Do-over: giving the blog purpose
By blueprints on Mar 21, 2008
Like many bloggers on blogs.sun.com, I'm guilty of dipping my toe into the water and then either not jumping in, or perhaps jumping in, then right out again. There is lots of excitement at Sun over the numerous web-based communications mediums now available. So many options, so much overlap between them: which should we use?
I began using this blog to solve the wrong problem: revitalizing the web page for the Sun BluePrints Program. I'm embarrassed to say that the format of that site hasn't changed since I joined the program seven years ago. Even worse, I discovered recently that there was no direct path from the sun.com front page to us; people might "bump" into it, but if they didn't know about it, nothing was going to lead them there. I thought it might be a good idea to post summaries of new articles on this blog, pointing back to that page, in the hopes that it might "advertise" the Sun BluePrints site. This actually ignored at least two problems:
- The old web site was still old and ugly...
- With so many blogs available (perhaps too many...), who is going to pay attention to a monthly "advertisement" for another web site?
I have jumped back into the water; I'm practically skinny dipping. First of all, last weekend I started "re-inventing" the Sun BluePrints home by building a wiki: The Sun BluePrints Wiki. I'm going to discuss that transition more in later blogs, but for now there are several solid reasons why this is the way to go:
- We can maintain it directly, making updates faster and easier. We plan to make everything much more dynamic.
- It makes it possible for readers to comment on everything. We want comments, even the ultra-critical ones: this is what community is all about.
- In addition to the more formally produced PDFs, we want to promote shorter Wiki-centric "bluenotes".
- We can build an RSS feed (very soon, now), which readers periodically ask for.
- Last, but not least, we once again have a way of organizing content by category. This has been my biggest complaint over the last several years: why did we eliminate the "browse by subject" page. I'll discuss that more in a later blog, but the miracle of the wiki is that I can tag content, then create lists automatically, based on tag queries. That is the way it should be!
I'm hoping that we will "retire" the old site sooner than later, redirecting it to the wiki.
As for this blog, I'm also going to "redirect" it, too. Rather than just announcing new content--something that the wiki will do automatically--I thought I would share more from my 20 years at Sun, with a special focus on both best practices that I see and experiences with the Sun BluePrints Program: the premier site for best practices developed and reviewed by Sun engineers.