I read this tweet and I believe it:
@Pete_Brown: If you blog, you should have an about page with your name and some basic info. Not everyone knows you.
I have a short bio but I plan on increasing it. I read other people’s bios and I find it interesting and a way to connect. Another thing I noticed in that on some NPR shows they ask that you send in how to say your name when you send in an email or letter. That way they can pronounce it correctly on the radio. I think this is a great idea. On many podcasts I hear “I’m sure I’m butchering his name…”. If you want people to share how great your blog is wouldn’t you want them to pronounce your name properly? I suggest that we each put up a pronunciation of our name on our blog. Better yet, record yourself saying it and post a link to it. I think my name is pretty easy but I’ll try and get this done soon an set an example.
As I have been reading blogs I have found some things that would have helped me so I thought I would write up some rules that I am planning on following to be polite to others. Temporal Context is Important Any coding problem can be solved with an additional internet search (which will probably suggest an abstraction). What is exceedingly frustrating is when I have to manually filter through hundreds of outdated technical articles on old technologies. I have heard people say that their blog is a snapshot in time and they don’t go back and update it. I would prefer some short edits to lead you reader to more relevant data when they happen on a historical page and they aren’t looking for history. Display a date prominently on the top of the post: Nothing is more frustrating than reading an article in depth and not realize until half way through that it is several years old when it refers to some outdated technology. I ran across a lot of windows 3 articles the other day while researching multiple monitors screen captures. They all greatly slowed down my progress. List your software versions at the beginning of the article: That will keep your reader from having to guess what version you are referring to then they can decide if they want to research the differences between what your version and theirs. With betas and RCs lasting longer and longer it’s difficult to know by date what version you were on. This was extremely difficult when researching silverlight and WPF code there were a lot of breaking changes during the beta’s and much of the code I found recently would not work and was completely wrong. I had no way of knowing they were referring to beta versions until I stumbles across the change logs for releases. Go ahead and update your post: Imagine a world where you are using a search engine and you get hundreds of documents on your topic and you don’t know when they refer to. You are happy though because at the top of each post you can quickly see if it has been superseded by new information or is no longer likely valid. Many of the posts link to newer information so you can quickly follow up the trail to see what you are looking for. I’m not saying you have to update every post every week. Consider this concept, blog posts are like code. As long as they are in production someone is responsible for them. If you can redirect your reader to someone else or a newer post then your post is not longer in production. A simple redirect. In this way instead of being an obstruction to your reader your old outdated post can live on providing value in perpetuity by being part of the past to success. Once you add a redirect to another resource or post with newer information then you can close the post from future updates. Reviewing each post around it’s anniversary would not take long. Many of them you do not need to review because you closed them with a redirect. Now that’s not too hard. Tell me what else bothers you when you are trying to use technical blogs posts so we can make all of our lives better.