One thing I hadn't known about until about August of last year was what a great community Coldfusion, and Adobe in general had. When It came to reading blogs I'd typically only read the ones that came up in the search results, and even then only the posts relevant to the topics at hand. In doing that you miss out on so much though! Settling down with an RSS reader like Google Reader (my personal favorite) or Bloglines and adding feeds is one of the best ways to get started. Eric Sink mentioned something in his post Baptists and Boundaries that hit close to home — that so many developers don't read software blogs. Up until last year I'd have to put myself in that category as well. We all read occasionally, less than we'd like, and sort out our current problems at work as they come down the line, but the expansion into new areas sometimes lags behind. The hot topics remain unknown until you hear about them after you've spent serious time solving the same problem, or maybe you become so inspired to work on something new. You're sure to learn some things you don't know, but more than that you'll find yourself more inspired to learn more. So where do you start? RSS feeds! Feeds alone don't help of course, but coupled with Google Reader, Bloglines or any other such service you can read all blogs you want from a single page — as they are updated. The time savings in reading from a reader versus checking the sites occasionally waiting for new news is beyond compare. You should be using a reader at this point, and your blog should have an RSS feed. It's as simple as that. But where do you find blogs to add? In the Coldfusion world that's an easy question. Here's a few places to start:
- Macromedia XML News Aggregator - The official Macromedia news aggregator tracks tons of Coldfusion, Flex and other Adobe/Macromedia blogs. The feedlist shows just how many blogs there are listed. They also just went through a round of adding new blogs to which I've seen a few new ones added (myself included!).
- Fullasagoog - Similar to the official aggregator, but tends to add new blogs much more rapidly. I emailed them earlier today asking about getting added and checked tonight to see it on there! There is definitely a focus here for Coldfusion, Flex and Flash although other categories are available.
- Feed-Squirrel Another aggregator similar to Fullasagood with similar main focus.
- 9 Rules - Although not as much quantity as the others, 9 Rules does have periodic checks to make sure blogs are still active and relevant, as well as round based submissions rather than open. End result is a lot less blogs that are more hand picked. Much more variety of topics such as iface thoughts on software development, or Particletree .
- Blogs of blogs - One of the great ways to branch out is to check out what your favorite bloggers are reading. This is great, but can end up wasting way too much of you time, so be careful. :)