True Words Spoken in Jest

As I hope was apparent from the date of its posting and the commnets that it attracted, my April 1st entry was an April fool's joke that was inspired by the long tradition of of pranks at Sun. Of course, the joke is worth telling only because it contains more than a grain of truth. Both blogs.sun.com and YouTube host explanations of how to use Sun software products.

For example, on blogs.sun.com, I have seen:

And if you know where to look on YouTube, you'll find Solaris and Sun Studio Developer Preview.

Whenever I visit the blogs.sun.com home page, I always feel as if I am entering a huge exhibition hall in which hundreds of conversations are being conducted simultaneously.  Somebody somewhere might be discussing the subject I'm interested in, but my channces of finding out where are pretty slim. I get the same feeling when I visit YouTube only more so: on the stage at the front of the exhibition hall, there's a disco pounding away at 110 dB and I'm having to shield my eyes from the light show.

In other words, neither of these sites seems particularly well suited to the needs of, say, the harried system administrator who needs to find out now how to get those 400 users back  online. To reinforce this point: I managed to find the examples that I cited only by accident or because I had been told that they existed.

So I'm wondering what motivates users of Sun products to look for information in such apparently strange places instead of on the site that everybody loves to hate. I'm also wondering what motivates engineers and product evangelists, who presumably have enough on their plates already, to volunteer to do my job for me. Comments, anyone?

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