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Re: The Enlightened Perl Iron Man Competition

by Jenda (Abbot)
on Apr 22, 2009 at 12:02 UTC ( #759252=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to The Enlightened Perl Iron Man Competition

No, really guys, if you can stand it, blog. If you do not have any better way to waste your time, blog. If you do not mind virtually no one reads your weekly babbling, blog.

Sure you can find more blog posts about PHP. It's being used by lots of people that can get excited easily by something we all take for granted for years. It's being used by people that are not programmers (neither by profession nor inclination) and just happened to need to do something and now are ecstatic that they succeeded and quite often thanks to their profession they can write. You can find more blog posts about Ruby, since it's still fairly new and doesn't have the community tools and sites so well set up. Sure you can find less blog posts about Perl if most of the stuff that'd end up as a blog post in other communities gets uploaded to a central site (yes, CPAN) without any fuss or gets posted here.

If you do not have a better place to put things, you blog. And you end up searching high and low for a snippet of code or a library.


Comment on Re: The Enlightened Perl Iron Man Competition
Re^2: The Enlightened Perl Iron Man Competition
by moritz (Cardinal) on Apr 22, 2009 at 12:15 UTC
    I agree that a blog is not a good place to put code (or documentation, for that matter), but calling it a waste of time in general is over-generalized.

    A blog is a very good tool for letting others know what you're working on, and if there's a big public interest in the things you do, then it's really worth the time. The alternatives are mailing lists (to which usually most people who would read your blog aren't subscribed), and answering questions directly - which is much more time consuming, and reaches even less people.

    The point is of course that you should only blog if you actually have something to say, and which is of interest to at least some part of the Perl community.

    I for one love to read more from the testing/qa people, and from the Perl 6 and Parrot folks (naturally, because my main interest is in the same area).

Re^2: The Enlightened Perl Iron Man Competition
by mr_mischief (Monsignor) on Apr 22, 2009 at 14:27 UTC
    In a world in which many people judge a language's viability by the number of pages returned by Google, news sites, tutorial sites, tool sites, or even personal rambling sites (which many blogs fit under) can make a difference in awareness. This is despite the fact that some consider a properly indexed site to present only a small handful of pages for indexing, with other pages available in proper context through links from those. Numbers boost visibility, and visibility is equated by many to viability.

    Should we all go out and write inane blather about the functions we added to a log analyzer used only in-house or about the bug just fixed because Perl's testing frameworks made it easier to uncover and isolate? In most cases, no. If it's done using a technique really novel and exciting or in a way that hasn't been covered properly before then yes. Just try to limit the inanity and blather when doing the writing.

    A proper site discussing how Perl has helped you or what strengths the language and community offer in general terms can muffle the sites offering good advice and code. However, they can also link to those sites that offer good advice and code. If there were thousands of personal anecdotes about what Perl has to offer, and they all would link to Perlmonks, perl.org, use.perl.org, parrotcode.org, and rakudo.org then all those sites will be easily found. They'll also get higher rankings from the search engines as more and higher-quality sites link to them. Linking to more formal resources is pretty common in blogs, and should be encouraged.

    It'd be nice if the search engines allowed one to filter out certain site types in results, like 'Perl --no-blogs --no-adtraps', but AFAIK there's not really a foolproof way to make those decisions in the engine. There's not even a solid enough distinction in people's minds collectively among a forum, an official news source with comments, an official news source without comments, and a blog. I think it's better to have more "Perl is great, it helpd me do X in only Y hours instead of Z days" to counteract the "OMG Perl is so 1980's, I wasn't alive then so I can't think of programming in it" and "Perl went away with the arrival of digital Internet connections -- there is no more line noise" blurbs. If there's noise in your search results already, would you rather leave the negative noise intact and generate no positive noise to counter it?

Re^2: The Enlightened Perl Iron Man Competition
by Your Mother (Canon) on Apr 22, 2009 at 14:39 UTC

    I know this isn't typical but my personal site gets 3,000-10,000 visitors per day, I make a small amount of money from a single ad placement, I'm a writer so it's what I want to be doing (i.e., it's not a time waster), and I sometimes write about Perl. A blog is the right place to write about code in a personal development, eureka! kind of way. One liners and personal tests don't make it into revision control.

    Google indexes are pretty site-category agnostic. I posted an Ajax snippet that hit #1 immediately for a fairly normal search term. I've found that my code-related pages generally index better than other kinds of content. I find lots of answers to my own ActionScript, JavaScript, shell, git, etc questions in blogs at least as often as manual pages.

    I'm down with the Trout.

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