Today is my five-year blogging anniversary

On May 28, 2003, I posted my first blog entry on BrianMadden.com.

On May 28, 2003, I posted my first blog entry on BrianMadden.com. You can still read it today, with DocID #1 - "Tarantella buys New Moon."

What did the web community of Citrix look like in 2003? The biggest community back then was the THIN email list (although that was an old school listserv--not really web-based). ThinPlanet was big. TheTHIN.net had a bunch of downloads and utilities and stuff. TweakCitrix had a list of performance hacks. Doug's MIAB was new. But in 2003, blogs were fairly new and just starting to creep into the fringe of acceptance in the corporate world.

So what made me decide to blog? Like most things in life, the path was not direct. Up until earlier that month, I was happily employed as a consultant at HP. I'd already published two books about Citrix, and I was working with Ron on a book about Terminal Server on Windows 2003. Unfortunately I had a, hmm... "passionate conversation" with Gagan Singh (a Citrix test engineer) at iForum the previous year. He was not too happy with what I was writing about Citrix scalability. I more-or-less told him that those were my views, and that I wasn't planning on changing them, but word somehow made it back to the powers that be at HP that they had this crazy guy writing lies about Citrix, and HP told me that Citrix had to approve anything I wrote publicly about them as long as I was working for HP. So I quit!

I was already making enough money to support myself on the Citrix book, and with the TS book around the corner and some independent consulting, I figured I could live the independent life no problem.

BrianMadden.com was a very different website in those days. I'd actually registered the domain it in 1998 after I read Tom Peters' "Brand You" article in Fast Company. But the BrianMadden.com of early 2003 was nothing more than a giant ad for my Citrix books. Since I was leaving HP, I figured I should update the site with something along the lines of "I'm also available for consulting!"

How did this lead to blogging? Of course I didn't invent the concept of the blog. They'd been around in some form since the 1990s. But in 2003, I really thought that blogs were for teenagers to gossip about what they did last weekend. Thankfully my grandmother helped me change my mind.

Ever since I was a little kid, my grandmother was looking out for me. When I dropped out of college in the 1990s to pursue this "IT thing" full-time, she bought me a subscription to Inc Magazine. Inc bills itself as "the magazine for entrepreneurs," although I'd always sort of turned my nose up at it. After all, I was a "real" businessman. To me, Inc Magazine was more geared towards the stay-at-home mom crowd who wanted to start a business selling Beanie Babies on eBay.

Nevertheless, those Inc Magazines kept on coming, month after month, year after year. Most of them ended up in a basket on the floor of my bathroom next to my toilet. For some reason in 2003, I actually picked up the May issue as I was sitting in the bathroom, um, "thinking," when I came across an article called "Blogging for dollars." The byline read, "Blogging: It's not just for pundits and teenage girls. You too can use blogs to communicate with customers."

This was so interesting to me because I can honestly say that I don't think I'd ever read a single blog in my life by that point. I tried googling for Citrix or thin client blogs, but I couldn't find any. Wow! No Citrix blogs! I was excited in the way one gets about a new tattoo after several hours of binge drinking. "Yeah! A Citrix blog! I'm going to start a Citrix thin client blog! Whooooooo!!"

Remember this was 2003. There wasn't exactly any off-the-shelf blogging software you could just install on your own web server. Websites like Blogger.com existed, but all those blogs were branded with blogspot.com domains, and I knew from Tom Peters that I had to have this thing running on BrianMadden.com. Some people tried to do a crazy iframe thing to hide blogspot.com content within another page, but I wanted to do this right, so I decided to write my own ASP blog engine.

The blog on BrianMadden.com was super simple at first--a single page showing all entries from an Access database. I "published" new blog entries by adding a record to the Access database on my laptop and FTP'ing the whole MDB file to the server. I didn't even have an RSS feed since I'd never heard of RSS at that point in my life.

The original blog wasn't even available on the homepage of BrianMadden.com. The homepage had four links--information about my books, my bio, my consulting, and my blog. (I think the first blog URL was www.brianmadden.com/thin, to give you an idea of the focus in 2003.)

I think I was getting about 30-40 visitors per day to BrianMadden.com before I started blogging. (These were random folks looking for information about my Citrix books.) In mid-July, I had the first day with over 100 visitors. I couldn't believe it!! 100 freaking people in a single day?!?!! I felt like a rock star. From there, the whole thing took off in a typical fashion. I remember trying to get a free pass to iForum a few months later because I had "over 11,000 visitors per month."

The blog went largely unnoticed until I wrote this entry about Microsoft's Bear Paw. (Apparently Citrix had some kind of problem with my use of the phrase "Citrix-killer.") What's funny is that I wrote that blog entry on August 8, but the people at Citrix didn't find out until about mid-September. (Ah, the simpler times!) But in September I got a call from David Kim (Citrix SE) who told me I had to remove that article, or else he would stop recommending my book to his clients. At the Microsoft Global Partner Summit in New Orleans that year, Nabeel Youakim actually told me that my blog was "damaging the industry" because people were confused by the conflicting messages between Citrix and me, and that we'd all be better off if we had a consitent story. (This is something that I don't let Nabeel forget today. :)

Anyway, that was a long time ago. Things have really changed since then. Maybe someday I'll write more about the crazy things that happen as a website owner and blogger. But right now I'm happy to have survived five years. Here's to five more!

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Your blog is a great service to the community - keep up the good work


And BTW it was a comment you made to me at BriForum Germany 2006 that finally pushed me "over the edge" and got me to start blogging as well. So thank you for that as well.

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Congrats on the 5 year anniversary man.  Your contribution to the community is appreciated amigo
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Well done bro! It's been a real pleasure having your blog and you around the industry. Looking forward to see you at BriForum.
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Heah, this guy has always been the guerilla type.
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I always start my day with "today's focus....". Good to know how it all started.
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I remember getting my MVP Award for Terminal Services in 2003 (I think it was just Claudio, Vera, Matt & I at that point) and they asked if there was anyone else I'd recommend.  I couldn't believe Brian wasn't on the list, but luckily that was easy to fix.


Brian, you are unique and gifted individual, and we're glad you're out there poking the community with a stick (as necessary).  Keep it up brother.

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Here is Brians Page from that day

http://web.archive.org/web/20030528182239/https://www.brianmadden.com/

Now I seem to remember that Brian was around quite a bit before that just not in blog form  and I checked and indeed he was.

His site goes all the way back to November of 2000 but this entry from July 21,2001 as the Wicked Cool Visionary is one of my favorites.. ; )

http://web.archive.org/web/20010721043820/https://www.brianmadden.com/

 To peruse Brians pages over the years

http://web.archive.org/web/*/https://brianmadden.com

PS Thethin.net started Nov 1998 with Emergent Online(Now Quest Provision as the first sponsor)

http://web.archive.org/web/19990421072746/www.thethin.net/links11.cfm

Jim K. 

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Keep up the good work and honest discussion.
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Every day i look forward to the new post's on your blog.


 


Keep up the good work


 


 


Igor


 


 

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Hi Brian,

Thanks for the fascinating retrospective - I'd always wondered how you came to be an independent consultant.  I didn't learn about your site until later, but it is a staple of my online world now.

I thought you might like to hear a small tidbit about the Citrix reaction to Bear Paw, which I worked on (okay, so it's a semi-shameless plug).  We'd heard that Microsoft was going to create a web part to support app publishing (which ultimately they did, now part of TSWeb), and I was asked to look into whether we could create a web part too.  That started on us on the path to creating WI for SharePoint, or WISP for short.  By the time MS changed their plans on Bear Paw, we were well underway creating WISP and we eventually got the go ahead to release it as a free product (our first officially supported portal integration).  BTW, one of the coolest features in WISP which I gather is the major force behind its growing popularity is the content redirection support.  This works by transparently associating published apps with documents in the SharePoint document libraries, so users can use SharePoint in pretty much the normal way but with content opened in published apps rather than needing Office and other apps installed locally.  With the latest WISP for SharePoint 2007, I'm told it is even possible to setup content redirection to work when SharePoint is used in Internet facing mode, using non-AD accounts for authentication.  I believe we have customers using it this way to support business-to-business collaboration and workflow, with all the obvious advantages of not needing to copy potentially large or sensitive attachments across the Internet.

So I don't know what else happened because of Bear Paw, but we might not have built WISP otherwise.

Here's looking forward to the next 5 years of independent thinking and commentary from this site!

Cheers,
AndrewI

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Okay negative nancy, if you distain Brian so much, and this this site is bunk, then why are you reading this.


As for Mr. Kaplan's books, at least Brian writes his own books, instead of farming out the work to any Citrix SE he can find to write the content.  There's a reason he's not a Microsoft MVP anymore.

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Wow...  I'd like to point out a little bit of the hypocrisy in your response.  Your post is dripping with arrogance and you condemn Brian for his.  You accuse Brian of "bad mouthing" people who contribute... and yet what do you do?  What's worse is that you hide in anonymity (by the way that is really lame!).  You state that Brian's site is worthless, yet you clearly spent considerable time writing that post.  Instead of being constructive you spend your time being insulting.  Any points you wanted to make are invalidated by your destructive agenda.  You could also learn a thing or two about being professional; an argument is more convincing when one doesn't need to resort to insults to get the point across!

You missed the point of the article.  It clearly wasn’t meant to be a comprehensive account of history.  Why don't you do us all a favor and stay off this site... you don't want to be here anyway.

You are an angry, angry person.

Chris

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I find this funny...  this morning I posted an article and I get some ass talking about how people should stop coming to dabcc.com and they should go to brianmadden.com.  Then I come here and I see the complete opposite.    This is getting out of control.  At the end of the day, I think everyone is better severed reading both sites vs. one or the other.


Also,  Brian has done a great job with this site and although I don't always agree with everything he writes I don't think I should agree with 100% of it either.  I don't think everyone agrees with anyone 100% of the time, do they?   (if they do then that person needs a reality check)


Well, what do I say, but let's stop this bickering and whoever posted this crap then stop it and who ever posted on my site stop it.   All I can say is I wish I had that much time on my hands where I could write shameless posts or even good posts ... I don't.  I'm way too busy for this but even as busy as I am I will always stick up for someone being bashed like this...


So, in the word's of the immortal Rodney King, "Can't we all just get along?"


/Doug Brown


p.s. I will say one thing, I loved Steve's first book.  My copy looks like I slept with it.  It was a great book that helped me learn Citrix so please don't "bad mouth" Steve K.  That guy is a winner, period... 

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I'm with Doug on this one.   I don't get the whole brianmadden.com
vs dabcc.com thing.  Personally, I think both sites (and the guys
behind it) are awesome.  You don't have to agree with them 100% to appreciate their point of view and what they bring to the
community.

Joe

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I'd like to respond to Eli's post here in the same way I responded to his post on Doug's site.

For those of you who haven't read it, Eli is suggesting that Doug and I need to "kiss and make up" that we should "make a pact to respect each other," and that one of us needs to pick up the phone and make a call to straighten things out.

And this is how rumors start. Eli's blog is flat out wrong. Doug has NEVER written a bad thing about me, and I have NEVER written a bad thing about Doug. We don't need to make peace because we are friends already, and we have and will always continue to respect each other.

I think Eli is confused about what comes from anonymous website visitors, and what is editorial content written by Doug or me. Many of the anonymous visitors on both of our sites have tried to pit Doug against me, but both Doug and I ignore that crap and just keep doing what we're doing.

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While it's not worth getting into a point-by-point rebuttal, I want to go on record to say that I think about 90% of this person's post is factually not correct. Even if you don't want to research the individual claims, you can read what I wrote in the blog post and what this commenter claims and see that the two just don't line up.

The bigger point, though, about ego and credit and the way each of us remembers history, is that at the end of the day each of us has to be able to sleep at night and be proud of what we do and how we act. I can say I'm proud of what I've done and proud to be part of such a vibrant community. I hope each person who posts here can feel the same way about themselves.

And finally, as the others have pointed out, if this website causes you to bottle up so much anger, then don't visit the site.

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Brian, thanks for clearing up my confusion and i am glad all is well. Nothing gives me more pleasure than being wrong with regards to this. Eli
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Eli, you hit the nail right in the head. I second what you said. I think what Brian is trying to do is damage control. Anyone that knows anything knows these 2 guys don’t like each other at all and for good reason, Brian is an arrogant, over exaggerated expert that does not have the track record or the implementations to back his claim to fame and he criticizes everyone, while Doug is a passionate guy that works hard and is always criticized for being a happy go lucky fella. The bottom line is, we are not as naive as you think we are, you hide your attacks on Doug and on the surface you sound like an angel.

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Just pointless insults to Brian again, while glorifying Doug. You guys need to let this go. Both sites add value to the community, I come to Brian's site because of the number of original content I find in here, Doug's has its value and a crowd that follows him. Is it too hard to assume we can all co-exist?
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Well, I guess we can disagree on this. I can't think of a single situation where I've ever criticized any one person--Doug or otherwise. If you have specifics in your mind that are troubling to you, I've always made my contact information easily available. brian@brianmadden.com. Email me anytime.

I question the intent behind this post, though. I've been implementing Citrix solutions hands-on since 1998, everything from 40k user world-wide farms down to single server Access Essentials environments for five uers. Since 2003 this is the only way I spend my time. So I just don't understand where the lack of track record or implemetation history comes from? Maybe it's just that this commenter and I haven't personally worked together? But if this fact is lost on this commenter, then who knows what else is lost?

That said, I'm not sure that I've ever called myself an expert either. (Maybe I have? Dunno..) All I can say is a follow this industry full time, and I write my honest thoughts on this site. Sure, I've made mistakes and had to clarify posts, but remember I've also now written well over 1000 original articles and blog posts, so even if I have to go back and fix only 1% of what I write, that's still more than 10 examples.

But whatever. I'm going to keep doing what I think is right, and writing what I think is honest. Every reader make take or leave whatever he or she wants.

And by the way, you're the first to call me an angel on the surface. :) I've been called a lot of things, but neve r that! (My favorite is "gossipy ***," followed closely by "pimple-headed internet nerd.") Ahhh the high road!

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dude don't agree with me and then go on to insulting the guy. my post was a peaceful one, yours was an attacking one. i don't need this crap and since my blog is being misused or misunderstood i will remove it. This has been over done. Enough!. Eli
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