Archive for the ‘Blogs’ Category

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Interview with Desiré Athow (@desireathow), Editor of TechRadar Pro (@TechRadarPro)

March 19, 2014

By Rosalind Carr (@Rosalind_at_O) and Rose Ross (@Rose_at_O)

desire-athow

Following our article on Desiré’s key event advice and tips (“5 golden PR rules for events”), we chat top tech events, PR pitches and hot topics in tech for 2014…

Q.  Tell us a bit about yourself.

Originally from Mauritius, been in this country for the last 10 years or so. English is my third language and my degree is in sociology. So to land in this country and to work as an editor on one of the biggest B2B websites in the UK is an absolute treat. Prior to working on TechRadar Pro, I was the editor of ITProPortal for 8 years and have been covering and writing tech for my entire adult life.

Q. Tell us a little bit about the title you write for and its interest in data storage/mobile/cloud/infosec/virtualization.

TechRadar Pro is a fairly new title, we’ve been around for less than two years. However, because it has been carved out of TechRadar, UK’s biggest technology website, we already have a significant amount of uniques, far more than more established websites. I seldom write unless I attend an event, have an exclusive or snatch an important interview. As for our areas of interest, our roots lie in computing but my team and I have been working hard on diversifying the content production to include business technology at large. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Rose Ross talks to Hans De Leenheer, independent Blogger and vEXPERT

August 29, 2013

Hans de Leenheer, Independent blogger

By Rose Ross, @Rose_at_O, and Rosalind Carr, @Rosalind_at_O

This summer Rose caught up with Belgium based independent Blogger Hans De Leenheer @hansdeleenheer, chatting storage, virtualization, American Football and Storage Beers… Check out his latest insights at  http://hansdeleenheer.blogspot.co.uk/

Q. Tell us a bit about yourself:

As I was previously a systems engineer, I suppose initially I fell into blogging by putting solutions to problems encountered into a blog to help tackle these problems. In the last three years, I have put my focus more towards storage, compiling the how to’s and offering my insights into different areas of storage and virtualization.

As I started blogging more about new products and industry moves I gained interest from the vendor community. I got invites from DELL, HP and others to come to their events as an influencer. The best thing I do is being passionate about technology and sharing that passion with others, whether that is through writing, presenting or just speaking to people in person. And that is what I do today; I represent vendors when they need someone passionate to explain their technology. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Have you got what it takes for #TechfieldDay? Find out if you have the influence for this tech deep dive

November 22, 2011

By Rose Ross, @Rose_At_O

Seeing a tweet like this. You got a click right? Curious how to become a #TechFieldDay delegate? Here’s all you need to know: http://t.co/1PFo8FrQ

After all, curiosity is my middle name.

For any click-averse out there. This is what it says:

Would you like to be a Gestalt IT Field Day Delegate? The good news is that our delegate selection process is open and flexible – no one is excluded from potentially being part of our events. The bad news is that we can’t take everyone who would like to go. Read on to learn how you can be part of Tech Field Day in the future!

Delegate Qualification

Our selection process is based on a simple idea: We want to bring together just the right group of people for every event regardless of where they come from! Qualification is based on who you are and what you do, and no one is excluded.

We are looking for the following key characteristics in our Field Day delegates:

  1. Independence – This is a state of mind, but employment status comes into play as well. Are you open-minded and willing and able to consider and recommend products and technologies based on their own merits? Independent critical thinking and discussion is a crucial part of the Field Day experience!
  2. Contribution – Are you a selfless contributor to the advancement and sharing of knowledge? Field Day Delegates devote hours every day writing, advising, and supporting the technology community. Attending Field Day events gives them knowledge and connections they can use and share.
  3. Knowledge – Field Day Delegates open up the hood and explore technology, discovering how and why things work. The are authoritative experts and the Field Day events are a chance to dive deep, applying what they know and learning more.
  4. Fit – Each Field Day event is like a dinner party: The selected Delegates must be able to come together as a group, with everyone adding to the discussion. Some of our events are focused on a certain area of technology, while others celebrate the diversity that gives Gestalt IT its name.

It is never easy selecting delegates for a Field Day event. We narrow our list based on the criteria above, sorting and weighing each individual to pick just the right group. The ideal event includes many first-timers along with a few repeat delegates to help the group to gel. Selection isn’t automatic, even for past delegates, and space is always limited.

How to Get Selected

It’s easy to get selected: Excel in independence, contribution, and knowledge and fit in with the event! But this isn’t something you can try to accomplish. Instead, it’s something you do naturally. The best Field Day Delegates are selected because they naturally do all of these things every day!

Although there is no secret recipe for being selected, here are a few tips to help you along.

  1. Become active in your field – Start a blog, support users in a forum, join a user group, or write tutorials – the possibilities are endless!
  2. Claim your name – It’s difficult to get to know someone who keeps their identity hidden. Make sure you have “about” pages, boxes, and profiles including your name and employer.
  3. Be yourself – Have some personality and show the world why they would want to get to know you better. Be yourself, not who others want you to be.
  4. Be visible – Get a Twitter account, register on LinkedIn and Facebook, and set up a Google profile. It’s a connected world, so make yourself easy to find.
  5. Tell us – Fill out the form below, and get to know the current set of Field Day Delegates. Let us know you’re interested and share what you’re doing.

A pleasant side effect of these efforts is your growing stature in the community and contribution to its advancement. That’s good for everyone!

If you want to then even the click-averse will have to actually click: http://t.co/1PFo8FrQ or ping the lovely @sfoskett for more info 🙂

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Analyst Q and A: Chatting with Deni Connor – the straight talking Queen of Storage Strategies NOW

September 15, 2011

By Rose Ross, @Rose_at_O

We were granted an audience with one of the veritable queens of Storage. Deni Connor, Founding Analyst of Storage Strategies NOW.

Q. Tell us a bit about yourself:

I started out in medical editing for the National Institutes of Health and then converted to technology in the early 80s. I’ve worked in marketing for a number of companies. Among them a mobile computing company, IBM, Novell and Thomas-Conrad, a company acquired by Compaq.

Q. Tell us a little bit about your analyst firm and its interest in data storage.

Storage Strategies NOW provides research to vendors, end-users, venture capitalists on storage technologies and products.

Q. What’s hot in storage this year?

Solid state drives and of course, more and more virtualization, including the virtual desktop infrastructure. Also cloud companies.

Q. How many storage events do you attend each year?

About 6, not including analyst days.

Q. Which one are you most looking forward to?

Storage Networking World, where we will release the results of two reports: one on Data Reduction and the other on Data Protection and Recovery in the SMB.

Q. What types of companies are likely to attract your attention this year?

Companies that are doing something innovative with the cloud and SSD companies.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Blogger Q & A: Devang Panchigar AKA @StorageNerve on hot technology and even hotter Curries

July 7, 2011

By @Rose_at_O

Q.  Tell us a bit about yourself: 

Social Media was a scary word for me a few years ago, well it all changed when I wrote the first blog post. Then came along Twitter, Facebook and now Google Plus, the list keeps on expanding. Today Blogging, Twittering and having presence on social media channels is something that I feel is very important as we build communities around us for knowledge and information sharing. Social Media has been one of those defining factors of this decade and I am glad to be a small part of it.

I work at Computer Data Source, Inc as their Chief Technology Officer, we are a managed services organization working with channel partners and direct customers offering storage, systems and virtualization support and services in many parts of the world. Life is quite challenging working around the clock with our customers worldwide, but that is something I love and appreciate a lot.  Some of my responsibility include managing IT and R&D within the company, pre-sales support responsibilities, working with some of our large storage customers and some limited responsibilities around marketing. I am totally a hands on person when it comes to technology.

While the .com era was shaping, I was doing my Masters in Chemical Engineering, and decided it would be better to jump to Computer Science with the booming computer industry, I am glad I did.

……the last few years of 1990’s and the early few of 2000’s changed the IT industry.

 

Q. Tell us a little bit about your blog and its interest in data storage. 

I blog at StorageNerve.com and my twitter handle is @storagenerve. I have been working in the storage industry for the past 8 years and have enjoyed every moment in it. Storage is rapidly changing with introduction of virtualization technologies and other data center focused technologies, lets call Storage Sexy….and it really is.

Q. What’s hot in storage this year? 

Convergence of technologies into a stacked solution, call it the datacenter of the future, automation and orchestration of resources. SSD, Scale Out NAS, Replication and Federation. VMware is changing storage, Intel already changed storage in the last 4 to 5 years.

I will refrain from saying Cloud J. At the end of the day its all about managing the data growth and keeping your applications happy. Storage is no more about speeds and feeds.

Q. How many storage events do you attend each year? 

Typically between vendor shows and events, I try to keep a balance, though easily that number exceeds double digits in a year. With the busy work schedule, it has been quite hard to stay away from office. On top of that all the business travel, and then you still need to keep a balanced family life and spend some quality time with the kids.

Though these events are very important as you can network with industry experts, vendor engineers and customers.

Q. Which one are you most looking forward to? 

VMworld is up next  …really looking forward to that. There might be some down the road, but they are not on the calendar yet.

Q. What types of stories or companies are likely to attract your attention this year? 

Acquisitions are the big stories of 2010 and 2011, there are a few more, that may shape the future of the storage industry. Startups are really the incubators of the next generation storage technologies.

Q. How many interviews do you do per week? 

Typically 1 to 2 interviews a week with different vendors. I love to hear the pitch from new players in the storage and virtualization industry.  

Q. What’s the best way to pitch a story to you? Email? Phone? Twitter? By mail?

Typically through a conference call, a technology deepdive without the marketing slides on how the technology works under the hood and how it solves business problems

Q. Who is worth listening to (about storage)? 

Customers, Users

Q. What’s your favourite blog?

There are quite a few I read. But to start with, I hear the Infosmack Podcast and then Veeam Community Podcast. These podcasts are very informative and give a great deal of depth into a certain technology. Nigel Poulton’s Technical Deepdive – Infosmack Deepdive podcast is something I am looking forward to as well.

Then there is Twitter….and it’s a great medium for communication and learning, I read my own StorageNerve Daily (paper.li newspaper) that gives the top stories by the folks I follow on twitter. Twitter is a great distribution medium of content.

I am pretty regular on reading blogs – content from thestoragearchitect, Storagebod, Chuck Hollis, Barry Burke, Hu Yoshida, Michael Hay, David Merrill, StorageZilla, Steve Todd, Robin Harris, Nigel Poulton, Marc Farley, Stephen Foskett, Claus Mikkelsen and Barry Whyte.

Q. What is your favourite piece of technology?

Well today it is….

The integration between my Mac, iPad, iPhone and the 5 other idevices in the house, seemless / wireless syncing of music, calendars, movies, photos anywhere, anytime, its just awesome. iCloud may change it soon.

Q. What do you think is the most important development in storage to date? 

Virtualization. I like Storage Virtualization as well. Then there is SSD and some other emerging technologies. But by far, the biggest impact has been from Virtualization.

Q. What is the best piece of advice for companies pitching stories?

Keep it short, on the point, no marketing. Technology talk.

Q. What was the best press trip you’ve ever been on? Worst? Why?

So far, out of all the them, the HDS Japan trip.

Lots of HDS executives, full access to Hitachi Engineers, Hitachi uValue convention – more than 50000 people come to this convention every year.

Being a vegetarian, initially I had a hard time with the food in Japan. But once the Japanese knew about it, they took great care of me. Walking around in the streets of Tokyo, riding the Bullet train, its just a different cultural experience. Since then, I have been to Japan twice and its always been a great experience there.

Though I have to say if I rank my top 5 trips, most of them would be those international trips.

Q. What’s your favourite restaurant?

Really love ‘THE BRICK LANE CURRY HOUSE’ in NYC. The taste of the curry they serve is something very comparable to what you find in London and Birhimgham. They also serve the Phaal curry (considered as the hottest curry). Outstanding food.

I also love Pizza.

I do recommend if you are into eating hot food and like curry, try The Brick Lane Curry House, you wont be disappointed.

Q. Are you a social media lover? Which ones are you on? FB? LinkedIn? Twitter?

For personal and some professional networking, Facebook is a great platform. What are the high school friends up to, any friends in your neck of the woods, keeping in touch with family members, it’s a great medium of connection today.

For business contacts LinkedIn has been the best to organize contacts and keep in touch with. I started a group on LinkedIn about 3 or 4 years ago called the Storage Professionals, this group is now the largest Storage group on LinkedIn.

As for Twitter, it is one of the best information consumption platforms for me.

Then there is Youtube, Flickr, Vimeo and many other apps for content distribution and consumption.  

I am all for social media…

Q. Tell us something no one knows about you. Do you have any unusual or unexpected hobbies/interests? Do you have a claim to fame?  

I collect stamps, love the English Curry and I have a great deal of passion for German cars 🙂

 

 

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#HPDiscover Vegas 2011: A Blogger’s Eye View – by @ChrisMEvans

June 28, 2011

Guest post by @ChrisMEvans AKA The Storage Architect

I’ve just returned from a week in Las Vegas, attending HP Discover 2011 as an invited blogger.  The city is a sight to behold and no doubt for many people, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!

As a blogger, I reported on the technology futures presented by HP across keynotes and another 800 sessions.  However looking at the event from a different angle, how did HP measure up in terms of their handling of the blogger community and social media in general?

Getting There

 

Unfortunately I don’t get paid to blog, so writing is more a labour of love than a job.  Attending events such as Discover require me to take unpaid time off and I couldn’t afford to also cover airfare and accommodation.  For this event HP do cover costs, which is a huge benefit.  There’s always the issue of being considered “pay to say” if a vendor is paying for your travel, however HP are keen to stress there are no requirements on blog numbers or content.

Bloggers’ Lounge

Like many large conferences these days, HP set up a lounge for the bloggers to use during the event.  This provided refreshments (although plenty were available on the main hall floor), lockers, casual chairs and more formal desk workspace.  As a central focus the lounge is a great idea; it is a place to congregate but was also used to bring in senior execs for less formal discussions.  This is the level of access not available to typical attendees and provides an opportunity to ask some incisive questions.

Internet Access

A key feature of the Bloggers’ Lounge was wired Internet connectivity.  It’s fairly obvious that bloggers are going to want to post online, but a fast connection is essential for uploading those podcasts and videos.  HP also realised that both show floor Wifi and hotel room Wifi can be unpredictable and so provided each blogger a 4G wireless card for the duration of the show.  The availability of free Wifi is even more essential for international travellers as roaming data charges are unrealistically expensive.  Of course Internet access means bloggers can tweet away to their heart’s content – an essential component for social media at these events.

Evening Events

The event days are always busy and it’s nice to unwind in the evening.  HP make an effort to ensure there is something occurring each evening, including involving senior executives in a less formal environment.    As an example, I chatted with David Scott (GM of the HP Storage division) over lunch and with some of his colleagues in one of the evening events.  There’s no attempt to restrict or control these conversations.

Access All Areas

As the first major event I’ve attended with HP, one of the most enjoyable features was our ability to see how the event was set up.  All of the bloggers were taken on a tour backstage during the keynote rehearsals (you can see that from some of the pictures I took) and we were allowed to view the show floor before all of the main attendees arrived.  A huge amount of hard work goes into staging these events and allowing bloggers to talk about it is a smart move.

Summary

In summary here are the main points to consider if you’re looking to bring bloggers to your event.

  • Offer free attendance and travel, where possible.
  • Ensure good quality Internet access.
  • Pick a hashtag for twitter and circulate it early.
  • Provide access to senior execs and SMEs.
  • Create a mix of both formal and informal evening events.
  • Try and provide bloggers with access they couldn’t achieve as a normal attendee.

One last thing worth noting; HP didn’t run the social media aspect of HP Discover 2011 alone.  The majority of the logistics were handled by Ivy Worldwide (www.ivyworldwide.com).  They have the experience in managing blogger attendees, from the original discussions to organising hotels, transport and so on.  This partnership clearly works well and having a good partnership like the one between Ivy and HP is a key strategy to social media success.

(Ed: Thank Chris for this. To find out more about Chris and his blogs: www.thestoragearchitect.com and www.thevirtualisationarchitect.com, read our interview with him here.)

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Q&A with Greg Schulz, Founder of StorageIO

April 1, 2011

Greg took some time out of his busy schedule as an author, blogger, independent IT advisor and consultant at the Server and StorageIO Group (StorageIO) to chat with Countdown2StorageExpo’s Olivia Shannon about life, food, travel, fishing, fun and — of course — storage!

Q.  Tell us a bit about yourself:

I’m an information junkie and a non-elitist foodie. I’m on a see-food diet: I see food and I eat it! I love food and hanging out with foodies, but I’m not hung up on being an elitist foodie. I enjoy a PB&J and a hotdog as much as I enjoy Singapore pepper crab. I like wine, but I also like beer.

Aside from cooking, I like fishing and enjoy catching and releasing. I’m a member of the Arcola hookers group.

I went to college (in the UK you call it “university”) for business administration, and I wanted to be an architect before that. I had a challenge with math, but when I discovered computers, I realised math was a breeze. I could program my way through business classes and math classes. I could program my way right through college! When I stumbled into computer science, that led to a lot of different situations that ultimately led to my IT career.

I was born in California, grew up in North Dakota, and now I’ve been living in Minnesota for a couple decades. I’ve been an IT customer, an IT vendor and I’ve worked for analyst firms. We’ve recently had our fifth anniversary at StorageIO, so we are now in our sixth year. I’ve been on both the customer and vendor side, and StorageIO is all about leveraging those experiences. I’m involved with servers, storage, networking hardware/software; I’ve done BC/DR, backup, performance capacity planning and more.

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