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Hello... My name is John, and I am a blogger

Posted by johnreynolds on February 9, 2006 at 7:12 PM PST

On Tuesday, September 23, 2003, at 01:39 PM, Reynolds, John wrote:

"I'd like to get a weblog account."

On Tuesday, September 23, 2003, at 8:44 AM, Steinberg, Daniel wrote:
(not sure why Daniel's reply is earlier then my request, I guess he's psychic)

"Forgive me for not knowing but: Who are you? What do you do? What have you written?"

On Tuesday, September 23, 2003, at 02:05 PM, Reynolds, John wrote:

"No need for forgiveness, I'm not exactly a famous person."

"I am an Austin-based developer who has been professionally writing software since 1980. I have a BS in Electrical Engineering from Rice University, and an MS in Computer Science and Engineering from UT Arlington. Back in the mid 80's, I was one of the core developers for Tandy's Deskmate, one of the early GUI environments. For the past 10 years, I have been extremely successful at expending inordinate amounts of my energy on startup companies with woefully short life spans. I have a wonderful collection of stock certificates from defunct companies, almost enough to wallpaper the guest bathroom. I've been using Java for the past 5 years, and am currently working as a Technical Architect for (name withheld to protect my employer)."

On Sunday, September 28, 2003, at 9:26 AM, Steinberg, Daniel wrote:

"Sorry for the delay -- sure, let's sign you up as a blogger. The content should be interesting to Java developers (though not necessarily Java). We've had some on the "oh all the jobs are going overseas" but I prefer the more technical posts and have emailed bloggers who step too far in that direction. The other restriction is to not use this site as marketing. If you provide value, people will find you."

If only Daniel had known what mayhem he was loosing on the community...

According to my weblog stats, I have posted 103 entries since my first blog entry on October 24th, 2003. I don't know if I have provided any value, but I was once recognized in the checkout line of a local supermarket.

Ben Galbraith recently resurrected his blog after several months of dormancy with the following explaination:

"Why am I reviving it?"

"Shamless self-promotion, my friends. What's a blog if not self-serving?"

Kudus for honesty Ben, and I agree that we're both shameless self-promoters. In my case, I blog because it scratches what itches. I seldom plan a blog... most of the time I come across an article or news item that interests me, and I just feel compelled to "johntificate" about it.

When I do plan a blog, it is often related to something nifty that I am learning about, and I find blogging about it helps me crystallize my own understanding of the topic.

I'm not a Sun employee, I'm not an O'Reilly employee, and I don't even work for a company that sells Java tools or middleware. I'm what is called an end-user.

Blogging gives me a voice in the Java community. I have no idea if my blogging pleas really have any effect, but it's nice to think that they may prompt folks to rethink a decision or soften their position.

My blog has been featured on the "front page" of a few times, and I think it is okay for me to share with you the secret of my "success"... post your blog on a slow news day and Chris won't have any alternative but to feature it.

I'll let you in on another tip...
If you really want to generate a lot of comments, then all you have to do is express concerns about the LGPL or question the JBoss business plan. I'm also finding that mentioning AJAX at least once in every blog will generate at least one annoyed response.

In truth, I really do appreciate all of the comments to my blog... and compared to others I've been treated with kid gloves. Gregg Sporar got a great comment recently in response to saying nice things about NetBeans:

"Why does Sun continue to promote a piece of software that makes them no money, and is profoundly disliked by all Java developers?"

Shame on you Gregg, you'd think that you were the NetBeans community evangelist or something.

One of the oddest comments that I've seen was directed at Romain Guy:

"should not post this (as it is not related to anything you've written) but I can't resist to ask...

Why did you choose this photo to represent yourself ?

When I first saw it (quite recently as a mater of fact) the word that came to mind was "arrogant". Now that I'm used to it I think that it is rather funny. As the initial reaction was, hum, negative, I wonder why you would decide to project this king of image. Now, I know that a photo is just a photo but we, as humans, have sometimes a tendency to read too much into things.

NB: this is my personal opinion and may be no one else on earth has the same opinion."

When I first read that comment, I thought it was rude, but if you read it carefully you will see that it is an honest expression... Romain's picture is a bit unusual, and the message was sincere.

That's what is so nice about readers... overwhelmingly they are a class act. We don't have big flame wars, and we don't call each other names (very often). We disagree, we discuss, we learn. It's a pretty nice place to hang out (even if it has become a sales barge for all things Sun).

If you are upset or angered by the number of Netbeans blogs, AJAX blogs, JAX-WS blogs, whatever... then please write something interesting on another topic that you really care about.

I would love to read what you have to say.

John Reynolds

Thanks for reading, JohnR

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<p>What a great post. This definitely has and will withstand ...

What a great post. This definitely has and will withstand the test of time. Thanks for sticking with it.