Ray Ozzie's blog

Ray Ozzie has fired up his Radio blog again, at a new location. He asks:

I'm pondering what it will mean if I begin to post my thoughts here in public, as opposed to using Groove-internal blogs/sts/notes/groove spaces. Forcing myself to partition internal vs. external on a daily basis would truly be a mindset change...

Here's my $0.02. At least some and maybe a lot of what you say, think, and do every day is not necessarily secret. To the extent that thoughts sharable within your company happen also to be sharable outside of it, I've always believed it makes sense to make those thoughts public. Here are two reasons why:

1. Control your message

There are many voices telling your story every day on the Internet. Telling it yourself, in your own words, helps make sure it gets done right. A while back, for example, you popped up on a mailing list somewhere to talk about the whys and wherefores of the Groove architecture. It was a great statement, and I bookmarked it, but cannot now find that message, and neither can Google. (Quite probably someone who reads this will remember it, in which case I'll amend this item with the link.) That message ought to be right at the top of a Google search for Ray Ozzie . And this relates to your other question:

Can someone please tell me why, when I search for "Ray Ozzie" in Google, this page is ranked so high? I hadn't updated that weblog for months, and it's extremely unlikely that anyone is linking here. Curious minds want to know.

I think it's because your appearance on a weblog created a huge amount of interest, and drew a lot of links. People increasingly expect that blogs are avatars that represent us in cyberspace. The fact that "Google loves blogs" isn't a flaw in the PageRank algorithm, I don't think, but rather a measure of that expectation.

As a practical matter, flowing some of that which is not necessarily secret to a blog should not cost anybody more time or effort. It's really a redirection of thoughts and keystrokes that are happening anyway into a venue that can have much wider impact -- while also including audiences privy to internal communication.

There is, to be sure, a cost involved in thinking about which messages go where (and why). It's my belief that fluid negotiation of the boundaries between public and private space, and appropriate use of scoped zones of collaboration, are increasingly necessary communication skills.

2. Gauge the effect of your message.

The first Google result for Ray Ozzie is, at the moment, this interview on the O'Reilly Network. That fact is somewhat useful to Groove, and ORNET would probably let you see the traffic and referral logs for that article if you asked, but you have no direct way to gauge the effect of the message you sent in that article.

Reactions to thoughts published in a blog are directly observable. You can see how many people are reacting and, because those reactions are also typically expressed in blog postings, you can see how they are reacting. To make a programming analogy, this seems to me like sticking trace statements into your code. It gives you granular feedback. You need not act on this information, but it's useful to be aware of it.


Former URL: http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2002/08/03.html#a363