Every now and then someone will ask "What are the best sources of IT service management (ITSM) and service desk (and possibly even customer service) advice?" There are of course many paid-for information sources, such as industry analyst firms, and while I might cheekily state that people should seek help and advice from their ITSM or service desk tool provider - I'll no doubt eventually get around to listing some of the best ITSM blog sites on the Internet.
There are of course lots out there, although some are not as active as they used to be. I imagine many people are just too busy to write stuff and/or it's hard to motivate oneself to write if the content doesn't get the reads it deserves. It's not all bad news though. As this blog eventually shows - there are some great ITSM and service desk blog sites out there if you know where to find them.
But Beware - Not All (ITSM) Blog Sites are Born Equal
There's definitely a lot of free ITSM advice and information out there but as with the Internet as a whole - one should be careful as to what one reads (and believes). Not only in terms of content "accuracy" - as these days anyone can write and publish content - but also in terms of whether a particular blog is the most beneficial use of your time and attention.
Unfortunately, as you have probably already experienced, there are many blog sites - or, more specifically, ITSM blogs - that fall into one or more of the following types:
- There's just no pay off for the reader - the best ITSM blogs offer help or make you think. But some blogs are the written-content equivalent of road movies, where you keep watching, expecting something exciting to happen, but they just finish with you left asking "Why?"
- Interesting blog titles that missell the content - it's not necessarily clickbait, it might just be a case of a really great blog title wasted on a "meh" blog. But it's still five minutes of your life you won't get back.
- Thinly veiled sales pitches - they often start well but always end with "and therefore you should buy our product" rather than something that helps you, the reader.
- Too short to provide value, or too long to actually read - which translate to "I don't really have much to say but I'll write it anyway" and "I need to think more about the reader when writing" respectively.
- "All style, no content" - often found by clicking on a tweet due to the sexy-sounding blog title. But this leads you to little more than two paragraphs of "nothingness" advertising some new paywalled content.
You can probably think of many other types of blogs that aren't worth your time, but THIS blog is about the good ITSM blog sites not the poor ones.
10 of the Best Blogs for ITSM and Service Desk Advice and Inspiration
The list below hasn't been created through scientific means - for instance, it's not about their read numbers - instead it's more about the quality of blog content, i.e. the sites avoid many of the previously-expressed issues, and have a reasonable publishing cadence. And, before you ask, the blog sites are listed in alphabetical order:
- AXELOS - its various guest bloggers on not just ITSM and ITIL, there's also project management and InfoSec information and advice.
- HDI - last year the HDI blog site relocated from its old home so you might have lost it in the move. The blogs are still being written by service desk and customer support gurus such as Roy Atkinson, they are not in what you might consider a discrete blog roll though.
- IT Chronicles (formerly "All Things ITSM") - a collection IT, not just ITSM, blogs from some of the IT industry's most active bloggers. There's also video podcasts recorded at global industry events.
- The IT Skeptic - a healthy mix of advice, thought leadership, and cynicism from the one-and-only Rob England. Probably one of the most-read ITSM, and now DevOps, blogs out there.
- ITSM Transition - the home of Greg Sanker's very practical ITSM blogs, many of which are related to change management.
- itSMF UK - since Barclay Rae took over the itSMF UK CEO reigns, there has been a big jump in the number of blogs posted here and other social media activity.
- ITSM.tools - a relatively new site that publishes two or more ITSM and service desk blogs from a wide range of authors - from industry luminaries, ITSM practitioners, tool vendor personnel, to consultants - every week.
- Service Management Journey - described by its author as "A Practitioner's Blog for Service Management," Ryan Ogilvie shares ITSM best practice and other advice based on both his professional and personal experiences.
- Optimal Service Management - the home of ITSM industry legend Stuart Rance's blogs. It's a great mix of topics, with blogs often written as responses to social media conversations or questions.
- SITS Community - another home for a variety of service desk and ITSM bloggers to share their advice and thoughts. There's usually a peak in blog content as the annual SITS event approaches.