Blogs: an Open Source Model for Idea Exploration

Peter Lindberg has an interesting note on how blogging fits into his knowledge “plan”:

So if blogging is about consuming something, reflecting upon it, and recording the resulting thoughts, the blogosphere is an environment that is very supportive of this. It’s the blogosphere that ultimately distinguishes regular homepages from weblogs. I find this difficult to express to people who don’t know what a weblog is. So I turn silent after having said that it’s a reverse-chronological list of notes, with permanent links so that others can link to them. Why would they want to do that?

There’s an interesting analogy shimming around in the rest of his post between open source/quality code and bloging/quality thinking. That is, one of benefits of open source is that, potentially, a huge amount of people will QA your code, even applying fixes when they find bugs, or, at the very least, telling you about them. That is, you can potentially get more QA for an open source project than you can for a commercial, closed source project.

Similarly, if you keep all your ideas (shallow and piffly as most of them may be in the blog-world ;>) to yourself in your own notes and private journal/diaries, you won’t get the kind of review and discussion of those ideas that you would if they were out in the open, on your blog. As with open source projects, of course, that’s all potentially available: if your blog content is boring, rather than interesting, very few people will “QA” it for you. Of course, that in itself is a good form of QA.

And, I’m not saying everything is all high-falutin’ ideas, there’s plenty of silly, low-brow stuff going on. Hell, that’s the norm…again, I’m just saying, the potential is there.