SNIA Blogfest 2010: The Introduction

This is part of a series on the SNIA Blogfest 2010.

Ok, so #SNIAfest happened and now I need to write it up. Wow.

SNIAfest was a new thing for all of us: SNIA, the bloggers, the vendors, and you. I’m just feeling my way through it, really, so enjoy the gonzo journalism style. Or not. Your choice.


First off, I want to extend a heartfelt and humble thankyou to SNIA for organising the event, and being mad enough to invite me along. I’m a relative nobody, so it was an honour to be a part of the first one of these in the southern hemisphere. Thankyou Paul Talbut, General Manager, Operations from SNIA for putting in the hard work of organising the day, herding us around, and keeping us on time. Thanks to Simon Sharwood (@ssharwood) for suggesting me, and for stealing the idea from the guys in the US. ;)

Thankyou also to the vendors who were brave enough to participate in the event: EMC, IBM, HDS, and NetApp. The enthusiasm with which we were welcomed into your midst was somewhat astonishing, and speaks well of you all. I hope that you found the experience as valuable as I/we did, and that you are encouraged to do this sort of thing again.

And finally thankyou to my fellow bloggers, @rodos, @bendiq, @prestondeguise, and @GraemeElliott without whom the event would not have been the success that it most assuredly was.


The only way I’m going to get all of this out of my brain and onto the web is if I wrap a bit of structure around it, so here’s what I’m going to do: I’ll be writing this up as a series of posts, and somewhere along the way I’ll add a permanent page to this blog linking to all of them so you can find them easily.

The sequence will go something like this: I’ll write up each vendor’s spot in the order they happened, so you can get a bit of a feel for the way the day unfolded. I’ll follow that with a summary piece about the day itself, a general reflection on what happened, what I think about it all, etc.

That should give me enough time to digest what went on, and to write it up in a way that does justice to the time and effort spent by SNIA and the vendors in putting on the event. It should also give you plenty of time to debate the points put up by each vendor individually, as well as together at the end.

I encourage you to get involved in the comments here, on Twitter, the other Blogfest bloggers’ blogs, on your own blogs, wherever. I see this kind of event as far more participatory and inclusive than the usual PR and big-M Marketing that goes on. I’m just acting as a conduit. It could just have easily been you there on the day instead of me, so get involved if you want to.


I’m putting this up front so there can be as few bunfights as possible about my independence, since it’s been called into question previously.

The event was in Sydney, and I live and work in Melbourne, so I had to fly up for the day. I paid for that out of my own pocket, not my company’s. I stayed overnight at my parent’s place, so that was a nice chance for a quick catchup with my Mum.

SNIA organised the day at no cost to me. They were also kind enough to buy me breakfast (1 large coffee, 1 small coffee, 2 poached eggs on turkish bread that was really quite excellent; thankyou Bluestone Cafe North Sydney), and also gave me a free one year individual membership to SNIA. My independence was a condition of being involved, imposed by SNIA.

There was a small amount of Merch, which I’ll disclose at the end of each vendor’s writeup (because I think it’ll read better that way), but none of it was earth shattering. There was coffee on offer if we wanted, IBM provided lunch, and NetApp did nibbles and drinks at the end. IBM ran over time, and I had a plane to catch, so I didn’t get to indulge much at all, even if I’d wanted to. I could have enjoyed as much water as I could hold, which didn’t turn out to be all that much.

Finally, I took a day out of my schedule of paid consulting to customers, so the lost revenue alone dwarfs the knick-knacks and coffee I received.

If you still want to question my independence, well, go ahead. I won’t argue with you, because I don’t believe I should have to, given the above.

Rules of Engagement

There may be some contentious statements made here, and the vendors have reputations to uphold, so I expect some argy-bargy in the comments. That’s cool. I hope you’ve read my previous posts on the topic.

If so, you already know the behaviour I expect. This is my blog, so I can nuke it from orbit if I want to. But I like openness and fairness, almost to a fault, so I’ll be doing my best to see that everyone gets fair treatment. If you’re spammy or overly mean, I’ll kill your comment. I get to make the call on what’s spammy or mean (though Akismet handles most of my spam comments for me, so you’ll have to get past it first).

Moderating is hard, and I don’t take the responsibility lightly, so it’ll need to be something pretty egregious to get removed.

And that’s enough of the buzzkill attitude. This should be fun.

Game On

I want Blogfests to become a regular thing, even if I’m not involved directly. I’m finding this whole experience to be way more fun than I anticipated, so I’d like it to continue.

So let’s get cracking with the meat of the thing, yeah?

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  1. Justin

    Just a note that it was a pleasure to be on the blogfest with you and was impressed with the depth of knowledge and phrasing of questions that my fellow attendees asked. Looking forward to your write up and I’ll have to put some time aside over the weekend to find a place to host a blog and then write it so I can do the blogfest justice.


  2. The feeling is mutual, Ben!

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