Tuesday, April 27, 2010

3 Days and Counting

After 3 days, I figured I should post an update about where things are at with this whole experiment. First of all, I would like to thank everyone who has read the blog so far. I have received many comments behind the scenes from people wishing to congratulate me on my new venture and to throw in a few cents for me to think about. I really appreciate it and am surprised by how many people have already popped by!

Interestingly enough, however, the comments all related in some way to the fact that the responder doesn't have an answer to the question I posed to "the collective", but that they are eager to read more about what I find out. I find a couple of things interesting about that:

1) Blogs (if I am understanding their purpose correctly, which I may very well not be) are meant to be collaborative. However, to be collaborative, others need to be willing to jump into the mix and publicly claim their own thoughts, beliefs, perceptions or areas of uncertainty alongside mine.

2) If it is true that the answer to any question is found in the collective (not just within any 1 or 2 wise people in the collective), then it seems that the collective would need to somehow share whatever knowledge they do have with each other. Through that process, in some magical way which I am as of yet uncertain about, this may bring out wisdom the group holds as a whole. After all, interacting with "the collective" is the entire point of this exercise!

I don't have the answers. However, I am putting it out there, albeit to a very small collective until I learn how to reach more, that "I have nothing" (yet another reference to the presentation Bradley Shende gave a small group of us last week). "I have nothing", but sure would love it if someone would join me in that claim and set out on this journey of discovery with me. Maybe together, with our shared ideas, we could have a small bit of something and we could build from there.

Again, thanks for reading. This has already been a journey and it has only just begun!


  1. Ok...I'll bite.

    It's been my experience over the past 8 years (the first few with a 'weekly newsletter', the last two with a full-fledged blog - actually two at the moment) that while a blog allows for two-way flow of information, the vast majority of blogs are a one-way flow of opinions and ideas.

    The fact that 'you own' or 'I own' the blog sets us up right there for this situation. A blog becomes largely one person's soapbox. I regularly subscribe to 20-25 or so, and very rarely comment on them. Current stats on my business blog show 213 posts, 31 comments (and over 1000 blocked spam comments attempting to sell all sorts of things).

    Most of the comments are of the form of 'atta boy, good post' or similar, though I do recall a couple of instances (pre real blog) where I actually encountered rich debate based on something that was posted. Certainly out of the ordinary.

    I too get many 'behind the scenes' comments, and am often surprised by who actually follows what I write. I think we're still in the passive frame of mind, started with television and cable, and ow extends to online (mouse movement excluded, of course).

    The wide open, world-wide-web just may not be conducive to rich interaction as the norm. My (limited) experience with online training is that there is this richer interaction, certainly when required for course grades, and rarely otherwise. Within corporate environments, wiki's or discussion forums generally have far more readers than writers. Same thing for online forums that I belong to because of a shared affinity for the topic of discussion.

    For the most part, I eschew Facebook and Twitter, as there is plenty of unmanaged noise there. LinkedIn has served me well, but I have low expectations there. Even my blogging has been a structured way to build up a writing habit, and while I've managed to distill a book out of it and develop a bit of an online opinion and persona, it hasn't been a collaborative tool to solve problems.

    Like I said yesterday (face to face), I'll certainly be following along here and wish I had an answer, but to turn the web into a richer interactive experience, a shared forum where the community can exchange information and become greater than the sum of the passive parts, well, I'm still waiting for it.

    Don't think blogs are the solution, but maybe a stepping stone along the way...


  2. I agree with Jim. And he took the words out of my mouth wrt to forums. My first thought when I first read your posts, was 'forums'. I feel they are far more suited to two-way interactivity, with the ability to create new threads and search posts.
    I also agree with Jim's opinion of a blog. I also see it as more of a personal "soapbox" type thing. I'd see a blog far more as a textbook, than a classroom.
    I'm not sure if spreading yourself across multiple applications, could lead to scattered info. If you have to spend your time raking blog comments, forum posts and tweets into a central repository it could become problematic and risky for fractured info.
    My first bet would be to use a forum as the classroom. They don't seem as pretty as a blog, but that may be fixable.

    Good luck!

  3. Good point. Further to that, I know of at least a couple bloggers who have a forum that runs alongside their blog, with a seperate discussion thread for each blog post ('cuz haloscan or js-kit comment systems just don't cut it), as well as general discussion areas.

    While the guy is a bit of a broken-record ranter, an example would be:

    Comments for each thread are in a seperate forum here:
    http://tickerforum.org/akcs-www (with "today's ticker" being the sub-forum where blog posts are discussed)

  4. Cara,

    I think a blog is a place to share information... It might be a soapbox, or you actually might learn something...

    Check out a book called, "Sleeping Naked is Green" by Vanessa Farquharson based on a blog called, Green as a Thistle. I learned intesting green things from this blog turned book.

    Good luck with your blog!

  5. Bold and brave of you to do this Cara. Good job, I would encourage you to continue. Talk about your area of expertise, share ideas, share interesting sites, articles or other blogs and comment or expand upon those. Try twitter with some short bits and link back here. It's a big world and you are just getting started. Lot's of conversations to be had.