Sunday, October 16, 2005

Faxing and Blogging

I tend to be an early adopter of technology. As part of the first generation having grown up with video games and home computers, it feels as though it's in my brain wiring somehow, much to the disappointment of my wife who sees electronics as a big money pit with no return ("Wouldn't you rather fix the sprinkler system, honey?"). Two exceptions in my early adoption: faxing and blogging.

I don't know how I missed faxing - I think as an early adopter of email, documents were transferred more easily through the Internet. Almost everyone I needed to send documents to already had an email address. In the early 90s, I've been told that faxing was the preferred communication medium for ex-pats living in Bali. All the benefits of email, I guess, without the intrusion of a phone call. Having to sign and fax a document still feels like an anachronism, but the digital signature "revolution" still has yet to go mainstream. Why is that, exactly? There certainly are not any technical limitations to digital signature ubiquity, and we have institutions in place to validate your identity, banks, for instance, or how about Verisign? I digress.

I was late to blogging, as well. I experimented with a personal blog a few years ago, but I didn't have anything that interesting to share with the world, to be honest. Blogging always seemed like the photocopied Christmas letters sent to everyone - no personal touch, a one size fits all narrative. Do we have the time to consume everyone else's life details while we're so busy living our own? For me, writing about day-to-day experiences on a blog brought neither therapeutic nor social benefits. It always seemed like a solipsistic practice (for me specifically, not a commentary on blogging, in general), and with time limited due to work and family, my blogging experiment fizzed out.

I'm back to blogging this year, only after having a topic to write about - open source. The focus has shifted from my own life to a form of journalism. This is an avenue for me to share information on open source issues. I am exposed to open source news every day, so why not share this information with people who don't have the time to dig deep? As you will see from my weekly Update postings, my latest blogging attempt is way to share information more than personal commentary.

I recently completed a migration of my blog from the EOSJ website to Blogger (we couldn't get critical mass with the blog feature at EOSJ, so we decided to shut it down and focus on other things). I loved the backdating feature for archived postings - this made the migration process more transparent. It was an eye-opener for me after turning on the various publicity features (linkbacks, technorati,, feeds, etc.). Only a week after migrating to Blogger, I already have people linking back to my entries. I'm still learning about all the intricacies of blogging, feeling a little "old", actually.

I see this as more of a weekly exercise, unlike my blogging compatriots Matt Asay and Dana Blankenhorn who always seem to have interesting, insightful entries on a daily basis. I need to learn some time management skills from these guys (or make it part of my job duties...oh wait, I am my own employer, I'm not going to pay for that)!

Once I launch "Project Ofo", maybe I'll have more to write about on a regular basis. Until then, plan to visit weekly. The weekly Update will be posted sometime between Thursday and Sunday every week, depending upon my schedule. As time permits, I'll post additional entries.


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