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BlueWolf's Howl

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June 26, 2004

Why count?

A few people have asked about the stats on the side of the page. The reason I put them up there is not to impress you. I don't even know who you are. There have been many times when I find out someone's reading my blog and I'm truly surprised. The stats are basically for me. It keeps me focused.

This morning the idea crossed my mind...I should really finish up the CCNP first and then get my MCSE 2003. Then I pulled up my blog to write this entry. I saw the battle status. Only ONE more for 03 and TWO for NP. Yeah. Stick with the plan. This is what those stats are for....

Someone asked about the "pages read" section. That's for me too. The reason it's for me is because I have a rule about putting up the pages read stats. In order to put a book on that list and add the pages, I have to finish the book. This is one of my "issues" that I'm working on in my life. I start one book and then get distracted by another and another. Being able to add on to those stats is what gets me moving to finish up the books I start.

For example...I currently have bookmarks in: Mastering Windows Server 2003, Mastering XP Professional, Mastering Exchange 2000 Server, CCNP BCRAN Study Guide, Cisco Self-Study IPv6, Windows 2003 Server Upgrade Study Guide, Computer Forensics, and Teach Yourself Perl. Some of what I read will have to be reviewed when I return to the book. But, thanks to this little method, I'm sure I'll eventually get through to the end of each of those books.

It's also pretty neat to be able to give people some idea of what it takes to keep up with technology at this level. And for some reason this always comes up in conversations with people. Mostly, it's because they're complaining that I always have my head in a book. Sometimes it's because people want to know how I know all this computer stuff... Like there's some kind of secret society that tells its members all the secrets. Or there's some secret web site that has all the answers. There must certainly be some voodoo that I know which I'm just not sharing with the common user. Yes -- it's the voodoo of reading copious amounts of technical materials.

I used to tell people that it takes about 50 pages per day of technical reading just to keep up. From their reactions, I could see that they didn't believe me. I *knew* I was reading about 50 pages per day. Now can say "Last year I read over 8,000 pages of technical material." When I see that look of skepticism, I add..."I counted. It's on my web page." Belief sets in. For some reason, an accurate count cannot be denied. An estimation (regardless of its accuracy) is always regarded as an exaggeration.

And I always tell users that the other admins that are keeping up are also reading about that much, too... They probably are - if they're keeping up.

The stats also help to remind (nag) me. I'm sick of looking at the Ethics stats. It bothers me that I haven't knocked that test out yet. I look at the 3 vendor exams and promise myself that I'll jump on the Ethics exam as soon as I get these 3 completed. I look over and make sure that the Ethics materials are close by so that I can find them when I'm ready.

And it keeps me from panic and a feeling of being overwhelmed. I want it done...I want it done now. Okay. Take a breath. I have a plan. It's a good plan. It's a plan that's moving along. Everything is covered if I stick with the plan.

This helps me to renew my efforts without being overwhelmed by them. Oh...and one of the other promises I made to myself recently (if you haven't noticed) is to write in my blog more often. The goal is to make daily entries. I might not do it perfectly, but at least the target will increase my posting frequency.

It's an experiment in motivation.

Posted by BlueWolf on June 26, 2004 12:47 PM