Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Regarding Comments and Interaction on TESTHEAD

As I've been going through the site to determine changes I want to make regarding Accessibility and Inclusive Design, I've been doing a review of past posts (with more than 1,000, this is taking awhile, but I'm getting there). In the process, I've also noticed a recent uptick in comments. At first, I was excited, but quickly saw that most of them tended to be the same:

nice blog has been shared by you. before i read this blog i didn't have any knowledge about this but now i got some knowledge. so keep on sharing such kind of an interesting blogs.

This would then be followed by a link to some other site, usually offering training of some kind.

At first, I tended to approach this with a bit of a buzzsaw approach, just deleting them out of hand, but during CAST, I talked to a friend and colleague and described my frustration with this approach. They suggested something I hadn't considered. It may be SPAM. It probably is SPAM if it is linking to a commercial link, but there is a possibility that this is also a new student fulfilling a class assignment to find a technical blog, read a post and comment on it.

Fact is, I don't know, but the better, possibly more naive part of me wants to believe that some of this traffic might be legitimate, so I'm going to make a few requests.

1. If you read something that you appreciate, let me know specifically what you like about the post. That at least gives me an indication that you have read it.

2. Ask me a question about the post. This may be a mild psych thing with me, and I may regret admitting this down the road, but I'm the type of person that, if you ask me a question in social media or via blog posts, I feel compelled to answer. My answer may be "I don't know" or "I'd have to point you to [x]" but I will answer :).

3. If you are posting a link to a site that supports or substantiates what I'm saying, or disproves what I'm saying, that's fair game. Posting a link to your training site without at least explaining why you are doing so is just rude. If you are saying "Hey, I like the pattern matching examples you gave in your post. I'm currently attending a training academy that also covers this, and you might find this useful (link to a specific example that corresponds with the blog post)", seriously, I'm fine with that.

Nonsensical praise like what's posted above tells me that you haven't even read the blog post, you want to get your link on as many of my page as possible, and will guarantee that I will go through and mow such comments out of my feed aggressively. Also, the time I have to spend chopping out bunches of bogus comment posts limits the time and attention I can spend writing new stuff.

For those who have posted informative and inquisitive comments, I thank you and appreciate the fact that you do so. For those who want to do so, but aren't sure how I promise, I'm a rather wordy fellow who is happy to answer questions and do not mind sharing links of a genuinely informative nature. Let's make this a place where we can communicate ideas and not a jumble of SPAM comments that I have to consistently prune.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Getting Ready to CAST a Wide Net in Nashville

It’s time to get back in the saddle and start doing some live blogging and somewhat real-time podcasting. Now that CAST is this week in Nashville, I’m doing my last bit of planning and logistics to get me to Nashville and get ready for CAST. For the past couple of months, Claire Moss and I have done some teaser podcasts for the conference (dubbed the AST CASTcast). If you haven’t been following along, here’s the whole series we've produced thus far (we have 18 episodes you can listen to :) ):

I will be Live Blogging this conference, but in a change from the past, I will not be doing it here on Testhead. AST has asked me to do my Live Blogging directly with the conference materials, so I encourage everyone to follow along over at the AST site.

With that in mind, I’d like to do an experiment. There are many sessions I would like to attend, but since I’m live blogging the event, I thought I would throw out to the readers of Testhead… what talks would you like to have me attend? What topics interest you? What do you think I might benefit from tuning into that may not currently be on my radar?

Also, I will be packing my microphone, so if you would like to have us record a podcast or two while we are there, let me know who you would like to interview and we can see if they would be game to participate.

It’s going to be an active week. I hope you all will follow along with me, and yes, I will also post some here as well :).