Article Index

Contributing to the community

This blog is not dormant. Or maybe it is, but this blog owner is not. I am generally really picky about what I consider worthy of a post. I try to avoid "me too" posts, or adding my take on something I'm not really qualified to comment on, or personal just about me posts (though I guess this one is dangerously close to that). My philosophy is, if someone searching for some information can find it easily elsewhere on the web, from a more authoritive voice, then there is no need for me to post. I do not have a delusion that I have a readership that relies on me solely for their information, and if I don't post about it, they won't find out about it. However, when I solve a problem that wasn't as easy as I thought it would be, because the information wasn't as available as I thought it should be, I will post.

I have found that I can contribute more to the community by being active in the newsgroups. You can find real people, with real problems, with real needs. If I can post a little bit of information, even if I am not the authority for that information, I know that I am helping someone. That's very different than just repeating some general information on my blog with the assumption that someone is looking to me for an answer.

On a related note, I got caught responding to a Usenet troll for the first time. I feel silly, dirty, naive. I'm used to having my guard up when reading troll havens like Slashdot, but this one caught me off guard because the posts in the groups I've been following are usually helpful, on-topic information. I thought I was providing useful information, but in fact I was just fueling a fire the troll was trying to start. So, just like I want to avoid adding "noise" on my blog, I'll have to be more careful in the future about contributing "noise" to the newsgroups.