Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Future Blogging

I used to think that blogging was just keeping a glorified online diary. I was wrong. OK, I was a little bit right, and I still am, but I think it is becoming clear that blogging is a lot more than this. It is a personal content delivery mechanism. "But that's the same thing!" I hear you cry with a derisive snort. I think the online diary aspect is still there, and many blogs are little more than this, and that is fine, but blogging enables people to deliver content useful to others, but more importantly that that content is searchable.
My friend and long time co-worker Tom and I recently set up internal work blogs. At first the search mechanism wasn't working, (i.e. searches on content in your blog returned no matches) and Tom said he wouldn't bother if that was the case. A work blog is more on the content delivery, and less on the diary side, and this is where searching makes it a Really Useful Technology. So when Tom blats out some really useful technical tips he just spent the morning discovering, I can come back in six months, search for said tips and have that content available, saving me a morning's (re)work.
At the moment we have discrete text and video blogging, where each individual post takes time and effort to produce. But blogging will go far beyond this. Most people are aware of the lifelog concept where your constant experience is recorded. Many people find this pretty abhorrent, but it doesn't have to be all public all the time, and of course there are things you don't want recorded at all. As technology improves, and the wearing of a video camera and mike is as easy as wearing the rest of your clothes, why wouldn't you just by default record everything? If it doesn't cost much, it just accumulates in the background, and when all that life content is easily searchable, imagine how easy a lot of tasks become. You won't have to jot notes about meetings, appointments, or any details your wet memory can't deal with. Resolving arguments about who said what becomes a thing of the past. You could prove your innocence in a flash as the raw feed would be all securely timestamped and tamper-evident of course.
From this raw feed you could pick and choose the interesting things to make public, or produce eloquent text out of subvocalised ramblings from that recent bus journey.
Of course all this requires technology to improve, and while it won't happen next year, or the year after, it isn't decades away.


Ben said...

Hey Ode! I read with humour about you having to eat your virtual words on he subject of Blogging. He He... at least you admitted it may not be 100% inane self mutterings. It's more like 90%.

I saw you were doing a work Blog to share tech tips. We've set up an internal wiki site with all kinds of information from induction type pointers to application description/explanations. It is turning out to be a great idea when you know the data you have would be of interest to a wide audience but you don't want to target them specifically or flood your network with extra email.

Owen said...

Heya Ben,
Yep, we use a wiki at work as well. There's probably a lot of overlap between what should go on a wiki vs work blog. Not sure how its going to pan out It would be nice to have a 'wiki this' button on the blog. Hmmmm...