Monday, October 06, 2003

Random walk to bloggery 

Its curious how life’s paths twist, turn and branch almost randomly from each other. If you look back at a sequence of events that have led you to a particular moment, like as not the linkages will be far from the planned, linear, progressive structure we sometimes imagine. I’m here blogging because I wanted to buy an ice-axe…

A couple of years ago, I was in the market for an ice-axe and was Googling for comments on a particular model. I found some interesting stuff on a climbing forum; I’d never come across forums before but before long I’d got hooked on this one, mostly because in between the superficial chat and the anoraks there were some really rather interesting discussions going on, on all manner of subjects – the most interesting often having not the remotest connection with climbing. Climbers are often anarchic; anarchy is an expression of free thinking; free thinking produces interesting, if not always rational, debate. (It can be varied though – it’s a bit bland at the moment should you go and look).

Then I discovered we had an internal forum on our work intranet. I wouldn’t have given it a second glance if I hadn’t already discovered forums and the possibilities that they provide for connecting with people; something sadly missing in my job. Although the topics weren’t so interesting - people are perhaps less open where their workmates/managers may be listening in - a few moments light relief breaks up the monotony of office life, and so I dipped in from time to time.

One day someone raised a question about blogs. I hadn’t a clue what blogs were, and wasn’t especially motivated to find out. What attracted me was that the people talking about them had some interesting ideas about organisations and moreover sounded like the kind of people with whom I like to have dialogue. So I followed some links, as you do…

Oh, and I blame it all on Euan Semple, whose enthusiasm for blogging was the final spur that stopped me thinking about it and started me doing it.

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