Well folks I'm back. I've been busy working on a whole slew of things around MSDN and TechNet including these blogs, our TechNet Wiki and our central profile system. You may have noticed if you've viewed your profile lately that we are in the process of introducing a new MSDN/TechNet/Expression technical profile and recognition system. We are working towards ensuring all you actively do across our properties of applications and sites is recognized and you are rewarded for your involvement. But more on that in another post later...

For now, I wanted to drop a quick line to talk about the blog platform upgrade we did last week. We made the move from Telligent Community Server 5.5 to the 5.6 release. A point release, should be easy eh? :) HA!. If we were using the platform straight out of the box, no customizations, maybe. But when you've got a whole bunch of dependencies, integrations, customizations, features that people forget about, 10,000+ blogs and the end of a long, dark, cold and rainy winter, well it takes some work. So I gotta say a big thanks to the team here who work with me on the blogs. John, Justin, Claire, Cindy, Sakthi, Sukesh, Sankar, Pam; well you guys just rock. Thanks for putting in the hours getting this release in place. Big thanks to Roger, Brian, Rich and Kelly at Telligent for their on-going support for us as well!

The changes are generally geared toward our blog authors but in the end that also benefits you. Here are some of the changes:

  • It's now much easier for our bloggers to incorporate content beyond text and images. Silverlight, JScript examples, TechNet and MSDN Videos and other rich media will work a lot better.
  • We also had reports about folks getting stuck in infinite Live ID Login loops. We believe we have this fixed. If you see it, please use the site feedback link on the home page and let us know.
  • Prior to this release we would serve RSS feeds either from the database or from the ASP.Net Cache. We now store the RSS in files that are updated within seconds of a blog post being published or changed. This means our Web Servers and DBs are far less taxed than before. RSS traffic represents about 20x our regular page view traffic so this is a huge improvement. As a specific example, while our DB is running about the same CPU levels at peak times, the actual requests per second we are handling has trippled. That's pretty impressive.
  • RSS feeds for comments per blog post are available.

In about 6 weeks, the blogs will be releasing again. At that time we will integrate into the new recognition system I mentioned earlier. If a blog author posts an article it'll appear on their profile. If you comment that'll appear on your profile (assuming you log in). There will be other actions and ways to earn recognition points and achievements by being an active member of this community. More information about the new system is available here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-US/ff395928.aspx

Have a great weekend. I hear the sun might show itself around here! Oh and it's mother's day here in the USA (and Australia where my mum is) - so here's to your mum's! :)