Looking sideways again…

We seem to be burning 2004 up at a great rate. Seems like it was a brand new year just a few months ago, and we are already on the downhill side of it.

As I noted many months ago, blogging allows me to look at what I am doing while I’m doing it. Now that blogging has become an integral part of my life, I find the trail of posts to be an interesting indicator of the changes that have happened in my life and in my thinking.

I started retirement thinking that I would write a novel to communicate some ideas I felt might be important. After almost a year of work, I put the manuscript away to “season” while I got on with the task of developing a business that would provide a challenge and more immediate income.

I also started blogging at this point and found that I could communicate broadly about issues and ideas are important to me and get immediate feedback.

This opened my eyes to the potential of this distributed publishing phenomenon we call blogging. I could see that there was real interest in useful and amusing ideas if they were parcelled out in bite-sized portions.

Our society has changed markedly in the last fifteen years and one of the biggest changes, to my mind, is that there seems to be shorter periods of time in which to read and absorb new information. Perhaps the novels of the future will be dispensed a few thousand words at a time.

If I am any example, I seem to read on the run these days. I get most of my news and much of my sense of the world from weblogs and articles on the internet. I really enjoy the transparency provided by embedded links in most of what I read. It is much easier to separate the author’s ideas from those of the original source.

I also find, to my surprise, that I still seem to have things to say about marketing, PR, and doing business in small and large theaters of operation. I had thought I would get that out of my system when I left the world of high-tech in 2001. Instead, I find that long unexpressed ideas rise up and refuse to go away until I give them voice on this blog.

I didn’t realize that I had stifled my impulses to communicate so much during the last ten years of my high tech employment.

As I moved from company to company, I became more and more aware of the gulf between my motivations and the motivations that drove the younger people who ran these large companies. Many of them were from another generation and their goals were primarily fixed on getting up the corporate ladder. Customer satisfaction and corporate profitablity ran a distant second and third to personal advancement.

It was in those final years that I realized that I had more in common with owners of very small companies. It was just a matter of time before I became one. A timely reduction in force gave me the shove I needed.

Now, three years into my “retirement”, I find my days packed with interesting demands on my time and a growing audience for ideas that have stood the test of time and experience. I have a growing backlog of designs to execute and have picked up a micro-business as a consulting client. I am stretching to find time to deal with these new experiences and to blog about them.

Life is good…and very busy. Hope yours is the same.

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0 Responses to Looking sideways again…

  1. susan says:

    David, I think a lot of what you’re saying here is relevant to the new (?) ever quickening lifestyle pace we’ve picked up. Blogging both gives us a chance to sit and have our say, and read at least a little bit as we’ve been taught to do, without the pressure of finishing a classic a month, a novel a week. I think with the earlier (forced)retirements we’re facing, we find ourselves sitting at home facing a computer that at least offers another chance to say all we meant to say when we were active in the mainstream but never seemed to be given the opportunity. This is somewhat borne out by the high numbers of bloggers over fifty. Keep on keepin’ on.

  2. I used to read a book a week, before I retired. Sometimes, I would do a “book binge” after visiting Barnes & Noble, and read a book a night until they were all read.

    I don’t have the time for that now, and I rarely watch TV anymore except for snatches of the Weather Channel.

    I get my news and adventure now by reading RSS feeds from my friends and the blogs from Iraq.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there are novels that come out on RSS feeds this year, one short chapter at a time.

  3. fletch says:

    The “quick read” aspect of the internet has been on my mind alot lately. For myself personally, I think it might have some negative side effects. I think it can lead to surface level interpretations of serious events. It leads more and more to instant analysis, instant summaries, and instant conclusions. My personal experience with this phenomenon was on my old blog, which received a lot of mentions from Instapundit. Folks would instantly analyze comments and mouth off their opinion, not taking the time to realize that a thought stream had been developed over months of posts. Folks seem to visit political blogs they agree with to get the instant analysis of the day’s events, and not take the time to let ideas sink in and reflect more in-depth on topics. Maybe as the medium matures this instant mindset will mature, but I doubt it. With an infinity of sites to read, and an infinity of words, the mind can grow more narrow with information overload and burnout. I think this phenomenon might be a big reason why politics are so split right now, with very few undecideds. No one’s gonna change their mind on either side no matter what happens.

  4. Lloyd says:

    For me, a good life is about ideas. Ideas move us forward. Ideas give us the drive to communicate. I love people who think, generate ideas, and act upon them. To me your post says that you are a man of ideas, and you now have a way to share yourself with others. It doesn’t get much better than that.

    With respect to blogging, I think this is the beginning of the fulfillment of the promise of the Internet: The “World Wide Web” of ideas and conversations. But… it’s still in it’s infancy. We have a ways to go.

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