What have Microsoft blogs meant to you?

I'm doing a few slides on blogging for a meeting that the C# team is having this Friday, and I need some good customer quotes to put on the slide.

So, if you have comments about the C# team bloggers, please leave me a comment.

Comments (21)

  1. I think that the C# team does very well (as does all of MS with the blogging space). I think that some important points to drive home are:

    Maintain your individuality – The fact that you have having a meeting where blogging is being discussed makes me worry that some of the essence of blogging will be lost if you start to apply strict organizational guidelines to it. Don’t destroy a good thing by trying to contain it too much (of course, you need some, we are talking about IP here).

    Engage our desire to know more – Give us tidbits that we can use. Right now, there is a good amount of that, and keeping it up will definitely keep the blog space alive, and more importantly, vibrant. As an example, Chris Brumme gave insight in a blog entry on what SpinWait does on the Thread class. I mean, who knows what an "iteration" does outside of MS?

    Be personable – As I am sure you can tell, you have your favorites in the blog space, certain people who get more hits than others. Some people were famous already, others gain a following because of the content that they have. Make sure that your personalities shine through, and the cream will rise to the top.

  2. Mark Mullin says:

    I have taken up a religious daily scanning of msft blogs for the following reasons

    1) tidbits tidbits tidbits – critical standalone details (numeric precision issues, tweaks to the devt envt, tricks to accomplish specific tasks) often pop up here – it’s about the only forum for them, anywhere else the effort for the author to establish credibility rules out their ability to present simple factoids in a few paragraphs

    2) goodies and more goodies – internally developed tools, handy scripts, etc – the blogs seem to be a nice means of distributing stuff thats too light for other venues and too important to loose

    3) a window into the organizations thinking – we get a better idea of what you think is cool and why

  3. JM says:

    I don’t even know where to start. The blogs have given me important technical details that would have been very hard to glean elsewhere. Sometimes we get some clue into MS’s mindset and where it is going with a project. Answers to questions like "What is the ‘right’ way to do this" (love Brad Abrams’s blog). I also love to see links to technology that MS developers feel is important.

    It has also enlightened me to the fact that MS has so many bright, talented people, and that those people really do care about the quality of their work (not the "evil empire, you’ll take what we give you" attitude that some people expect). The technical and "inside" information has been priceless, but the open forum has also done a great deal to change my attitude towards Microsoft (in a very positive way).

  4. The Microsoft weblogs changed my perspective of Microsoft. That’s a drastic statement, I know, but it’s true. They helped put names and faces on the teams that were once simply unidentified shades. Conversing with them and listening to their experiences also helped me get a better understanding of many aspects of the language and platform that I wouldn’t have otherwise known about.

    The only gripe I have with these weblogs is that some of the weblogs are one-sided roads. I know I can’t tell someone to listen to my input, but webloggers must understand that if they ask questions and get answers, they may just get some questions back at them. Simple etiquette.

  5. There is technical information and historical explanation that can be found in the blogs that are not available anywhere else. Access to this knowledge is what makes me ultimately more productive on the Microsoft platform and one of the reasons I continue to champion it.

  6. I think the biggest benefit of many of the weblogs is the communication that takes place in comment sections along with the value of the technical content on the blog itself.

    Being able to get a response on an issue important to a project for my business from people who build technology I use has saved me countless hours of loss productivity. Not only that, but these blogs help give a sense of the overall direction Microsoft is going with tech which helps me plan what my company should be doing.

  7. drebin says:

    I whole-heartedly agree with everything that’s been written above…

    I now regularly check about a dozen msft blogs and also watch the main blogs.msdn.com site for new people/posts that may pique my interest…

    Microsoft has always been this 20 foot brick wall with barbed-wire at the top for most people. This latest blog phenom has made MS seem accessible for once. And I actually look forward to checking these blogs each day to pick up little tidbits here and there, learn about new things coming out, code examples of a certain technique – this is great stuff!! I think it’s just unprecendented to be able to have access to the people that wrote the tools, that I use every day!

    I think this has been 100% positive for Microsoft.. keep it up!!

  8. Steve says:

    Everyone in my team has 30-45 minutes on the clock time per day for .NET-related blog reading, and we’re T&M government contractors, so we end up eating that time per employee internally. That’s how much my organization values the information in the Microsoft blogs.

    Personally, I’ve found them to be an indispensable resource. On the same note, since reading them, even the die-hard Linux guys in my department have picked up an appreciation for Microsoft and the work you do. They have been nothing but a positive force for your camp.

  9. I originally started reading MS blogs when I was deployed to Iraq last year. They are a great learning tool for .NET and for what coming up with MS technologies. Now that I’m back at my job doing .NET development, I can see my growth facilitated by these blogs even while I was half-way around the world.

    Keep it up!

    Jeffrey Palermo

    Dell, Inc.

  10. Sean Chase says:

    I do my best to check blogs every day and I’m subscribed to a ton of them. It’s great way to gain info on upcoming products and provide feedback to various teams. Not only that, I was was invited to fly out to Redmond for a full day of interviews at MS because of an MSDN blogger…so I think they’re great. 🙂

  11. Dilton McGowan II says:

    To me it means Microsoft is less like IBM and more like a friendly face in the crowd.

    Welcome back home Jeffrey Palermo!!

  12. I’ve been trying to trim my blog reading. No matter how rutheless I get, I cant seem to make myself delete Brad, Eric, Chris, Cyrus and many many more. The fact that there’s very little ‘noise’ on them has a lot to do with that.

  13. Ronaldo Nascimento says:

    they really personalize the company for the first time

    i can relate to the developers

    it has helped me reconsider ms technologies (esp .net)

  14. Darren Oakey says:

    Practically, they give us an insight into what’s coming up, and the thought of thinking that goes into our tools. That’s going to be useful into the future, as we understand not just the new features that are coming out, but the thinking behind them.

    More than that they’re fun. They give us the illusion we have some say in the direction of our tools, which is cool… it’s almost like actually getting to work for MS itself 🙂

  15. Keith Hill says:

    Ditto what Nicholas said plus the blogs put a friendlier, more human face on the 800 lb gorilla known as Microsoft.

  16. Matt says:

    Bit questionable Eric, asking people for "good" feedback so you can quote them…I would hope you would include any negative comments on the slides as well…

  17. Eric says:

    good != positive

    Often the best customer quotes are the negative ones.

  18. Good: Human-face, made less Evil Empire, sotospeak, less Marketingese, reduced (or softened) the prior internal-Redmond-campus high-horse arrogance and distain per customers. Downsides: Noise ratio greatly increased. Hard to archive, hard to search, everything gets lost in the daily muck. Too chaotic, still mostly an egocentic "what I am doing" focus. Narrow demographic targeted. Contradictory messages and road maps.

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