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Should I Blog This?

January 31st, 2008 by Corey Davis

Notes 8 LogoAs I previously mentioned, last week at Lotusphere I ended up in the blogger BOF. Even though I had no intention of setting in there I’m quite happy I did. Just another one of those fortuitous situations were bumping into an old friend lead me into a situation I had no intention of entering. One of the topics that came up was about the decision to blog about certain topics. In particular, technical topics. Before I knew what was happening I was standing up rambling, probably incoherently in a language that resembled English, about my thoughts on this topic. Whether or not you were there to witness this public speaking worst practices, I would like to address this topic here in more detail were it will be much more easily understood.

Okay, all self-effacing comments aside because it probably wasn’t really that bad, here is what happened. There were two sides to this topic that were voiced. The first was about being apprehensive on posting a technical topic for fear of looking a fool. You just learn some kick-ass new way of doing X and consider posting but fear getting back comments like “You newb! Everyone knows that!”. The second side of this topic was from the opposite end of the spectrum were the blogger in question posts deep, technical items and has at times considered posting less in-depth items but feared loosing readers because he was posting topics for which, again, “every knows that!”.

First, let me start by saying that the Lotus community tends to be a very friendly community. There isn’t a whole lot of that typical flame-war BS happening here, especially for the technical posts. We just don’t roll like that.

Second, Notes and Domino is extremely complex. There are one hundred and eight-two ways to do the same thing and no one can know or remember all of them. Therefore, I say to all of you other bloggers who have feared posting an entry in your blog, be it a tip, gotcha, Show-n-Tell-Thursday, or whatever just post it! Yes, there will be some who skip it because they know it, but the point here is to teach those who do not know.

I think this fear of looking foolish or receiving harsh comments is one that most non-professional bloggers (you know, the one’s that don’t get paid for blogging) share. I know I did when I first contemplated posting an SnTT post. Because these are technical in nature, my fear was that I would post something that everyone already knew about and would not be taken seriously. On the flip side, I was looking at the things that guys like Nathan and Andre were posting and thought that if I didn’t have a post of that caliber what would be the point? Those dudes hurt my skull sometimes with the stuff they come up with. Anyway, after six months if writing and deleting posts I finally got feed up and decided to press the Publish button on my first SnTT post. After all, I had been seeing what was going to happen with ND8 and knew well before then that this was going to be major. Also, my intention was not to impress Nathan, Andre, or other bloggers but was to help the community at large, so what did it matter if my posts were less technically impressive than theirs as long as they held value to someone? Lo and behold I got back positive comments on my first SnTT post. Some in the comments section of the post and some in email. Now that’s motivation!

Third, I truly believe that ND8 will see a much wider adoption rate then previous versions and will be taking seats from Exchange. All wonderful new features aside, Notes finally has bling! And, let’s face it, the pretty wins-over users. If I am correct in my presumption that there will be many new users, new admins, and new developers joining the Lotus community they will be looking for help anywhere they can get it. Blogs, and SnTT posts in particular, may very well be life savers to these newly indoctrinated individuals. We need to help these people and if that means posting some “obvious? information then so be it. If you do start to come across obvious posts don’t get all attitudal and go Wolverine on the poster’s blog. Stay civil and keep in mind that any post, without regard to its experience level, is important.

As a side note to that, I believe I made a mistake in my first SnTT post. I was obviously concerned about being taken seriously and put a disclaimer on my post stating “This would probably fall under the beginner category.? Looking back on this I think it was a bad idea. I essentially said to anyone who hasn’t considered this approach before that they were less than adequate. I can’t think of a better way to alienate people, so maybe learn from my mistake and refrain from qualifying your posts.

Therefore, please post away! Even if “every knows that? I can assure that in fact not every knows it and it will be of use to some.


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6 Responses

  1. Jess Stratton Says:

    Well said, Corey. Very well said. :-)

  2. Gregg Eldred Says:

    LOL!

    I had some reservations about a couple of SnTT posts, as I thought that there were so basic, so “easy” that I would be laughed at. I found it to be the opposite. Example: I posted an SnTT tip on Domino server console commands. Not only did I get feedback, but I got suggestions for more SnTT posts. Who would have thunk it?

    So, in a roundabout way, post away! :-)

    Oh, and your comments at the BoF weren’t as incoherent as you thought.

  3. Corey Says:

    @1 Thanks!

    @2 Happy to hear of others that have had good experience posting “beginner level” posts. I think they are going to be more important in the future than they are now. Also, nice to know that I didn’t come off as a total dweeb at the BOF! :-)

  4. John Vaughan Says:

    dude! i finally got your rss feed hooked up! it’s like plugging in that new toaster you got at christmas or something. or not! i dunno!

    HI COREY!

  5. Corey Says:

    A toaster? Does that make me a Cylon???

    Well, anyway, glad you got it working. Now I feel pressure to say something intelligent. Ummm…err…well… Damn! :)

  6. John Vaughan Says:

    yes, that makes you a cylon. please don’t kill me when you take over the earth. ;-)

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