Changing my focus? (Update)


The day before I left for OpenWorld 2014 I wrote a post called “Changing my focus?” where I talked about the possibility of dropping out of the forum scene and focusing more on writing. It’s now nearly 3 weeks later, so I thought I would follow it up to let people know what is going on…

Pretty soon after I left for OOW14 I locked the forums on my site. I had a touch of guilt, but also felt a massive sense of relief. At that point I was working on the basis I would leave them locked for OOW, then reassess when I got back.

While I was at OOW a lot of people came and spoke to me about that specific post and it seemed to be universally met with positive feedback. In some cases with messages like, “It’s about bloody time!” Everyone seemed to reflect my own opinion that the main value I can add to the community is to keep writing articles, rather than act like a “Let me Google that for you” service. Thank you to everyone for your support, especially those of you who gave me this advice several years ago! You know who you are. All I can say is you are much wiser than me. It takes a while to get into the right mindset so you can see the bloody obvious. 🙂

So what have I decided?

  • The forums are still locked and will remain so indefinitely. They are still available to view via the “Misc” tab, but I have removed the tab to them from the main website.
  • Blog comments are locked after 30 days. This alone has *massively* reduced the amount of spam I have to deal with.
  • I’m going to be very hard-nosed about dealing with people asking for help via other methods, like email and social media. The delete key is going to be used very extensively!

One of the things that really swung the balance was a comment made by someone who said, “The Oracle community is very selfish”. I won’t attribute that comment for fear of starting a flame war. 🙂 That is not to say the people contributing to the community are selfish. Far from it. But it does seem a section of the community is incredibly demanding, yet give nothing in return. Very soon after this comment was made, I received an email asking me what was wrong with the forum. The person in question hadn’t bothered to read the big red text on the page saying the forum was locked and hadn’t bothered to click the “read more” link that explained why. That kind of did it for me. I can’t deal with these zero-effort people any more…

I’m sorry if you are annoyed by this, but that’s the way it is going to be…

On the positive side, the time I’ve freed up has been put to very good use. As well as the new articles that are appearing on the front page of the website, I’ve written a couple of backfill articles on old features that somehow I’ve never written about before. I’ve also started to update the Oracle 12c installation articles so they are in line with The OL5OL6 and OL6+RAC installation articles are complete. In all cases, there are hardly any changes, but the paths and images have been brought in line with the new version so people don’t get confused. The other installation articles are on the to-do list. 🙂

I’m also planning to start some beginner-style articles, like the one I did for PL/SQL. Quite light and fluffy, even by my standards. I guess this is really to appease my guilty conscience. 🙂 There are a number of areas I can think of that need this sort of introductory stuff before people can graduate on to doing the cool stuff…

So there it is. Onwards and upwards!



Author: Tim...

DBA, Developer, Author, Trainer.

8 thoughts on “Changing my focus? (Update)”

  1. Well done mate. I would just add though that it’s not just the Oracle community that is selfish. There are way too many people in the IT industry who seem to think they can use others as a “Google Proxy”. Just say NO !

  2. Good decision!
    Even now you’re not answering all questions personally, your work is, and will be, much appreciated by the “real” Oracle community.

  3. Tim, I support you decision 100% – your site is a treasure chest of concise and working Oracle articles written in a style that I admire and applaud.
    The less time you use for answering questions that can the answered by “RTFM” the more time you will have to expand our knowledge through the articles.
    Your site is the first place I point our developers to if they come with questions, so by now you have quite a number of bookmarks in our company.

  4. I agree. Focus on your writing.

    Has Tom Kyte also done the same? He hasn’t updated for six months. I think that is long overdue as well. You just can’t do everything.

  5. Stuart: It’s not my place to speak for Tom, but he was one of the people who gave me this advice several years ago… 🙂



  6. Your contribution to the The Oracle Community is immeasurable better from your articles . Don’t let the masses of ignorance take the joy out of it from you.

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