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Weekly update

March 28, 2008

I’m going to start off by saying that this is a totally lame post, but I resolved to post at least once a week, so here it is.

Site Change

Scott Hanselman had an interesting post this week that got me thinking about how I judge the success of this blog. Like he mentions, I check in on it several times a day. I like to see how traffic is faring, which pages and topics are getting the most interest, and as I’ve posted before I’m fascinated by the Search Terms that drive people here.

What interested me about Scott’s post is that he judges success by the number of comments and participation, not the traffic. I have to admit that I think he is right. I have always wanted to see more comments, questions, and discussion here, but even when I have asked for it there has been very little in the way of community participation. In a perfect world, this would be because I’m such a brilliant writer that people have no questions or arguments with my musings. Since we do not live in such a world, however, it is probably because my topics are too basic, mundane, obvious, or even down right boring.

But it could also be because people don’t want to register on yet another site. On other blogs I managed in the past, comment spam was a downright kill-joy, so I wanted to make sure that the comments people made were serious and real. To that end, I configured the site to require registration and log in before being allowed to post a comment, which, as of this writing, has been the only benefit of registration. I plan on changing this in the future, but for now it is a pretty weak reason to register, so I can easily believe (perhaps deluding myself in the process) that this may be one reason why comments are few and far between.

So, in Grand Announcement Fashion, I would like to say that registration is no longer required to post a comment. I have an appropriate Comment Spam plug-in enabled, so we’ll see just how bad it gets. If it becomes a problem, I can always go back to the original configuration. But for now, I’d like to ask for your help in testing the new configuration: just leave a comment, innocuous or otherwise, to this post.

ASP.NET MVC

I have spent the bulk of this week coding away at my new ASP.NET MVC web site, and I am still high as a kite over the project. I’m planning a couple of articles about some specific topics, but overall I feel as though I have finally found a way to integrate my traditional HTML control-freak issues with my C# and .Net skills. I spent a few days developing oodles of backend code, but the last couple of days have been a flurry of web page activity, and I can actually begin to see and feel the results. Next week will mostly be spent “prettyfying” the site and distributing it to our webserver.

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Categories: Miscellaneous
  1. SimonTeW
    March 30, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    Hi Joel

    You’re definitely right about the registration thing. Whenever I’ve gone to post a comment on a site that requires registration, it always comes down to a cost-benefit analysis – how badly do I really want to post on this site? The answer is almost always “Not that badly” and I walk away.

    I’ve noticed some sites give users the choice of entering some ID (usually Google) or just entering their name and an email. Seems like a good idea to me. Really active users will have an ID that can be searched on but it doesn’t make posting a hassle for casual users.

  2. March 31, 2008 at 11:29 am

    Hi Simon,

    I’ve been through the same thought process, and usually I choose simply not to post, especially if it is a site I do not frequent. Hopefully this wlil encourage more participation.

    I will also say that I used to get Spam Filter reports maybe once a month, but I’m already receiving them daily since making the change. This tells me my original concerns were valid. It does not appear, however, that any of the bad comments have gotten through yet. So far so good!

    Thanks,
    Joel

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