Cool .NET Tips and Tricks #13
(or, Why Blogs Suck)
By Dr. Dexter Dotnetsky
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Dr. Dotnetsky

Before starting on this little piece, I combed the NET carefully for several hours (while sipping a few Martinis) to see what kind of value there was in blogging. And I'm happy to report I've determined that there are a few blogs that are extremely valuable, well - written, and carefully thought out! A very few, I might add.

Blogging is not anything new.It's been around since newsgroups were invented (about 22 years, by my count) It's just that it has become like just about any other fad, completely overblogged (sorry, "Overblown") to the point where there is SO MUCH JUNK out there, it's almost not even worth attempting to sift through it to find the value.



What's made it worse is that many blogs are syndicated between each other and picked up by blogregators because they publish RSS feeds. We publish an RSS feed here on eggheadcafe.com. It tells you what the latest content is, and that's it. But it doesn't tell you what we had for BREAKFAST today! Or whether our cat is sick, or our car wouldn't start.

You know, this whole Blog Roll thing with all the circular linking and everything is bound to throw a big BlogRuntimeException sooner or later, dont you think? Or at least an InsufficientIQException, I believe...

Here's a snippet of one guys blog "rationalization", along with my annotations mixed in. ( I bet you can't tell the difference!) Read it, and you'll see why this whole thing has become one big cartoon (or, as Lawrence Fishburne eloquently opines in the DirecTV commercial, "An actual customer wrote this"):

"I finally decided to take the plunge and dive into the world of blogging. My personal reasons for doing it:

1) Sick of emailing links to people. This way they know where to come if they are interested to hear what I have to say.
Now all I have to do is email links to people that point to my blog. Aren't I just COOL?

2) I believe blogging is going to play a big part in changing the world. Having my own blog will help me further understand blogging and its impact. (So will taking a poop with the door closed.)

3) It will also allow me to connect better with like minded people. I can get to know them faster as they can read my views on my blog. I do have views, you know. And they ARE important. Do you think anybody will really read them? And do you think they will really give a crap what I write?

4) I don't need to keep repeating myself. I really must need some sort of psychtropic medication. I must have some sort of obsessive - compulsive disorder that compels me to post what I had for breakfast each day so the world can beat a path to my blog to find out. I must have been reading too much James Joyce.

5) I can build a reputation worldwide online with a few well chosen words (and some promotion of my blog). Like, I'll send the links to O'Reilly at Fox News. I'm sure that sooner or later he will read them on the air.

6) The future is all about being open and not keeping all the good info you have in your head. This way I can be open (without being indiscreet). People can learn about my inner thoughts. Like, that my hemmorhoids are getting better and other valuable stuff.

7) I'll learn a lot - I love to learn and this will be fun. Will anyone link to my blog? Who will link to it? What will they say about me? Geez! I'm just shivering with anticipation!

8) From anywhere in the world I can visit my own blog and quickly navigate my own blogroll. Ain't I cool? I just can't wait to get to Switzerland so I can log into my blog from there and see all the cool stuff I've posted. Nevermind that nobody else will ever read it! I'm IMPORTANT!

9) Blogging is now simple - I've heard some good noises about how good the typepad software is. So far I have to concur. These people have really thought about the interface and the process of blogging. If they could just add a spell checker ! While they're at it, does anybody have some new software that will write programs for you and put your name and copyright on them, and submit the code to Component Source so millions of people will buy it and it will send you all the money automatically?"

OK, I guess you're getting the picture Now listen, Dr. Dotnetsky ain't the only dude who thinks blogging is full of it. Check out some of these links and see for yourself:

http://eyes.puzzling.org/entry/32

http://www.roundourhouse.com/blog/archives/000149.html

http://nakedchurch.blogs.com/nakedchurch/2003/11/blogs_suck_time.html

http://web2.iadfw.net/lelie/

http://www.antibloggies.com/

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,81500,00.asp

And finally, a real clincher -- Rory Byth's ASS feed API:
http://neopoleon.com/blog/posts/1624.aspx

and this rant right here, ASSIFIED with it:

Don't expect to see any blogs on eggheadcafe.com (not that they listen to me here anyway, but I've been pretty good at predicting the future lately). After all, didn't I predict that Dan Quayle would endorse President Bush?

Microsoft Research Downloads

Finally, in keeping with our philosphy of not just providing rants, but actually including truly useful information, I present for your viewing pleasure the link to the Microsoft Research Dowloads page, which includes such goodies as "ILMerge", which enables developers to merge both executable and dll .NET assemblies into a single assembly.

Letters to Santa Dept.

And last, but not least, since Christmas is nigh, I thought we'd share one of those "An actual customer wrote this" letters from a kid to Santa:

Dear Santa,
What do you do the other 364 days of the year? Are you making toys?
Your friend,
Thomas

Dear Thomas,
All toys get made in China. I have a condo in Vegas, where I spend most my time squeezing cocktail waitresses asses, and losing all my cash at the craps table. Hey, YOU wanted to know!
Santa

Cheers, Kiddies!

Dr. Dexter Dotnetsky is the alter-ego of the Eggheadcafe.com forums, where he often pitches in to help answer particularly difficult questions and make snide comments. Dr. Dotnetsky holds no certifications, and does not have a resume. Always the consummate gentleman, Dr. Dotnetsky can be reached at youbetcha@mindless.com.  Dr. Dotnetsky's motto: "If we were all meant to get along, there would be no people who wait for all the groceries to be rung up before starting to look for their damn checkbook."