I’ve written a number of articles for TechRepublic, and contributed a whole lot to the discussions there. Recent changes in the way TR handles email alerts of discussion activity, newsletter updates on articles appearing on the site, and so on, has basically eliminated all the convenient means at my disposal for keeping up with community activity, however. As I result, I’m unlikely to be very active there any longer, and given a little time I’ll probably end up never setting virtual foot in the place ever again — unless something drastically changes in the near future.
It was fun while it lasted.
As I mentioned in a discussion post there, in the thread following my mention of the fact that I may be leaving TR, I’m considering whether to create an IT professionals’ community website of my own. Ideas for the format of such a thing are welcome: please post them as comments here, use my contact page, or contact me by other means if you have access to them, as you come up with ideas, comments, questions, and so on. This is not an announcement that I’m starting to build such a thing — only that I’m trying to decide whether it’s a good idea to do so.
Among ideas I’d want for such a site would be:
- why I should or should not do it at all.
- what to use as the main page’s primary content.
- what pre-existing tools I could use to assemble as much of it as possible without having to write it all from scratch.
- how to make it pay for itself while still keeping it an open community.
- how to discourage spamming and trolling without interfering with legitimate participation.
- how to market the thing.
- oh, yeah — I’d need a name for the thing, too.
Obviously, such a thing would (for real usefulness and success) need to provide more than just a discussion forum — preferably something with some real, professional value. If a good, coherent idea doesn’t come to me for what else to provide, consider it a stillborn project.