Blog Introduction

So, here is the inaugural posting to my new Drupal blog. I started this site, and by extension blog, for a number of reasons. I already have a social networking presence in other domains (LiveJournal, Friendster, Tribe, etc.), but these venues have left me feeling a bit fragmented (a phenomenon I have researched). It has taken me quite a while to work out what I am using these services for and what I hope to get out of them. For better or worse, I have come to view these other services as extending my social information sphere to the point that I haven't felt comfortable exploring other intellectual pursuits there. In other words, I have identified a personal information need, that is, a need for a venue to explore my intellectual side without the expectation of throttling the content down to a more basic social level. Don't get me wrong -- I am completely fine with social discourse; I just don't want party invitations in my archival theory.

So, why a blog? Why a Web site at all? There are a couple of reasons for this. First off, I have recognized the benefits of the blog/journal format for its knowledge management potential. Having a simple, easy to access and update (and do so from anywhere) interface allows me to increase the amount of effort I put into critical analysis and the exploration of various thoughts and observations that I have. Furthermore, the blog format offers a platform for searching and indexing these thoughts and organizing them under (hopefully) suitable semantic groupings. Finally, I hope to be able to cross-reference my entries not only with external information sources on which I may comment, but across the site to my other blog entries and writings. Think of this in terms of picking up a thread where I left off -- continuing my research and intellectual development and having a record of the same (I will not invoke the ghost of Vannevar Bush at this point).

But why the public facing Web site? Why not keep this private? Well, that is a bit of an experiment on my part. I don't claim to be a genius or savant in search of a fan base, but I could see how someone could interpret my endeavor here as implying such a thing. No, to the contrary – I recognize that regardless of where I stand on whatever arbitrary knowledge scale I may be compared against, I am not all-knowing, massively intelligent, or absolutely brilliant – and that is where you, dear reader, come in.

As an experiment, I will allow comments (not comment spam, mind you) to be placed against my blog entries and writings. The hope is that someone of greater experience in some of the areas I am exploring will have something meaningful to add to the conversation – and is that not a metaphor describing the process of knowledge: a conversation? I've witnessed the de-evolution of open venues into flame wars, partisan politics, and eventually commercial exploitation, but I believe that there is a threshold below which an open venue can thrive. USENET this site is not, so hopefully I won't be spending too much time deleting irrelevant comments from anonymous blowhards. If I do, then I will finally know the results of my experiment and share them with you as I, regrettably, disable anonymous comments. I sincerely hope this does not come to pass as I am looking forward to your informative and stimulating discussion.

Let the games begin.