Growing an on-line community is hard.
At www.asp.net we spend LOTS of time thinking about how to continue to grow the ASP.NET community and continue to add value.
One of the necessary factors in growing an on-line community is to add members and recently we've added about 150 bloggers.
There have been some mixed reactions to this growth. Many folks are glad to see the ASP.NET blog ecosystem finally adding new bloggers.
Still, a few folks long for the older, quieter feeds 🙂
The first thing that I encourage you to consider is that "new blogger glut" will soon subside. The enthusiasm of all the new bloggers is great and many folks are posting away like crazy. It takes time to become an effective blogger, figuring out what kinds of things people find useful and what they don't.
Natural selection will tailor the aggregate feed according to the wishes of the community at large in a short time.
What's more, MANY of the new bloggers are developers of significant accomplishment who will, as their "real jobs" afford them the time to do, add very useful information to the growing knowledge base at weblogs.asp.net.
If you really don't want "new blogger" posts in your feed from weblogs.asp.net you can do this......
- Subscribe to Microsoft Employee Bloggers: http://weblogs.asp.net/MainFeed.aspx?GroupID=3&Type=AllBlogs
- Subscribe to the PRE-Additions Non-Microsoft Bloggers: http://weblogs.asp.net/MainFeed.aspx?GroupID=2&Type=AllBlogs
If you do this, don't forget to visit the weblogs.asp.net home page so that you can start to pick out the new bloggers that you do want to subscribe to.
Also, you can get the "new bloggers at weblogs.asp.net" in a separate feed here.
- NewASP.NET Bloggers: http://weblogs.asp.net/MainFeed.aspx?GroupID=4&Type=AllBlogs
New Bloggers - You don't HAVE to include your posts in the general feed.
Set the Aggregate List option to "No" on your post and it won't appear in the site's aggregate feed.
In the long term, I'm working of a collection of interesting options for tailoring feeds.
But... I need your help !
- Start by linking to the blogs that you read or like from your own blog or web page.
- Feel free to start with mine at www.JoeOn.net 🙂
- Use whatever social networking link rating mechanism you like to link to good posts ! (Digg, etc.)
- Add comments to the posts that are useful to you. (Both activities will provide use with useful statistics)
- Email me your suggestions
Some of the things I'm considering for helping the best blogs bubble to the top.
- Member rated "Best Posts" Feed and Page
- Member Rated "Best Blogs" Feed and Page
- Keyword / Tag Filtered Feeds
- A Member "My Feeds" feature (an aggregate of the feeds you choose.)
- A "Share Your OPLM List (Like Amazon Lists)
In addition to emailing me your suggestions about how to implement the best feed options on our site(s), please respectfully help educate the new bloggers on how to become GREAT bloggers. They have decided to start blogging because they WANT to contribute. It would be a shame to scare them away with the rudeness that sometime accompanies on-line frustrations.
Example: Don't tell them, "your code sucks", take a few minutes to post your "improvements" or comment on what you think might make the code better.
Also, remember what you think sucks might be exactly what someone else needed.
Growth is always a bit painful, but in this case it's a "chicken or the egg" type question. To increase the VALUE (which is our goal) we need to grow the community, as we grow the community, we need to tailor the quality, but we need to do it as a community.
I hope folks with strong opinions will share them with me I'm really hoping 2008 is a year where we collaboratively take Microsoft online communities to a new level of value for all of us.
I'm here.... I'm listening !