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Well the book club isn't going off as planned, but I will keep trying.  This idea is definitely hard to complete, because it is asking a lot out of the members.  Even though reading books is part of our profession, it is hard to get developers to read.  It is too much of a chore for most of us.  How can we change that?  What would make a group like this better?  I hear a lot of people complaining about time.  I have no time, blah blah blah.  I don't know how many people I have seen from the lab portion of my company, reading on their lunch breaks and every other week they are reading something else.  Are the books we read just to boring as Kirk Evans stated?  Are we just too lazy as a community?  I think it is a combination of both. 

Maybe if it was a article club we might get more interaction.  Should I start and article of the week?  Not sure if that is the best idea, but I would really like to hear some more suggestions.  I know it is hard with the current DotNetNuke discussion module to get a conversation going, but I am hoping the ASP.NET forums 2.0 get released soon with the DNN integration piece complete.  I know that will help our club tremendously. 

So back to the point.  I need ideas of what you think this club needs and ideas on what you want to read for the month of May.  For the authors of the April books, I am sorry we didn't get much feedback.  This was the first try and I hope as time progresses, more and more users will start reading.  Out of a 150 members, 1 member responded to the discussion.  Maybe we should take it down to one book and no levels.  I don't want to leave anyone out if the book is too complicated, but we need to get this going.  I am also striving to create a model for User Groups.  I think this is our core audience to get this going.   If you have a 15 minute discussion, before or after the general meeting for those who participated in the monthly book, it might bring the group closer together.  Does that sound like something you group would be interested in?  I am going to propose the idea to my group on Tuesday and I will post the interest and then it will help me define the model better for other groups.  I leave you with a new acronym that Kent Tegels wants on a shirt “RTFB”.  I hope you take what this stands for to heart and join the club.

Posted on Saturday, April 24, 2004 8:04 PM | Back to top

Comments on this post: New Month - New Books

# re: New Month - New Books
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You might want to slow down the pace, I know that I have to read alot of different stuff... but I know I could keep up with a chapter a week or something for the book club.
Left by James Avery on Apr 24, 2004 10:11 PM

# re: New Month - New Books
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You might also try to ping Jason Salas, he reads an obnoxious number of books for reviews.

Part of the problem is that many are simply not going to be interested in a given topic. I would probably not participate much in a book on Programming WinForms Controls, but would partipate in discussions on Brundage's XQuery book. It is also difficult to discuss books on topics for Whidbey right now, as many still don't have it installed and are not likely to purchase books on subjects they cannot immediately apply.

People are going to participate in stuff like this if there is something in it for them besides gained knowledge. Give out free books? Set up article submissions to magazines and have the contributors to discussions mentioned in the byline? Everyone loves swag, and everyone wants something to boost their resume.
Left by Kirk Allen Evans on Apr 25, 2004 9:59 AM

# re: New Month - New Books
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Good suggestions!
Left by Jeff Julian on Apr 25, 2004 11:09 AM

# re: New Month - New Books
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I like your suggestion of an article of the week or something, or maybe a chapter a month . . . Most of my reading is driven by what it is that I need at the moment, and although I would love for nothing else than to sit down and read an entire book on a given subject, rarely do I need to do so, and my already-limited supply of time is too valuable to simply read an entire book, of which maybe I need 2 or 3 chapters.

Left by Jason Bunting on Apr 25, 2004 12:49 PM

# re: New Month - New Books
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I don't think the article idea works. I spend enough time at CodeProject for the articles.

I like the idea of the books, but like Kirk said, not everything interests everybody. A chapter a week, or so would be better. Maybe if you set it up to take say a book with a little design principles mixed with code, take say 5 or so people to be "assigned" a chapter a week earlier to create discussion points for the following week. This might get discussions going faster/more focused when everybody knows what the topics might revovle around--get people thinking about similar topics.

The other thing that I would be interested in is discussing the books realtime. Say a set time in a group chat. I don't always have time to check the commentary more than a couple of times, especially if the discussion is moving slowly--I lose interest quickly, cause I gotta move on.
Left by Brian Sherwin on Apr 27, 2004 7:51 AM

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