Now that I am (momentarily) out of apps to post, I'd like to take some time to talk about this blog. What are the objectives? What is the plan for the future? That sort of thing.
This blog is 100% meat. There is no filler for fluff. If it's not related to Vault, it's not getting posted. There will be no vacation photos, stories about my family, movie reviews and so on. Some other blogs do that, and that's fine, but it's just not my style.
A consistent level of posting is important too. The formula I use is 1 posting per week and 1 sample app per month. I've been able to keep that pace for over a year an a half, which is a decent accomplishment in my opinion. The downside to this approach is that there is an excess of content and certain times of the year (like now with the release of Vault 2012) and a lack of content at other times (like right before a release). The result is a slower release information so that it lasts for the whole year. Hopefully, you are not even aware that I'm doing this. Nevertheless, let me know if there is a topic you want me to hit sooner than later.
Programmers are my target audience, but I'm very aware that free apps is a big draw for all types of Vault users. The two groups are very different from each other, but I haven't heard any complaints. Regarding programmers, I want my blog to serve the whole spectrum. From professional software engineers to hobbyists that barely know how to code. Not every post will hit the entire range, but overall, the blog should have something for every type of programmer.
My blog is just part of a network of Autodesk online content. On the Vault side alone, there is a usage blog, support blog, wiki and discussion group. The hope is that all these pieces come together to form something positive and useful. I try my best to fill my own little niche while adding benefit to the overall network.
I don't have specifics or timetables or anything like that. But I do have some ideas bouncing around in my head that I would like to start acting on in the upcoming year.
- Quick start guide: If you are new to Vault programming, I imagine the whole thing can be overwhelming. So I will be creating a section geared specifically for getting someone coding on Vault as quickly as possible. It may just be a page that links to some of my old posts, or it may be something more experimental, like a video tutorial series. I'll probably start small and grow it over time.
- Developer community: Since my blog is the de facto place to go for Vault apps, I'd like to use it as a cornerstone for a development community that extends outside Autodesk. The trick is how to do that without sucking up too much of my time.
- Retroactive updates: As new Vault releases obsolete my older posts, I need to go back and add addendums indicating how things have changed.
Don't change what is working:
I have no intention of changing anything. Based on all the feedback I've received (both internal to Autodesk and external) this blog is on the right track and I should keep doing what I'm doing. I have no intention of changing my rate of posting, sample apps, webinars, level of technical detail and so on.
I love what I do, and hopefully it shows with every post. Maybe one day this blogging stuff will seem like work, but I don't think that day will come anytime soon.