Thank you for an unprecedented response to this week's survey on what topics are most important to you. I will keep the survey open, but I will attempt to compile and report on the results by tomorrow morning. Your feedback is incredibly valuable.
Statistics as of this morning include over 250 responses.
Full report in the morning, but here are some very preliminary impressions:
The results have held steady from the very beginning – Webcasts have overwhelmingly been the "last choice" for over 2/3 of users and in-depth tutorials have been the first choice; with short videos and short tutorials splitting the middle position. In any case, there is almost total unanimity that all presentations should be at the Intermediate (300) level except for tutorials, which nearly 2/3 of you think should be more advanced.
I'll break the above out in more detail in the morning, and I'll certainly give more detail on the topics, but the top level there is that there are only a few topics that nearly everyone thinks is unimportant!
In any case, there is tremendous agreement about the important topics. Big winners include custom controls, anything touching on data, advanced features, web services, deployment, dynamic loading… well, like I said, I'll have a full report tomorrow.
Perhaps the most surprising finding to me (so far) is that fully 1/3 of the respondents find interacting with ASP.NET unimportant. I'll be probing that more.
The Free Form Comments
The true treasure is in the free-form comments that fell under "what didn't we ask and what would you have told us" – Here I have 91 thoughtful views to read through and summarize. Terrific stuff.
First Cut-off: 17:00 (GMT –5) Sept 18
If you can get your response in by tonight, that will certainly have the greatest impact, but as I say, I will keep the survey open and I'll consult the results over coming weeks.
Quick Responses To A Couple Comments
One comment was "VB — VB — VB — VB — VB — VB — VB — VB — VB Do examples in Visual Basic!!!! VB — VB — VB — VB — VB — VB — VB — VB – VB" — You'll be happy to know that (virtually) all the videos will be done in VB with code available in both VB and C# and that the tutorials are (slowly) being redone so that we can offer both a C# and a VB version of each.
"You should be telling us not us telling you"
Very quick note to the person who advised that I not ask for guidance from the community – that I "am meant to be a visionary, not a follower" I have to say that I shy away from visionaries, they are almost always wrong and Kool-Aid gives me a stomach ache.
While I certainly see that my job is to convey information and best practices, I also believe that it is imperative that I be responsive to the needs of those who are investing their time here. And I find that one of the best way to find out what people want is to ask.
I do hope you'll contact me personally about your other frustrations with the site and with the quality of the material here; I'm sure we can find what you need.
Personality Vs Information
Finally, this seems like a good place to say (and then be quiet) that I do see this as a blog rather than as a mini-newsletter. To me, that means that this is where I get to interact, to create a presence and to inject some personality into my interactions. A geeky personality to be sure, but a human one as well, complete with family, pets, and the occasional opinion.
My own guidelines are to balance like this: roughly 85% focused on hard-core Silverlight technical information, 10% news, information, plans, and 5% random thoughts about technology and tangential topics. This summer it has been out of balance, but I'm actively re-balancing.
NB: I've moved all political, personal, and publishing information to my personal web-site/portal. It's true that the dividing line between the two sites is semi-permeable but I like a little ambiguity in my life.
Stay tuned, full analysis tomorrow.