Friday, June 03, 2005


I read something yesterday that said it is erroneous to refer to outer space as cold because without molecules, the concepts of hot or cold doesn't exist. Outer space, which is a big vacuum, is best described as a heat sink. It sucks heat.

OK, that explanation doesn't make much sense to me either. But I'm not really concerned about heat or cold or outer space as much as I am about vacuums. Specifically, the difficulty of creating something in a vacuum. Take for example the process my work group has devised for our current project. There are currently about 20 of us on this project so, in order to facillitate communication, someone came up with the idea of creating a Blog. To ensure that everyone knows there is a new posting to the Blog, everyone automatically gets an e-mail with the entire text of the current post and a link to the Blog for comments. Should work great, right? Nope.

The trouble is that nobody ever reads the message, or if they do, they never post comments, never give any feedback, never even acknowledge that they're even aware that the post is there. I ask people: "Did you read my latest posting"? Blank stares. Or, "no man, I've been slammed, I'll get to it." Of course, they don't. One of the team leaders admitted to me that she tried once to get to the Blog but couldn't so she gave up trying. O...K... In the interim, while I'm waiting for someone to tell me "yes, this is a good idea, develop it, OR no, this is not a good idea, discard it" the project limps along directionless.

Now you may be smiling at my naivete. Thousands of people post Blogs but only nine people ever read them and comment - you nine people know who you are. You're the ones who are perpetuating the myth that Blogs are changing the way we communicate. In truth, Blogs are changing the way we fail to communicate. Nobody is really interested in what another person has to say - they're only interested in what they have to say and I guess now that includes yours truly.

I am willing to admit that maybe it's just me, that I'm too needy. But I tell you what, this is getting old.

Sorry for the rant. Not particularly clever today - must be the weather.


Blogger Anna said...

Read Joel's Building Communities with Software, and think about how you can attract people. Nobody will go to the site if the probability of reward is low, and by emailing the posts, you're lowering the value of visiting. Maybe once a day email a teaser (post title only?) out, to help get them to visit it? Put nonessential but rewarding info ("free donuts in the lunchroom") up on the blog only?
Be like Pavlov, feed the dog...

3:47 PM  

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