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Super User, Server Fault, Programmers, InfoSec, Apple, DBA, Science Fiction & Fantasy and a bunch more sites all have Community Blogs that are contributed to and maintained by community members.

Should Code Review join the others and start our own community blog?

Many of our top users already have their own blogs, where they're producing awesome content, so lack of quality content wouldn't be much of an issue.


This has been discussed before (2014), and was put on hold by the stack overlords due to platform quality. It's 2016, and hopefully things have changed. Is this (a) a good idea in general or (b) even possible with the Stack SetUp available? (The linked blogs above are still running)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Related: Blog Overflow page is out-of-date \$\endgroup\$ – Mast Mar 22 '16 at 15:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ I would welcome the change, but I wonder if there would be much drive to contribute. \$\endgroup\$ – Dan Pantry Mar 22 '16 at 15:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ I see you've linked to my blog there. (Thank you for the compliment btw.) Unforunately, I have trouble finding the time to regularly post there already, so I would not be up for contributing to a community blog. Sorry. \$\endgroup\$ – RubberDuck Mar 22 '16 at 16:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Someone should probably post a "yes" answer so users can vote an answer rather than the question. \$\endgroup\$ – Raystafarian Mar 23 '16 at 16:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ If we want to do this we basically need to resurrect the pan initiated in 2014 and try again. You need contributors/Ideas and a schedule to be successful. To make it effective you need a core group that will badger others to get new ideas and potentially write articles. \$\endgroup\$ – Martin York Mar 23 '16 at 16:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LokiAstari yeah, we can get onto that stuff once we know whether SE's blog platform is stable enough for them to allow new blogs \$\endgroup\$ – Quill Mar 23 '16 at 16:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related: How about a Code Review blog library? \$\endgroup\$ – nhgrif Mar 26 '16 at 19:43
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I have one problem with this. Assuming that there was a blog that we can contribute to, would there be contributions?

It's nothing against the people here, trust me. If we look at all the blogs and see how many posts have been made since 1st jan 2014:

  • Science Fiction & Fantasy: 54
  • Server Fault: 7
  • Super User: 2
  • Information Security: 9
  • English: 4
  • Ask Different: 4
  • Tex: 12
  • Aviation: 8
  • Mathematics: 17
  • Cross Validated: 2
  • Islam: 9
  • Home Improvement: 3
  • Bicycles: 3
  • Arqade: 2
  • Web Applications: 2
  • Programmers: 0
  • Mathematica: 0
  • Geographic Information Systems: 0
  • Christianity: 0
  • Seasoned Advice: 0
  • Photography: 0
  • Physical Fitness: 0
  • Database Administrators: 0
  • Theoretical Computer Science: 0

There's also the World Building blog, that's not part of blog-overflow, at 92 posts.

This shows of all the blogs, there are only four that on average have one post every two months, being World Building, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mathematics and Tex. I would like to also bring to your attention the first and last post date of these blogs:

  • World Building:
    August 27, 2015 - March 22, 2016
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy:
    August 12, 2011 - March 15, 2016
  • Tex:
    July 19, 2011 - September 28, 2015
  • Mathematics:
    June 3, 2014 - May 10, 2015

This shows that Tex hasn't had a post in 6 months, but what is more alarming is that Mathematics had posts for 11 months and now hasn't had one in 10 months. This makes me think that only 3 of the 25 blogs are still somewhat alive. Where only two are without a doubt alive.

This makes me seriously question whether the CodeReview blog would actually pickup and have content.

But If we could show that we'd be like either World Building or Science Fiction & Fantasy then I can't think of a reason to why we shouldn't have a blog.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Were's the worldbuilding blog? \$\endgroup\$ – Vogel612 Mar 24 '16 at 12:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Vogel612 I don't know if that's "here's" or "where's", D: I didn't know about that blog, so that's why I didn't mention it. Thank you for the link, I'll add it to my answer when I get the time to count all those blog posts. \$\endgroup\$ – Peilonrayz Mar 24 '16 at 13:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ 92 posts in the source. First one August 27 2015 \$\endgroup\$ – Raystafarian Mar 25 '16 at 16:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Raystafarian Thank you for counting all those posts, they sure do blog a lot! \$\endgroup\$ – Peilonrayz Mar 25 '16 at 18:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ The relative success of the SFF blog is down to one user – Jack B Nimble. He’s very active in writing for the blog, and encouraging others to do so. If it weren’t for him, we’d be languishing along with the rest. Is there somebody like Jack who’d be willing to really get behind a Code Review blog? \$\endgroup\$ – alexwlchan Mar 27 '16 at 9:21
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Would I like a Blog

Yes I would. I would like to see articles on how to code review better. I would read artciles about best practice on many major languages.

Would I contribute

Personally unlikely. I have a hard enough time writing for my own blog.
But I would comment on things I read in the blog.

But are there people willing to contribute (its a lot of work).

Would I add ideas

Sure. But personally don't have any of the top of my head.

How many ideas can we get?

Should we do it.

If we can get a committed core group of writers. And a set of initial ideas to write about.

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SE is no longer starting new individual site Community Blogs

tl;dr (as of 1 year ago) follows

[...]we at Stack Exchange have not been doing enough to make blogs work[...]
[...]Blogs aren't Q&A, but the spirit remains the same - a blog with content but no updates is a promise unfulfilled by our network.
[...]
Right now, out of the 22 community blogs on the Blog Overflow system, only 10 have posted within this year, only 4 of which were within the past 3 months. 6 more posted something most recently within 2013, and the remaining 6 posted last in 2012.

I believe the situation only got worse since then, at least judging from the blogs overview.

If we wanted to have a blog, we would need to do it outside of SE, and I am not sure if that is what we actually wanted.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ There's "22 community blogs on the Blog Overflow system", which confused me as I count 24 in my answer. I don't think they counted Maths' or Aviation's blog, which I think were in progress to getting a blog before that post (I'm nowhere near 100% here). \$\endgroup\$ – Peilonrayz Mar 29 '16 at 13:37
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Yes, let's have a blog.

And here is why...
Code Review is different to (most) other StackExchange sites, and the ones it is similar to are the ones with good blogs.


My thoughts regarding naysayers on the point of content
The big difference with Code Review is in the content, and the way we go about producing that content.

Unlike sites like StackOverflow, ServerFault, etc - where (in theory) each question is an exemplar of an exact situation a developer (SO), network admin (SF), etc may find themselves in.. Code Review often has questions regarding a solution to the same problem (i.e. the beginner problems, etc). We also accept iterations of questions for follow-up reviews. This is a totally different idea to sites like SO.

On SO, it is possible (for some questions) for a one-liner to be accepted as the answer. I don't think I've seen any (certainly not highly-voted) one-line code reviews.


Ergo, we have the content already (well mostly)
The content that makes a good review, could certainly much more easily be turned into a good blog article than good answers on other network sites. Plus, the iterative and 'there is no one right answer' nature of a review lends itself to blogging as a (fairly) open-ended process.

This is paralleled in sites like WorldBuilding and SciFi where the discussion can go on open-endedly. It is not simply "this config file here" or "put a semi-colon there" (Okay I'm over-simplifying the Q&A process, but you get my point).


"But the existing bloggers say they won't have time"... et al
Yes, sure. There are busy people in our community, and writing a code review takes much less time than writing a good blog article. That doesn't automatically mean that nobody will contribute to the blog.

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As one of the referenced bloggers, I would not contribute to a Code Review blog.

Other bloggers have mentioned they also wouldn't contribute. I can't see there being enough contributors making enough contributions to be worthwhile.

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No

Because the Q&A system should be used as a blog. Post some code (in whatever language) that you want people to talk about. Explain why you wrote it that way and ask if there are better ways. Is my code understandable? After a while, come to a consensus within the group of followers of that Q. Rewrite the code taking in the new ideas you got from the crowd.

That is how you get better at coding.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Blogs are for discussion, it is clearly stated that Q&A is not for discussion. \$\endgroup\$ – pacmaninbw Mar 25 '16 at 13:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Discussions are not allowed in a Q&A? You must be joking. Stackexchange is not the silent part of the train. It's the part of the train where you talk. A whole lot. \$\endgroup\$ – Marcus Apr 1 '16 at 1:40

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