What constitutes a Domino blog?

It's nice to see some discussion following my near-rant from yesterday. For a while I was afraid it would come across as just more whining from me. Instead it's gotten people thinking about how we could sensibly create a system of rating "Domino blogs".

Ben talked about this some more on his site and I posted a comment. This post is so I can re-iterate something I touched on there.

What I really want out of this is a way I can find out about the real Domino blogs out there. The problem is that what constitutes a Domino blog varies from person to person. As Ben mentioned, Volker Weber would undoubtedly rank very high on any voting system.

Now, while Volker deserves to rank highly - his site is still one of my favourite reads after at least 3 years - should he really be ranked so highly as a Domino blog? His tag line reads "Ceci n'est pas un blog" but it might just as well read "Ceci n'est pas un Domino blog". It's understandable that he's labelled as a Domino blogger - he attends LotusSphere for one - but should he be. If I had a tech/humour folder I'd move him there. As I don't, he remains in my Domino folder. When was the last time he mentioned Domino though?

All I want is a way of finding the blogs that are actually talking about Domino/web development. I'm not that bothered about whether or not it's quality content at this point. This is something I can find out for myself over time, as I read the updates. All I want to know is that there's a high chance of regular talk of Domino. In fact more talk about Domino than anything else.

There are few Domino blogs that fit my criteria, which is a shame really. It's a shame Mike only ever teases us with an apparent come-back. For now my one-to-watch is William Beh's Lotus Notes on Web 2.0, which is the only site I've added to my Domino folder since my quest began last Friday.


    • avatar
    • Michael
    • Thu 1 Jun 2006 10:06 AM

    Does anyone keep a list of links to blog articles across all of the Domino sites? Something that is categorised with the date/author and short description would go a long way. I know I could go and collect RSS feeds, but I'm looking for something more.

    Considering that Notes/Domino has it's roots in a collaborative environment, why don't you Domino bloggers put your heads together and exchange links to either a central site or in a footer on each of your sites. I know what I'm looking for lies somewhere between the functionality of a global Domino RSS feed / Usenet / Portal combo, but it would be nice to get the info without hunting/searching for it in Google and hitting several sites. Getting the article links/descriptions and ratings from any of the participating Domino blogs would go a long way.

    I think the value of the articles posted can be reflected in the design of the site, but I'd value individual article rating vs. a whole site rating and whether or not it constitutes a real 'Domino Blog'. If the author chose to go off topic then they could flag it as such and it would not be included in this link exchange. If someone came up with a gem of an idea and had a mediocre site, then what?

    I would do a site myself, but I can tell you right off that it likely wouldn't measure up to the level of scrunity from you blogger pros. That being said, I do on occasion have some good ideas as I'm sure others do as well. I'll close here and maybe there's something already out there which is not peppered with ads. If someone has one, I'd be interested in a link to it.

  1. Not sure if I saw this site in your feed, but Bulletin NTF highlights all types of content that is Domino based.


    I also just realized that I have not blogged about Domino in a few months. I have to finish up this current .NET project and then maybe I can do some interesting Domino projects.

  2. In sites like dominoblogs they could allow the bloggers to give details on how much they plan to talk about domino, in percentage points. If it's say 20 or 25% it could be immediately ranked low, since the blog author himself says he won't talk so much about domino.

    Those that say 70 to 80% must justify it or should modify it to a lower value (this would certainly require registration accounts in dominoblogs). If neither is done then a registered blogger could mark it as *offtopic* and if it gains a certain number of votes from registered bloggers(say 5 or 10) then system automatically lowers the ranking.

    It's like allow the bloggers to own responsibility and live up to their set goals. If they don't then allow other community bloggers to notify the system to change the site ranking.

    Hope I'm talking sense.

    • avatar
    • Michael
    • Thu 1 Jun 2006 01:14 PM

    After doing some reading, I guess what I'm looking for is for Domino bloggers to implement some of the newer features in RSS 2.01 where you can have a category for the Item see {Link} If the Domino Bloggers got together and pushed (read replicate) their 2.01 'on topic' categorised RSS 2.01 feeds to one site with the full listing, sprinkle in some XSLT, then the articles could be sorted by category accordingly and the Domino community would benefit by having the Domino Bloggers aggregate their collective expertise.

    Surfers would still be visiting the author's respective sites so it's not like they would lose traffic. There is no inherent rating system within the RSS 2.01 for an item, but a standard format could be shared by the bloggers and the results embedded within the <GUID> tag. and reformatted for presentation with the XSLT.

    Someone collecting links is not what I had envisioned. It's a worthwhile effort, but I think the bloggers should stand up, put their heads together and make something like this happen for the greater good. :)

    • avatar
    • larry
    • Thu 1 Jun 2006 01:24 PM

    Ceci est un Domino blog. Every blogger could put a DominoDigg-this button on their blogentries. This way it is not open others to decide if they consider a blog as a domino blog, it is upon the creator of the blog to do so.

    It is upon readers to value the individual blog entries.

    Ideally a DominoDigg-this button should cast a vote for DominoDigg.com and at the same time to Digg.com (and maybe del.icio.us). Thus Domino articles will appear more often on Digg. This will increase the awareness of Domino, the Dominosales and thus the efforts IBM of will put in further developments of Domino. At the same time the Domino developper community has it's own special site.

    BTW I never understood why I have to refer to Lotus as Lotus Notes, Lotus Domino and simply Lotus. Bad branding from IBM/Lotus.

  3. Thank you for the kind words, Jake.

    I have asked a very similar question at the Lotusphere blogging session where I was a panelist. "What makes a blogger a Domino blogger?" Don't get me started on "there is no such thing as a blogger". ;-)

    Does he have to use Domino to host his blog? Is he a Domino blogger just because he does? Does he have to talk 'mostly' about Domino? We have not come to a conclusion.

    My point of view is: These lists try to describe a community. It is just mislabeled. Maybe it should read "Domino community blogs".

  4. Thanks Jake for the introduction.

    So what makes a Domino blogger? Or maybe better, Domino Technical blogger :) Or Domino User blogger?

    It's not easy to come up write Domino Technology related articles. Thumbs up to Jake for being able to do so consistently.

    @Volker. So does we need a Domino to host our blog? It would be great to utilise Domino. I would love to but it cost to much (at least for me.) Most hosting company are charging in USD where after converting to MYR it's not that affordable. So have to stick to some free service at the moment :)

  5. Couple of things...

    First, I think asking who or what is a Domino blogger is slightly off the mark. I think the right question is: who is a member of the Domino blogging community? After thinking it over, I've come to the conclusion that Volker is not a Domino blogger, but he is a member of the Domino blogging community. The community includes people who are Domino bloggers because they blog with Domino, people who are Domino bloggers because they blog about Domino, bloggers who have some long-time connections to Domino and to many people in the Domino community even though they dont blog with or about Domino (think Ned Batchelder and Damien Katz), and people who regularly read and comment on the blogs of community members even though they don't blog themselves.

    So, whether or not he ever posts about Domino, Volker certainly falls into that category of bloggers with long-time connections to Domino and to people in the community. He visits some blogs belonging to members of the community and posts comments on occasion, and a huge portion of the community visits his blog and posts comments. On top of that, it is my understanding that he is the one who prompted Ed Brill to start blogging, and Ed's blog clearly inspired dozens of people (if not more) to start blogging about Domino, so it is fair to say that Volker isn't just a member of the Domino blogging community -- he's a founder, or elder, or grand poobah, or something like that ;-).

    Regarding finding people who blog about Domino, there have been several attempts to pull something together. I've got an aggregator site for participants Rocky and Bruce's "Show 'n Tell Thursday" project. More than 40 Domino bloggers have either set up category feeds or are using Technorati tags that my aggregator subscribes to, and more than 220 posts have been pulled in -- almost all of which are tips of one sort or another for Notes/Domino developers, admins, or users. It's not a huge number given that it's been going for three to four months, but there could be more; and since there are quite a few Domino bloggers, myself included, whose blogs have much more non-Domino content than Domino content, this aggregator provides some useful filtering since it only gets posts that have been deliberately marked as Notes/Domino tips for SnTT. BTW, the aggregator site is here {Link} and the outbound feed with articles pulled from the various contributors is here {Link}/feed.rss

    And yes... the URLs suck. I was supposed to be arranging hosting on a bigger, better and more reliable server than my little home box; but somehow that kept being put off by someone and I stopped nagging after a couiple of months. I guess I should just register something and point it to my site rather than just waiting for the hosting to happen.


  6. Hmm... don't know why that second link broke into two pieces. Let me try it again.



  7. What makes a Domino blogger - I think there are definately the 2 categories - the community blogs which combine tech with personal stuff, and the pure tech blogs. I think there is a place for both, and is why I think both types should be added to dominoblogs.com.

    As Volker says - many people are interested in personal stories, opinions, other things from some blogs because they "know" the person, while others just want to get the tech "how to" stuff.

    dominoblogs.com was designed out of an expressed desire at Lotusphere to find bloggers who are in (or want to join) the Domino community. The other initiative which came out of Lotusphere blogging sessions launched by Rocky Oliver - "Show n Tell Thursdays"


    The idea is to help people who are just interested in reading the tech stuff to find it easily, and also to try to encourage people who can stray into just personal content to make an effort to keep some technical content (I'm not great at this myself!). We have added as spot in Dominoblogs for people to list the RSS feed just for these entries, so people could choose just to subsribe to this feed. Richard Schwartz was also planning to develop an aggregator of all the SnTT feeds so you could have a single place to read all the technical entries coming from the domino bloggers.

    Maybe this would answer some of the desires expressed above?

    @William - I know what you mean re pricing for Domino hosting - my blog is not Domino because I never had a suitable hosting option available, and now I just don't want to move.

  8. hmm - seems Rich & I were posting at the same time about almost the same thing!

    PS - Rich - we need to now join the links for the SnTT feeds so you are picking up the ones registered in dominoblogs.com

  9. Grand poobah? LOL. :-)

    • avatar
    • Michael
    • Fri 2 Jun 2006 03:01 PM

    Jake, you're noticably absent in this response list and the list of bloggers on both SnTT and dominoblogs.com. If you were looking to Dominoblogs.com for a list of good Domino bloggers, how come you haven't added your own site to the list?

    • avatar
    • Jake Howlett
    • Fri 2 Jun 2006 03:34 PM

    Good question Michael. No reason really. Although maybe I think I don't need to promote myself like this. Codestore pre-dates blogging and RSS and, as such, I had to build a following the hard way. Six years later and I've got enough of a presence not to need to subscribe to lists like this. Well, at least I like to think so. Apart from that the only reason is that I've just not bothered yet.

    • avatar
    • Jake Howlett
    • Fri 2 Jun 2006 03:36 PM

    Oh, forgot to mention SnTT. While I think it's a good idea I think I do enough showin-n-tellin not to need to force myself to do it on a set day each week.

    • avatar
    • Cesar Zavala
    • Fri 2 Jun 2006 05:02 PM

    For me, a Domino blog is simply a blog that has info related to Domino. But I wish there was a way to "categorize" each entry as "AppDev","Admin" or "Web" ... or "Sales","Marketing","Competitors".

    Maybe that way the days that I'm really techie I'd just care to read blogs about AppDev or Admin, and some other days I'd read the Sales, Interface and other blogs.

    So I guess my idea would be to somehow "force" or give preference to blogs that categorize each entry.

  10. Here's a little secret: The SnTT aggregator pulls in feeds all week long, so nothing prevents anyone from posting something to their SnTT category feed or putting an SnTT technorati tag on a tip post on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday.

    I had planned to add both a tagging system and ratings to the aggregator site, too. Just haven't gotten around to it.

  11. I do think we have a flaw in thought. I talked this over with a peer here in the Chicago area and we both find the flaw that you want to rate a blog.

    A blog at time can vary to cover a wide variety of topics. Does codestore.net count as a blog for Domino content when it only talks about the web components/web programming? It really does not talk about administrator or more specifically the Lotus Notes client.

    I really don't think there is a pure technical blog, but what is fairly close is Steve Castledine's blog as he only talks about his product on his blog and puts other topics about his life on his personal blog. If we look at Ed Brill, Ben Poole, Jake H., Richard Schwartz, Rocky, Ben L, myself, etc our blogs are an aggregate of everything in our lifes. Part of humanity is wanting to share about our life experiences. There are Domino/Lotus Notes topics -- granted not all facelts -- and topics about our personal interests. But I don't view it as a downfall to these blog authors as I like these other contents as well. I feel there is a better connection as a blog reader because I get more insight to what they share through their blog than just their work or hobby in the Lotus Notes/Domino.

    It seems a losing battle to me when you want to either weed out blogs or find specifici blog topics because you are almost asking the blog author to do specific publishing or limit what the blog author wants to publish. I look at something like dominoblogs.com differently in that there are people who share the Lotus Notes/Domino passion, but that is just one part of their identity. And these people want to see their identity in their blog than one component.

  12. @Patrick: I agree. If I put in a rating system in my aggregator, it would be for posts, not for blogs. Also, I think I'd want to combine rating and tagging, so that you could apply one rating per tag. I.e., if a post is tagged "Domino" and "Web" and "AJAX", it would potentially have different ratings for each.

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