How to run a PI blog when you have sub-zero knowledge of PI

Blog Post created by Kenneth_Barber Champion on Sep 9, 2020

This comedy duo just got its 3rd stooge…


From oily rags to riches


First, we screwed over future generations by exhausting a non-renewable resource to earn 1518 points and join the top 2% of PI Square users. Then, we made the current generation suffer by taxing the poor to raise our total to 1670 points, bringing us to the nitrogen level and the top 1% of PI Square users. We'll need 830 more points to level up again, which will take a long time to earn. I guess nitrogen really is stable. But that's OK. The next level is oxygen, which is very reactive. We're not like that; we plan ahead and solve problems before they happen.


We started off as a loser with no money. Now, we're a loser with a lot of money, and we're running out of sources of income because the government can't manage the economy right. We can't improve our fortune much, but we can still improve our fame. And what better way to get our name on the front page than to start a PI blog?


Know thine enemy


If you're bored enough to try to organize PI Square's blog posts in a spreadsheet, you'll find that most of them fall into at least one of these categories:

  • Announcements. For example, product release, beta release, release delay, and All-Star announcements. We can't write this type of post because we aren't OSIsoft employees. I mean, we could, but
  • "Welcome to my blog", "so glad to be joining the PI community", and "test" posts. These may or may not have been written just to get the Blogger points.
  • Event-related. For example, user conferences, hackathons, "so excited for [event]", and "had a great time at [event]". We're not going to any events because money and because virus.
  • Posts about deprecated PI programs. Obviously, we won't be writing this type of post.
  • Developer posts. These incorporate a wide variety of programming languages and hardware. However, before we can write such a post, we must be proficient at both PI and programming.


There are also several unintuitively inappropriate types of blog posts. For example, if you write a very good tutorial that involves only PI programs and common business programs, then that tutorial should probably become official, which would render the blog post useless afterwards. If you are complaining or describing wishful thinking, you are better off writing a suggestion.


In addition, about 80% of the blog posts on PI Square are written by OSIsoft employees. They will not only answer your questions quickly, but they are also quick to write about all of the good blog post topics. This is a very good thing. However, it makes it much harder for us to become PI Square famous. #selfie


We won't be able to compete with the OSIsoft employees (this isn't a competition!) or write developer posts, but we won't let that stop us. We've reached the top 1% of PI Square users despite having barely learned anything about PI. We faked it till we maked it, and we'll maked it again. If Mr. Kung Flu can become president, we can blog about PI. The Peter principle states that people tend to rise to their level of incompetence. We're gonna do just that (or we can become more competent?!). There's still another strategy that can work for us


Blue ocean


This is my 18th blog post on PI Square, which means that I'm a man now. As a man, I pride myself in explaining topics that I'm not fully qualified to talk about, possibly in a condescending manner to people that know much more than me. It's called "mansplaining"—you know, like "man" and "explaining"—in case if your vocabulary pales in comparison to that of yours truly


Of my 18 blog posts, how many of them demonstrate my knowledge of PI and directly help others get more value out of their PI system? Only the boldest of readers will learn the answer. My blog consists of:

  • 6 suggestion compilations
  • 4 about PI Square points (including this one)
  • 3 about theory
  • 2 about PI programs before they're even installed
  • 1 about large PI data sets in Excel
  • 1 about OSIsoft SSO accounts
  • 1 table of contents


Four. Un, deux, trois, . Only 4 of my blog posts, which is 22% of my blog posts, actually talk directly about using PI programs, and not necessarily in much detail either, and yet all of my blog posts are relevant to PI users because they talk about stuff that the PI community uses.


The secret that makes doctors hate me is to go blue ocean. If you can't be prettier, you dress edgier. If your new game system isn't as powerful as others, add motion control or 3D. If you don't know enough about PI to write a typical blog post, then you write a blog post that is not typical. You continue writing, and when people see your name often enough, they'll assume that you must know something about PI. The strategy seems to be working so far. It keeps others happy. It keeps me happy. And if it makes me happyyyyyyyy, it can't be that baaa-a-a-ad.


The other trick is to play to your strengths and use that in a PI context to help the PI community.


Find what you Excel at


Your strength may be something that is not specific to, but is still relevant to, PI. For example, robotics, statistics, machine learning, business intelligence, visualization, cloud computing, or even accounting. It's good for us to get out of our comfort zone and learn PI, but it's good for those that use PI regularly to expand their knowledge as well.


And my comfort zone? Tables. Discrete data. I am much more of an Excel guy than a PI guy. The 's out of the bag. In fact, 15 of my 18 blog posts (83%) used Excel at some point during the writing process, and 15 of my blog posts use tables. Tables are an egg-cellent Excel-lent way to organize, analyze, and display data and break the monotony of the surrounding text.


Actually, make that 16 blog posts that use tables, because when you find your strength, realize how it can help fellow PI users, and then write a blog post about it, you will earn:


MissionPointsActionNumber Required
Blogger50Publish a blog post1


I look forward to what you will write!


Points from this section: 50

Total points: Don't matter. We don't need the points.


Season finale


That concludes this series about PI Square points. I'm all out of bad ideas and even worse jokes (just kidding about the former).  If cringe isn't your jam, you can check out my table of contents and read some of my other, more normal posts. Hopefully, this series has inspired you to contribute to the PI community and have some fun while doing it (if you weren't contributing or having fun already).


Thank you, and good night.