I'm blogging this

There is the old saying, "If you can't say something nice, don't say
anything at all." That is the general explanation of how I have felt
about blogging. In my case, however, "nice" means "with useful content
that will move the human race forward."

I have been on the Internet for quite a while (since maybe August
1989) and have definitely played a part in many of the major themes
and memes, but never consistently blogged. I have always considered
myself a fairly decent communicator and everyone that knows me can
testify that I am in no way an introvert. So, why not get up on a
virtual soapbox and scream diatribes at the top of my lungs? Because I
didn't want to be *that* guy.

In geek culture, there's tons of *that* guys and gals. It is a bit
strange that in a group that is known for having lots of introverts
that there is a significant sub-population that is willing to stand up
and give you a 50 point dissertation on why your favorite thing sucks.
Sometimes it is funny to hear one of these, but after a while, it just
gets tiring. More importantly, I made an important observation as I
advanced through my career: a lot of the big shots (a/k/a the people
handing out the cash) were not big fans of *that* guys/girls. So, I
decided to make sure that I was the smart, helpful, polite -- yet
still boisterous -- guy instead. Overall, that has worked well for me.
That is...until now.

A number of times over the past few years, I have felt the urge to sit
down and write out my thoughts on a number of different topics. On
occasion, I would scribble some thoughts down in a journal -- yes, a
paper journal! Other times, I would diagram something on the
whiteboard or whip out OmniGraffle and put an idea down. Usually, I
would just talk about it with some friends over beer and forget all
about it after a few pints -- oops. In the past year, I have been
really trying to make a conscious effort to document life events and
add some context around them. The impetus for this newfound goal was
the arrival of my daughter 2.5 years ago. Having a kid really makes
you think about the kind of person you were, you are, and are going to

Things reached a tipping point last week when someone asked me if I
had a blog. I, sadly, had to tell them that I did not really have one.
My explanation was that I wanted to wait until I had something
"important" to say before blogging. I thought I should put more
thought into what I wanted to say and not go on and post things simply
because bits are cheap. After all, just because you can do something
doesn't mean that you should do it.

Over the weekend, their question burned in my head and I started to
ask myself, "Why aren't you blogging?" Other than the fact that I was
having a conversation with myself, I did not have a good answer. I
chalked up my recent hesitation to bout of analysis paralysis. After a
click or two here and there, I was off to the races. My blog was born!

I have been thinking about a whole bunch of topics for a number of
years, so I hope that I am able to put some decent words to the page
and cause some reflection in someone else's mind. The biggest promise
of this whole Interwebz thing is the ability to reach out and exchange
thoughts, ideas, and dreams with other people. I am looking forward to
an intelligent discussion with people I know as well as people I have
yet to meet. And, if that doesn't work so well, I can always fall back
to the old standby of telling people why their favorite thing sucks.
That's how we used to roll on Usenet after all...

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