While MSPmentor strives to be the most timely voice of managed service providers, several managed services blogs are popping up on the radar. Some are from vendors. Others are from distributors. A few are from MSPs themselves. Here's a quick look at six MSP-oriented blogs we're reading.

Before I reveail my list of interesting MSP blogs, I want to preface my thoughts by saying "consider the source."

Everybody who writes a blog -- myself included -- has an agenda. Traditional journalists try to remain completely neutral, but the best blogs typically have strong viewpoints and clearly defined positions. In the world of blogging, it's okay to have an opinion -- as long as you clearly define that opinion and let readers weigh in with their comments.

Also of note: Some of the best blogs on the Net are written by vendors. One of my favorite reads is Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz's blog. He's developed a strong voice that rarely (if ever?) gets edited by Sun's marketing and PR teams.

Ready, Set, Go...

In stark contrast, many of the MSP-oriented blogs below are just getting started. Several of the authors are developing their blogging voices, and they also have day jobs to keep them busy. But we'll be watching their sites to see how they evolve over the next few months. Here's a sampling of destinations you may want to check out:
  1. Ingram Micro's Seismic Blog (www.ingrammicroseismic.com/blog): Penned by Justin Crotty, VP of North America Services, this blog recaps key MSP coverage and adds Ingram's perspective.
  2. Kaseya Blog (http://blog.kaseya.com): Kaseya is still experimenting with this blog, and Senior VP Dan Shapero has also added his voice to MSPmentor.net.
  3. MSP University (http://mspu.typepad.com/weblog/): Authored by Erick Simpson, a best-selling book author and educator. Erick and I trade email at least weekly, comparing notes about the industry's direction.
  4. N-able Blog (http://blogs.n-able.com): N-able CEO Gavin Garbutt and his executive team add their two cents to the MSP market.
  5. Think IT Services (http://www.thinkitservices.blogspot.com/): Instead of cutting to the chase, author Jeff Kaplan writes more extensive entries that assist readers with Software as a Service, Managed Services and key topics of the day. You may not hear from him for a few days, but when he weighs in with a blog entry, he's typically ready to offer you some deeper perspectives.
  6. Nimsoft Blog (http://nimsoft.com/blogs): Written by Nimsoft CEO Gary Read.
I mentioned Nimsoft's blog last for a key reason: This site should be required reading for MSP platform providers and vendors that want to develop blogs. Gary doesn't pull any punches. He writes with a chatty, informal voice. He brags about his company's products without using marketing talk. He tells you what city he's in on a given day, and why he's there. And he goes off on tangents from time to time, describing his own technology purchases.

Notice, the Nimsoft blog is called "Gary's Blog." It's not called "Executive Suite" or "The Nimsoft View." It's personalized and instantly puts you on a first-name basis with Nimsoft's CEO.

At a time when so many vendors are producing vanilla information because they don't want to offend anyone, Gary is out telling the world where he stands on key issues. He comes across as a real person building a real business. And Gary has been writing the blog since August 2006, according to the site's archive.

The key takeaway: A lot of vendors are thinking about launching blogs because "everybody else is doing it." In stark contrast, Gary is blogging because he has something to say. You may not like everything he says (I certainly don't). But that's the beauty of Web 2.0 technology. Everyone gets a voice and is allowed to weigh in with opinions.

And I value the opinions from the six bloggers above.

Still, I realize there are additional blogs out there. If you've got a favorite MSP-oriented blog, feel free to post a comment below and we'll be sure to check out the site.