To a certain extent Scott Guthrie has been robbed.

This post was originally going to be about Scott Guthrie and how I really appreciate not only his blog but how (given his position at Microsoft) he embraces the community built around his products.  I mean, any man who writes even one 30+ page tutorial as a blog post deserves a lot of praise regardless of who he is.  But then I got to thinking. 

Though all of the above is true the biggest part of what makes me admire the man is not what he writes but what he has done for the .Net Community.  Anyone who has watched Microsoft for even a short period of time knows that they've left a trail of disastrous online marketing initiatives in their wake.  For every Channel 9 there have been a hundred bizarre little sites that have been forgotten and which didn't really make sense when they came out. 

What Mr. Guthrie did that put all those efforts to shame was simple but ingenious.  He embraced the community himself, with a personal blog, and he surrounded himself with people who were smart in their own right but who had embraced the community in the same sort of way. 

Given that I decided to, rather than dedicate this post just to Scott Guthrie, dedicate it to him and his team which (to me) consists of Rob Conery, Scott Hanselman and Phil Haack.

(I realize there are a lot more people on his team some of which even have blogs but this is what I consider to be the core group that I read and appreciate the most)

It is hard to explain without actually reading their blogs but they really do form the four corners of their own little community.  A coding A-List if you will.  By being there and putting the effort into having two way communication they've formed a sub-community of blogs who react to what they say in the same way the tech blogosphere reacts to whatever is on Techmeme at any given time.   More importantly as an ASP.Net Developer myself it helps to have that community of people out there who discuss issues relevant to the specific technology I use. 

Beyond that they actually PUBLISH CODE which is HUGE.  One of my main goals in starting this blog was to start to publish some of the code I've written for myself but that I think could benefit others.  Keeping that in mind I have to ask you: have you seen any code on this blog?  Do you know why not? 

Because its hard, unbelievably hard.  The kind of hard that you recount to your grandchildren when you're trying to explain to them what kind of soft wimps they are in comparison to you when you were their age.  THAT kind of hard.   The writing, formatting, commenting and explaining of even a small code sample can take as much as 10 times what a straight blog post would.  

Yet not only do they do it but they manage to do it on an amazingly consistent basis (and I'd like to dedicate the last part of the sentence to Rob Conery specifically).  That in and of itself is an amazing gift to the development community and one that I don't think I could say enough about it. 

So for that, as well as for just producing awesome products, I put Scott Guthrie, Rob Conery, Scott Hanselman and Phil Haack as #5 on my blogroll.

(and they'll be added just as soon as I'm back from vacation)  There's wifi in the room so I was checking to see that this auto posted and decided to just add them now.