our internet community (or why I hate the experts exchange)

13 10 2008

When you get down to it, the Internet has been evolving in some very curious ways.

One of the best things about it’s current stage I believe, is the co-operative nature of so much of it. From open source software that can do just about anything, to the free web applications that proliferate our lives, the Net gives back as much it takes.

For me professionally, the help that comes from other developers who’ve posted responses to issues, bugs and common problems has been invaluable. At this stage though, I also need to credit Google – and any number of other search engines – for providing me with relevant enough content that I rarely need to visit even the first five results, let alone venture to the next ten.

It was for these reasons, along with having a repository of findings for myself, that I started this blog in the first place. As the hits and comments steadily build, I feel a certain sense of joy. Certainly part of it is pride, but I also feel a strong sense of satisfaction in being able to help others liked they’ve helped me.

With this in mind, I feel a strong sense of loathing when my searches reveal the Experts Exchange in amongst the top ten. They are a subscription-based help site who I’m sure you’ve encountered before. I have seen various posts lambasting them for fooling Google results by allowing the bots to scan responses.

What we’ve created in the Internet community is wonderful. We help others, they help us. Simple. No money, no reasons, just helping each other out. It’s like a virtual honesty box, and it’s working beautifully.

Who needs the experts exchange and their paid “experts” when we have our own expert: you.