I read a recent rant by Robert Scoble as well as the fallout in various blogs. I agree with most of Robert's rant and told him as much when I talked to him on the phone yesterday. However he seems to be caught up in the fad of weblogs which bothers me a bit. He specifically mentions the fact that he wants more Microsoft blogs.

Now there are a couple of things wrong with his impressions. The first is that probably besides Don and Tim who blog on Microsoft owned websites, I'm not sure there are any Microsoft blogs. Secondly it assumes that weblogs are some supposed fountain head of developer community interaction which seems absurd to me after participating on USENET and on mailing lists. Weblogs are inferior to both USENET and mailing lists for interacting with users, readability or searchability.

I'm not saying this just because most Microsoft teams participate on USENET (all of SQL Server and Visual Studio always have members of the product team reading our newsgroups daily) or mailing lists (the ASP.NET folks are about mailing lists). I'm saying this because the complaints people feel can be addressed by blogs could as easily be addressed by already existing means of interacting with end users. The more important concern is that even mentioning weblogs would result in applying of band aid solutions (every team have a blog guy) without tackling any of the core issues w.r.t. how the developer community is treated.

Most of the problems Scoble pointed at can be answered by B0rg Central doing three things more
  1. Release Early.
  2. Release Often.
  3. Release Control.
The above actions apply to both information and software. A number of B0rg folks wonder why the communities around Linux and Open Source are so successful, those 3 things are why. Given that these 3 things are against B0rg culture and not how things have been done in the past, there will be resistance. However, I'm sure the B0rg will eventually learn resistance is futile.

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Disclaimer: The above comments do not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my employer. They are solely my opinion.


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