Microsoft’s Channel 9 Coffeehouse Community Killer–spam

Posted on March 2, 2008. Filed under: Blogroll, Links, Quotations, Rants, Raves, Reviews, Technology, Video |

Microsoft very wisely fostered a developers’ community with their Channel 9 web site.

Channel 9 (discussion forum)

 “Channel 9 is a Microsoft discussion forum used to promote conversations among Microsoft’s customers targeted at Microsoft Windows users. Channel 9 features interviews with Microsoft developers about their products, a forum to discuss the videos and other topics, and a wiki[1], which has been adopted by various Microsoft teams as a way to aggregate feedback and respond to issues. …”

If you have not visited the site, even if you are not a developer, I would recommend it just to get an idea of what the people at Microsoft are currently working on.

For several years now Microsoft’s Channel 9 has been posting videos on a wide range of subjects, mostly of interest to developers.

As both a web developer and designer, video creator and writer, I was naturally drawn into the site and looked forward to seeing the recent videos.  While I never met Charles, Robert,  Jennifer, Tim, Ken, Rory, and Jeff, over time I greatly appreciated the work they were doing for the developer commnunity. A big thank you.

In addition to videos, Channel 9 has a number of forums and other media on Channel 9 with the Coffeehouse being the most popular and active forum.

Initially, I was not even aware of the Coffeehouse, for I was primarily interested in the videos pertaining to Sparkle now renamed Blend and web development and design.

I was taken by surprise one day when I was watching a video introducing Rory to the Niners, when they gave me a shout out.  Jeff had apparently read one of my Sunday posts in the Coffeehouse predicting that Rory would be replacing Robert. Cool!

Over time I began to post there on a broad range of topics and was very active poster for a brief period, until I started this blog eight months ago at the suggestion of some of the Niners. Thanks.

In recent months, while I have been watching the videos and enjoy the new Friday show with Dan and Brian, I have not had much time to follow the discussions in the Coffeehouse.

While I was busy doing other things, Microsoft management apparently instituted a new policy regarding both past and current posts and threads in the Channel 9 Coffeehouse.

Microsoft apparently enabled visitors to the site to mark anything they liked as spam by clicking on a spam button. 

Channel 9: Report spam button is finally here!

While the comments are still there and can be seen by the person who originally posted the comment by clicking on the edit button, other viewers to the site cannot see the original comments. All you will see is the word spam. 

Well if you wanted to kill a community I could think of no better and faster way to do so.

Such arrogance and disrespect of developers or Niners as many regular visitors to Channel 9 site liked to be called gives new meaning to the words clueless and killer feature.

Leave it to Microsoft to ruin one of the best things Microsoft has done for the developer community in years.

I posted the following in the Channel 9 Coffeehouse Friday evening, February 29, 2008:


 Subject: Friday Night Coffeehouse Music

Byrds – “Turn Turn Turn”

Byrds – “Mr. Tambourine Man” Featuring Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan – Like A Rolling Stone 1966

Music can change the world.
~ Ludwig Van Beethoven


Thread I posted on above:
This one is for Bill: Bing Crosby – The Whiffenpoof Song
I might add that the Bill mentioned in the above thread is William F. Buckley, Jr., who died Wednesday, graduated from Yale University and wrote a book about his experience. 

Saturday morning I was surprised to find that the above post and thread were both replaced by the word spam. 

When I checked to see what was going on, I found many other current and pasts posts and threads by developers world wide also marked spam and no longer readable except by the original poster and Microsoft.

Jamie who actively posts in the Coffeehouse tried to warn the moderators and Niners by posting:

dont hit spam!  its just music

Now I understand what Jamie was referring to in his comment:

Time to spank the children

A wakeup call for the Microsoft management:
The children do not need to be spanked, the adult supervision does for enabling the spam button!

While the Channel 9 guys were coding version 4 of the Channel 9 site, the arbitrary use of the spam button by some users ruined the Coffeehouse forum as a place of conversation and discussion of topics of interest to developers.

What were you thinking?

Jamie is right. The spam button needs to be deleted ASAP not revisited.

Well, I could not resist and posted some spam on Channel 9:


Posted by raymond // Sun, Mar 2, 2008 8:08 PM

Monty Python – Spam


So, true to form the above post is now spam and no longer viewable on Channel 9.

If anyone at Microsoft is listening–fix the problem!

Background Articles and Videos 

Microsoft Turns On Channel 9 

“On Tuesday, Microsoft quietly went live with a new Web site called “Channel 9” that is designed to facilitate communication between Microsoft and its developer and customer constituencies. The site, which was built using Microsoft’s ASP.Net Forums Web-based discussion technology, uses video clips, moblog technology, RSS feeds; wikis and forums to reach out to users.Channel 9 is named in honor of the United Airlines in-flight channel which allows passengers to listen in on the cockpit. …” 

The 9 Guys – Who We Are

Bill Hill – A Hike Around Microsoft’s Forests (Happy Birthday Video #5)

Interview with Bill Gates on Channel 9 

Steve Ballmer – Quick chat with Microsoft’s CEO

Julie Larson-Green – Diving into the new Office 12

What Is The Most Important OS

Manuel Clement and others – Introducing Sparkle


 Microsoft’s latest reorg to set the stage for Yahoo merger

Related Posts On Pronk Palisades

A Kinder Gentler Wiser Microsoft Gives Away Valuable Software Developer Tools to Students Around The World!

Lighting Up The Web: Microsoft Releases Silverlight 1.0 –Wow!

Saving The World: The Importance of Getting The Priorities Right

Mr. Conservative In Heaven–William F. Buckley Jr. RIP


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5 Responses to “Microsoft’s Channel 9 Coffeehouse Community Killer–spam”

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Very interesting site. Hope it will always be alive!

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