December 27, 2009

Blogger’s Quest(ionnaire): Project Manager Andrew Wicklander and Founder of Ideal Project Group

I discovered Andrew via comments to a post at 37signals’ blog Signal vs. Noise. This makes perfect sense considering that his frequent tool for working is their Webapp Basecamp whose purpose is to run projects better. Speaking of running projects better, Andrew is the CEO of Ideal Project Group which specializes in IT Project Management. His blog is Project Idealism where he writes about “project management, technology, business, entrepreneurship and other related opinions.” His sustained web-based publishing experience may help your entrance into the blogosphere or further inform your current work in it:

Why did you create a Website of regular entries?
Working the way I do, I’m often interacting with numerous clients in different environments. My blog is sort of my “stake in the ground” about business, technology and project management. It’s one of the few things that is all mine 100% of the time. I also felt I had a little something to offer to people who may be considering starting their own business. It really bothers me when talented people think the first place they need to look for work is inside someone else’s company. A lot of people have what it takes to work for themselves—they just think it’s harder to do than it really is.

What Web-based solution did you select and why?
I use Blogger because it’s a super simple hosted solution that I was able to get going in 10 minutes without having to install anything.

What is your definition of a good blog and
what are three good blogs that you frequently visit?

A good blog teaches you something you didn’t know, inspires you to do things you’re afraid of, spreads good ideas, and highlights things that aren’t working. It’s really difficult for me to narrow this list down to three. Here’s six: Signal vs. Noise,, Seth Godin’s blog, Five Thirty Eight, Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis, ZeroHedge.

How do you create content for your blog?
I have a running list of ideas for blog posts; whenever an idea strikes me I add it to this list. Then, when I’m in the mood to write I visit the list and work on the one that feels right. Sometimes an idea is in the list for only a day or so before I write about it, while others sit for weeks or more. This let’s me think about an idea in the background for a little while before I begin to write about it.

How do you stay organized and motivated
to contribute to your blog?

Other than my running list of ideas, there’s really nothing I do to stay organized or motivated to write. So much of what I work on is date driven that I never even tried to set certain goals for my blog. I love that it doesn’t feel like work to write, and I think setting deadlines for myself would have taken away a lot of the enjoyment. I’ve found that by doing it this way I usually feel like writing a couple times per week which I feel pretty good about.

For those aspiring to make a Website composed of
regular thoughts and
/or images, what is your advice?
Start it. Right now. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Wordpress or Blogger or Tumblr or whatever. Just get it started. Don’t worry about the design—use the default template and start writing. Make it real as soon as possible—you can always modify it later. One of the biggest mistakes I made was waiting so long to start my blog. Writing your thoughts down helps clear your mind, and also allows you to understand yourself in ways you might not have known previously. *Everyone* has something to offer.

What is your quest in blogging?
To provide a place on the web where people can see my unfiltered opinions about my profession—and hopefully earn some clients and inspire a few people along the way.

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Photograph courtesy of Andrew Wicklander.

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Read more of the Design Feast series Blogger’s Quest(ionnaire).

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