May 14

Damned if you do; When do you eat your own dogfood?

Comic, Tech with tags: , , , 2 Comments »

Eating your own dogfood

When should you eat your own dogfood? I saw two contrary thoughts recently that showed how sometimes you are damned either way.

Microsoft Silverlight Dogfood

I hit Channel9, or some baseball thing, or any random video site that uses Silverlight and I get the in-your-face “upgrade for a better experience” message. This has me thinking “geez, why wouldn’t they just use Flash here for the cheesy little video.” It feels forced and gratuitous.

But, then….

Curl using Flash

If you go to you will see Flash content everywhere. It is easy to laugh and say “wow even Curl doesn’t use it!” and “How can they not eat their own dogfood”. Or, you could look at it another way: “They realise that they are enterprise players, and they don’t want to force a download on people who are just browsing their website.”

All of this brings us back to the question of when to eat your own dogfood, and it appears that the answer is nuanced. You don’t want to be bloody minded about it either way, and it depends on what you are doing. Are you forcing dogfood on your own teams that have a vested interest in making the thing better? Are you trying to shove it down other peoples throats? Could you even do both. For example, if you have Curl installed use that (showing something cool in addition), else, show Flash but have a small link to the Curl version if people are interested.