TR Out Loud - January 23, 2009
January 23, 2009, 5:15am PST | Length: 00:08:15
Despite the cold weather that's passing through Louisville, KY -- the home of TechRepublic -- this episode of TROLOV (TR Out Loud on Video) still captures the hot discussions and members on the site this past week.
To listen to this week's TR Out Loud as just an audio file, download the mp3.
Sonja Thompson: Hey there, TechRepublic folks! You remember a couple weeks ago when I said that sunny Florida was great and all, but that I missed being back in the studio? Well, it's COLD here in Kentucky, and as I see in the discussion forums, quite a few of you are experiencing the same nasty weather. For those of you who live in warm climates, I'm really envious right about now.
I'm Sonja Thompson, a senior editor for TechRepublic, and I'm ready to heat things up with TROLOV -- or TR Out Loud on Video -- for January 23rd, 2009.
So, what creates heat? FRICTION! And sometimes, friction is also what creates a hot discussion on TechRepublic. Let's see if this is the case with the top five discussions of the week:
#1. "10 predictions for Linux and open source in 2009." Blogger Jack Wallen wrote this post in TechRepublic's 10 Things blog. Jack offers a list of what he sees in the year to come for the Linux OS and open source software. So, was there any friction or heat in this discussion? There were a few comments, such as "Get Real!" and "2025 - The Year of Linux," that could have potentially started some flames, but overall it was a pretty tame discussion -- lots of opinions, but very little warfare.
#2. "The problem with employee assessment tests." Now, this was written by Toni Bowers, TechRepublic's Head Blogs Editor, and Toni - the theme today is how freaking cold it is - so, are you freezing in here?
Toni Bowers: Oh, yes.
Sonja Thompson: Yep. Anyway, I'm trying to find out if the hot discussions of the week are generated by friction in the forums. So, does this hold true with this particular discussion thread?
Toni Bowers: I think so. People are vehemently opposed to these kinds of tests -- these assessment tests. They say that they're dangerous if they're not used properly, and even at best, it's kind of a hiring shortcut. It's not fair.
Sonja Thompson: How about you? Do you agree with assessment tests?
Toni Bowers: It depends. I mean, there's such a large margin for error. And if you don't have a trained psychologist doing them, then you don't know what you're going to get.
Sonja Thompson: And you're not just saying that because you're an introvert, right?
Toni Bowers: Uhm, no. I'm saying that because I'm crazy.
Sonja Thompson: Thanks so much, Toni.
Toni Bowers: Thanks.
Sonja Thompson: #3. "Explore the new Taskbar features in Windows 7 Beta." Blogger Greg Shultz provided this post in the Microsoft Windows blog. There was some skepticism shared within the discussion thread, as you can see with the comments "Disappointing" and "I don't want eye candy. I want performance." However, the level of Microsoft bashing didn't escalate to the point of a true flame war. Does that mean that there might be hope for Windows 7? We'll have to wait and see!
#4. "12 tech giants that might not survive 2009." Oh, yeah TechRepublic's Editor in Chief, Jason Hiner, provided a list of tech giants that might not be around in 2010, according to a recent survey by Channel Insider. Jason gave his opinion, and then asked the TR community which vendors they think should be on the list. The only potential for heat I saw in this discussion was when a member likened Jason's post to trolling, but Oz_Media quickly snuffed the flame when he said, "Yeah. But I don't think staff and editors on TR are actually trolls though. They are hired to provide such articles, not just kids looking to stir the pot." Or are we?
#5. "All Time Favorite Top Ten-ish Movies." TR member Boxfiddler is responsible for starting this hot off-topic post, but the heat it received was based on people's interest in the topic and not friction among the respondents. Be sure to check out what movies your IT peers enjoy, and then add your favorites to the list. As always, I'll link to the top discussions of the week in the blog notes.
It's time to take a look at the TR members who are burning up the Questions and Discussions forums on the site. Here are the members who received the most thumbs up over the past week:
#3: Old Mycroft
#2: Jacky Howe
And #1: OH Smeg
And here are the 5 most active members -- the people with the most posts -- in the past seven days:
#4: Old Mycroft
#2: OH Smeg
And #1: jdclyde
Sonja Thompson: Tammy Cavadias, TR's moderator, does all of her hard work from South Carolina. It has to warmer there, right?
Tammy Cavadias: Hi, everyone. Hi, Sonja. Well, I tell you what -- it's been a cold, cold week here this week. We've had teens, we've had 20s, we've even had some snow -- unfortunately for the kids, it didn't last long enough, so they still had to go to school. So, if you're planning on thinking of heading south for the winter, South Carolina ain't the place you want to go.
And since the dog ate all my spam last week, I thought we'd talk a little bit about the newsletter this week -- especially ways that you can win your own cool swag like this coffee mug. There are two ways to do this: One is the I Spotted My Name. Each week we feature three members, you send us an e-mail saying you spotted your name, and this can be on its way to you. The other way is the Tip of the Week. Send us a tip of 100 words or less -- it could be how to use the community or a keyboard shortcut, maybe an Easter egg or something else that you know -- we feature it, and this could be on its way to you.
Well, that'll do it for me this week. I'll see you all next week. Bye.
Sonja Thompson: We received a new Question of the Week, which was submitted by Cerebral*Origami. He said, "I have always loved computers, learning about new hardware and learning new languages, but now I find that I'm tired of living in front of a computer, and I'm no longer interested in learning new things. What can I do to resurrect a love of IT?" This is a great question, everyone. Please send your answers to email@example.com.
The TR Pet of the Week was sent in by TR blogger Jeff Drey. This is a photo of Stanley P., who often gets in the way when Jeff is trying to write blogs for TR. As you can see, he knows no shame.
Many thanks to Cerebral*Origami and Jeff Drey for participating in the show. If either of you would like some TR swag, please let me know your mailing address and swag item of choice.
And that's a wrap for this week. I would love it if more people participated in next week s show. You can send an answer to the Question of the Week, or a brand new Question of the Week, a comment about the show, photos, and even small videos to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also leave us a voice message on our toll free number, which is (866) 414-CNET -- that's (866) 414-2638. For our international folks, you can leave a voice message via Skype, and our Skype ID is tr.out.loud. Oh, and if anyone has some extra sunshine that they'd like to share, please send it this way.
I'm Sonja Thompson, and this is TR Out Loud.