest Catch. He had…Read
There’s a lot of reasons to blog, present, and build a brand – get a better job, change careers, raise your billable rate – but what if you just want to be known by name amongst the community? I was chatting with a blogger about how to be successful, and the first step was defining what success meant to him. One of his goals was to be recognized when he walked into a conference – but he didn’t want to “be famous for being famous,” like a Kardashian kind of thing. I know some of you are going to cringe,…Read
Every year, Microsoft MVPs have to fill out some paperwork describing what they did on their summer vacation. Each time I do this, the numbers boggle my mind, so I’m sharing some of the fun ones with you data junkies. (These numbers aren’t necessarily the ones I use on my community contribution forms because they reflect things the whole company is doing, not just me.) YouTube Channel Stats We record our weekly webcasts and post them up on our YouTube channel. You people continue to watch them in crazy numbers: YouTube Channel Stats That’s 49,452 hours of video watching time…Read
Badges badges badges badges badges badges badges badges badges badges badges badges MUSHROOM MUSHROOM Before I did a lot of speaking, I assumed there were two types of speakers. One group just loved volunteering to help people. The other group was a bunch of money-hungry people that wanted to talk attendees out of their wallets. Now that I do a lot more speaking, I don’t just assume that this is true – I am convinced it’s true. For example, I accidentally sat in a vendor session at SQLSaturday Chicago, and I was flabbergasted by the blatant advertising – frankly, hucksterism – coming from…Read
In the old days, when you wanted to learn about photography or you bought a new gadget, you went to the bookstore – in person – and you bought a book. Maybe if you had some spare time, you joined a local user group, and if you had all kinds of time, you’d sign up for a college course. Over the last several years, the consumer gadget training market – yes, there actually is such a thing – has evolved at a breakneck pace. When you want to learn photography, you’ve got some amazing options: Free email newsletters like Photojojo…Read
My Microsoft MVP status is up for renewal again, so it’s time for a little navel-gazing at the community work I’ve done over the last twelve months. Here’s the data I found most surprising this time around. YouTube Channel Stats This one just completely boggles my mind – you have watched OVER 23,000 HOURS of our videos this year, and that’s just since September 1st: YouTube Channel Stats 3 people are watching a Brent Ozar Unlimited video, around the clock! We must find these three people and show them a different web site or something. Maybe Taylor Smith’s goat duets.…Read
We give away sp_Blitz™, a totally free health check tool for Microsoft SQL Server. It looks for all kinds of common reliability and performance problems and gives you a prioritized to-do list. The number one question I get about it – by far – is, “Why do you give it away for free? Why don’t you charge for it?” Free Beer vs Free Speech We need to start by considering the word free. In the software world, there’s two ways to look at it. The Wikipedia article on Gratis versus Libre sums it up well: Gratis versus libre is the distinction…Read
Hi. I’m Brent.
I live in Iceland with my wife Erika. I'm on an epic life quest to have fun and make a difference.
I co-founded Brent Ozar Unlimited to help make your SQL Server go faster. I also maintain sp_Blitz® and the open source First Responder Kit repo.