Monday, May 3, 2010

The Windows Blogosphere and Tweetosphere is Very Different

Each community of writers and authors associated with a topic, a channel here at Mattters, has its own feel to it. Some have extensive blogrolls linking to each other... some have none. Some post once a week or so, some post everyday. They often use the same widgets and layouts, copying and imitating others in their community. Some tweet, others do not.

We will talk about our observations about all these things and more here, as we move away from just simple posts about new channels we have added.

While working on the Microsoft Windows news channels,  they turned out to be one of the more strange communities yet. In no specific order, they:

  • Often have extensions on their RSS feeds very different from everyone else
  • Often host on hosts that no one else seems to use
  • Often post in a marketing-like manner as if they are unfamiliar with blogging (like some of us still do on Twitter)
  • Have little or no presence on Twitter (you know it is bad when someone puts ASP in their name, posts twice, and gets 400 followers without having to follow a soul themselves)

They split into 2 sub-communities: Microsoft bloggers and the few 'Masters of some API' bloggers that the MSFT bloggers link to, and the other is the ordinary guys and gals in the trenches.

These bloggers are: few and far in-between, do not link much to each other, and sound bored (except for the Silverlight / WPF channels and the Sharepoint news channel).

We haven't done the corresponding channels: Java FX, Applets/Webstart and JSP not to mention Spring, Hibernate, etc channels. Maybe they are all bored as well.

But here is what I think. That Microsoft is moving towards being a senior member of the 'establishment'. More like the old big CRM players and IBM, with a finger or two in an exciting pie once in a while (XBox, Windows Phone) but by and large primarily targeting and working with large corporate entities. They were asleep at the switch when blogs came on the scene, never mind Twitter, and they just do not 'get' internet culture.

A potential solution would be to let some of those bazillions of people they hire right out of college do what they want if they have an idea for a project (yes, like IBM's Alphaworks). Spark up the company, make it look like it is still relevant to the internet generation, and maybe get a cool product or two out of it.

In the meantime, we hope our news channels provide some measure of entertainment for those in the day to day grind: ASP, Visual Studio and Visual Basic.

Yeah, the old grind. Hey, we've been there. Wait! We ARE there. :-)

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