Michael J. Swart

June 1, 2011

A Round-up of Round-ups and other Meta Things

Filed under: Data Cartoons,Miscelleaneous SQL,SQLServerPedia Syndication — Tags: , — Michael J. Swart @ 12:00 pm

This article is very meta.

No, I’m not talking about the friendly Mehta family a few doors down. I’m talking about the prefix¬†Meta. In particular I’ve noticed a few SQL Blog post aggregator sites and I wanted to aggregate the aggregators, review the reviews and round up the round-ups.

But How Do I Use This Post?

I wrote this post because a friend of mine wanted to keep up with what’s new in the industry. When I showed him my list of RSS feeds, it was a bit overwhelming. So I wrote this post to be an easier and less overwhelming intro to the online SQL community. If you’re in the same boat, just follow these steps:

  1. Start by following the weekly round ups (see below). At the very beginning, it’s a very good place to start.
  2. Then if you’re still curious and your free time allows, subscribe to some of the collection feeds (see below). This gives a large variety of decent quality content.
  3. Create a category called Elite in your RSS reader and promote or tag your favorite writers to that category.

Without further ado

Weekly SQL Article Roundups

These are weekly recaps of what’s new in SQL Server are probably the highest concentration of quality links for the week. I would recommend any one of them for anyone who only has 15 to 30 minutes to spare a week but wants to keep an eye on the industry.

  • Database Weekly (website | newsletter) A weekly newsletter put on by the folks at SQL Server Central (Or Red Gate or Simple Talk; they’re all friends). It’s probably the most popular weekly round up for SQL Server and well deserved. It’s got at least a couple dozen links a week. It seems like a lot, but they’re broken out into categories so it’s manageable and very comprehensive.
  • Something For The Weekend (website | email | rss) By John Sansom (good guy). He usually has a dozen or so handpicked articles that he posts on Fridays. If you’re in the UK, he’ll also tell you about local user group events.
  • Things Brent, Jeremiah, Kendra and Tim Liked This Week (website | email) Another weekly newsletter that sprouted up about a month ago. It’s not as much of a round up as the other two in this list; It’s four people selecting three or four of their favorite links weekly. It’s only been a little over a month, but these links are cool (concentrated cool) and don’t tend to overlap with the other round-ups above.

Blog Collections

If you thought that Ulysses was a nice light read; And you remember Moby Dick as a quick fable; Maybe you’ve accidentally called the phone book a pamphlet and your favorite drink is fire-hose water. Then these are for you.

These are aggregate feeds of syndicated bloggers. Why subscribe to hundreds of SQL Bloggers separately when you can subscribe to most of them in one feed? With these feeds, you’ve got tons of articles to read and will likely not have enough time to read all of them. But if you eat\breathe\sleep SQL Server, these are for you.

  • SQLServerPedia (website | rss) Hosted by Quest software, they’ve got about 100 bloggers and I’m proud to be one of them. It’s a syndicated list which means that each article actually lives on its own bloggers’ site. But the articles are collected by SQLServerPedia’s website and rss feed. It’s a very diverse group of bloggers and together they average about 10 to 20 articles a day.
  • SQLBlog (website | rss) Run by Adam Machanic and Peter DeBetta. These blogs are popular and they’ve been around a while. They’ve got about 30-ish active bloggers under their wing and the quality is top knotch. There’s a number of things that make this site stand out.
    • Quality, You can trust the information in these articles.
    • Focus, Most of the articles are technical. Occasionally there are a few posts entitled I’ll be speaking at some user group you don’t care about. But those are easy to skip.
    • Active, The comment section is lively. Because the articles are hosted at SQL Blog, so are the comments.
  • SQLServerCentral (rss) This has a couple posts a day and includes articles from Simple Talk. The volume makes keeping up with this feed manageable. The quality of each article is first class. I believe these articles are really polished because they’re reviewed by tech editors. My only gripes are that …
    • The feed only includes a one paragraph teaser so that you have to click through to read the articles.
    • Often the teaser has no indication of who the author is. So when the teaser article is something generic like Make the most of your Database it’s tempting to simply mark-as-read.

There are lots of others and I know I’m missing a few (SQLTeam, SQLskills, SSWUG etc…) you can check them out if you’re a fire-hose water connoisseur. (Holy cow, I just spelled¬†connoisseur correctly without spell check!!)

Michael, What Else Have You Got?

If none of the above information is new to you, good job, you’re well ahead of the curve. This post still has something new for you though, a “meta” joke (a joke about “meta”, not a joke about jokes)

The humour here is all Karen Lopez (@DataChick), I just supplied the pixels.

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