E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

The Hybrid Experiment

Gran Canaria - Guayadeque in the Winter... Nearly two weeks later, after my last blog post over here (See Three Wishes), here I am again putting together this next entry thinking that it may well be a good time now to change, somewhat, part of my own blogging style, once again, since it looks like it is taking me more and more time in between to write articles on a more or less frequent basis, say, daily, like in previous years. I guess that one has got to evolve over time in how one makes use of their own blog(s). That’s something that I have been doing myself now for over the 7 years I have been blogging away and it looks like I am about to enter a new phase. One where if I don’t make that jump, it would probably mean the end of the blog, something that I am not really ready to let it go that easy just yet. This blog, my personal blog, is my favourite and preferred Personal Knowledge Management system, as my good friends Harold Jarche and Bill Ives would say saying all along, and somehow over the last few weeks I am sensing how I am losing touch of that important aspect in one’s blogging activities and that is a very dangerous road I am not willing to end up at. Thus, once again, it’s time to renew oneself or die in the attempt…

I know that this blog post may sound a bit more catastrophic and dramatic than what it actually is, perhaps even a bit too metablogging, too, and I am sure at this point in time you may be wondering what has triggered such thoughts, right? Well, certainly it is not the lack of topics to blog about (Gosh, that would never happen! If I could go ahead and blog about all of the stuff that I would want to I would be a full time blogger blogging away several times a day and never get tired of it!); it’s also not a matter of time per se (And I will explain later on what I mean with this one…); it’s not about losing my blogging muse or my intentions of wanting to keep up with my blog (Actually, I have always believed that the most powerful means for nurturing and cultivating your own personal brand starts with your personal / business blog on the Internet!); it’s not about coming up with whatever the excuse to stay away from it and then come apologising for the long hiatus, after a while . No, it’s not about all of that and whatever else. It’s all about the fact that we are no longer alone in this.

Yes, that’s right! As you would well remember, I returned back from my holidays a couple of weeks back and so far it’s been massively hectic, in a healthy way; still pretty much under control, incredibly excited about what lies ahead for the new year, and really looking forward towards another special year, just like 2010 was, in the area of Social Computing and Enterprise 2.0 (Yes, yes, I know that the cool kids call it nowadays Social Business, but I will get back to that one, again, shortly…). Yes, indeed, things have gotten busier than ever! And, like most social software evangelists out there would tell you, the more your own business / company embarks in diving into Enterprise 2.0, the less and less time you seem to make for your own blogging efforts and general engagement with social tools. It’s like a potentially dangerous, and tricky, exponential decrease. Things have finally started to move into networked and interconnected conversations. And when you are working in a company of over 400.000 people, I guess you could say it’s just purely a matter of scale; it’s a matter of deciding where you are going to cut things down, where you are going to stop spreading thinner than ever, since you are also entitled to have a good private quality life, after both work and life come to play nicely looking for that remarkable integration and balance we should all strive for.

Eventually, conversations and multiple threads of a rather enlightening and engaging dialogue start flourishing rampantly, like mushrooms would grow after a heavy rainfall, and there is, of course, a time where one has got to make a decision as to what needs to happen next. In my case those conversations have grown up exponentially, just as much as new social networking tools have over the last few years, which means that, to me, and probably a few folks out there as well for sure, attention is the new currency, as my good friend Chris Brogan put it nicely just recently, or Tim Kastelle described very accurately over at “Welcome to the Attention Economy“. And one thing I was not starting to like at all was how I kept neglecting my own personal blogging choosing it as the main element to drop from the equation of most of my social software interactions, both inside and outside of the firewall.

That’s why in the last few days, after plenty of pondering and reflecting on several things, I have come to a decision that’s going to start kicking in soon after this blog post: rather I change my own blogging style or … the blog dies. And, like I said before, that’s not going to happen. I am not going to let it happen. It’s given me so much over the course of the years that it wouldn’t be fair to let it go just like that. It’s a part of me. It’s my living CV. It’s my business card (As Google would say). It’s my voice. It’s my passion… It’s just me. How can I let it go away? … Never! Whatever it takes …

Thus, during the course of the last couple of weeks, I decided I’m going to try going for a new blogging style. Actually, a hybrid one. A model I haven’t tried in the past, so I am not sure how it is going to play out eventually. But, at least, I am willing to give it a try. After all, I do really miss that PKM system that this blog has been all along, since I have gotten started with it over five years ago. Yes, folks, I am going hybrid! From now onwards there would be two different types of blog posts being shared over here as we move along: the usual, lengthier, reflective, pondering blog posts (That have been probably the trademark from elsua.net from the very beginning) and a new kind of shorter blog entries, where instead of writing a few paragraphs and include a whole bunch of interesting links to relevant content I keep bumping into on a particular topic, I will just stick around to one or two paragraphs, with a link or two, for those thoughts that deserve more than 140 or 500 characters. Essentially, I’m going to start sharing across shorter items reflecting on what I bump into over the course of the day; so, instead of one lengthy post you may find several shorter ones, to the point, no wandering around. Just like my good friend, the always inspiring and thought provoking, Euan Semple does. I feel I have got a good role model to follow, don’t you think?

That kind of sharpness, if I may say so, is what I am going to trying to introduce from here onwards as part of that hybrid blogging model and see how far I can go. See if it will bring me back to this blog on a more frequent basis of sharing, because, as I am sure you would agree, there is just far too much good stuff out there that should not be missed; so, to me, it also means that I will continue to share plenty more interesting things I bump into through other means, like Posterous and another experiment I am about to start shortly as well and which I will be blogging about shortly as well… but the blog will continue to be the primary resource for all of that sharing across.

I guess you could call it a re-focus of my own attention on things and see whether I can find better ways of managing it, or, at least, try to focus that attention a bit more than in the past, now that everyone is finally coming on board towards making use of social tools! And I am thinking as well that one technique that may be very interesting in helping me re-shape that focus would probably be the one technique I have grown to love and treasure quite a bit lately: yes, of course, I am talking about the Pomodoro Technique, that I have talked about a few times already in the recent past … I am already applying it to how I interact with both internal and external social networking tools, thus we shall see how that works out as well for blogging…

Like I said, I am not sure how this is going to end up eventually. I am not even certain either whether folks would like such changes and stick around or perhaps move away altogether elsewhere, but I think it’s worth a try. It is an interesting new experiment that will bring a new and fresh look into how I see blogging through 2011 and beyond. After all, I am starting to get tired of my several local .TXT files with hundreds of links I know they should be out there! They belong out there!

Thus onwards we go!

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    1. Hi Alan! Thanks a bunch for dropping by and for the feedback comments! LOL!! Yes, indeed, I guess they would call it Knowledge Management … done right, right? It’s rather interesting to see how we seem to be coming around the very same thing we did back in the day, over 15 years ago, when KM first came up. We didn’t call it that way initially, but once vendors took over that’s when it became KM and why it developed part of the reputation it has got today…

      Funny enough, in plenty of aspects we are heading that very same way with Enterprise 2.0, not Social Business, and from there onwards … spot on! Back to the same thing! Let’s hope we have learned the lessons from back then and move forward accordingly.

      I look forward to it! 🙂

      Thanks for dropping by, my friend! I will be seeing you in a few days! 😀

    1. Hi Daniel! Thanks much for dropping by and for the kind words! Thanks for sticking around and for being part of this blog; I am glad to hear you will be looking forward to the new experiment and see how it would work… One of the things that I am also ensuring it happens throughout 2011 and as part of that hybrid experiment is that I will be making plenty more time to engage in the conversations and answer to comments; after all, they enrich the original thoughts shared on the blog post, so it would be the least I could do to thank you folks for sticking around and for being there! 🙂 hehe

  1. Luis, thinking about those .txt files — I know you don’t like delcious… but wouldn’t it be time for you to cross over to the dark side and embrace “social bookmarking”?

    1. Daniel, actually, I *am* a big fan of social bookmarking! Inside the firewall, I have got over 8.200 links bookmarked and annotated extensively with a variety of tags; it’s just that externally I haven’t seen a robust and reliable enough social bookmarking service that would allow me to export them across without losing that work accumulated from over the years. I am still looking for it, for sure, and I am thinking perhaps of going to ibm.com/dogear and copy them over there on a weekly basis or something… We shall see how that goes…

      The .TXT files are also pointers to more elaborate blog posts with lots of linking on the side, so I am hoping to find another way of sharing that across as well… And I think I may have found it 😉

      Stay tuned!!

      1. dogear can export data? Lotus Connections in my eyes (with all of its tools) is about the most clumsy and end-user-unfriendly stuff there is. My bookmarks will stay at delicious 🙂 way too much tools that work here (such as feeds, blog posting etc)

        1. Hi Daniel! Yes, sir! You can export your bookmarks from Dogear and into Delicious and vice versa: you can export your delicious bookmarks and then import them into Dogear, and all of that with a couple of extra clicks and off it goes…

          To get things going with exporting your bookmarks from Dogear go to your “My Bookmarks” page, click “More actions” > “Export My Bookmarks” and from there follow the options of what you would want to export further.

          PS. RE: delicious, I have never bought into it, I am afraid, and with the recent issues around its disappearance it would make me very uncomfortable having my bookmarks there and lose them all when they might close their service. I had that once happening with Gnolia (Twice, actually!) and not really willing to go that route a third time. Yet 🙂

  2. So, are you going to start using Posterous and other services and spread out your ideas so that we have to go hunting for them? (Or will it all be aggregated back here?)

    1. Hi Jack! Thanks a bunch for dropping by and for the feedback comments! Well, Posterous is already integrated into my Twitter stream, which also shows on the Livestream tab from the blog, and the other experiments I am about to give a try are also part of the main stream from @elsua, so if you are following those you won’t be missing out, not to worry :-))

      Thanks for the heads up!

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