Monday, July 31, 2006


Do members of the Agile Alliance really believe in Agile?

In a recent survey, 97% of all respondents indicated that the agile alliance needs to introduce new speakers at their conference instead of having the same speakers every single year. I wonder how quickly can they adopt to customer needs in this scenario...

In a quick scan of the blogosphere I uncovered an interesting pattern amongst founding members of the agile manifesto. In multiple past blogs, I have shared my belief which is also held by others that enabling trackback allows for a two-way conversation. Some folks have argued about enabling it requires too much of their time to clear out spam. Having had trackback enabled on my own blog since day one (I have been blogging for about three years now), this perspective is simply bullshit.

The real issue at hand is that the word blog spam sometimes serves as a secret codeword for the fact that folks are afraid that if they post something that is somehow incorrect that folks in the blogosphere might be able to respond negatively and it is vital that they must command and control the conversation. Folks don't really believe in the notion of the best architectures are realized via face-to-face conversations and how it could manifest itself in the blogosphere.

A quick scan of the blogosphere for founding members of the Agile Alliance shows that Martin Fowler, Andy Hunt, Brian Marick and Dave Thomas all lack trackback on their blogs. They also lack even basic commenting mechanisms.

Lets give them the benefit of the doubt and believe that they are really interested in command & control and genuinely desire to engage in two way conversations but simply haven't gotten around to enabling it. Maybe they haven't came across sites such as Haloscan that would make it even easier for them to incorporate. Maybe the additional responsibility of two-way conversations with other bloggers may not occur due to time constraints.

I would think that the Agile Alliance would minimally want to observe dialog even when they are not at the center of it. Sometimes observation can provide its own benefits. Having the ability to see what works and what doesn't is invaluable. I don't think that I have ever had the opportunity to meet face to face with Kent Beck to tell him how Extreme Programming is valuable but needs some fine tuning to work in large enterprises but I can at least share in the blogosphere as a tip to others going down this path and let Kent observe.

I periodically read Jeff Sutherland blog which doesn't have trackback enabled but does at least allow for comments. Anyway, have you checked out some of the ThoughtWorks blogs? There is a lot of wisdom here and I have added many of them to my weekly reading list. I would love to see the following thoughtworkers also enabled trackback:

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