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Standing Up on the Board

Why write a blog? I’m sure the answers to this are about as varied as the people who write blogs. So why have I just now started to blog after 18+ years of working with collaborative software, the Internet and then the Web?

“I am standing up on the board.”

I casually surfed the Web for years. (At least, I’ve done what most define as Web surfing). I frequently come across ideas I might expand upon, or which I felt I should try to get on top of a bit more to see what they yield.  With the best of intentions I’d copy-paste a link locally here, or save a Web page to my hard drive there. Often I would type out a couple bullets to investigate or dwell on later. Then I’d end up racing to my next fire drill of the day.

A few weeks later when I stumble across my notes, I see the words. But I can’t get inside them anymore. I didn’t integrate them into my thinking.

It is as though I initially lounged on the beach or in the shallows, made note of a nice wave further out and thought, “Gee, that would probably be an awesome wave to catch.” I fancied what it is like but I didn’t paddle out with my board and get on top of it.

Now I can’t really say what that wave was like. I didn’t experience the wave. I just glanced at it, daydreamed, and moved on to the next daydream. And the wave isn’t just the static tweet or Web page. It is the content paired with whatever ‘clicked’ about it in my stream of consciousness at that time, in that context, along that current.

The wave isn’t a photograph of the wave you can look at later. It is the wave itself.

I’ve come to believe the metaphor of surfing the Web (and now, surfing Social Media) isn’t really correct unless I try to engage the wave. Just glancing from one wave to the next as they dissipate is somehow ‘less.’

Blogging is my attempt to paddle out to interesting waves and better experience them… to actively experience them.

I don’t expect any wave to last very long. I don’t even expect to find others out in the early morning trying to catch the same waves. But when I do come across a couple others who share a wave, hopefully we’ll be able to relay the experience with more power and eloquence than those daydreaming about it from afar.

Blogging is my attempt to stand up on the board.