Things I [don't] like about blogging

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/06/22 20:03 -04:00, original URI:

There are many things I like about blogging.

There are bugs that have been found specifically through the research I would do for entries (like this one), bugs other people have reported here (like this one), and bugs that people mentioned here that I was able to follow up on and sometimes even fix myself (like this one).

There are cool and useful topics in posts and lots of things that I have found interesting that it was fun to talk about here. And in at least three cases people have specifically told me that my blog had a specific influence that encouraged them to either look into or actually get a job at Microsoft.

Of course there are other things I don't like as much.

Like when people look at the stats that get sent every month and think there is some sort of competition related to who gets the highest hit counts.

Or if someone sends me mail asking me to blog about something that I don't find even remotely interesting and which has nothing to do with anything I would blog about.

Or when people think about blogs in terms of what they do strategically for Microsoft, without even bothering to understand that the most strategic thing about their effect is that most of the time they are not even done to be strategic -- they are not as a group written by people who report into PR or Marketing and that they do provide a personal connection.

And then there are posts like the recent one entitled Behind 'How to break Windows Notepad', which has received (by conservative estimates) twenty to thirty times the number of hits of most of the my other posts -- without even a Slashdotting to explain why!

And while it is flattering to be so consistently the post that 'explains the problem' that so many enjoy talking about since it points out a bug in a Microsoft application (Notepad) or a bug in a Microsoft API function (IsTextUnicode), it eventually gets old.

Now the reason I did the post made sense to me and probably my core readers, it is certainly on topic, and it actually helped prove a point I had made earlier. But somehow that wider message has been lost somewhere in the process of its visibility; almost like a post's visibility works against its usefulness.

That is the sort of thing I don't like quite as much about blogging -- never knowing what thought that is interesting in my mind may be the next random thing that the blogosphere might pick up on for whatever random, unrelated reason people want to pick up on it....

Ah well, no way to really know what the next one will be. I guess I will have to hang in there. :-)

# ReallyEvilCanine on 23 Jun 2006 8:32 AM:

The reason you got so many hits on the Notepad post is because so many of us in I18N sent your URL to all the programming monkeys to finally, easily and humourously get them to understand why the "optional" BOM ain't so optional and why code pages must be specified.

Now if I can only come up with an innocuous English sentence which either comes back from the Notepad scramble as witty response to the initial sentence or simply some sort of insult.

# Mihai on 23 Jun 2006 1:02 PM:

Changing a bit an old saying:

"You can foul^H^H^H^H make happy some people some time. You can foul^H^H^H^H make happy some people all of the time. But, you can't foul^H^H^H^H make happy all the people all of the time."


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