Why “Messages in a bottle”?

People on the W3C staff have been talking about blogs and how they can improve communication within a group, for some time. The discussions we had as a Team in Montréal (in November 2006) primed me to think about blogging as something it might be interesting to do. So did Jonathan Robie’s telling me that Jon Udell had urged him to start a blog, and Jonathan’s urging me to do so. (When was that? A long time ago, XML 2005 maybe.)

But the immediate impetus was finding some long-neglected pages on the W3C site (it really doesn’t matter which they were, or who wrote them) in which a Team member set down, years ago, some musings on a topic it turns out we both (and, as far as I can tell, virtually no others in the Team) are interested in.

It felt like finding a message in a bottle.

Putting such musings in a blog won’t help make them easier or harder to find, of course. But somehow the pages in question — and the pages I felt like writing in response — seem to fit more neatly into the genre of the journal, or the ongoing work log, the lab notebook, than into any other.

So I’m going to start a six-month experiment in keeping a work log. Think of it, dear reader, as my lab notebook. (I was going to do it starting a year ago, but, well, I didn’t. So I’m going to start now.)

My original plan was to make it accessible only to the W3C Team, so that I could talk about things that probably shouldn’t be discussed in public or in member space. Norm Walsh has blown a hole in that idea by
pointing to this log
[Hi, Norm!]. So public it is. (Ideally, I’d have a blog in which each item could be marked with an ACL, like resources in W3C date space: Team-only, Member-only, World-readable. Maybe later.)

Next year about June, if I remember, I will evaluate the experiment and decide whether it’s been useful for me or not.

2 thoughts on “Why “Messages in a bottle”?

  1. Pingback: Messages in a bottle » Blog Archive » Six-month retrospective and evaluation

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