Mark Smith

ASP.NET, SQL Server, HTML, CSS and other random thoughts!

LessThanDot?

 

What have I been up to?

It's been a while since I last wrote a blog on here, so what have I been up to? Well, it's been a very busy time for me as along with the birth of our first child, I've been working on a few startup projects. One of these that I've been working on with some friends of mine is a new IT community site aimed at providing forums, wikis and blogs for the community to discuss ideas, share knowledge and learn from the experts. This project is named LessThanDot.

What's The Difference ?

There are lots of places on the Internet that you can find that already have forums, wikis and/or blogs, so what makes this project different?  Well, it's all about bringing together all of those ideas into a consistent environment that promotes the creation and sharing of knowledge.  What makes LessThanDot really interesting and promising is the fact that the co-founders are experts from many of the top forums around the Internet. You'll find that you may already know some of us as we also blog on professional blogs, such as http://sqlblog.com/ and http://weblogs.asp.net. If you're even a semi-regular user of places like Tek-Tips, Google Groups, Microsoft Forums, Experts Exchange, LinuxQuestions and many others, you are likely to have been helped by one of the 30+ co-founders of LessThanDot - many of whom are top MVP's in their fields.

The Point of LessThanDot

What we aspire to do with LessThanDot is to do is deliver a quality experience for everyone (that includes professionals, students, researchers and anyone else with an interest in learning) to improve their IT knowledge and skills and raise the level for everybody. This involves more than just answering questions, but also inspiring interesting debate and discussion on best practices, methodologies and standards and continually improving the shared, community editable knowledge base of answers.  Because of the many experts present of the site, we also have a blog that provides constant insight into new and interesting technologies, standards and solutions. 

LessThanDot intends to cover all aspects of IT - from Web Developers to System Admins, from Architects to Data Management, IT Professionals (e.g. Project & Service management) to IT Students and Researchers, Desktop Developers to Enterprise Developers.  And if you have an area that isn't there, just ask us to add it for you.


Coming Soon

We have set 1st June 2008 as our launch date, so we hope to see you join the community soon and start to share your knowledge and if you would like to learn something, feel free to ask or just browse the growing knowledge base.

The IT Community of the 21st Century: http://www.lessthandot.com

 

 

Comments

rrobbins said:

We already have ITtoolbox which is a pretty good IT community site for professional networking. But I still think there are opportunities for better developer social networking if you add video communication and the reward of recognition.

# May 21, 2008 9:22 AM

Chris said:

Who are the experts?

# May 21, 2008 12:03 PM

ca8msm said:

@rrobbins - the only issue I have with video conferencing on a community website is that the discussions wouldn't be recorded in a searchable format, therefore there is the potential to make information less accessible. Can you expand on what you mean by "reward of recognition"?

@Chris - there are lots of people from various backgrounds and once the site is live there will be an "about us" page with a brief introduction from some of the people involved in the project. Remember though, this isn't about who is setting up the site, it's about getting everyone involved and contributing to how the discussions/information is debated and shared.

# May 21, 2008 1:16 PM

Chris Pietschmann said:

How will you compare to StackOverflow.com? And, why will people want to use one over the other?

# May 21, 2008 5:26 PM

ca8msm said:

@Chris Pietschmann

Chris, I only really read the initial blog on Joel's site with regards to StackOverflow.com and haven't yet listened to any of the podcasts to find out what they plan on doing so I can't really make a fair comparison. From what I gather though, Joel and Jeff plan on building a site aimed at programmers with the help of the community along the way. With LessThanDot, we're not going to be just targeting programmers, we'll have sections for hardware, security sections and even sections for students that are just starting off in learning. Our idea is to bring together the community and create somewhere that they can express their ideas, start discussion on interesting topics and theory, share what knowledge they have learn from others.

# May 22, 2008 3:41 AM

Damian Bere said:

@chris

To add to Mark's comment (and he would certainly be one of the experts), there are approx. 30 co-founders - all with proven IT experience and expertise in a particular field.  Many of which have blogs on major sites, talk at conferences, and are very active in many of the mainstream internet forums out there.  But, more importantly, as Mark notes - this is more about the community, and providing an easy to use and engaging environment where knowledge can be shared and developed. We also hope that over time others will join the experts group and share their experience too - if you're interested in blogging with LessThanDot, then let us know :-)

@Chris Pietschmann / rrobins

In regards to other similar sites, we did think hard about this, and after trying those that each of us were yet to use, we always felt that there was something missing - either the community was unpleasant, or the usability of the site was disastrous, or it was too focused on just one thing, or it lacked the functionality you'd expect of a site in this century (or even all the above!).  So, LessThanDot was born.  

As with many of these things, the community is the key - we want to help nurture a community that is passionate about IT and helping each other improve knowledge and skills.  This extends beyond just the LessThanDot site and it's users - we aspire to being a part of the wider community and "playing well" with others that have the same kind of ambitions. If the StackOverflow guys feel that the sites could compliment each other or even work together in some way, we'd very much welcome such a discussion.

Hope to see you all there in June.. :-)

# May 22, 2008 12:19 PM

OJ said:

Good luck with your venture. I hope it doesn't end up being the same as so many other attempts at this before: full of idiots asking nothing but the same questions, and other idiots trolling and creating religious geek wars.

All the best :)

# May 24, 2008 6:32 PM

ca8msm said:

Thanks OJ!

I hope so to as I've seen many a place become exactly that. What we'll try and do at LessThanDot is point people towards the knowledge base such as a wiki or blog entry as common questions will hopefully start to be covered there.

We look forward to seeing you there...

# May 25, 2008 12:21 PM

hudo said:

Obviously it's aimed to microsoft dev community, and whole site is written in php. You also mentioned that some of the site founders are mvps or various fields...

Why you didn't use asp.net?

# June 2, 2008 3:09 AM

ca8msm said:

@hudo

The site isn't just aimed at the Microsoft community. We have forums for unix, hardware, students and everything related to IT.

We chose PHP for various reasons and as it was a collective effort, it was deemed that of the programmers in that group there were more people with skills in PHP. However, I wouldn't be too concerned with the language that the site is written in as it isn't the aim of the site to promote any language.

# June 2, 2008 3:43 AM