Barney's Rubble

Survey Says...

Doug discovers that it's Redmond's readers who really know how to bring on the funny.

We launched version 1.0 of Redmond magazine in October 2004. Now, we're working on version 2.0. (If we're anything like Microsoft, we'll get it right with version 3.0!) Part of creating a good magazine is having a good imagination and dreaming up new ideas, but our dreams might not always jive with your reality.

The best ideas come from you. We hear from you through our Web site and constantly ask for ideas and participation. (You have responded to a Your Turn query, haven’t you?)

We recently finished a survey designed to help us improve the magazine and craft version 2.0. We learned a lot from the 620 of you who answered all our questions. Much to my chagrin, I discovered that as a group, you are all far funnier than me. I guess my kids were right all along, "Dad, you're not funny!"

We asked all kinds of questions, sometimes serious and sometimes quirky, like which tech luminary you most want to have dinner with. Bill Gates won hands down as your preferred dinner guest, but a couple of jokers voted for me, foolishly thinking I would pick up the tab. Another picked Ray Ozzie to see "what the next Bill Gates would look and sound like." One wise guy chose Larry Ellison, "to see for myself if he really is the pompous ass everyone says he is."

Many of you sought the company of Mr. Gates to tell him "all the things I don't like about Microsoft," and to sell him ideas. One gent wanted to have dinner with a virus author "so I could watch my wife strangle him." Now there's a concept I can get behind.

We also asked you what would make Redmond a better magazine. Besides dozens of requests for more eye candy (all from men -- apparently the ladies already get enough eye candy from me and Don Jones?), you told us you want more hands-on advice and insight into real-world uses of technology.

Doug BarneyThen the comedians started in. "Name the magazine after a different tech city every month," advised one. "Have staff work on a backwards font that would force the reader to have to use a mirror to read the issue. Call it 'eussI ytiruceS ehT,'" suggested another.

There's also a real need for stories that explore IT management issues such as corporate politics and working for and with idiots, numbskulls and those that are just plain stuck in the past. "Dealing with people who use, 'This is the way we’ve always done it,' as their mantra," is one reader's challenge. "'Always' means in 1979, the last time they actually stretched their cranium muscles.'

Feeling the Love
Not everyone's in love with our magazine, though. A small percent preferred Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine, and some of you are just plain grumpy. One curmudgeon with a wicked sense of humor left this as an e-mail address (we don’t harvest these addresses, by the way): why@redmondmag.sux.

If you missed the survey, you can always let me know what you think. I’m at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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