Friday, April 27, 2007

Developer Social Networks

So I know I'm new to the blogosphere and given that, I've been thrilled and surprised by how many people read and commented on my first few posts. But then the well dried up.

My last post was read by bunch of people, but I didn't get any comments. Maybe the post just didn't connect with readers. Or maybe no one really cares. But I have to believe that people must have some opinions about this and want to share them under them premise that this info could help Adobe deliver better resources for developers.

So I'll ask my questions again, and if you have an some thoughts please share them. If not, I promise I won't beg for feedback on this stuff again. Ok, at least for a little while. But I'll definitely be asking for opinions on other stuff very soon.

Here are my questions about developers and social networking:

  • Are you a fan of social networking? Why or Why not?
  • What social networking sites do you use? Why?
  • Do developers need better social networking capabilities? What do you want to see?


Aaron said...

I'm not really a fan of social networking. Maybe it's just because I'm not social enough, I don't know. Developer social networking might appeal to me, I certainly go to enough Forums, but I haven't seen a "social networking" site yet that really caught my eye.

Jonathan Wall said...

Thanks Aaron!

Michael Labriola said...

I use LinkedIn as a way to discover potential contacts at organizations we are pursuing and as a way to stay connected with past and present colleagues. Overall though, I would still rather pour the time required into social networking in a face to face environment.

Personally, I feel that developers working within the Adobe sphere are already well represented with digital capabilities. I would personally like to point toward my previous point and suggest more face to face networking opportunities.

Richard H said...

Really want to give you some good info here Jonathon - because I appreciate what you're trying to do.

But I too am a slow adopter and don't use any of the digital social networks you mentioned. And I think its about staying in control of how and when I'm contactable. At the risk of sounding like a Luddite, I perceive a lot of it as fitting into the category of "ways to waste time."

However, I am a big supporter of the local Adobe User's Group and find the face to face networking much more valuable.

One of the big issues in maintaining a viable User Group is in finding adequate material and presenters to keep people interested in attending. Often the workload falls on a couple of people. Adobe could assist us by providing more pre-packaged presentations and tutorials or funding/access to presenters.

Jonathan Wall said...

Thanks Richard and Michael for your comments.

Chris Luebcke said...

I'm on LinkedIn and use it as a resource to connect with former colleagues and evaluate potential future employers (and future colleagues). But LinkedIn is a social network really in the strictest sense of the word--it's a network, all right, but it doesn't enable socializing.

As I wrote that last sentence it clarified for me why I don't use MySpace or any other sites like that--I simply don't socialize online enough that maintaining a MySpace page, blogging, responding to comments, commenting on other's pages, sifting through the 99 spam add requests ("Saw Ur Pic! Ur Really Cute!" when I don't have a pic) for the one that might be good.

I think if developers are looking for somewhere to socialize they'll find it. If on the other hand they're looking for places to get their questions answered, help others, vent frustrations or announce successes, there are already well-established places for that, like flexcoders, the adobe support forums, and the comments sections of high-profile blogs. And if you feel particularly ambitious you can create your own blog and post to it once a month, just like I do.

George said...

I view blogs as part of a skein of social information exchange that includes the developer of products which I consume. Posting on a blog brings to the surface an information-seeking question and its answer, so that everyone may benefit. It publicizes a conversation, at the same time it substitutes for one-to-one contact.

So for example, let's say I don't have your email address, but I have a question, like "Can you tell me the components to provision a Flash9 website so that people who visit the site will automatically be updated to Flash 9 (or in f uture Flash 10) if they don't have it installed." This is a real question, by the way, of value to someone using the free FLex SDK.

Instead of writing an email to you, in this new social-web of blogs, I write the question here. When you provide the answer or a link to the answer, or go out and develop the answer or cause it to be developed in your organization and then post it or sell it for 25 cents or create an O'Reilly book on the subject for 6.95 Euros, everyone benefits, not just you and me but the whole ecosystem. So as a blogger you have to give back and not just cast your net for information.

Otherwise we all end up reading channel 9 and writing for SilverLight, right?

Stephen said...

I've been trying to use Flexcursion, not sure if that is a social network site, but sometimes have nothing to go on there to discuss, so end up not using it for a while.
It's a cool looking site and I do intend to use it more.