Friday, June 18, 2010

Leaving Notes, hypertext, resources and relations, etc.: “… but before I can tell you *that* story, I have to tell you *this* story…”

Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants book series is a great resource, if you have a young child whom you want to engage in reading, and/or simply want to laugh a bit (warning: the content can be a bit crude…).

I used to greatly enjoy reading the books to my kids, many years ago, and a creative line/narrative construction stuck with me: Pilkey often introduces background/context-setting story shifts with a first-person “… but before I can tell you that story, I have to tell you this story”.  Simple but delightfully effective, for his purposes.

With that in mind, I’m going to start a series of blog posts that will establish more background/context-setting to explain the reasons why I believe there has never been a more compelling, productive, and important time to be involved in software at the intersection of communication, collaboration, and information management.

A couple very productive blog-based discussion threads over the last few days (as well as reading/pondering The Facebook Effect, and some recent real-world/in-person conversations) have combined to produce a personal reality check in this context: I realized I need to engage in open conversation more often, and to strive to openly, constructively, and purposefully share and discuss my views – i.e., to collaborate more broadly and effectively Smile...

My primary purpose in this is not to promote Microsoft software and services, although I also won’t be shy about explaining, at times, why I believe Microsoft is helping to advance the industry comm/collab/info mgmt agenda in many important ways, and why I believe Microsoft’s value proposition is stronger than those from Google, IBM, and Oracle. 

Instead, my overall goal is to help foster constructive conversation about the vendor/product-independent market dynamics that are, collectively, helping to rapidly evolve related technologies, tools, services, and user conceptual models and expectations. 

One of the many inspirations that have kept me focused on this general domain over the last several years is the following quote from Doug Englebart (see this page for the quotation context):

"If we humans don't learn how to be collectively smarter as fast as we can, there's going to be a better and better chance that the human race is just going to crash. That's what keeps us going."

Anyways, now that I have set reader expectations at an impossibly high level, I need to block some time to formulate a plan for structuring and serializing the topics/memes/etc. I want to share – i.e., I need to determine the flow for “… but before I can tell you that story, I need to tell you this story [these stories"]”.  It’s going to take me a while, and I may create a new, more general-purpose hypertext site for the longer content pieces, rather than flooding this/my current news filter-oriented blog with long posts; if I opt to go that route, I’ll post summaries and links (to the extended-play resources on the new site) here.

In the meantime, you might want to check out a Dav Pilkey book or two (or maybe The Facebook Effect, if you don’t have young kids).

More to follow…

p.s. lest any of my IBM connections think this is all some sort of duplicitous sales/marketing scheme, rest assured that my Microsoft colleagues are probably as apprehensive about this as you are – it is my personal blog, and, as the disclaimer at the bottom of the page states, “The contents of this site are my personal opinions and do not represent my employer’s views in any way.”

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