As editor for TSS, I had a specific audience and specific goals in mind. The audience was the tech industry, primarily enterprise Java developers. The goals were to impart knowledge to the audience that otherwise might involve investments of time that the audience might not want to make — to vet the content before wasting your time on it, you might say.
Now, TSS has a different audience and different goals. The audience is primarily TechTarget, the company that owns the site. The goals are to get hits. A great posting is determined by "how many hits did it get?"
Look at the difference: I was willing to trade hits for signal as long as the signal was strong. An unclear posting that got tons of hits was a loss. A clear posting that told people enough information such that they didn’t need to read further (if they didn’t really have an interest) was a net win.
Now: signal is optional, as long as the hits roll in.
I tried to not troll the audience too often; it happened, because I’m a sarcastic, cynical jerk sometimes, but I also tried to make it fairly clear what my goals were. (I’m probably too subtle to make that work as well as I’d like.)
Now, TSS trolls the audience at will.
The annoying thing, the reason TSS readers suck, is that when <strong>I</strong> did it, you called me on it, regularly and often fiercely. Now: hardly a reaction at all. Nothing of consequence. And the band plays on.
Thanks, guys. Sometimes people wonder why I’m bitter about TheServerSide, and it’s because of stuff like this; even when you try, you get slapped down. That’s not to say that there were not real rewards: I got a lot of friendships out of my time at TSS, and I really enjoyed helping the industry along, but it’s an arena where external rewards are very rare – and worse, attempted public humiliation is more common.
Combine that with the constant pushback on trying to improve TSS from TechTarget and you have why I was thrilled to leave when the time came.
Author’s Note: Another repost. I’d normally not have reposted this, but I felt like it contained enough signal that it was worth retaining.