Over the years, here at SQLServerCentral.com, we have worked hard to bring you interesting, unique content from people just like yourself, out there in the real world working with SQL Server on a daily basis. We present at least one original article per day, plus links to the best content elsewhere. It's a system that works well and we don't intend to mess with it.
A problem we've never really solved, however, is how best to present interesting information from third party software vendors; to try and ensure you know what options you have for utilities and software products to make your job easier.
Advertising is obviously one way of letting you know about vendor tools, but I know that many of you get annoyed with advertisements and I agree they can be too intrusive. We've tried a few things over the years that I personally haven't liked (page peels and text popup links to name two), and we've ended up getting rid of a number of those because they didn't benefit you as readers.
So, we have new idea to try and I've like to hear some feedback. Especially once we get an item or two published.
We are looking to publish some technical content that's contributed by various third party vendors on the site. The idea is that many of the products that are being sold are complicated and they perform a lot of functions, as well as having some interesting features. But rather than have them hype something in an advertisement, we'd like to see them show you exactly how something works.
I'll use Red Gate as an example, since they'll probably be the first to try this. SQLPrompt is an interesting utility that gives you intellisense inside your code in SSMS or QA. We might get an "article" that walks through the use of intellisense in writing a set of stored procedures and examines how much time was saved. Or it might look at a few of the options and how they've benefited someone by setting some of them on. Those are some examples of what we might do.
I know most of you probably hate White Papers as much as I do, and are inherently distrustful of most of them. They all seem to be written more by marketing departments than technical ones. I'm not sure if we can be any different but we'll try.
Sponsored content would work as follows:
- Content would need to be written and submitted by a member of the vendor's technical team, not their marketing department. We're looking to gather technical content that shows you how to use a product or how a problem is solved in a specific way – i.e. content that will be useful for you, our readers.
- Any vendor is free to submit such content for inclusion.
- We will disclose any of our sponsored content by prominently featuring a logo or company name so you're well aware that this content is provided by a vendor.
- We will charge vendors to submit sponsored content to the site in the same way that we charge for advertising slots, and for the same reason: to recover some of our costs in running this site.
- This will not take the place of our other content. Our plans are to keep article levels where they are now –at least one original article per day – and to increase other forms of content such as podcasts, scripts, videos and so on. Sponsored pieces are part of our plan to increase the amount of useful content on SSC.
- Submitted articles will not be 'censored' but will be subject to editorial scrutiny by either Steve Jones or Tony Davis. Articles that lack technical content will be rejected, but we will largely be guided by your feedback as to what works and what doesn't – so let us know.
Comments Are Welcome
Before we start, I wanted to be sure you had the chance to comment and let us know what you think of the idea and maybe what some of your complaints about this might be. We'll be reading and responding to your comments.
So let us know what you think and hopefully we'll make this a success that benefits both the community and the vendors.