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The Top 25 – an alternate look

Eric has released his latest top 25 virtualisation based bloggers list, As I expected PlanetVM has dropped out of the top 25 but there has been a lot of fresh blood in there.  The top 25 welcomes at last William Lam and Luc Dekens. I willingly give way for those luminaries.

Now everybody has been printing the list but I thought I would do something different, as we know there has been a lot of land grab by EMC and VMware in the blogosphere since the last list was published so I thought I would see who has moved and where. you have to love Linkedin.com

As you can see out of the top 25 Blogs 13 of them are run by EMC or VMware employees, this is compared to 5 in the last list,  in my opinion this is not a good thing as it prevents diversity. we all know that ESX is the best hypervisor in the marketplace, however where are the competitive views, diversity is being stifled.

Those that have moved will say that their blogs are still independent, however how many NetApp posts has Scott  and Rick done since they moved. Both Scott and Rick used to post a lot of very interesting pieces about NetApp technology,

It is good that people are getting on and profiting from their hard work when blogging, but if this trend  for land grabbing continues then blogosphere will be a worse place for it.

I am beginning to wonder if EMC and VMware have a policy of hiring the top bloggers to remove any chance of competitive information being given out.

It will be interesting to see how many are working for the big two in the next list.

Blog Owner Employer Previous Employer
Yellow Bricks Duncan Epping VMware VMware
Virtual Geek Chad Sakac EMC EMC
Scott Lowe Scott Lowe EMC ePlus
NTPro.nl Eric Sloof Independent Independent
RTFM Education Mike Laverick Independent Independent
Frank Denneman Frank Denneman VMware Independent
vSphere-land Eric Siebert Boston Market Boston Market
Virtualization Evangelist Jason Boche Thompson Reuters Wells Fargo
Virtu-al Alan Renouf EMC Independent
Gabe’sVirtual World Gabrie van Zanten Open Line Logica
The SLOG Simon Long VMware Carrenza
Hypervizor Hany Michael VMware Kahramma
VMGuru.nl Erik Scholten Centric Centric
TechHead Simon Seagrave EMC ioko
Virtual Storage Guy Vaughn Stewart NetApp NetApp
vCritical Eric Gray VMware VMware
Pivot Point Scott Drummonds EMC VMware
VMware Tips Rick Scherer EMC San Diego Data Processing Corporation
vReference Forbes Guthrie Teck Resources Lululemon Athletica
VM/ETC Rich Brambley Veeam Softchoice
LucD Notes Luc Dekens Eurocontrol Eurocontrol
Mike D’s Blog Mike D Pertillio VMware VMware
ESX Virtualization Vladan Seget Omicrone Omicrone
Nickapedia Nicholas Weaver EMC ThinkCash
Virtually Ghetto William Lam SalesForce.com Yahoo!
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  1. Tom,

    One correction, Before joining VMware I was a Independent consultant working for many customers such as the Vrije Universiteit.

    1. Updated to reflect your true status in your previous life 😀

    • Tom on September 28, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Excellent post. Corporate culture at its best!! 🙂 🙂

  2. Tom,
    Thanks for putting this together, this is an interesting view of the top 25 list. A ton of VMware and EMC employees. Hard to keep up with such great talent, it goes without saying though that a lot of these blogs inspire us to keep blogging.

    -Greg (vDestination.com)

    • Duncan on September 28, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Of course there is no policy of hiring bloggers.

    The reason many of these guys were asked to join EMC/VMware or even smaller vendors like Veeam or partners like Open Line is because these guys are passionate about their work. Because they are smart guys who know how to communicate and because they have a great social (media) network. Besides that, many of them are recognized and certified (VCDX) industry experts, who wouldn’t want to hire them.

    I guess you have just identified a huge opportunity, step up to the plate and fill that gap!

  3. I wouldn’t say I was an employee of TechTarget. I submit invoices to them for articles that go on their website. They don’t impose any authorial or editorial control over the blog.

    On the subject of independence. I think you might be right on the lines of the less independent bloggers there are then that degrades the independence of the bloggersphere. My concern is say is if a guy joins CompanyX, would they still feel at liberty to say their CompanyX has a product that doesn’t work, is no good or is delayed or missing features. After all its a bit hard to bite the hand that feeds. I’m not having a dig at any of my luminaries in the top 25 by the way. It’s just a concern I have. I guess at the end of the day, if a blogger merely becomes a mouth-piece for who wonderful the company they work for is – most readers would vote with their feet…

    1. I have edited your current employment to “independent” I think that actually reflects your eclectic nature much better anyway 😀

  4. I have to agree with Duncan here–the real reason these people were hired is not because they are bloggers, but because they are passionate about technology. The blog is just a symptom, if you will, of that passion. People who are truly passionate are going to express that passion in some way: blogging, tweeting, writing, speaking, leading user groups, podcasts–whatever it takes to spread the word.

    Besides, what you guys don’t see is all the passionate people who are being hired that aren’t bloggers but express their passion in other ways. The ratio of non-bloggers to bloggers is a lot larger than many people realize.

  5. Good post. I was just discussing this very topic. As person who doesn’t work for a NetApp/EMC/VMware/Cisco/OtherTechCompnay, I can only go so far….

    But, that in a way motivates me to do better.

      • Duncan on September 28, 2010 at 8:30 pm

      Not sure how that would make a difference Rick…. Seriously, I would not see how that would change things.

      1. I agree with you to a degree. The thing is that employees of EMC and VMware, for example, have access to NDA material that gives them a huge advantage to dive into, analyze and begin posts on new products well ahead of the independents (allowing them to release content well before everyone else). How about allowing select bloggers or vExperts access to this material so that we can level the playing field?

        Just my two cents…

  6. Hi Tom,
    Not sure who the Forbes Guthrie who works at Stewart BiO2 is, but it’s not me 🙂
    I currently work for “Teck Resources” a mining company based in Vancouver, and my previous employer was “Lululemon Athletica”.
    However if VMware, EMC, or any other big name wants to come knocking then…
    Forbes.

    1. Forbes I will edit to reflect reality, so much for the power of Linkedin 😀

    • J on September 28, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    I would like to applaud the new Blogs that made the list for some great content. What I was sad to see is several of Big name bloggers that stayed in the top 25 but have not created any decent content since making the move to their new jobs. Sure their sites are still great for historical value but they are not publishing anything new. People get busy with work and life but I had hoped people would vote based on content produced since the last voting and not based on popularity.

    Congrats to the winners and keep cranking out the posts.

  7. I agree 100%, how many blog’s are on that list that are not working for a reseller or Virtualization related company them self’s? I believe part of that is because unless you are paid or even motivated by employment to take time to blog, most admin’s or independent blogger’s can’t produce the content. Why? Because your not getting paid directly for your time. Also, if your working a full time, job like some of us, and have a family, plus dedicate time to put on VMUG or related events, you even have less time. I’m not saying we don’t need, or don’t rely on blogs from reseller’s or vendor’s, as we do. But my question is , should they fall into the same category as the rest? Thanks Tom for making us think about what we take for granted.

    Roger L.

      • Duncan on September 28, 2010 at 8:28 pm

      Not sure what you have been told or lead to believe Roger but I know for a fact that almost no one on the top-25 actually gets time to Blog let alone is being paid to produce content.

      1. I guess what I mean is, if I want to write up a blog on something like Fault Tolerance, it is challenging, since it isn’t something we use at my day job. I would have to find a lab, or make a lab, set up the VM’s, do the testing, / video’s etc, all outside of my normal daily job. Where if you use it everyday, etc, you can just using existing documentation, or quickly put together resources etc to write up a blog. Those of you that work for a large reseller or vendor, have access to all the bell’s and whistles of the products. While some of us never get more than a chance to get our hands wet, while wiring up a blog. What is what makes you the experts, and us the novices, but what my point was, is that we need more blogger’s with the same expertise,like someone as your self has, that are not directly employed by a vendor or reseller. Someone who is in the trenches all day :0)

  8. I agree with Duncan. It isn’t that there is a policy but it is that leading companies are looking for people that are passionate about what they do. Blogging is *usually* an unpaid bit of work you do because you want to share your passion for something. I think VMware employees were the first to blaze the trail and EMC is just hiring people with a similar make up as our #2 blog master Chad Sakac.

    The cool thing about passion is that it is not easy to fake. You can’t take passion for something and turn it into being a vendor shill effectively. People sense disingenuous content pretty quickly.

    The goal of my blog is to advance the community and inspire others. My company (EMC) and my VP (Chad Sakac) do nothing but encourage that. There is no approving of blog posts, no hidden agenda, and no big brother.

    I think the examples of the passionate people at Veeam are a great example too. Nothing but respect in the community. I read Vaughn’s blog just like I read Chad’s. We are all moving each other forward.

    .nick

      • B. Riley on September 28, 2010 at 4:27 pm

      >>The cool thing about passion is that it is not easy to fake. You can’t take passion for something and turn it into being a vendor shill effectively. People sense disingenuous content pretty quickly.

      You got that right Nick. I think that drives home the point here. Like Mike said, readers will vote with their feet if they feel bloggers are not being true, or are not providing value. That’s key for blogs like Chad’s and Vaughn’s. . . they provide a lot of value, regardless who they work for. That’s why they are consistently near the top.

    • vAntMet on September 28, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    I like the view Tom.

    Another way to look at it would possibly be that the people who voted are narrowing their field of vision, not looking to generalist blogs, but to more tightly focused, and that that is reflected in the results.

    You don’t say (and I could look it up, but meh) but how many of those were in the top 25 last year?

    Possibly this is more a reflection, than a cause/effect situation.

  9. Hi Tom,

    Interesting article! Also loved the “conspiracy theory” towards the end of your post: “have a policy of hiring the top bloggers to remove any chance of competitive information being given out” 😀

    Ok, let’s get serious:
    1 – I started blogging in December 2008 and from day one I’ve never talked about Hyper-V, XenServer..etc whether with good or bad. I had no interest whatsoever in any virtualization platform but VMware. How am I being used to remove any chance for competitive information now?
    2 – I had the toughest and most challenging interview process I’ve ever experienced throughout my career. In fact, my recruitment process took around 7 months. It’s not like we get picked up from the streets because we are “bloggers”.
    3 – I’m allowed and actually encouraged to blog during work hours but only if there is no conflict with my official duties. Of course I don’t get paid for these hours or include them in my timesheets. I don’t even report them back to my manager saying things like “been tweeting and blogging like crazy last week – I really think I should get a raise”.
    4 – As far as I know, the official name of Eric’s voting is “VMware/Virtualization Top Blogs”. Come on guys!

    Of course I’m not trying to defend myself or VMware here, I’m just being very practical and also listing “obvious” information that I have actually posted in the past either on my blog or on twitter.

    Thanks

    • Jane Rimmer on September 29, 2010 at 9:14 am

    I think the crux of the matter here is that blogging and social media, in general, is a platform for expressing opinions as well as giving advice. Not everyone will agree with other opinions – that’s the beauty and value of the diversity of communities – and long may those differences continue!

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