Yet another little Microsoft kingdom

The latest Microsoft kingdom: CodeZone.

I don't get it. No one at Microsoft talks to each other about anything. I've mentioned more than once that Microsoft takes several directions at once, all in the name of entrepreneureal spirit, when the company could get it right and consolidate resources and build real live centers of activity that eliminate the duplication of effort.

For example, ASP.NET is my thing. I can get information about it on, GotDotNet, MSDN, Channel 9, this new site, and God knows where else. Isn't that a little ridiculous?

I've seen it posted many times over that getting anything posted to the "proper" Microsoft sites is a pain and takes forever, so these little projects have launched all over the place. That's great, but the resulting mass chaos of URL's is the polar opposite and just as bad. Surely there must be some kind of middle road?

Someone in Redmond needs to take charge and resolve this. Lots of little kingdoms do little more than water down the overall value of what the company could be doing in a consolidated fasion. No one should have to visit a half-dozen sites to figure out what's going on.


  • I have to agree with you Jeff. I was in a meeting with a high profile company the other day to discuss with them why their site was a flop. I told them that the average person probably has 1-2 sites that they visit parochially on top of their blog reading and that creating new sites is very hard. Therefore, if your site is a "community site" - meaning that you need community for it to be a success - then you are probably in for a hard time.

  • I 100% agree, I heard once that the delay (process) in putting content through the more official channels ( are the reasons sites like this are built.

  • Right on!! If only all this information could be consolidated in one place - MSDN

    Hit F1 and you are there....

    instead we have little kingdoms like you said...which will probably be competing against one another...

  • I would like to point out, that it's only thru these little kingdoms (as you call it) and competition (as Ron calls it) when any progress is possible to be created. Little kingdoms usually have various good ideas on how to consolidate information. Discussions are good for one thing, GotDotNet for another, CodeZone for yet another. Specialization is what brings perfection...

  • I dont know the goals behind this "strategy" as i already pointed at my blog

    I understand some local issues can be solved by local sites but the overall process of community work is still not visible or can be missunderstood

  • I agree, I don't get it either. Last year at teched 2004 europe they already introduced CodeZone. I went to the site and immediately found out this was a marketing driven 'community' setup.

    But marketing driven communities won't work. Communities aren't 'created', they grow. the only community which really works is's forums.

    MS also doesn't get that fragmenting communities is killing the community at the same time. Developers don't have time to wade through 10 forums. They visit one, perhaps 2. I also don't get this localisation. I don't want to talk to solely dutch developers, why should I? This is the internet, I want to talk to developers everywhere if I want to, and if some marketeer cooked up some framework limit I'll go elsewhere.

    I've seen a lot of communities in the past 15 years (newsgroups, fora) and perhaps it's me, but the only MS community I feel at home are the MS newsgroups. The sites I never visit are channel 9 and Especially channel 9. It's so incredibly bad. I'm not a website designer, I don't use a Mac, I am a hardcore code writer, and I'm also not 13 anymore, though the whole channel9 community site breaths macintosh/designerish below-20s atmosphere.

    Hard-core code writers want results on their searches, help NOW if they need it and want to find it NOW and easy. It's a Q&A driven community aspect which works well in other coder communities like Code Project and People who want to write a technical article can do so, others can read it, and it has just a truckload of info. THAT's what's required for a technical community. Not some teen-graphics, silly video's and non-info babble.

  • Codezone is not a community, it is merely a meta community and by that means aims to strengthen already existing community efforts.

    And, well, I can't say that kingdom building isn't part of the corporate life at MSFT, it certainly is part of any company at a certain size...

    But I beleive Codezone in particular, however, isn't. It's actually the merger of two efforts, an European and a South American one.

    In a sense Codezone might bring the consolidation you are asking for, since it is meant not to compete with it's own content...

    But I do agree the messaging can be misunderstood, maybe someone of the team reads this and cares to comment on the issues...

  • Making CodeZone more relevent (under INETA)

  • I just let google decide.

  • Well with Microsoft being big and attracting smart cookies these recruits tend to get into pissing contests about who does it better and scoring brownie points as they move up their career ladders.

    For the leaders, who've played this game out earlier in their lives they understand that competition, especially in-house, can be very productive at identifying those who can deliver and should be supported further.

    May the best site win I guess or dog-eat-dog perhaps.

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