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What would you do if you were me?

We redesigned TechProGuild 6 months ago and have been working hard to add features to the site, improve the quality of offerings, and make it more valuable to subscribers.

If you were Senior Editor for a day? What would you do? What new things would you like to see in TPG? And what would you change? Let's talk about it.

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Great suggestions

These are great suggestions! Thanks for making them. I've already started moving in this direction. I've been running a series on ISA Server 2004 that follows much the same layout as you've suggested. We'll also have a series on Live Communication Server 2005 and Project Server which are going to follow a similar path.

You're right about Tech Books. This has been a long overlooked feature I think. Our site redesign helped make the books more visible. Before, they only appeared low on the page and were difficult to find. I've been trying to make them more prominent on the TPG home page and in the TechProGuild Note. I think sometimes people think those are advertisements for books to buy rather than fully searchable and readable online versions of the books.

On your last suggestion, it almost sounds like an Open Source article. :) Readers make suggestions and changes on a particular topic. I think this is the pattern followed by Wikipedia and others. That might be something worth looking at. Thanks for the ideas.

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Easy - Just Make it Available

by maxwell edison In reply to What would you do if you ...

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Make it available on a trial basis WITHOUT having to sign-up for it first, or WITHOUT having to provide any information about yourself.

For X number of days, for example, just have a TechProGuild "Open House". Serving sodas would be nice, but they might spill over onto our keyboards.

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TPG Open House

We actually did that back in 99. It was a technical nightmare dealing with the gating... and it's also problematic for legal reasons with our partners.

However... we've been publishing TPG Reprints in TR for some time now. They've just been hard to find. Taking your comments into suggestion, we're going to create a TPG Preview center that makes it easy to find these free versions of TPG content as well as free downloads. If possible, we'll even try to surface some of the Tech Books library.

Thanks for the comments!

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Perhaps the problem lays in site nature

by Oz_Media In reply to TPG Open House

People flock here because TR is one of the best resources for tech support, that I've found, outside of manufacturer sites, even then it is usually better.

There is SO much free information here that people find it next to impossible to justify paying for content nowadays I think. There is just TOO much free help available on the net, the more people get used to searching and digging for answers and information, the easier it gets to find. With more and more people finding their own info, the need to pay for content is reduced.

Now I fully understand that TPG has some valuable resources, but how much MORE valuable are these resources when compared to the free help available?

I am wondering WHO would find the greatest benefit from TPG, consultants? Security staff? Project Managers? But I don't see the value to the AVERAGE IT professional.

Don't get me wrong, John, I am not trying to demean the value of TPG, just wondering is perhaps the market position is correct. If you are focusing on the right groups of people and that sort of thing. But as I obviously cannot see your tracking stats and build demographics from it, it is really hard for me to say, just throwing some ideas out for thought.

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Use FireFox it will keep your keyboard safe!

by mrafrohead In reply to Easy - Just Make it Avail ...

It will protect you...

I promise ;p [/me grins]

Though I think the idea that you posted Max and Oz below are good ideas.

I wouldn't mind seeing that. I have no clue what's in TPG and considering it's a pay site, I'm very less inclined to find out. But wouldn't mind taking a look. Though I will admit, it would have to be SUPER impressive for me to hack up funds to pay for a websites access, as most anything can be found somewhere on a free site. Just depends on whether you want to look for it or not.

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Pay access

by Oz_Media In reply to What would you do if you ...

I think that is your main ogre to face John.

I remember as a newbie here I got the trial on TPG, I was away most of the trial period and didn't get much time brfore it was history. Since then, I have heard of many changes, many new improvements etc. Yet no "open house" as Max suggested.

I personally don't think I'd pay for content, unless it is really some stunning resource that I can't equal elsewhere, even if taking more time to search various places.

Then again, my line of work isn't realy complimented THAT much from MS tech talk or security tech talk etc. as it is very proprietary.

As you can tell,I have no idea what's available in TPG anymore, I vote yay on Max's idea of an open house. Maybe even just a FREE MONTH FOR EVERYONE!!! Get some site sponsors to donate their banner impressions for a month, give some stuff away for participation or quizzes based on the site layout or something, get some feedback and give away a few TR or sponsor T-Shirts or something.

Think of a car lot when they have a sale, they hang all those little colored flags all over the place and show off.

So put on your plaid blazer and drum up some biz!

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gotta agree

by Jaqui In reply to What would you do if you ...

I missed out entirely on the opening of tpg, so have no idea what's there, or the quality of the offerings.

from the tr offerings I wouldn't be impressed.
no real content on linux, documents in proprietary m$ formats.
quizes in proprietary format. ( flash )

very few of the downloads do me any good, as they don't touch linux, even those few that do, most are in windows format. ( just brainless to do that )

best format is plain text, or pdf for downloads, never in .doc

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What's in TPG

by John Sheesley - TechRepublic Pro In reply to gotta agree

I could go on and on about what's in TPG, but you can get a quick overview by taking a peek at the TPG Tour on the TPG home page.

We actually do use PDFs for most of the downloads in the TPG Download Center, although admittedly many of them are in .XLS and .PPT formats.

As for Linux content, there's an entire track in TPG devoted to Linux topics. Naturally there's more MS content because that's what more people use, however we try not to be completely focused on Micrsoft products. As Linux grows, especially with its further adoption by Novell, we'll be covering Linux even more going forward.

Flash quizzes are a great idea. We've been considering a TPG Training Center. This may be a good way to start.

Thanks for the comments.

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flash quizzes

by Jaqui In reply to What's in TPG

are a terrible idea!!!

I do not install flash player.
nor have javascript.

so with either used it locks me out.

(editing to add )

section 342.1,.2 of CCC ( criminal code of canada )
unlawfull access of computer equipment.

need to have explicit okay we can run our application ( flash / javascript ) on your computer without paying you for cpu usage.

also, check laws re ms .net framework for distributed computing. clientside scripts are distributed computing...pay up for cpu usage.
[ this is part of why no flash javascript ]

the rest is, why do I need fancy moving crap wasting data transfer capacity? answer:
I don't need it.

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by CuteElf In reply to What's in TPG

I'm kinda curious about the layout of the site.

I've noticed threads will be referenced in 2 or 3 different subject matters...good.
Do you have to hit next to open the next reply..or can we just view the text instead..
like ----
blah
---- instead of having steps.

And, why do I see on my screen..about 3 or 4 inches of wasted real estate?..the 2 large fat gray columns on left or right side. You could widen the body and take less space.

And..I havent seen a link on "my account" for any of the PM's i get..Or have I received them without knowing? :)

Just some thoughts.

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