The Noisy Community

One of the great things about blogging is that it’s given me the chance to assemble a community of people who interests overlap with my own. But so far that community only becomes interactive through the comment threads and, to a lesser extent, Twitter.

I’ve wondered if it would be worthwhile to invest in cultivating more sense of community at The Noisy Channel.  I have no desire to replicate social network  functionality available elsewhere, and I trust that most readers use some combination on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

But I could do some things here that might be helpful:

  • Create an opt-in directory page that lists readers with a short tagline and a contact URL. For example, mine would be:

    Daniel Tunkelang
    Chief Scientist, Endeca

  • Post job descriptions targeted at readers, along with contact information.
  • Institute a regular appearance of guest blog posts.

Do any of the above appeal to people? The directory strikes me as the simplest first step. I’d love to find out more about who my readers are, and hopefully I can make it worth your while by directing some traffic in your direction. Conversely, a list of Noisy Channel readers with short descriptions sounds like just what the SEO doctor ordered. Of course, it would only take off even enough people are interested in being on this page.

I’m intrigued by the possiblity of posting targeted job descriptions, but that’s only worthwhile if there are enough of them. I have no desire to compete with the large job sites!

Finally, guest posts are something I’ve talked about before, but that somehow have never taken. But a directory might make it easier for me to know whom to ask.

If any of the above interest you, please give me feedback in the comments. I’ll take silence as a lack of interest.

By Daniel Tunkelang

High-Class Consultant.

14 replies on “The Noisy Community”

I think it would be more useful to take advantage of the existing features in other products and integrate them better with the noisy channel.
– Show your latest tweets (including all @dtunkelang tweets)
– Create some autosearches against various job databases and present the results.

In other words, don’t reinvent, take advantage of what is there.



This would be great Daniel. I am constantly tweeting job request but rarely finding qualified candidates in my network. The opportunity of exposure beyond my cirlce would be very helpful.


I like the idea of both the directory and leveraging the directory to find co-authors or authors for certain posts.

You’re blog has become a great resource for the IE/IR/HCIR hard core individual like myself but also (cooly) I have passed it on to some non-technical managers and they follow it because of the range of relevant topics it covers. It also has given them better insight into the space so they can converse more intelligently on it which is a very nice side-effect for me! 🙂


Andreas, believe me, I have no desire to reinvent. Even with adding a directory, I’m sensitive to the prospect of replicating that function of LinkedIn. But I think a spartan directory page like I describe would serve a much more limited purpose and yet one that LinkedIn does not–namely, to help integrate this blog better into the ecology of its readers.

Re showing tweets here: I’ve thought about it. My concern was that my tweets don’t have a high enough signal-to-noise ratio, and some are way off-topic for this blog, even considering the breadth of what I consider to be on-topic. I’m curious to hear what other think about this. It’s certainly easy to add a widget; the question is whether it would add value or just noise (no pun intended!).

Everyone seems bullish on guest blog posts, so the challenge will simply be finding the people interested in writing them. I certainly hope some of you are already thinking about it. I’m quite open to anything that is likely to interest readers, so please come forward with your ideas!

The jobs networking is the trickiest part. I’m not convinced that jobs databases are particularly valuable. At least among my colleagues, most recruiting takes place along personal networks. But perhaps the best way to leverage that here is simply to have the directory of people, who will then discover each other.

And, Christopher, I’m delighted that you are helping broaden the audience here beyond its core IE/IR/HCIR constituency. I hope my topic selection is succeeding in broadening the blog’s appeal without alienating the core.


Guest blog posts sound like a fantastic idea, particularly if you bring in people from outside the IE/IR/HCIR community that are still informative on the relevant topics. One of my favorite things about my advisor’s research group was the breadth of people he brought in. Everyone from sociologists to biologists to mathematicians came to talk.


I think you have something here. There are lots of IR/IE conferences, blogs, etc. Too much to keep up with or maybe even /find/ (oh the irony). We need a ‘lens’ with a set of contributors and editors to curate the collection.


Given the desire for guest blogs, I hope folks here will step up to write them or to engage their networks to find volunteers. I’ve tried in the past, but to no avail.

In general, I would like to make The Noisy Channel more of a destination site, especially since people are coming here already. I’ve thought about importing other content through RSS, but it seems more efficient for me to tell people what I read and let them decide for themselves to add those feeds to their RSS readers. But what I might be able to do is draw out people who don’t blog, or who don’t blog about HCIR-ish topics, and get them to contribute here. The comments achieve some of that, but they’re just a first step.


I like all of it, I just don’t know how you’ll keep the directory from becoming a spam target. How do you tell a “real reader” from someone who heard that you give link juice?
But you clearly have a good group here; it would be nice if they could connect. Maybe not in a job-oriented way necessarily…perhaps just trade info. Whatever it is, I trust you’ll do it up nicely.


The directory looks like a win. My plan is to manually add people to the directory, exercising personal discretion on what I think looks like spam. That might seem labor intensive, but it’s not like I’m expecting multitudes of people to show up. It’s not like I’m giving away free tickets to the inauguration. 🙂

It will, of course, be subjective. But hey, my blog, my judgment. I hope I’ve demonstrated my integrity; I will only exclude people whom, as far as I can tell, aren’t readers and are just looking for free link juice. Maybe a good filter is to ask people to explain in a few sentences (that I don’t post) why you read The Noisy Channel. And I suspect that readers here will be quick to report abuse if they see it. Community is a great thing.



The directory is a great idea. Helps me know more of who is in this community.

Guest bloggers are okay if they maintain the high quality postings that are usually here.



Let’s start with the directory. If you are interested in being included, please email me (dtunkelang at gmail dot com):

– Your real name (sorry, no handles)
– Your role and company (if applicable)
– Your preferred contact URL

If you don’t know me and have never commented at The Noisy Channel, then please also introduce yourself and give me at least a little evidence that you’re a reader and not just someone looking for Google juice.

Assuming there’s sufficient interest (which I expect, given the feedback), I’ll try to get a directory page up by next week at the latest.


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