Where Do We Go To Share?

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No one reads blogs any more.

Twitter is dying.

Facebook is broken.

LinkedIn? Please.

G+. Is that even on any more?

Where do we go to share?

I’m seeing it here on this blog. Traffic is down. Not just day-to-day traffic, but the search hits. That could just be that I’m producing crap content or stuff that no one is interested in. However, Twitter isn’t growing like it once was and there are many reports that it’s shrinking. Facebook is running into problems. So… Where the heck are people going? How do we continue to share without a relatively common communication tool?

I know there’s some push for Yammer. However, lots of people hate it. Slack and slack channels get a little traction, but to a degree this is just another type of online forum and the adoption rate isn’t very high. My family insists on using WhatsApp. However I don’t see lots of us sharing that way. Snapchat is fine if you don’t actually want to talk to lots of people or retain anything. It’s not going to work as a mass medium of disseminating information. I check in regularly with my college age kids to see what apps they’re using to communicate. There’s nothing I haven’t mentioned here, so I’m unsure how the current generation is going to get connected, especially since they think that Twitter is for old people.

In all seriousness, where do we go as an online data professional community to maintain a relatively cohesive set of communications? I’m curious.

Also, if people aren’t reading blogs and they’re not downloading the Books Online, where the heck are they going to learn about SQL Server and Azure? Does anyone know?

20 Comments

  • Totally not trying to brag, but our traffic is up across the board – more hits, more visitors, more subscribers, more YouTube watchers, etc.

    When was the last time you put some work into doing SEO for the site? There’s been some pretty massive changes at Google lately – your site needs to be mobile-friendly, deliver AMP results, default to SSL delivery, etc.

    I threw your home page into a few SEO health check reports, and the results weren’t good.

  • Thanks Brent. I do need to do some work on the site. However, I was kind of hoping to focus on the bigger picture. Twitter is shrinking. There are also discussions of it being sold, but the price seems to be shrinking too. I’m just trying to see where, if not the current locations & resources, peoplare are going.

  • Tony Fritz

    Grant,

    I, personally, use Google+ for both work and hobby sharing. It’s deeply integrated with Blogger and WordPress for auto-posting when a new blog entry goes up, but also with youtube. I keep hearing everyone say it’s a wasteland, but my theory is that they’re so ingrained with the facebook social media platform, that they don’t bother to learn just HOW g+ works. Granted I’ve never been much of a FB user, and I joined G+ when it was first released, but I use it multiple times a day, every day.

  • Chuck

    Hey Grant,

    It could be seasonal? The summer’s over and people are back to the grindstone.

    I have been using: 1) good ol’ google search in tandem with the Inbox chrome extension to save research for later review. 2) buying books. 3) Feedly. 4) blogs. 5) pluralsight.

    Take care.

  • Peter

    Well, I’m w/ Stanislav – I use RSS for a _lot_ of my reading, at least to get a quick look at what’s out there. The more people abbreviate their posts, the less I’m likely to read the full article. Ironically, if the article seems to be good, I’ll often click through from RSS to bookmark or comment.

    I’ll admit that I get more use out of Slack, but perhaps that’s the real-ish time nature and better compartmentalization than Twitter. Twitter always feels like drinking from the firehose to me, even using searches to cut down the noise a bit.

    As for finding something specific in a timely manner – that’s usually through a search (or asking an expert). But just to keep up, I follow several blogs, including yours, through RSS and try to get a general idea of what’s going on. I also subscribe to the SQL Server Central and Red-Gate’s SimpleTalk newsletters for regular updates.

    I really think the new generation will find something that works for them to point people in the right direction. I’ve slowly moved over the decades from USENET to RSS/Slack/Twitter without too much trouble. Personally, I still miss USENET (and being able to access the MS forums that way – much better than their current implementation).

  • I read all of my favorite blogs (30+) through SSRS. I still use Twitter a lot, and I hope it will stay around for a long time.

    I still keep writing blog posts. Not sure though if my SEO is any good 🙂

  • It’s not so much that Twitter use within our community is dying as the platform itself seems to be. Market worth is dropping through the floor. No buyers in site. Fewer users every year. I don’t think we want to shift, but we’re going to have to shift.

  • Personally, I kinda left Twitter for Slack. (I was just talking to the team about this today.) It’s nice to be able to have off-the-public-record discussions, have more rich media, divide things up into rooms, etc.

    Also, please, for the love of God, put a Subscribe to Comments thing on here. I totally forgot about this post and just came back when someone else reminded me. Otherwise you’d have vibrant discussions going on here!

  • Arthur D

    I’m probably one of these youngsters (at 25 years old). I found your blog a year ago and I’ve had it bookmarked ever since.

    I like mailing lists like Brent’s weekly list of links and Paul Randal’s occasional insider email. I’m always in outlook looking for communication between teams so an email ensures that I will see new content.

    I also like aggregate sites like SQL Server Central where I get links to other sites and blogs.

  • Grant, I continue to read blogs every day. Have the learning patterns changed? I dont know – maybe? I wonder if there are not more/better answers than there used to be? When all the world is questions you get a lot of discussion. When you can search for a question and find the answer (a useful one) I think it reduces/eliminates the need for discussion. I still prefer SSC when I want to join/follow discussions.

    The other part is that you have to decide who you’re writing for. Page views, personal satisfaction, money, being a thought leader or even an agent of change. Sometimes 7 page views by the right 7 people are worth all the effort in the world.

    • Hey Andy,

      I read blogs too. Lots of ’em. I also know when I search on boogle or ging which of the hits is more likely to be useful. I’m curious about younger people though. They sure don’t seem to be using the same mechanisms that we used, so I’m unsure how they’re going about their learning. I’m curious how they filter the results too. Mostly I’m curious how they share stuff and persist it if they’re not using a mechanism that does persist stuff like Facebook or Twitter.

OK, fine, but what do you think?