Michael Earls sparked quite a debate with his posts over the last couple of months about asking Microsoft bloggers to blog more about the present, because although the future is interesting and good to stay on top of, it's not applicable to daily life. Of course, most of the blogs he's probably referring to focus on development technologies rather than IT/end-user like I do, but it's still a good point.
First off, I think any Microsoft employee should be capable of taking feedback such as what he wrote and figuring out how to change things for the better, or at least clear up any misconceptions. If anyone reacted to that feedback by yanking Microsoft employee blogs entirely, that would be a horrible thing, and I'd like to think that there's no one here who would ever consider that. We get feedback all the time, much of it negative, and part of working on a software product is being able to turn feedback, positive or negative, into something constructive - better documentation, improvements in the product, improvements in processes like product support, etc.
One interesting thing I have garnered from this discussion (see the above entry for links to other blog entries from Michael and Dare and others that discuss this) is that, in addition to helping promote the existing blogs that focus on the current version, we should also encourage our product support engineers to blog. Most folks on the product team (and many folks with titles like 'evangelist') spend their days working on the next version, but PSS is focused almost entirely on the existing version (and probably one or two versions back). Heck, most PSS engineers for Exchange know more about the product than I do. I can go deep in a few specific areas that I helped design or have worked with a lot, but many PSS engineers have such a broad base of knowledge across the entire product, it's mind boggling.
And on that note, I'm working on organizing a group blog for the Exchange team, to launch sometime in February. Several PSS engineers will be participating in the blog, as will program managers, developers, testers, documentation/sdk writers, etc. I'm really excited about this opportunity to put human faces on the people that make Exchange happen. If this sounds interesting to you, keep an eye on my blog (or the other excellent Exchange blogs such as http://hellomate.typepad.com) and I'll announce it in a few weeks.
P.S. I was thinking about not mentioning the plans for the Exchange blog so that I could announce it when it's already up rather than risk promoting what might seem like vaporware... but then I realized that one of my goals in blogging is to be more open about our plans, and so I decided to 'scoop' myself.
I just blogged about this issue today.
I think that people should blog about whatever they want to blog about. I'm not paying them, and they aren't getting paid to blog. It's their right to write what they want.
I am, though, annoyed with the general air (MSDN articles, .NET Show, etc.) of .NET v.Next + 1. Everybody seems to have forgotten Whidby and jumped into Longhorn/Orcas/WinFX.
For more info: http://www.lparky.com/blog/PermaLink,guid,5c12d092-6476-43e9-bbcb-bc12a9cf3e3b.aspx
Thanks KC ... I'm one of your lukers that doesn't comment much, but the tips, links, explanations, etc. you've posted about have been of great assistance in my job.
I'm really excited to hear about the Exchange group blog!
Ironically enough KC, your blog (ugh, I really hate that word) is one of the few that doesn't suffer from this problem. You and Raymond Chen give us hope. :) Keep on writing!
Louis: I agree, people should blog about whatever they want. However I didn't start my blog only because I wanted to talk about things of interest to me... I also started it because I felt like I had some valuable things to share, technical info about exchange or Outlook, for example. So, given that sharing useful information is one of my goals, it is important to me to listen to feedback on the blog itself, and modify content if necessary to suit readers.
Scott/Karan: Thanks! That's great to hear. I've gotten personal emails from customers as well, and I read every one (and respond to almost all of them, although sometimes I confess they get lost in my inbox on busy days and I forget to look back). Someone recently expressed surprise that I responded and asked them questions about how they use Exchange... yet here I sat, so excited that someone took the time to get in touch with me :-)
For anyone who reads my blog, I am *always* interested to hear if you use Exchange, how you use it, what kind of server config and user profile do you have, etc. And if you don't use Exchange, I'm also interested in any comments about why not, what (if anything) would make you use it, etc.
This blog has been an extremely valuable way for me to talk directly to my customers. David blogged about this this week as well:
P.S. I am honored to be mentioned in the same sentence as Raymond! I am a total groupie of his blog.
I'm not a heavy Exchange user (I just use POP3 from my hosting company), but I am a heavy Outlook user. I blogged earlier to day about an Outlook bug. Can you shed some light on this for me?
Louis, I can't reproduce that bug on my machine (running outlook 2003 rtm on windows xp sp1). Also, is there a reason you're going to advanced options? You could just check the "From" box and also check the "Move e-mail to folder" option on the same dialog
I'm doing advanced to get the flags. I've had this prob in b2, b2tr, and rtm on Windows XP SP1. Mario can recreate it also.
I wonder, does it have something to do with the fact that I don't have an Exchange (read IMAP) backend and that my rules are based on POP3 accounts?
Hey, I just got a referral from this page and I wanted to take a moment to say "thanks".
Your blog is definitely a source of great information for me.