First post. Amazing how long it has taken me to get here… not that anybody was waiting. Usually, I have this problem. Usually… I say, “Yeah, I’ll do that… just as soon as I have some time to throw some code together to do it right(ie. my way).” Internet eons (years) later. Here I am.
Ok, so… why even do this?
Well, that requires some history. When I was back at eGroups (1999/2000), I started noticing that these things called ‘blogs’ or ‘weblogs’ were starting to get attention. I also remember when RSS came out… one of the eGroups engineers made a script that could feed any eGroup as RSS. It’s 2004 and just now this stuff is starting to hit mainstream. Another connection was Jerry Michalski (sp?). He was on the advisory board at eGroups and I remember him encouraging the VP of Eng. at the time to go check out this company called Pyra (where Jerry was also on the board/investor). At the time, Pyra was still pushing their web based collaboration/project management app and just starting this site called Blogger.com. I think the bigger web app taught them that the small and simpler stuff was more effective. I watched the company grow, concentrate on Blogger.com, grow, run out of bandwidth, grow, beg for money/sell stickers, grow. All the while, I found myself enjoying the blogs out there more and more. I couldn’t exactly nail down why this new web site ‘style ‘ was effective.
(Note, because of my interest in Smalltalk, I was also interested in Wiki’s back then as well, but that is another story…)
Still, why do this? Well, hindsight makes this obvious. Just like the web before commercialization, you could see that something might be there, but maybe it wasn’t there yet. As soon as you heard that FedEx let you track packages via a web site, you knew the web was going big. Now, the Blogs combined with RSS feeds show an obvious next step for news, information, and collaboration on the internet. Previously, people used web forums or email lists. Both were a bit challenging for people to set up and use. Blogs and RSS are much more simple and decentralized. This gets them around the problems with those earlier forms (ex. for email lists, spam is a huge problem). These new blog systems also tend to fit better with services like Google and the sites that monitor the blog entry cross-linking. Also, the interesting content is there in a big way, and it is only getting better.
Ok, so what does this mean?
It means that a little voice, if it can attract the attention, can now use a Blog as a microphone to the world.
It also means that a lot of little voices can now be recognized as one voice that isn’t one of the multiple-choice options (Ex. Republican/Democrat; Male/Female; White/Black/Other). A triumph for the ‘Other’.
It means that the big company journalism is no longer between all of us. A new path.
It means that we can now keep track of a lot of little news sources, rather than accepting what the big ones offer.
It means that that the granularity just got smaller and still manageable.
So, I want to contribute to this. I want to get a small voice out there as well.
It will be a fun experiment…