An alternative forum update
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Thread: An alternative forum update

  1. #1
    John E is offline Elite Member Power Poster
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    An alternative forum update

    Following the debacle of the recent forum "upgrade" I can't help wondering if an alternative strategy might have worked better....

    It was announced yesterday that Apple has overtaken Microsoft as the world's most valuable company. Admittedly there's some controversy over both valuations since, allowing for inflation, neither of them comes even remotely close to IBM. But let's ignore that. Apple is undoubtedly more significant now than it was when CodeGuru first saw the light of day.

    In recent years, CodeGuru has made a noticeable effort to embrace non-Microsoft programming technologies - but for the most part, it continues to ignore iOS, Objective-C and everything else to do with Apple. And yet I'll bet there are plenty of programmers here who'd be interested in programming for IPhone / iPad / OS-X etc.

    In my experience, the level of expertise available on CodeGuru is without parallel but it's definitely not the site it used to be. And IMHO, the reason for CodeGuru's declining popularity has less to do with its 'look & feel' and more to do with the fact that it's ignoring some very important programming sectors such as the Apple market.

    Perhaps Linux will eventually grow in significance too but in the meantime, I feel that CodeGuru is taking a very big risk with its Microsoft-centric bias.

    It's not that I'm a Microsoft basher (nor an Apple fan) but I do think it's time that CodeGuru opened its mind a little. A programming site as good as this one shouldn't be painting itself into the corner. CodeGuru's future depends not on fancy graphics - but on it continuing to remain relevant. How can it do this if it continues to ignore the world's most valuable IT player?
    "A problem well stated is a problem half solved. - Charles F. Kettering

  2. #2
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    Re: An alternative forum update

    Hmmm.....

    Let's remember that is most of Apple's value is a result of the iPhone and the iPad and not desktop or notebook computers. Let's also look at the trends that are occurring. If we were to really focus on what developers are using (and going to use), then it isn't Objective-C that is important, but rather HTML5.

    Additionally, let's remember that stock value doesn't necessarily equate to marketshare. It equates to what people are willing to buy. It is like saying that sports equipment should only sell to pro teams becaue they make millions in revenue. The reality is they make millions, but they buy a limited amount of equipment. The real market is in school and kid sports where there are millions of players.

    Having said all of that, I should also point out that a lot of what Codeguru covers is determined by the members. This site covers C++ from any patform perspective, and Microsoft technologies as well. If people don't submit or request C++ content, less gets published. The same is true of Objective-C. I'd be happy to build an area on the site for Objective-C if people want to write on this. We have covered a little of this on Developer.com too, but I'm fine with that here too if people want to write about it. If you want to write about it, let me know and we can talk about what that takes.

    Of course, I won't say this same thing about other technologies. Some - such as Ruby, Python, Perl, etc. are just too far from the core of Codeguru today Best to avoid straying too far from the areas your audience is truly interested in. We cover those topics on a different site. This is why I'd tend to push Objective-C coverage over to a site like Developer.com (which is also owned by the same company as Codeguru). It is more appropriate there.

    How can it do this if it continues to ignore the world's most valuable IT player?
    Again, value is a perception shown by people investing money. I'd rather focus on usage and marketshare.

    I'll add that we actually haven't ignored this. We've publshed articles on our sites on Objective-C as well as developing for iOS. For every person that reads one of those articles, we can get 10 to read an article on developing for Android. that's why we've published more on Developer.com about Android development instead.

    Let me end by repeating again - if you want to write objective-c and iOS development articles for Codeguru, we'd be happy to publish them on the site to share with the community.

    Brad!
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  3. #3
    John E is offline Elite Member Power Poster
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    Re: An alternative forum update

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Jones View Post
    We've publshed articles on our sites on Objective-C as well as developing for iOS. For every person that reads one of those articles, we can get 10 to read an article on developing for Android.
    Good point Brad. In fact, that's another important sector that shouldn't be ignored. Maybe CodeGuru's 'Proving Ground' section should have some trial forums for iOS development and Android development? Both are significant programming areas now IMHO.
    "A problem well stated is a problem half solved. - Charles F. Kettering

  4. #4
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    PeejAvery is offline Super Moderator Power Poster
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    Re: An alternative forum update

    John, this has been discussed to some extent before in more private channels. Here's basically what I shared back a while ago.

    I am an iOS developer (have been since it's inception). Since iOS development has been available since early 2008, forums sprrang up right away. Apple eventually created their own to help regulate NDA discussions. That being the case...#1 CodeGuru is too late to the game. All the major forums have developed their name and constituents. Yes, we could get some...

    But that brings up another reason why I think it's a pointless step. #2 CodeGuru has always been a more Microsoft centric development community. At this point, why would someone come looking here for answers to iOS solutions? I sure wouldn't. I don't even know how many other developers besides myself here that make living off such development.

    Also, #3 in order to grow, there would need to be an attraction to actual "gurus" for iOS. Unless that happened right off, there would be nothing but unanswered questions. I would be willing to help out if such a forum was opened up. But, I definitely don't see any chance of it becoming anything.
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  5. #5
    John E is offline Elite Member Power Poster
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    Re: An alternative forum update

    OTOH, even if we ignore the pronlems with the recent upgrade, CodeGuru isn't likely to attract new members just by giving itself an occasional makeover, so what's the answer?

    Or am I wrong to assume that visitor numbers are in decline? It certainly feels like that but does anyone have any actual figures?
    "A problem well stated is a problem half solved. - Charles F. Kettering

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    Re: An alternative forum update

    I agree with JohnE here. Don't close the door until you know anybody wont pass... Wouldn't it be wonderful if codeguru had a forum for whatever platform you develop for? Why does a forum that's divided into several technologies say no to any of the new ones?
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  7. #7
    PeejAvery's Avatar
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    Re: An alternative forum update

    To clarify...I'm not voting no to creating an iOS forum. I'm simply stating that I believe it has no potential due to my already mentioned reasons. If I could be proven wrong...I'd love it.
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  8. #8
    John E is offline Elite Member Power Poster
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    Re: An alternative forum update

    Maybe it's just a pipe dream but I'd like to get back to the CodeGuru I remember from when I first started coming here and I think that S_M_A has hit the nail squarely on the head....

    Quote Originally Posted by S_M_A View Post
    Wouldn't it be wonderful if codeguru had a forum for whatever platform you develop for? Why does a forum that's divided into several technologies say no to any of the new ones?
    Remember that 15 or 20 years ago Visual Studio was an exciting new technology. Programming for the PC had mostly been dominated by Borland products such as Pascal and Turbo C. VC++ was an innovative new way of programming and everyone wanted to find out about it. I've been here long enough to remember when it was a difficult task to get your post noticed. In the Visual C++ forum especially, posts would get relegated to the second page after only a few hours. These days a post can stay on that first page for a week or more!

    What's changed? Well, Visual Studio is still a great product but it's no longer at the cutting edge. Modern developers are often concerned with different issues nowadays - such as cross-platform development. CodeGuru is making some effort to cater for this but I'd argue that it's not really doing enough.

    And CodeGuru has a trump card up its sleeve - it's just about the only programmer's forum which doesn't suffer from platform discrimination. I use a lot of Linux technologies for Windows programming (glib / gtk+ / pango etc). Whenever I need help for those technologies I've learned the hard way to disguise the fact that I'm programming for Windows. The minute you mention you're from a Windows background you get treated like some kind of devil worshipper! It's ironic that open source software doesn't lead to open-minded developers!

    i've never encountered anything like that on CodeGuru. I've never heard anyone being told to stop programming for this platform and program for that platform instead. The gurus here are much more pragmatic and open-minded in my experience. That is CodeGuru's greatest trump card.
    "A problem well stated is a problem half solved. - Charles F. Kettering

  9. #9
    John E is offline Elite Member Power Poster
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    Re: An alternative forum update

    $25,000 is a pretty cool way to attract iOS or Android developers to your site...
    "A problem well stated is a problem half solved. - Charles F. Kettering

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    Re: An alternative forum update

    Quote Originally Posted by John E View Post
    $25,000 is a pretty cool way to attract iOS or Android developers to your site...
    Those contests require people willing to submit apps. If people on this site are willing to participate, we can do those types of programs too. There are other promotional means for getting apps done as well - rather than just awarding 5 people some money.

    For instance - if I gave 250 people $100 for submitting an app, would you like that better? It means your chances of getting some cash go way up compared to a contest with fewer prizes.

    And the real question - will that get more discussion going on those topics? Or will it be a bump and then go back to what it was?

    Things to think about

    ====================

    Good comments in this thread. I'll make a few more replies later when I have more time.

    I might start a new thread regarding the above quote as well...

    Brad!
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