Get Social & Collaborate!

A blog? Did you say wiki? Is that something to do with Cricket?

I was chatting to a good friend last night and mentioned that I had started bloging. I was chatting away talking about what I was doing and then realised that there was a look of "what the hell is a blog?" on my friends face. I guess I was initially surprised but then after thinking about it realised that in Australia bloging really hasn't taken off yet. I guess in IT circles it is becoming well know but it certainly isn't mainstream yet.

So anyway I went on to explain the concept of a blog and why I would bother doing it. I think she thought I was nuts and that I was just spending time posting stuff that nobody was reading (which is probably right at the moment to some degree). I explained that I wanted to try and communicate better to a broader audience of our clients and other interested people. That it is just another way to be more open about what we have been doing with our products and our thoughts on emerging stuff. While I received a degree of understanding I think there was still that look of "Are you nuts or what?".

After getting past the blog stuff I then (probably a mistake) mentioned Wiki's. Now this concept just went way over the top. Why on earth would people spend time posting information? and bothering to correct others? Is it anonymous? Can anyone change anyone's posts?

I explained how sites like had reached a critical mass where thousands of people were contributing and now it is this awesome site with a wealth of info. I explained that while you could post anything, and that it isn't peer reviewed, the sheer fact that people can correct errors and ommisions has meant that is actually a pretty good reference.

Still I got an amazed look. I am sure she thought I was nuts. My friend is a teacher so I suggested wouldn't it be awesome to create a wiki with teaching resources. Teachers seem to be creating ideas for teaching aids etc all the time and if they had someway to share these wouldn't that be great. I suggested that she could just start by creating wiki entries for projects she had prepared. It could simply start as a repository for what she is doing and then that way she would have her own reference library for future years. Then I suggested why not make this available to other colleagues over the web. They might just use what she had posted, but some of them might think of posting their own. After a while the resources would start to build up and the word might spread. Before you know it you might have thousands of teachers around the world contributing resources to the site.....wouldn't that be awesome!!!..........I got that look again.

I guess the thing with bloging and wiki's is that they have to start somewhere. With any luck and a bit of consistent work the blog or wiki might generate some interest. I think there must be a point that a ground swell just reaches a level where it ends up having a life of its own. The question is how to start that ground swell. Any ideas? 


Well here we go....

Well after trawling many blogs for the last few months I have decided to jump on the bandwagon and give blogging a go. Even just making the decision to blog has been an interesting experience.

We discussed things such as what should the blog be about? Should it be a corporate type blog from ISW or should it be just me? Should we make it personal or should the opinions be that of the company?

At the end of it all we have decided that it should be my blog, hence the name Brownie's blog. That off course it would discuss topics that relate to what ISW is doing, which is obviously a big part of most of my days, but that I should also just blog about what interests me. And that if I want to express opinions that arn't necessarily that of the company then so be it!

So after having made these decisions the next step off course was getting on with it. I have adopted the BlogSphere template from the guys at BlogSphere and off course OpenNTF based on Domino which is simply brilliant. Setup was pretty easy once I got my head around the database and modifying the css etc. Just then a matter of deciding what features I wanted and the general layout of the blog and wammo. Here it is. The only part that I don't seem to have working just yet is the Web Poll. But alas I should have expected at least 1 challenge otherwise it wouldn't be any fun.

So today I start my side life of blogging. No more just trawling others. Time to contribute myself.

Obviously it will take some time to build the content up here, and off course I don't expect the flood of readers to come along. But if you do happen across the blog please get involved and make a comment. At the very least it will provide me some encouragement to keep on blogging.

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