Cook Computing

Blogging Experiment

October 7, 2004 Written by Charles Cook

Six months ago I set up an internal .Text installation for members of the development group I work in. The group consists of about 60 developers and managers, and is split over several sites across the USA and the UK. I hoped the blogs would be a step, however small, in building a developer community, something that has proved elusive so far. There are now 207 posts, many of them very relevant to the work we do, but unfortunately we have only 4 bloggers. I am on 132 posts, GC on 64, JB on 8, and GE on 3. Also, we only have a handful of people reading the blogs. There have been a couple of aggregators polling the blogs on and off, and only one or two people other than the bloggers read the blogs directly.

So the experiment has failed, at least in numerical terms. It also suggests that out of the 60-odd members of the group only a few are running aggregators, on the basis that anyone using an aggregator would most likley have subscribed to the developer blogs. The second point is perhaps more worrying because, if true, it means that our development culture is such that few of our developers have much interest in what is happening in the software world and don't want to learn about new developments in Java, NET, or whatever, the assumption in this case being that blogs are currently the best place to soak up information.

Maybe it takes longer than I think for a meme like blogging to penetrate the more silted up backwaters of the development world but I find it fairly depressing all the same.