Friday, July 17, 2009

APEX 4.0 Presentation Now Available

Mike Hichwa & Company's APEX 4.0 Presentation from ODTUG was recorded and can now be viewed here.

Definitely worth the watch, even if you were there to see it live.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Blogging is Dead

Maybe I'm in the minority, but it seems that blogging has taken a sharp nose dive in terms of frequency. I monitor a bunch of Oracle-related and other blogs, and the traffic is definitely down. There were also few blog re-caps of ODTUG - which is in stark contrast to years past, where the coverage has been extensive. The few blogs that were updated were brief and light on real content.

So, the question must be asked: is blogging a thing of the past?

First of all, maintaining a blog is not easy. You have to select a topic that you want to blog about, hoping that it is of interest to not just you but your readers. Then, you may have to do some research on that topic, maybe create an example if its a technical blog, and then find the time to actually compose your thoughts. Sounds too much like school to me!

Using Twitter is easy. Many of the people that I follow "re-tweet" other people's Tweets that they find interesting. To translate for the non-Tweeters out there - you just re-send someone else's post. That's it. You can do it in literally seconds.

Some of the people that I follow do share some original interesting thoughts or ideas. Some are guises for corporate marketing. Others share trivial day-to-day events that won't change my life in the least. While others are, well, just uninteresting. It definitely takes some time sifting through the noise that Twitter can generate. There's a lot of "popular" Tweeters that flood the Internet with largely boring or useless information. There's also quite a few that are useful and interesting. It's like anything else - some are good, some, not so much.

I think that many bloggers started a blog because they felt that they had to. They never enjoyed writing, and had little interest in it before blogging became popular. But feeling left out, they created a Blogger account, posted their "Hey, this is my first post, I have so many things to blog about" post, and probably never signed in again.

We're not all cut out to be writers. Or painters. Or musicians. And that's just fine. Writing is a talent that few people have. This is why major news outlets don't employ everyone, but only a select few. Those few produce content, we read it. It's that simple. Blogging opened things up for anyone, but really just exposed just how many bad writers are out there.

Despite this, we can and have been consumers of information that other people author for some time. For example: If you read a good article on say, Internet Security, you may e-mail a group of friends and share the link to the article. Typically, you'll preface the link with a sentence or two, highlighting your favorite part of the article.

Twitter is just that; a new way for non-authors to share content with other non-authors and authors alike, and potentially comment on it. Its just that simple.

It's not a new medium, but rather a new distribution channel. It allows us to share information or content with others that we share interests with. You can easily click on a link, see the title of a document, and determine if you want to read more based on the topic, author, or a combination thereof. You only read what you want to read. At most, you're investing the time it takes to read 140 characters or less and clicking a single link. Even that may be a lot for our attention spans these days...

Is Twitter a fad that will be gone in a couple of years? Probably. But maybe not. I think that Twitter will represent the foundation of a new content delivery mechanism that the Internet and Internet-enabled devices adapt to. It's like any other version 1.0 technology - we're only seeing parts of it working, as the other parts have not been defined yet, despite the hype. It's clearly caught the attention of the global community, and will definitely be interesting to see how it shapes up over the next few years.

FYI: You can follow me on Twitter: @sspendol