Blogging or Bashing Oracle for Fun, not Profit. Got Cheezburger?

I stood on the sidelines of this thread too long. Today, Justin Kestelyn made another post about the Oracle blogging community. This thread goes back to these original posts where Justin posed that although there is a lot of blogging activity around Oracle, there doesn’t seem to be the same Web 2.0 buzz that someone like Robert Scoble would take notice of. Fellow OakTable Network member Doug Burns stepped in with this post. So what’s my take?

Aristocracy or Meritocracy?
I started this blog in October 2006 and at one point found a reference to my blog on blogs.oracle.com. Not that it generated any traffic, but I thought that was interesting because I didn’t ask to get a reference there. But the fact that it generated no appreciable traffic to my site is what I think Scoble is talking about. When I think about it, it seems my blog more than deserves at least a link from blogs.oracle.com, the bigger question is what criteria goes into that blogroll? Is it aristocracy, or meritocracy?

These days when I find myself sitting with Vice Presidents or members of the technical staff in Oracle Server Technologies Division (ST) or doing something like writing a jointly produced whitepaper with ST (as I am right now on a cool Oracle11g feature), I wonder why there are those small circles of relative late-comers to this Oracle stuff that mistake me for being an “Oracle-basher.” Folks, I spent an entire decade as a member of a small team of platform engineers optimizing Oracle at the port level for improved SMP, and later, NUMA. I also participated in the most important benchmarks that made Oracle money in the 1990s—customer-defined benchmarks where bake-offs between, say, Informix PDQ and IBM SP2 or Teradata or Sybase were at stake. I spent so much time in building 400 (Server Technologies) of Oracle’s HQ that I maintained a fully furnished apartment right down the street on Marine Parkway. I’m an Oracle basher? No.

Let’s say I was to state matter-of-factly that Miscrosoft Windows 3.1 was a complete pile of garbage. Does that actually make me a Microsoft basher? No, it simply means that there was an offering from Microsoft that I didn’t like. Big deal. I wasn’t much of a fan of Oracle SQL*Calc either—and neither was anyone else so Oracle discontinued it. I bet there will be no more than about 42 readers of this blog that even remember SQL*Calc.

Automatic Storage Management. Bashing?
I have taken a position that in its current form, Automatic Storage Management (ASM) is often times over-positioned. Let me be clear about this. I have never taken a stand against any Oracle revenue-generating product. It turns out that ASM is optional software that eases storage management pains most common to SAN environments that are also devoid of any optional software such as clustered filesystems. Indeed, install Oracle10g sometime and pay close attention to the fact that the default DBCA placement for a Real Application Clusters database is in fact cluster filesystem. You have to cursor down to select ASM. What is my point? My point is that either way the customer using DBCA with RAC has already paid Oracle the same amount of money regardless of where they put their database—whether in the default locale of cluster filesystem or ASM.

ASM is routinely referred to as a “replacement for filesystems and volume managers.” That is incorrect. You still have to install Oracle and do things like imp/exp, SQL*Loader, BFILE/UTIL_FILE, logging, trace, scripts, etc, etc, etc. Until such time as ASM is a part of a fully-baked general purpose filesystem—which anyone skilled in the reading of tea leaves should easily be able to foresee—I prefer NFS. And, get this, Oracle makes the same amount of money when you deploy on NAS (NFS) as they do if you choose iSCSI or FCP with CFS or ASM. These choices don’t affect Oracle’s bottom line. I make my points about my preference for NFS over block protocols (and therefore ASM) in this set of postings. No, I am not an Oracle basher. But do my views fit in the aristocracy that blogs.oracle.com seems to be? It doesn’t seem so.

More on ASM
I am excited about where ASM will make a showing in the future. It is a component of bigger and better things that I cannot discuss openly. In those future technology offerings, ASM will perform wonderfully and provide vital functionality—and I’m not just talking about some passé short-term market vision like displacing Veritas VxVM from Oracle implementations. There are much bigger and better things ahead for ASM…’nuff said. In the meantime, choose success, go with NFS. Ok, I’m off that soapbox. Back to this Web 2.0 mystery.

The Popularity Contest
So if Justin is honestly concerned about building a vibrant Web 2.0 community, it seems blogs.oracle.com should be more in tune with the readership. Let’s consult Technorati.

In defense of Oracle’s Web 2.0 community, I saw Justin mention blogs such as Steve Chan’s blog and Doug Burns’ blog. I think I’ll walk through Technorati for those and, of course, the ueberblog (where’s my umlaut?): Jonathan Lewis’ blog. To spice things up, how about comparing to one of my favorite blogs, StorageMojo.com. Of course I’ll have to include Scobleizer to show Web 2.0 weight. Be aware that of the following blogs, Jonathan Lewis’ and mine are the youngest blogs—by a long shot.

pop2.jpg

Proper Perspective
Now, just to put things into perspective, consider a true Web 2.0 phenomenon: I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER. This site—which has a Technorati authority of 5,025 and rank of 98—is proof positive that the Internet and social networking are as mainstream as Pet Trusts(for real), designer pet supplies, fluffy with a sniffle, pets with stress and of course Barbi with a scooper.

 

16 Responses to “Blogging or Bashing Oracle for Fun, not Profit. Got Cheezburger?”


  1. 1 Justin Kestelyn June 6, 2007 at 8:20 pm

    Hi Kevin – you’re on there. Nothing sinister here!

  2. 2 kevinclosson June 6, 2007 at 8:28 pm

    Hi Justin,

    OK, I figured there was no ulterior motive. I wanted to use the thread to bring up the “bashing” bit more than anything.

    I’m listed there as a DBA and while I have the utmost regard for DBAs, I’ve never been one. I don’t think Anjo Kolk or Mogens would consider themselves DBAs either.

  3. 3 Marco Gralike June 6, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    It doesn’t make a big difference if your on or off(http://technology.amis.nl: Authority: 73, Rank: 65,624), so be proud! You are doing a great job writing those fine posts. I like them. I think a lot can be improved (refarding the “popularity” contest) if Oracle also would start something like digg-it or dzone. With orablogs, I guess, we are halfway…

    Marco
    (just started http://blogs.gralike.com)

  4. 4 kevinclosson June 6, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    Thanks Marco… I make my way over to http://technology.amis.nl on a regular basis!

  5. 5 Marco Gralike June 6, 2007 at 10:24 pm

    I don’t always agree, but at least you have an opinion, which I greatly digg (I guess that’s the proper word for it nowadays) ;-)

  6. 6 kevinclosson June 6, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    Agreeing to disagree is a very healthy thing in this Web 2.0 world…

    I think Alex Gorbachev (http://blog.oracloid.com/category/oracle/) and I may in fact disagree more than we agree. I’d jump at the chance to have a pint with him to get some more of that action anytime…the guy is good!

  7. 7 Noons June 6, 2007 at 11:27 pm

    quite frankly, the fact that your blog or anyone else’s
    is or is not in a manufacturer’s “list” is if such low importance
    I’m actually surprised at all the commotion about this.

    for a long time Howard’s Dizwell was nowhere in any “list”,
    and yet it has to be one of the best Oracle references out
    there. same goes for Jonathan’s site: for a very long time
    Oracle recognized NO ONE that belonged to the OTN – as in
    Oak Table, not Oracle Technology.

    your blog is not a true “Oracle” blog: you deal with
    much larger issues than just a simple point release
    or the latest marketing campaign. yet it would be in the
    “must read” list of anytone with half a brain and a
    little bit of IT nous.

    it has all to do with aristocracy and who is “in” and
    who is kissing more arse at Oracle at any given moment.
    it’s always been like that since the Compuserve days back
    in the late 80s/early 90s, nothing has changed.

    and that is why folks like Scobble and so many others
    don’t give a hoot about manufacturer’s “lists”: they mean
    nothing and count for nothing. other than giving the
    marketing folks somnething to live by: I guess they need
    some form of attention, after all…

  8. 8 kevinclosson June 6, 2007 at 11:45 pm

    Thanks for the feedback, Noons, and you are right about Howards blog (http://www.dizwell.com/prod/) which I believe has the highest Web 2.0 sort of weighting of any Oracle blog.

    You’re right, this isn’t a pure “Oracle blog.” I think it might start to lean that way over time…I’ve got a secret :-)

    Say, Noons, did you like the photos at:
    http://kevinclosson.wordpress.com/2007/06/04/blog-a-lot-or-blog-not/ ?

  9. 9 Noons June 7, 2007 at 2:47 am

    Yeah, indeed! Superb place, that one.
    Which state is that?

  10. 10 kevinclosson June 7, 2007 at 3:05 am

    Noons,

    Those are photos of Northeast Oregon

  11. 11 Alex Gorbachev June 7, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    My nose smells something so pulling my fingers out and pull the link from zillions of unread entries in my reader…

    I think Alex Gorbachev and I may in fact disagree more than we agree. I’d jump at the chance to have a pint with him to get some more of that action anytime…the guy is good!

    Right. I assume you are talking about pints in your last part. ;-)
    Looking forward for those pints some time soon.

  12. 12 Doug Burns June 8, 2007 at 4:55 am

    Kevin,

    Fascinating blog. I decided it was easier to just blog about it myself because I can’t even fit all my thoughts in one blog, never mind a comment!

    Without wanting to undermine my own arguments too much, if there is to be a list of blogs at oracle.com, it’s completely obvious that this one should be on it.

    Cheers,

    Doug

  13. 13 Doug Burns June 8, 2007 at 5:06 am

    Oh, I forgot to mention …

    “I bet there will be no more than about 42 readers of this blog that even remember SQL*Calc.”

    I do, I do! Not that we actually *used* it, but I remember it ;-)

  14. 14 Steven Chan June 8, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    Hi, Kevin,

    Interesting points.

    I’m of the mind that things like Technorati ratings don’t really reflect the quality and authority of the underlying blog/website. There’s a real disconnect between what Technorati thinks of my blog and my blog’s traffic (8.8 million hits to date), so I’ve ceased worrying about the disconnect. Technorati reminds a bit of People magazine carping on what celebrities wear… who really cares?

    If someone has a question that I’ve got the answer to on my blog, I want them to be able to find me. Google consistently puts my blog on the first page when searching for E-Business Suite technology stack topics, so that’s what really matters to me.

    Cheers,
    Steven

  15. 15 kevinclosson June 8, 2007 at 8:34 pm

    Steven,

    Great points, and indeed, I read and enjoy your blog. Bottom line: I need to know more about E-Biz.

    Thanks.


  1. 1 Oracle Musings » Mass Market Oracle Trackback on June 11, 2007 at 7:31 pm

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