Come, sit around the campfire and I’ll tell you a story about weblogs.asp.net.
It was 2003. Back in those days, having a weblog at asp.net was a status symbol. It was the time when some of the big Microsoft names had weblogs on the server, which in turn always ran the latest .Text version (since ScottW pretty much ran the place) and you had to be well known or have someone on the inside in order to get a weblog here. Don’t let the name fool you, though – the weblogs on asp.net weren’t just for the ASP.NET crowd – you could read wonderful content about the whole of .NET, a (rather) new technology. Debates would run into the night and at the end of the day – you would actually make a difference.
It was on a rainy October day on that year that I got my very own weblog.
One day, Microsoft finally understood (although partially) the power of weblogs. On a clear day, much like today (well, not today, since it’s poring outside), some Microsoft bloggers suddenly started attaching a little [MSFT] tag to their weblog. Next – they received their own OPML file. Before you knew it, .Text was installed on blogs.msdn.com and then one by one, the bloggers of great Microsoft migrated to their corporate home.
Time passed and as it did, more and more weblogs went the way of weblogs and were never again posted to, while other writers kept theirs alive by the sheer power of their collective will. The sense of community – of equality between fellow developers across corporate boundaries – had been lost to the capitalistic PR ambitions of the behemoth that is Microsoft. The application running the server was left to die the death of unupgraded software and the good name of weblogs.asp.net dwindled and shrunk to what it is today.
Where are the glory days of old now, you ask? Promises have been made, but that sliver of light at the end of the tunnel is so thin that many have pondered or have already left for other sites. Telligent! Communities that do not grow, die!
[ Update: Just so no one misunderstands me, I don’t want to leave the site. It’s nice and cosy and I’m used to it. It’s just that some new blood needs to be pumped into the veins of this community soon. ]