What happened?

Soo, I stated in my goals when I started this blog (not long ago at all) that I would post one general web dev related post a week and one code sample/tutorial style post per month.

So does this mean I failed my goals already?

I guess so....

A strange thing happened and I've actually realised something about myself in the last couple of weeks, that I possibly knew but I don't think I'd really fully realised before.

The team running http://www.asp.net/ had decided to open up for a number of new bloggers, a whole bunch of people jumped on the chance, me included. I read the Term of use and off I went, something that struck me right away was, is that it? Yes, that was it, as easily as that I now had a blog on weblogs.asp.net!

However of course it wasn't as easy as that, there was quite quickly an outcry from the existing community. All these new people were posting all sorts of things, many of them not tech related. These posts, helped by the default functionality in community server, got posted to what's called the weblogs.asp.net "Main feed", a lot of people subscribing to that feed, pretty quickly got pretty sick of these "off topic" posts and the solution was to split the feed and cut the "new bloggers" from the main feed if "you made a non technical post and included it in the main feed, and it got some negative attention".

Sorry if this seems a bit long winded, I'll get to my first point. 



You give all these people access to this awesome tool, but you don't give them any directions whatsoever in how to use it, of course people are going to post whatever pops in to their head! They're excited, they're on weblogs.asp.net! So although I fully appreciate the irritation from the people subscribed to the main feed etc. I must stand up for all us "new bloggers". No one tolds us these things, I didn't even realise that there was such a thing as the main feed, until all these people got all up in arms, leaving nasty comments on peoples blogs etc. Sure you could argue that as a "new blogger" you should research this kind of stuff but honestly, come on, that would be like asking a guy to read the manual before setting up and starting to play with his new 50 inch plasma TV.

My story:
Being a pretty cautious type of guy I held off a while before I started posting and, once I did I tried to keep my posts technical and to provide some valid opinions etc. and not just link to what others put up or to old msdn articles etc. etc.

And this is where things started getting interesting, I had set up a blog, as it happened it was on asp.net and there was an easy way to reach A LOT of people. This was never part of my initial motives or idea when I was planning to set up my blog. However the power of wanting to be recognised or whatever you might call it, is amazing and already after a couple of posts I found myself checking my stats at least a couple times per day.

And after I had read about the issues people were having with the new people posting non technical posts and taking that to heart. I all of the sudden was cut from the main feed! I was devastated or more like quite annoyed (to put it in modest terms), but then again maybe devastated might not be such a bad word for it. I had been rejected, my content and my opinions weren't good enough to be in the all mighty main feed. So I didn't make any more posts....

I find this a really curious thing, although I'd not even considered how many or who would read my blog when I decided to start blogging and I would have said I didn't care. Put on the spot, I started caring very quickly and was brought down to the point of considering just simply not bothering, when facing an in reality quite small set back. So I guess what I've come to realise, is that however much I'd like to thinks I am, I'm not imune to such human flaws as pride and self-importance. And that it's really important to keep track of your goals and why you're doing something.

Well, as you can see from this post, I have decided to (as they'd put it here in Western Australia) "toughen up" and get over it.

With all the stuff going on in the webdev area and with Silverlight 2.0 just around the corner there's just too many exciting things to post about, to worry about what other people think. Hopefully someone will find my rants and ravings interesting and maybe even useful, if not with any luck I will have gained some better understanding of the things I post about by putting my thoughts down in writing. Which as it happens was one of the main goals with me starting a blog anyway.

I link to a lot of Joe Stagner's content in this post, this is not meant to be a personal criticism of Joe in any way, and Joe has actually several times made it a point to ask the people complaining to be considerate and have patience with the new bloggers etc. And he's tried to keep a positiv spin on things, which I think he deserves credit for.

However as he's been the outward facing contact of asp.net in all of this, it's easiest to refer to him. As he states in his blog, "Growing an on-line community is hard" no doubt this is the case, I think though that providing the "new bloggers" with some, at least basic guidance on what's appropriate and what not etc. when they signed up, would have been a really good idea. Nothing too big or too detailed (remember my point about reading manuals). Just a few basic main pointers, which could possibly have saved a lot of people a lot of grief.


  • I'm pretty aggressive when it comes to picking the brains of other developers. I've taken the time to properly digest a lot of the material that I have found here.

    However, much as I appreciate the purely technical material I also want to read about career and business strategies for web developers. I want to know what technology you consider worth an investment of your time and energy and what technical services your business is providing. I take an entrepreneurial approach to web development.

  • I quite prefer what you smuibt in this article. Rather insightful and intelligent. One challenge though. I’m running Internet explorer with Debian and parts of your current web design pieces are a little wonky. I realize it’s not a usual set up. Yet still it’s an issue to retain in view. I trust that it can help and always keep in the main quality writing.

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