Category Archives: Administrivia

Administrative posts – related to announcing new functionality on the blog, or other announcements.

Happy Birthday Tyner Blain!


Hooray Us

We’re taking the day off to tip back a cold one and celebrate a great year as a community! Tip a glass with us, and thanks for being here!


Tyner Blain was formed in May 2005, and we started the blog on Nov 24th 2005. New to the whole blogging thing, we started out with a free site on WordPress, realized that we had an opportunity to create a great community, and moved everything to our own domain in January 2006.

Since then, we’ve published over 300 articles, covering topics throughout the software development life cycle, with a common theme – delivering software product success. We hope you’ve enjoyed them, and thanks to all who have contributed to the fantastic conversations that have started in the comments on many of the posts. We’re not going anywhere, and hope you aren’t either.
Your Favorite Posts

When we look back at the stats, here are the posts that have received the most page views:

  1. Top Ten Tips for Preventing Innovation (thanks to Scott Berkun for the super-powers of your link!)
  2. Software Testing Series: Black Box vs. White Box Testing (thanks Yahoo for sending several people here every day)
  3. Death By A Thousand Cuts – Usability Problems Add Up (thanks to the spam-bot that hit this page thousands of times in July)
  4. Foundation Series: Black Box and White Box Software Testing (Google and Yahoo combined to make this a winner – thanks guys)
  5. Top Five Requirements Gathering Tips (pure organics at play. thanks to everyone who’s linked to this page)
  6. Foundation Series: Structured Requirements (almost everyone who read this came to it to get background info in support of another article – proof that the Foundation Series idea is working)
  7. How to Use Timeboxes for Scheduling Software Delivery (thanks to Pragmatic Marketing for publishing an extended version of this one last month)
  8. Requirements Vs. Design – Which is Which And Why (Our standard-bearer in the great debate)
  9. Foundation Series: Business Process Modeling (We’ve had a lot of attention, both supporting and criticising our BPMN series)
  10. Requirements Document Proliferation (the first of our attempts to describe the way-too-many-different-ways to document requirements)

Thanks to everyone who has read, commented on, contributed to, inspired, linked to, criticised, or otherwise been involved in everything we do here. You can’t imagine how appreciated it has been, is, and will continue to be. Thank you!


The top 10 (of 170+) countries from which our visitors read Tyner Blain:

  1. United States of America ( 63%)
  2. Republic of Korea (3%)
  3. Brazil (2.7%)
  4. India (2.2%)
  5. United Kingdom (2.1%)
  6. Canada (1.9%)
  7. Taiwan (1.4%)
  8. Thailand (1.2%)
  9. Japan (1.1%)
  10. Germany (1%)

If you want your country to make it to the top ten for next year, spread the word :)

Big Numbers

The surprising and humbling stuff…

  • Global reach with readers from over 170 countries.
  • Over 300 links from other bloggers according to Technorati.
  • Over 400 comments from the awesome people who are part of our community.
  • Over 500 subscribers to our RSS Feed (as reported by Feedburner on weekdays), 70 by email (Feedblitz)
  • Over 500 file downloads (presentations and bpmn visio stencils)
  • Over 750,000 page views, from over 300,000 visitors, from just under 50,000 unique IP addresses. Wow. That’s insane.

ConclusionSome ridiculously low percentage of blogs die in the first year. We haven’t – thanks to you! We’re not going away any time soon, so stick around and enjoy the fun!

New Web Advertising Network – Performancing Partners

Performancing Partners network is a well established company that is building their ad network as we speak. They’ve already signed up several hundred bloggers, and advertisers. They have a refreshingly different approach to advertising – the advertisers pick the sites they want to advertise on, and the bloggers / publishers pick the ads they want to run.

The new network is called the Performancing Partners network.

Publisher Goals

As a publisher, Tyner Blain has one main goal

  • 1. Build a community around software product success.

To achieve this, we do a lot of different things – we cover important topics, create original content, start discussions with the experts who are writing great stuff, and help people find great products or services that help them do their job better. We also try and write both for people new to the domain, and help push the envelope to extend the domain.

Joining the new network will help us provide / control the product and services ads that show up on Tyner Blain.

Advertiser Goals

Advertisers have two main goals:

  • 2. Reach the right audience with a targeted message for that audience.
  • 3. Manage the costs of customer acquisition (and by implication, manage the cost of advertising)

Performancing Partners Addresses These Goals

We’ve had reasonably good success with contextual ads – they seem to generally provide links to suppliers of related products and services, but many advertisers are companies we have not heard of. And with hundreds of articles in our archives, we can’t monitor and inspect every supplier.

Goal # 1: As a publisher, Tyner Blain will only show ads that are pre-approved. This gives us quality control, and allows us to make sure that only advertisements that would benefit our readers will be displayed. With a consistent ad placement in the sidebar, our readers can easily say “not interested” by “not looking” – without disrupting the flow of articles. This choice actually reduces revenue for us, but our primary goal is community – advertising just helps cover our costs.

Goal # 2: Advertisers will select specific blogs on which they would like to show their ads. Instead of defining keywords, and hoping that their promotions will be displayed to their target audience (based on article content), the advertiser will select a publisher and request that their ads be displayed. This is perfect control for a site like Tyner Blain – where we have a consistent and loyal audience, in a targeted niche.

An added benefit for advertisers – Tyner Blain will be showing their ad in the sidebar, which means that for the month that it is displayed, it will appear on every page. Advertisers don’t have to predict and compete for “high traffic” pages on the site, or worry about ads being “clicked out” and disappearing as soon as their budget is gone – the ad will appear for the entire month, for the entire site.

Goal #3: Advertisers can control costs with a flat monthly fee – instead of paying per impression or per click. This completely eliminates the incentive for bad people to game the system, increasing advertiser confidence that the generated leads are credible. It also allows for perfect forecasting and complete control of advertising spending. Performancing also has a completely transparent pricing and payment policy – no secrets for anyone.


  • This new network is good for Tyner Blain’s readers, because we will be able to improve the quality of ads that show up on the blog.
  • This new network is good for Tyner Blain’s current advertisers because they can target and manage their advertising spending more effectively.
  • This new network is good for potential new advertisers, who want to get their message out to a select audience – and we have one!

Signing Up

Advertisers that want to join the Performancing Partners network can get more info or sign up easily.

Publishers can join the Performancing Partners network too. Read for more info, or to sign up in a minute or two.[Update: faq]

Disclosure: If you sign up via a link from Tyner Blain, Performancing will pay us a 5% referral fee at no cost to you. If you don’t want to do that, just manually navigate to their site.

Yesterday’s BPMN Post Was A Big Fat Lie


Yesterday’s post contained a pretty significant mistake (aka “Big Fat Lie”).  I showed a diagram that was in violation of the BPMN specification for intermediate message events.

The post has been corrected, showing both the “bad” instructions, and the associated corrections.  The proper way to use intermediate message events within the normal sequence flow has also been demonstrated.

This “bonus post” is primarily for the benefit of our email subscribers, who would not otherwise know that the post had been updated.  People who subscribe via RSS would receive an updated version of the post, and the excerpt has also been updated, so that people visiting the main page of Tyner Blain will know that the post has been corrected.
Sorry for the confusion.


Now Easier Than Ever to Subscribe!


It just got easier to subscribe to Tyner Blain – by email!

We’ve added a page explaining subscription options, and updated our sidebar with the option to subscribe by email, thanks to our service provider, Feedblitz.

If you aren’t already subscribing, you should because

  • It saves you time.
  • You won’t miss anything.

If you’re already subscribing by email or RSS – thank you!

This is a holiday weekend in the US – enjoy it!

Non-Functional Requirements ERA [now available]

error message

PEBBAK* error!

Through a complete oversight / ommission / coma, the Non-Functional Requirements Equal Rights Amendment article was accidentally marked as private shortly after it was published. I was wondering why so many 404s happened when people tried to read it.

Well, its back now. Enjoy it, and comment. It highlights a critical issue – requirements that characterize behavior are not getting the attention they deserve. James Leatherman also has some great thoughts on how to address this issue – we agree on the problem, but don’t yet agree on a solution. Check out his original post, and his followup – he managed to get a comment with a link before the post mysteriously disappeared.

Add your comments, or links to your own thoughts – we will all benefit from figuring this one out.

*PEBBAK – Problem exists between blogger and keyboard

New theme for Tyner Blain!


We’ve upgraded our theme!

  • The new look should provide much better support for users with larger monitors, while still supporting folks reading at 800×600 resolution.
  • We’ve added a calendar widget to make it easy to find the posts for a given date.
  • We have easier navigation from page to page, within search results, archives, categories and navigating from post to post.
  • We’ve incorporated a little of our branding into the site.

Please give us usability feedback – we were only able to test IE6 and Firefox, and we have some readers who use IE7, IE5, Safari, Opera, Lynx, other variations of Mozilla and Netscape.  Please let us know if you have any rendering problems, or usability issues with the site.

Thanks in advance!

Tyner Blain in the Google Toobar

Google toolbar logo

Tyner Blain can now be viewed thru the Google Toolbar!

In the top of the sidebar (on the right) is a link to automatically add Tyner Blain to your Google Toolbar. As of today, it is only supported for IE users, but Google is now a supporter of firefox, so they’ll be adding support for custom toolbar buttons soon.

Who are we doing this for?

  • Windows users who read Tyner Blain outnumber Mac + Linux readers (combined) by ten to one.
  • Over 30% of Tyner Blain’s readers use Internet Explorer
  • According to Forrester, only 6% of internet users use RSS
  • Fewer than 10% of Tyner Blain’s traffic is thru RSS feeds
  • Note: Firefox tips at the end of this post!

How does it work?

There are two things you get – first, easy access to the most recent posts (including a short synopsis), and second – the ability to search Tyner Blain for keywords, text, categories or whatever.

How do we install it (in 4 clicks or less)?

  1. First, click on the link in the sidebar
  2. Google may ask you to install the latest toolbar – if they do, click on the link shown here
  3. Then select “Add” from the dialog that Google presents
  4. Confirm that the Tyner Blain button has been installed
  5. That’s it. 4 clicks. 3 if you have the toolbar already installed.

But I don’t use IE

Then subscribe to the RSS feed -> Copy the URL from any of the links in the red box and add it to your newsreader.  Do this by right-clicking on the link, then copy the link location in firefox (or copy shortcut in IE), then paste it into your RSS reader
right click

Or – use the firefox Livelinks capability to create a dynamic shortcut in firefox

Or – if your newsreader autodiscovers a feed from a website, just enter – the newsreader will find it for you.

Subscribe and enjoy!