Thursday, March 18, 2010

Joel Not on Software | Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen

As he announced earlier this week, Joel Spolsky is retiring from blogging today – on the 10th anniversary of his blog, Joel On Software. Joel was one of the pioneers of blogging (especially on the geek side of the world) and his content has been a welcome sight in my Google Reader over the years. clip_image001

I’ve talked  about Joel often in the past decade (on this blog, other blogs and in countless emails and presentations). I share his views on the simple approach to the art of creating software, how to make the interface user-centric and how to create a start-up company the right way (hire Über-talented people and you’ll find a way to make a product people will buy).

Additionally, Joel gave the simplest advice to any hiring manager on what you look for in a candidate you are interviewing (which I nicked last year for my own post):  

    1. Smart
    2. Get Stuff Done

He later turned The Guerrilla Guide to Interviewing into a book (a must for all IT hiring managers – but useful to anyone in the talent acquisition realm).

I love Vegas every moment (how long ‘ave I been on?)

My friend Angie loves to clown me to this day about the time she and I went to the Better Software Conference in 2006 (primarily to see Joel as the keynote speaker). Not only did we eschew the pool and slushy drinks to attend that session, but I was a like tweener at a Hannah Montana concert (or so so she tells me). Of course, we also joke about the $22 drinks at Mandalay Bay (but that’s a story for another day).

Jumping the Virtual Shark

It seems to be growing sentiment that blogging has jumped the shark.

Although it has served him well (he’s not cutting coupons), Joel talks about the failure and unfilled promise (and linkage back to the business success) of blogging in a piece this month in Inc Magazine (Let's Take This Offline):

The big-hit technology companies from the past 10 years tend to have pathetic blogs. Twitter’s blog, like Facebook’s and Google’s, is full of utterly boring press releases rewritten to sound a little bit less stuffy. Apple’s employees produce virtually no blogs, even though the company has introduced several game-changing new products in the past decade. Meanwhile, hundreds of Microsoft’s employees have amazing blogs, but these have done nothing to stave off that company’s slide into stodginess.

Don’t give up on it just yet.  Blogging has a relevant place in the mix. But like any content and brand-building channel, it is not the only content delivery system to use and you need to be speaking to your customer in the right places with the right messages (and where they are!).

So long and thanks for all the fish

Finally - good luck Joel on your new endeavors.  I look forward to following you in other mediums and make sure to line up more keynotes in Vegas (I’ll come – probably Angie will, too)


Kevin said...

It's a little like the final episode of Night Court for me. Sad to see it go, that it's no longer part of the world, but I can't say I watched it when it was on.

Liz said...

I must be getting older....

"to clown me"
"jumped the shark"

These are phrases I have not heard before. I'm not sure exactly what they mean (well, at least the 2nd one), nor do I really care (this is the "I am old" part)

Thomas Copenhaver said...

Jump the shark is really a 70's reference (so not part of the new kid slang)