New Year Hosk CRM Resolutions

I’m sure a lot of readers won’t have any new years resolutions, I admit it is an odd concept to wake up one day and decide you are going to do a bunch of things differently or do new things or stop doing something for the next 365 days.

I think it’s something we should do lots of mini resolutions throughout the year to ensure what you are doing/focusing on is evaluating your current habits/actions to see if they are things you should be doing and focusing on.

When you write a blog you have to conscious you are writing public content available to everyone and people will express opinions on the content you create, this can be viewed as criticism or feedback, the difference is the way you perceive it.  I always welcome feedback, whether it’s good or bad, so please leave comments on the blog.

The Hosk CRM blog and my activities generated some criticism/feedback during the last year

How to Deal with Criticism

My advice is when you receive criticism is not reply immediately and give yourself at least a day to digest the information.  If you find the criticism particularly unfair/annoying/hurtful then think about why, it might be because it’s true.

I am of the view all criticism or comment is useful because it’s feedback on your actions.  Most of the time feedback and getting someone to care about what you are doing is very difficult because most people can’t be bothered to leave a comment/send an email so if they do be grateful (even if you don’t agree with it)

To help you respond and analyise the criticism, draft a reply BUT DONT SEND IT (initially replies are often intent on striking back at the person rather than being constructive), go for a walk and think about the points raised.

Sleep on the criticism

Sleep on your response

The next day(s) look at your response, the criticism will seem less personal and your response is likely to include some comments which are likely to be knee jerk reactions.  You can edit the response and create a more considered and constructive response.  The goal is to take positive points from the criticism and response, otherwise what is the point in replying (there are rarely benefits to negative comments or actions, they usually lead to more negative comments/actions)

here is the first feedback I received

1.  Some people thought I was focused on quantity rather than quality.  Hosk CRM blog focused on the CRM content of other people e.g. blogs/tools/interviews rather than creating CRM content of my own, e.g. a lack of originality

I found this feedback annoying.  Initially I was angry because the CRM MVP interviews I enjoyed creating and coming up with all the questions and getting responses was actually a lot of work.  The blog posts on CRM tools were quite popular.

Rather than replying straight away saying I have written 100’s of original blog posts and indeed if you type a CRM error into google you will often hit one my blog posts with instructions how to resolve it.  Sending this reply wouldn’t have benefited me, so I thought about it.  I replied thanking the person for their feedback and taking the time to write to me, I then forgot about it.

This question nagged at me.  I initially replied stating some facts and figures of the original blog post, YouTube videos etc.  At this point I didn’t understand the point the person was trying to highlight to me.

I had replied like someone participating in an argument, instead of hearing the other person and trying to extract the point and opinion the person is raising, I was just interested in replying with my point of view which disagreed with those comments.

Walking and thinking, thinking and walking

A few months later whilst walking, my mind wandered back to the email (it’s amazing where your mind will go when walking alone) and I started to think more about it.

I realized, my blog was popular getting thousands of views, etc. was it doing what I wanted it to do, was it original

I thought about the reasons I started writing the CRM blog

  • To help me learn about Microsoft Dynamics CRM (CRM 2011 at the time of creation).
  • A place for me to easily find solutions to CRM problems I experienced
  • To learn more about CRM development by blogging about it
  • To help the CRM community
  • To raise my profile in the CRM world.

I had got blown off my original course, instead of creating original content I was commentating on other peoples original content

Apart from pointing people towards good tools and blog posts what was I getting out of writing blogs about these things, not much.  I would read the articles anyway, but why spend time blogging about the

Instead of blogging about other peoples content I should focus on creating my own.  When I analysed the blogs I enjoyed reading the most, they were often CRM MVP’s who were giving their own opinions, experiences, knowledge, insights and not just a simple how to or a comment on other blogs.  This is what I should be aiming to do, except using my ideas, experiences and thoughts.


To me it boiled down to this

Do I want to look back at my CRM blog and think, great job I wrote a popular blog which pointed to great articles written by other people


I wrote some great articles with my own thoughts and ideas


I started to implement a new attitude to the content created on my blog on 21st September (coincidentally when I moved jobs to NTT Data last year), which possibly doesn’t make it a news years resolution.

This is what I have noticed about creating more

  • It’s harder
  • My blog posts are longer
  • It’s more rewarding and interesting
  • I care more about my blog posts because it’s me and my opinion.
  • I enjoy thinking about my opinions on CRM functionality, e.g. best practices, deeper understanding of CRM functionality, Advice etc.

I’m not saying I didn’t write any original blog posts before the 2nd September, there are loads but I did spend a lot of time commenting on content which wasn’t mine.

I did write a lot of posts on the MB2-703 – CRM 2013 customization and configuration certification, which you can read here.  It was good to look at the new functionality and get a deeper understanding of some core CRM functionality.  I’m glad lots of people found it useful and helped them pass the MB2-703 exam.

I am extremely grateful to the feedback people give but that particular email has changed my look whole outlook to blogging and this year will see some good blog posts written by myself.   The new outlook on blog post has been influenced by reading some of the books in the post Recommended Reading for Developers and the books on the coding horror list.  Reading great content can motivate you to not only incorporate those techniques into your working day but highlights the possibilities of working smarter.

So this year I want to focus on creating better quality blog post of original content.

Stop tweeting/retweeting the same thing

Earlier in 2014 I was tweeting lots and most CRM articles and someone said stop it, everyone is tweeting the same thing.  I just unsubscribed from A user and now you are retweeting all his posts

This made me think about what I was using twitter for, what was I getting out of it just tweeting every CRM article that moved.

So I stopped tweeting so much and then only tweeted the good articles and some of my old blog posts to remind people about them.

Hosk Aim

To tweet more original thoughts and tweet only very good articles which everyone else hasn’t already tweeted.

Some blog posts copied too much content from other blogs

I totally agree with this.  In my defense I would say I use to do this and my theory was I sharing the information with the readers of my blog, I was promoting useful information to people who might not find it.  I always linked to the original blog/article and recommended readers to visit the original source material.

This isn’t good practice, it possibly takes viewers away from the original and there seems little point to it.  I would advise people to tweet great blog post and write original content, try out some functionality you haven’t used, challenge yourself.

This relates to a previous point about blogging mentioned earlier, I will not be focused on blogging about other people’s CRM content and if there is a good CRM article then I can tweet it or share it on LinkedIn rather than writing a blog about it (unless I have a lot of my own thoughts on the topic of course)

You are focused on racking up points on Dynamics CRM community

This is partly true, because I wanted to collect the meaningless Badge 8 and an MCC badge.   The truth is you can only effectively “rack up” points by answering peoples questions and for them to choose your answer as the verified answer.  Anyone who has tried to do this will know it’s quite difficult to get verified answers because you have to answer before other users, the person has to mark your response as the verified answer.

The bottom line is you have to answer the person’s question to get a verified answer.

Hosk New Years Resolutions

Readers might be curious why I would bother creating this post and detailing my resolutions.  I find creating a blog post helps clarify the points to myself.  A bonus outcome will be it will encourage other people to create original content and set some resolutions for themselves this year.


The Hosk will stand on his blog soap box and shout out advice to anyone that walks by.  I want to focus on creating more original content this year.  My aim is to create better quality content.

More Hosk CRM Dev

My YouTube channel has got over 700 subscribers and some of the most popular blogs are the creating plugins.  So I will create some more plugin and CRM Dev videos.

I was toying with the idea of creating a CRM Dev podcast, but I’m not sure how this would work (hearing but not seeing) or if anyone would be interested.  So I will see about that

Try CRM 2015 new functionality

I currently have only read about the new CRM 2015 functionality and have not yet tried it out myself.

Try TypeScript

I love the idea of TypeScript, I have had a brief look at it here but definitly like to try it out a bit.

CRM Testing

I don’t do enough CRM testing, so this year would like to look at Microsoft Fakes and also the testing frameworks below.

Do an online course in JQuery or JSAngular

JQuery course


Read some Dev books


If you want an easy new year resolution, try the one below


pictures Calvin & Hobbs from here