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Thoughts on SSC Blog Site Improvement

I have been reading blogs from various sources, such as blogs on SSC, and on sqlblog.com etc. However on all these blog sites, I find that there is no collective efforts (from the blog hosting site) to promote a common brand for the site, instead, individual blogger only plays his/her own "game".

I have some thoughts on improving the SSC blog site to make it a "premium" site for SQL Server professionals to read resourceful blogs and also to contribute to the site.

1. SSC could provide a list of common tags that each blogger may use and SSC can provide a search function that will retrieve all blogs under the same tag.

The benfit here is that A reader can read all blogs discussing the same topic (i.e. tag) from different bloggers.

2. SSC could market itself as the best blog site for some specific themes (as for which, we need to think hard) by soliciting bloggers to put a specified percent of their blogs to these themes.

Current issue: the blogs on SSC are too diverse in terms of topics/ideas (which is not a bad thing in some way) but on the other hand, there is no "brand" recognition for SSC blog site because of this diversity.

3. SSC needs to cultivate / attract more "heavy-weight" bloggers. A blog site to me is like a mall, each blogger is an individual store in the mall, but in each mall, there must be an anchor store (or several anchor stores) to attract potential buyers. Without an anchor store, the mall will not have much chance to be successful.

Take www.sqlblog.com for example, it is probably the best blog site for SQL Server related topics as one of its "selling" point is that all bloggers must be SQL Server MVPs. I know on SSC we also have a few MVPs, but it seems to me the blogs from these MVPs are far from enough (collectively) and also the blog topics are too diverse (to the extent that SQL Server related topics only cover a small percentage, I share the same blame for this as an ordinary blogger)

I believe through the efforts of all SSC'ers, we will make SSC blog site as successful as the SSC main website, and I'd like to see more suggestions regarding the improvements of SSC blog sites.


Posted by Wesley Brown on 22 April 2009

I like the collective tag idea. I see a lot of duplicate tags and categories, and I for one find it kinda confusing.

I like carving out a space theme wise, you can't be all things to all people and it adds another level of cohesion.

Those things alone will help bring up the quality blogs.

Also, the rating system I think could be leveraged to help float the best content to the top instead of just raw post numbers.

I don't know about the "heavy-weight" thing. Most of the big hitters are already blogging on their own and even double posting on two or three blog sites including sqlblog.com. I've had to cull my reader just because their is such a high level of multi-posting going on.

I didn't know that sqlblog.com you had to be an MVP. I know they have some bloggers there that aren't. Peter does make sure they are recognized names and have a level of authority in their selected fields though.

With all that said, What does this really mean for SSC and the community as a whole? Are you going to cut people from the blog roles here based on their status in the community? Are some folks going to be made "redundant" due to a bigger name that covers their selected topics?

I think focusing is a good thing, bring the power of the collective user base for SSC together to generate better content. By doing that you may end up generating your own "heavy-weight" list of people that the rest of the community wouldn't have had exposure to otherwise.

One of the major points of SSC is not just the quality of the people but the sheer number of eyes that can see your particular problem and help out. The group mind of SQL Server so to speak, I think the blog roll should reflect that as well.


Posted by Jeffrey Yao on 22 April 2009

Wesley, thanks for the excellent comment.

Posted by Steve Jones on 23 April 2009


Some interesting ideas, and I like them. We are ramping up some development resources, and I'll send this along as some possible ideas for improvement.

Posted by Hugo Shebbeare on 23 April 2009

I believe staying in focus is great, but every once and a while, dealing with a workplace topic that affects us as DBAs should be done, even if it is 'touchy'.  

There are enough big hitters here already, whether they have been graced with the title yet or not.  

As usual, Wes is spot on.

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