Ad Hoc Communities for Specific Problems
I honestly cannot believe how many people have come to my blog for a solution to the Ant JAVA_HOME problem with Eclipse 2.1 I wrote up six months ago. I probably get 50-75 hits a day from just that issue.
A strange combination of circumstances gives me all of those hits. My increased Google juice has to do with Google’s inability to properly score blogs, meaning I have a relatively inflated score. So when you seach for the error text, my blog comes up near the top. It probably doesn’t help that I got linked a few times by Robert Scoble who also has an inflated score, which probably adds to my score somehow (Scoble calls this ‘giving Google juice’). The increased linkage of blogs is part of what gives Google problems, as linking frequency is a basis for its scoring system.
The great thing is that I have a solution to a problem and I can share it with others, creating a sort of ad hoc community around a specific problem. It’s really great when you can just Google an error message and get a solution right away instead of wading through manuals.