J.D. Meier's Blog

Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

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  • Blog Post: How To Read Blogs More Effectively

    Too many blogs, not enough ROI?   Is your backlog of posts to be read, wearing you down? No more. I’ll keep this post short or it defeats the purpose, so let’s cut right to the chase … There is a secret to reading blogs more effectively, and it’s not reading faster.  It’s adding a strategic...
  • Blog Post: Sources of Insight is Available on the Kindle

    I’ve made Sources of Insight available on the Kindle.  You can find the sign up on Amazon at: Sources of Insight on the Kindle (US Sign Up) Sources of Insight on the Kindle (UK Sign Up) * Note that UK customers can purchase blog subscriptions only from the UK Kindle Store. If you haven’t taken Sources...
  • Blog Post: Top Posts of 2010

    This is a roundup of my top posts on this blog for 2010.    My top posts are based on value rather than pure traffic, although I use traffic as an input.  I base the value simply on feedback, reuse, contribution in a domain, hallway conversations, etc.  The goal is simply to...
  • Blog Post: Top 100 Blogs for Software Development Managers

    Jurgen Appelo put together an impressive list of what he calls the Top 100 Blogs for Software Development Managers (Q3 2008) .  I think it's a great way to find out about blogs you might not know about. The Top 10 Here's the top ten blogs on the list: Joel on Software Coding Horror Seth's Blog Paul...
  • Blog Post: What Makes Great Content?

    Darren at ProBlogger asks, what is great content ? ... I need to think about it.  For now, I'll say that great content ... Surprises you .  You learn something you didn't expect. Lifts you up .  You're inspired to act. Echoes in your mind . It sticks. A new idea is forever etched into...
  • Blog Post: How To Choose an Effective Blog Template or Theme

    How do you pick the right theme for your blog?  The challenge is that it's not a linear decision and it requires satisficing to balance content,  function, and design ("look and feel").  As part of my research on effective blogging, I've been analyzing themes.  I’ve literally...
  • Blog Post: Tags vs. Categories

    What's the difference between tags vs. categories in your blog? A lot. Knowing the difference between tags and categories can help you better structure your blog for browsing and SEO. Personally, I hadn't noticed the issue before because I only have tags on my MSDN blog. As part of my research on effective...
  • Blog Post: Top 100 Blogs in Technorati

    I created a snapshot of the top 100 blogs according to Technorati . I'll be starting with these blogs to identify patterns and practices for effective blogging. I'll be analyzing blog design, user experience patterns, key features, content, style, frequency, information management, community interaction...
  • Blog Post: 7 Types of Blog Posts

    What types of posts get traction? In a nutshell, posts that either hit the heart, lead you to "ah-has," consolidate insight, consolidate resources, or help you nail a task. Skellie outlines 7 Types of Blog Posts Which Always Seem to Get Links and Traffic . Types of Posts Skellie's list of types of posts...
  • Blog Post: Blog Improvements

    I did a few things to try and improve browsing and findability: Added a "Best Of" list to my blog's navigation bar. Added a Personal Development tag . Added a Productivity tag . Added a Professional Development tag . I was surprised by how many of my posts related to productivity. Then...
  • Blog Post: Feed Readers

    Darren asks Which Feed Reader is Best? I was going to just add a comment, but it quickly turned into a post. I've used Bloglines, Google.com, Google Reader, Live.com, Newzie, OMEA Reader, and RSS Bandit. I know I've used more that I'm forgetting. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, so finding...
  • Blog Post: More Effective Feed Reading

    I want more from the information that's out there today. I want to spend less time hunting and gathering it, and more time acting on it. I want to find the information that gives me an edge. Most importantly, I want to avoid the "free shopping spree" pattern, where if I grab it all as I go, I may not...
  • Blog Post: My Tag Cleanup

    I made some changes to my tag cloud and learned some lessons along the way: A few useful tags are more effective than a laundry list. If I have to choose between tags too often, consolidate and eliminate. If I'm not using my own tags, they aren't working. If my tag cloud doesn't visually...
  • Blog Post: 5 Tips for Blogging

    Here's some quick blogging tips I shared with a colleague, that they found helpful: Have a purpose or a theme -- I find having a simple purpose helps. For example, my one-liner for me is to journal my Microsoft adventures. Within that, I'll tend to focus on shaping software, project management...
  • Blog Post: Tag Big Buckets First

    Here's an example of a mistake I made tagging to illustrate how I'm now thinking about tags. I originally created the following three tags for my team system nuggets: Visual Studio 2005 , Team System , and Team Foundation Server . I did this because I first did my research on Visual Studio Team System...
  • Blog Post: View-Driven Tagging

    I'm not satisfied with the browsability of my blog. While I can get to a lot of the nuggets I need, sometimes I have to dig. My initial reaction was that I just need to throw all my nuggets into a Wiki and do what I do best. Then I realized, no, I'm making a very basic mistake. True, blogs are oriented...
  • Blog Post: Using Live.com for RSS

    Here's a quick set of steps for using Live.com ( http://www.Live.com ) as your RSS reader. What I like about it is that I can log in to it from anywhere. What I like most is that I can create multiple pages to organize my feeds. This let's me focus my information. Here's the steps for creating pages...
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