Jeff Julian's Blog

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John and I are finalizing the requirements for the next version of the Developer Book Club site and starting to layout the base using Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2.  Thus far, I love the experience.  The tools suite is amazing and ObjectDataSource is going to change the way we create UIs and business logic.  In my demos for Visual Studio DevCon, I extended the base to support a custom object library to bind to the UI instead of DataSets.  The IDE makes it so much easier and definitely better APIs for creating application.

 

What applications are you writing in 2.0 with Visual Studio?


 

Our community reached 300+ bloggers which is extremely exciting.  During TechEd, we will be making a big push to bring more on, but I want to thank all the new and old members for the quality of content we have had on the site lately.  If you have some friends that want to get started, please invite them to join or if you are attending TechEd and are reading this, but don't have a blog, join today and sign up for TechEd Bloggers once you have been approved.


 

What's New in ASP.NET?  How can I Leverage Data in ASP.NET 2.0?  These are the questions I will be answering in St. Louis on Thursday.  I have finish configuring the presentation and demos and am excited about the content.  This event should be outstanding and I am speaking with some top notch speakersJohn Alexander and I will be driving out in the morning and spending the evening hanging with friends so if you are around, send me an email and hook up for an geek dinner or just for fun. 

 

Geekswithblogs.net was down for some amount of time due to network issues at our hosting provider last night, than after they rebooted the machine, the date was set to 2002 and threw caching issues this morning.  These errors should be fixed and everything is back to normal.  Sorry for the inconvenience.


 

First off, I am sorry I pulled Jason to the front of the class with my previous entry; I was just trying to make a point.  As far as the main feed goes, this has been under review for some time because we know a lot of good information comes out of this site and feel it could be filtered better than we have done with one feed.  We still want to offer the non-”Greatest Hits” feed, so you will still be able to get all the content from this community, but with our growth into other realms outside of .NET development, categorization and filtering must take place to move forward. 

If you want to venture back to how Geekswithblogs.net was formed, myself and Cory Smith were both members of dotnetweblogs.com (now weblogs.asp.net) at the time.  Cory and I had got into a little tiff over VB.NET vs. C#.  This was one of the first big conversations we had in our blogging community that went back and forth.  There had to have been 10+ bloggers on one site talking about the same stupid irrelevant stuff.  ScottW felt something had to change and deleted Cory and my blog from the site to prove a point, this community was for .NET information, not .NET banter.   That night, I sat down for 10 hours and created the first GWB community site and launched http://jjulian.geekswithblogs.net as my blog.  Well after draining my energy trying to build administration tools, ScottW proposed that I launch a community edition of .Text.  We launched around PDC 2003 timeframe and promoted topics about yourself, geeky, or whatever.  We still have those principals and we feel we are doing a good job on not making the community bend to fit into a shell.

The point of this next phase of Strategery is purely for the readers.  We don’t feel offering alternative feeds to the global feed will affect our community as a whole, outside of letting us grow more rapidly (with the addition of registration).  I however want to stress my main goal on this community is to offer a forum for your thoughts, whatever they may be.  Geekiness lives in different realms of our everyday life, but when we get really technical and have something truly unique and special to offer the community, we feel if we can categorize that on the topic and place it with others messages like it, we will help you better deliver it to an audience that is tuned in specifically for that information.  I hope this helps outline my vision of GWB and clears the mud I left with my last post.

 


 

Jason so graciously demonstrated yesterday why a main feed like ours must be monitored before users can view it.  We all have great post, but every once in awhile, bloggers go off on a tangent or “test in production”.  These post cause us to lose readers.  Because of this, my next tool for Strategery is to redesign the mainfeed by monitoring post before they reach the global user.  This will not effect your individual readers, so you don't have to worry about that.  With registration going up, it is a neccessary evil.  And don't worry, it won't be just me doing the monitoring so your post will make it up within a reasonable amount of time.

 

Before, as many .Text community owners know, to add users to .Text you could either use a Console application or Query Analyzer.  The Console application was just a pain for me to use so every time a blogger made a request to become part of the community, I was in SQL then manually creating an email welcoming them with their username and password.  This process was very time consuming and frustrating.  However, with the new Strategery application we are working on, I have released the registration module and tool for administration.  Last night I added 14 bloggers in less than 2 minutes!  So if your friends or co-workers want a blog that they can get going quickly and qualify for this community, send them to the registration page.  We don't plan on making this a community project, because we want to make Geekswithblogs.net a unique community instead of “One of those .NET blogger communities.”


 


As some of the bloggers mentioned (thank you very much guys), today is my birthday. Above is a picture of the cake my wife made for me. I had on simular to it when I was little and she found the cake pan online. Thanks Michelle! This year, my present was an XM Skybox, which is amazing. For $99 at Best Buy, you get a boombox with XM, FM, CD-MP3, AM, and Inputs. The sound quality is good and it has a built-in XM antenna as well as a corded external. Thanks for all the birthday wishes, and just think, one more year and I can rent a car without penalties!

 

As this community keeps growing as rapidly as it has been, we decided to create an blogger registration form and an administration process for creating new users.  Before it was a completely manual process and I generated all the welcome emails.  This new system will allow us to add users more rapidly and spells out the guidelines of become a “Geek with a blog”.  So tell your friends and co-workers to visit the site and register.