I’ve been spending more time on flickr (the 365 days project makes sure I post frequently) and my book reviews (six reviews this month so far) than I have here. Since I don’t splice content from the other places I post into this blog or its feed, that means it has been quiet.
Over on jaiku, I’ve been experimenting a little with content splicing: I have it fetch my twitter, del.icio.us, flickr, LibraryThing newly added book, and blog feeds. I’m beginning to understand more of the appeal of creating a lifestream. I can see how it’s good for timeline tracking of activities, human-readable attention data, and generally using the web as a backup drive for my brain.
If I were to create a lifestream, no worries — I wouldn’t pipe it all here. As a reader of other people’s stuff, I appreciate being able to choose which parts of their streams to follow, and you need separate entities like this blog for that to work. But even if I rolled everything I do on the web into a single, aggregated megafeed (including the cocomments one I almost always forget about, and the claimID page I don’t need to update very often) it still wouldn’t be 100% complete. Things would still be missing, because I post stuff that isn’t public — I blog and comment behind the firewall.
Which is why JP Rangaswami’s post Musing about outsides and insides struck such a chord with me:
When a company achieves critical mass in terms of “external” bloggers, there is no longer an inside or an outside. Blogs do not support hierarchies or vertical silos, they tend to be lateral and networked and and all-over-the-place. Blogs are not respecters of walls, whether inside the firm or at the firm’s boundaries.
Immediately, two thoughts started bouncing around my skull: he’s absolutely right, and our Legal folks will have a fit if they read this. It is, after all, part of Legal’s job to worry about the impact of things I don’t want to worry about. And I do recognize that there are valuable and important reasons for some things to remain within a firm’s boundaries. All the same, something in me soared when I read it. His closing point was also spot-on:
Not having an inside or an outside. That’s how tomorrow’s customers will figure which of today’s companies to bless.
Thing is, in the future it won’t just be companies that succeed because they embrace transparency, engage in conversation, and publicly take risks. It will happen for individuals, too. And remember, the future is already here.