Your advice needed – what should I do with this devx site?

Hi folks – I need your help. My extended team looks after the UK MSDN site and delivers you the MSDN Flash every two weeks (for which I am the new technical editor – and slowly finding my way). This has been our only “vehicles" for sometime now to help UK developers explore our technology.

However prior to my joining in July, the team was dabbling with a “sponsored site” over on DevX – Microsoft Developer Tools and Technologies. As it stands, there are 3 Microsoft sponsored sites. Two from the USA (RIA and Destination .NET – which is the US ISV team) and ours from the UK. The UK site apparently gets targeted at … folks from the UK 🙂

I have been asked to take over as Technical Editor of the devx site BUT I am just unsure what to do with it. Things I am kicking around include:

  • Rename it to something catchy?
  • Brand it more clearly as UK?
  • Make it more like a magazine/newspaper column – every 2 weeks I dig into a different theme or topic as a short article and at the same time significantly change the linkage on the page for additional resources etc?
  • Simply make it a doorway to MSDN – for folks who prefer to surf around devx to be enticed over to MSDN?
  • Make it a snazzier version of the MSDN Flash – hence update every 2 weeks with the Flash content with a little more detail etc.?
  • Narrow the focus (e.g. as the RIA site does). Maybe data- LINQ, Data Services, SQL 2008 etc?
  • Narrow the focus onto interop as devx has a wider audience?
  • Make it a showcase for all the content my team produces – links to video, ppts, best blog posts etc?
  • Something completely different…

Ultimately I like the idea that we have another way of talking to UK devs and in some ways it is easier to get content on DevX site than our own MSDN (don’t ask). Hence it is great that we piloted it. Now…what next…


Comments (4)

  1. Matt Phillips says:

    I’m fed up with the sheer number of sites and blogs I need to read to get the *requisite* information to use MS’ stuff.

    Why can’t we have it in one place?

    Therefore less time spent hunting and searching to find stuff.

  2. Darren says:

    The only reason I can see for having a UK specific technology site it to promote what is happening in the UK. I love the tech videos you guys do, but they are just as useful to the US audience as to us (and I’m glad to see some of them appearing on Channel 9).

    I think the site should be used to promote UK events with lots of links to related resourses.

    Hope that’s useful!

  3. Ed Gough says:

    I think your first task should be to clear up the style of the site – as is, it is totally unusable.

    As for your focus, I think looking at the UK in particular. Trying to provide articles that discuss developing for UK based business and the specific development challenges for them.

    It’d also be interesting to get articles describing specific implementation of technologies at businesses throughout the UK.

    Finally, more shared methodology, we all do things differently, and as a community of developers our differing methods can be used to help solve novel problems.

  4. Thanks for the comments folks (and the emails I got).

    I still haven’t a firm plan yet – but current thinking is:

    – brand it UK

    – narrow the focus – I’m thinking on Data (LINQ, ADO.NET, SQL etc)

    – aim to showcase the very best articles I can find

    – strengthen the UK focus

    but…. do it all in a day or less of my time a month – which means I need to think about getting help 🙂

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