Sometimes students, or clients, ask how they can stay in tune with all the changes and updates to Wireless LAN Technologies. It is a very fast moving target. In the past one might have just read trade magazines, and attended annual technology conventions like Interop or Comdex. But in today’s ever moving world, you have to find more timely ways to stay on top of your industry.
This week’s episode will go over five ways to help you stay in tune with changes and updates to our chosen field.
My first recommendation here is to BE ON TWITTER!
Ok, now that I’ve got that out of my system. Please use a Twitter client, looking at Twitter only through the eyes of their browser interface is difficult, and doesn’t give you any perspective. I wrote a blog post earlier in the year talking about my experiences with Twitter and some helpful hints to get you started. You can find it here:
To help get you started on folks you might want to follow. I carry a ‘follow list’ on the Wireless LAN Professionals.com web site, you can reach it here: http://wirelesslanprofessionals.com/follow
Another way to find other like-minded individuals is to search on the ‘hash tag’ of #WirelessWednesday. This was started a while back, and each Wednesday, folks in our industry recommend other Twitter users you might want to follow. Sometimes these are people with an already-large following, who Tweet a lot, and other times another newbie to the world of Twitter, kind of asking for your help and attention to help welcome this new person to this social media forum.
Some people like Facebook, and other like Twitter, and still others use them both. I’ve found Facebook is a place to stay in contact with people you already knew, but lost touch with. Twitter, on the other hand, is a place for you to meet and connect with folks you don’t know, but would like to be in contact with.
Weblogs, or blogs for short are fast easy ways to publish ‘posts’ or content to the web is a simple way, without requiring the direct use of HTML or CSS coding. They have become quite popular. But where to start?
On the Wireless LAN Professionals.com website I’ve added a page to help get you started: http://wirelesslanprofessionals.com/blogs
Most of these blogs fall into one of the following categories.
Vendor Blogs – some of these might be fairly old, and not updated a lot
Individual Blogs – the experiences and tips/tricks from individuals
Study & Exam Prep Blogs – from people prepping for CWNP or Vendor Wireless Exams
News Blogs – Blogs posting current information about our industry
Blog Aggregators – in our world its the CWNP’s twitter posts about all other new blog posts
Here’s a list of the Wireless LAN Blogs that I follow on a regular basis. I like fresh new content, not too vendor bias, but I’m not adverse to a vendor slant on things.
- Devin’s Aerohive Blog
- Zaib’s WLAN Book Blog
- Steve’s WiFi Edge Blog
- GT Hill’s Blog
- Laura Chappell’s Blog
- Meru’s Signal2Noise Blog
- Jim’s Wireless-Nets
- Joe’s Connect 802
- The WiFi Hack Blog
- AirTight Networks Blog
- The Ruckus Room
- Doug’s WiFi Jedi Blog
- Ben’s Sniff WiFi Blog
- Lisa’s Wireless Corner
- Ron’s TechBytes
- Daily Wireless News
- George’s My 802.11 Blog
- Josh’s ‘Will Hack For Sushi’ Blog
- WiFi Networking News
- Jennifer’s CCIE Study Blog
I’m sure there are many other great blogs, and I know I’ve forgotten some of you. Just drop me an e-mail and I’ll add you to the list!
Another way to get involved and learn about Wireless LANs is to get involved in one of the many ‘Forums’ – a place you can go to ask questions, get answers, and share information pertinant to your job or your industry.
Here’s a couple to help you get started: http://www.cwnp.com/bbpress/
Or AirMagnet’s new community forums: http://www.airwisecommunity.com/
Other Vendor Communities from Cisco, Aruba, etc. Name your vendor of choice, and there is probably a forum dedicated to helping their customers.
This RSS thing… see the RSS Primer at http://www.whatisrss.com/ to learn more about the technology. It is a simple way to get blog and/or website update information send directly to you, so you don’t have to continually search the websites for the latest updates.
This can be made easier through the use of an RSS ‘Reader’ – or RSS Client software. I happen to like using Google Reader, but you can search on the term RSS reader and find many many options out there.
This is the technique I use to follow many blogs everyday, but only need to go to one place to catch up on the latest posts.
This final one is a simple, free service provided by Google to help you track certain keywords. I’ts not always the most timely way to get information, but it does allow you to use a much wider net in your searching. It is very easy to setup and use. Just pick some special ‘keywords’ you’d like Google to follow for you, as well as how often you’d like to be updated. Voila, every day (or whatever your time period happens to be) you’ll receive an e-mail with links to the websites or blogs that have triggered your keywords.
Sometimes you’d get something that doesn’t pique your interest, but other times you’ll have early access to things and topics you’re interested in, but don’t have the time to run daily searches on yourself.
You can find this service at: http://www.google.com/alerts
Your choice of ‘Keywords’ will help to focus in on the technologies and topics you’d like to stay current with. Here are a couple of examples I’ve loaded in my copy of Google Alerts – it helps me to stay on top of people talking online about the things I care about.
- Your name
- Wireless LAN Professionals
- Wireless LAN
- Wireless Site Survey
- WLAN Site Survey
- Wireless LAN Vendors
- WiFi and Wi-Fi and WLAN
Well, in this episode we’ve covered Five Ways to Stay Current with Wireless LAN Technology. Twitter, Blogs, Forums, RSS, and Google Alerts.
If you have any other ways you like to stay current, or blogs/Twitter users I should add to my list, just drop me an e-mail at keith at WLANPROS.com and I’ll update the website accordingly.
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