Republishing "Message from the CTO" from the DevExpress Newsletter

26 May 2009

I was having a chat with Rachel, our advocate of community outreach, and she proposed that I republish my "Message from the CTO" section from each newsletter here on my blog so that you, our customers, can comment on my thoughts. At present,the only way you can comment is by emailing I eventually get to read it, but Rachel's idea is much better. Plus, it's all public.

Here's what I'll do: as soon as I get my copy of the newsletter (yes, I get all the emails that a "normal" customer gets, but three times over for each of my three personas in the system), I'll post the text of the message here. If you want to comment about the topic, please do.

Seems a bit late to do this for the first one, but here's my piece from newsletter 2:

A big conference like TechEd (held last week in LA) is a great time to meet up with customers and those people you'd like to make into customers. The very fact that you are face to face engenders good conversation. Questions and issues are naturally and easily resolved. Trust and civility are understood.

The same ease and spontaneity is much more difficult to achieve with email or forum posts. For a start, there's the disconnectedness: you send off this message into the ether and await an answer, never knowing if it even reaches the recipient. Then there's the ambiguity of the prose: does it read harshly or pejoratively when you had no intent in so being? (After all, that's what emoticons were invented for, right? To remove the jarring notes from textual conversations by simulating human expressions.)

It's hard to do though: reading your own emails as a stranger to confirm your natural civility. It's something I've started doing, care to join me?

Now the very first comment I received about this particular newsletter was this:

Sorry, but the photo is really disturbing and creepy to have in the newsletter e-mail. As soon as I can figure out how to turn the images off I may read it.

Which kind of goes against the theme of the message...

What do you think? (About the topic, not necessarily about that reply.)

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