Is blogging for the homeless?

Think you can put up a Web blog somewhere and you've done your job? That's not enough. Seek out the communities and find ways of interacting.

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I've been watching a lot of Web blogs, lately, and I'm amazed at the number of posts that are technical in nature. It seems to me that these folks are missing out on something here.

As Dennis Miller would say: "I'm on a rant" -- or in my case: "I'm just chimping."

Technical posts should be available for the entire technical community to see, not just a subset. I've watched the Microsoft daily newsfeeds and the new TechNet Web blogs, and it seems just a shame that some people rely on the Microsoft vehicle to get noticed. There are many folks that haven't realized how important automatic newsfeeds are yet. There are still many more people who hate the Microsoft Newsgroups, or don't have access to them.

There are too many communities out there where they can sign-up and blog straight to the community instead of hoping someone will pick up and read their Web blog.

If Microsoft thinks that Web blogging is only for them, then someone at the top needs to grab those folks and shake them a bit. There's a huge community out there. Microsoft trying to centralize the communities under their own umbrella seems a bit nuts.

As many years as I've been in the MVP program, there still seems to be a huge disconnect with how communities are supposed to work. There are a huge number of people out there that share their expertise and knowledge through articles and other resources. Tapping into these resources doesn't mean that Microsoft needs to start blogging.

Keep in mind, this isn't just Microsoft folks (though I think the way Microsoft conducts its online communities kind of promote this to their MVPs), but there are many folks in the communities who think they should be patted on the back for posting articles, or making blog posts. Again, this goes back to how communities are promoted on many different levels in the industry.

Communities are people (customers) who decide to interact anywhere and sometimes everywhere. Find these folks, find these communities, and interact there. Don't think you can put up a Web blog somewhere and you've done your job. Seek out the communities and find ways of interacting. It's not that tough. Selfish is not a word heard around many of the top communities. I read the one-off Microsoft blogs and think, "Wow, that's great info!" But, how many people really read these things? How many people simply grab the feed but the content because they are too busy?

I guess the bigger question here is this: Is blogging for folks who don't have a community home? Or, for those folks that have a home but have some qualms about it?

As for myself -- I both blog and post articles. And, there are many I know at myITforum.com that do the same thing. There are many sides of a community. Fortunately, I think we (at myITforum.com) have gotten it right. Of course, it's taken many years to get here, but there are so many giving, incensed and valuable individuals in this community who really just want to see the community grow.

Now, it's time for Microsoft to figure this out. Microsoft is NOT community. Individuals are NOT community. Drop me a note if you really want to know what community is. Or, simply plan to attend the myITforum.com party at next year's MMS 2006. I'll be waiting.


Rod Trent, manager of myITforum.com and Microsoft MVP is a leading expert on Microsoft Systems Management Server. He has more than 18 years of IT experience -- eight of which have been dedicated to SMS. He is the author of such books as Microsoft SMS Installer, Admin911:SMS, and IIS 5.0: A Beginner's Guide, and has written literally thousands of articles on technology topics.

 


Rod Trent, manager of myITforum.com and a Microsoft MVP, is an expert on Microsoft Systems Management Server. He has more than 18 years of IT experience -- eight of which have been dedicated to SMS. He is the author of Microsoft SMS Installer, Admin911: SMS, and IIS 5.0: A Beginner's Guide and has written thousands of articles on technology topics. He can be reached at rtrent@cinci.rr.com.

This article first appeared in myITforum.com, the premier online destination for IT professionals responsible for managing their corporations' Microsoft Windows systems. The centerpiece of myITforum.com is a collection of member forums where IT professionals actively exchange technical tips, share their expertise and download utilities that help them better manage their Windows environments, specifically Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS). It is part of the TechTarget network of industry specific IT Web sites. To register for the site and sign up for the myITforum.com daily newsletter, click here.

This was first published in May 2005

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