we are just starting to recognize that we are all part of an online community
Last Saturday afternoon, intrigued by Guy Kawasaki post, I put together a short list of CAD blogs for my own pleasure and interest. It was a simple list with all CAD blogs I read sorted by Technorati ranking. I thought it was a good idea to share it online with others. Soon after that I added a short explanation to it and I posted both on this blog.
Surprisingly enough, in just a few hours I saw several of the bloggers mentioned in the list had come to the Novedge blog and left comments. Maybe the list "struck a nerve" in the online CAD community, to use Alex Neihaus (3D Mojo) words. My impression is that we are just starting to recognize that we are all part of an online community.
All of the comments are very interesting and useful. Thank you all! I would like to answer everybody who left a comment with a personal message, but I believe it’s better to answer with a post on this blog in order to keep the dialog public and open. Let me share some with you some information and ideas:
I created the list as a tool to explore and understand the CAD blogger community, not to promote or demote anybody. I read and enjoy all the blogs in the list and over the last two days, thanks to your comments, I added a few more blogs to my Google Reader.
I chose the Technorati rankingnot because it’s the absolute measurement of a blog popularity, but because it’s public, easy to check, and reasonable. I could have chosen Alexa ranking, Google PageRank, or something else. When you reduce such a complex concept as blog popularity to a number, some oversimplification is inevitable. We all know that slightly different sets of parameters can lead to widely different results. But I’m not playing with numbers to promote CAD system X against CAD system Y (system X is where I make the extra money). I’m just a blogger sharing a simple list.
After a few changes I stopped updating the list with new information from the comments because the Technorati ranking was already changing. The list is a snapshot, imperfect and partial, while the ranking is something very fluid. I’m going to take a new snapshot every few weeks and publish it on this Novedge blog. This way I will also be able to include more blogs and more data. I’m going to ask other bloggers for some "secret" info like page-views and number of RSS subscribers. If everybody is willing to collaborate we could really make an interesting list. Are you OK with sharing this information with the blog community?
The list should include all of the blogs from and for the CAD online community. In spite of having her dog’s pictures posted, Lynn Allen is (mostly) talking about CAD for CAD users. The same holds true for many other blogs that include non-CAD posts. It’s a blog tradition to blur the line between strictly professional topics and personal life, experiences, and opinions.
The distinction I find more challenging is the one between independent and non independent blogs. (Thanks Ralph for reminding us of the distinction.) Everybody agrees that Ralph Grabowski is an independent blogger (to me, The Independent CAD Blogger). On the other hand, Lynn Allen’s blog is obviously a corporate non-independent blog. What about Chris Kelley‘s blog? And, not last, what about the Novedge blog? Can a reseller like Novedge, with more than 60 brands, run a really independent blog? (Personally I believe the answer is Yes.) What should be the rules for calling a blog independent? When the author personally pays the blog bills, is his/her blog independent? What about the author’s affiliation? Or is the content of the blog what makes the difference? I would love to hear your opinions on this.