BloggerView #2: Nuno LeitÃ£o
This week BloggerView is with another Portuguese blogger, who writes in English. His name is Nuno Leitão, author of the bliki “Entropy – Maxwell’s Demon Lives On”, powered by SnipSnap, where he usually talks about technology and other light stuffs. Nuno Leitão is a IT professional, living in Berkshire, England.
I hope you enjoy reading this BloggerView, as much as I did. I have to admit that I was surprise with the fact that he simply doesn’t use a news aggregator, and I totally agree with his answer about the new MacBookPro.
1.When did you start logging? What were the main reasons that take you start blogging?
Nuno Leitão (NL): It was sometime in October 2003. No obvious reason really, I had spent a reasonable amount of time travelling to far away places and decided I would write up about it somewhere – the obvious format was a blog and being someone who likes to try out things I opened an account with Blogger. Eventually I thought it would be a good idea to instead use a Bliki and last year I forged together one using SnipSnap and lots of customisation.
2. What were your reasons to christen your blog as you did?
NL: "Entropy" is a word I use a lot on a day-to-day basis and "Maxwell’s Daemon" is a good way to describe how somehow it never seems to decrease :-). I personally find things such as blog names inconsequential, so I could have called it Baulubabue and still be happy.
3. Do you have any specific goals or objectives you want to achieve with your blog? What are they?
NL: None whatsoever – it is just a way for me to broadcast some of my views of and to the world at large. I think some people take their writings way too seriously (which bores me stiff) – I’m definitely not one of those. If I wanted my views to be taken seriously I would write a book instead. Actually, I think whoever meets me in person would be surprised to find someone who is completely different from what shines through my blog.
More specifically I use Entropy to keep in touch with a select small number of people and for myself to take random notes when I come across an interesting idea – I also use it as a means to exercise some technical skills since I regularly write plugins for SnipSnap.
4. In your opinion, what role could blogs play in the future, for instance at companies or at schools?
NL: I personally see it as just another means of communicating ideas. I don’t really see a revolution coming at all with blogs, albeit the networking possibilities could be interesting. Companies have so far used blogs as just another form of PR – businesses are relatively opaque in their nature, and I can’t really see that changing much in the future – perhaps small, well integrated businesses can use blogs as an effective way to communicate with their customers (or internally), but larger businesses will find it hard to use them as an open means of communication.
5. What do you think will be the future of blogs over the next couple of years?
NL: As with everything else, they will transform, reshape and disappear as we know them today – perhaps they will turn into more of a "community" model but I’m really not sure. Individualistic publishing is too time consuming and costly for people not to get bored over time – I don’t know of any published statistics in this area, but I’d bet that most blogs appear and disappear rather quickly as people move on to other things. I see a lot more future in "community" models such as Flicker’s (even though blogs and Flicker deal with different means of expression) and Wikipedia’s. It’s a lot more rewarding to extend something which is continuously evolving due to the efforts of many than to selfishly trying to reinvent things on your own – I’m glad to say I have over time contributed to Wikipedia and expect to keep doing so.
6. How many feeds do you have on your news aggregator? What news aggregator do you use? Why?
NL: I don’t use news aggregators – I read web-pages. I only regularly follow a handful of blogs and a mere six news sites: BBC News, Wired, Red Herring, Forbes, The Economist and The Register. I don’t expect this to grow much in the near future either – I go for quality rather than quantity, and I’m only interested in facts (and the occasional rumour from the grapevine) not the opinions of pundits.
7. What do you think about RSS? What role do you think RSS can play in future, for instance in the relation between government and citizens?
NL: RSS is an interesting way to disseminate information, but I would be hard pressed to call it world shattering or a means to reshape the way citizens relate to government institutions. Still, it has its place, and it will be around for some time. Some people have suggested that RSS could be a good technology to offer "opt-in" marketing mechanisms therefore becoming a way to reduce spam – my answer to that is that if spammers wanted you to "opt-in" they would have asked you by now.
8. What do you think is the most important thing happening in the Web, now? Why?
NL: I think Ajax combined with Web Services is genuinely exciting in the sense that it is reshaping what is possible to do with a browser and how people interact with information at large. I’ve always been of the opinion that eventually the World Wide Web would be the primary means of interaction between people in the Internet – we’re just seeing another step in that direction. Besides this, I’m not particularly excited about much going on at the moment – I find Google’s services boring and rehashed (that includes Google Maps, Google Earth, GMail and Google Talk), and the only web based service which I find really interesting and involving is Flickr.
Where I think there is still a lot of scope is in the way people research and buy products over the web, how they invest their money and where they get credit from – I wouldn’t want to guess how this will evolve, but I think a good example of what is to come is Zopa (http://www.zopa.com). The potential of the web is in creating communities which would not be possible by other means – Zopa is exciting because it is highly disruptive and touches the fundamentals of economy (borrowing and lending) in a way which is very much unprecedented in history.
9. Beside blogs, do use other social software, like Flickr, Del.icio.us, Diigo, LinkedIn, or any other?
NL: I use Flickr and LinkedIn heavily. I have a Del.icio.us account but I don’t believe in bookmarks.
10. What do you think about the new MacBookPro using Intel Microprocessors? What do you think will be the most important advantages to the final users?
NL: Besides the fact I’m getting one, I think it’s a beautiful bit of engineering. There is one thing which excites me about Apple and that is that Steve Jobs *really* does put thought into product design – in this he is unique among CEO’s of multi-billion dollar companies. Personally I think we will be seeing a lot more people using Mac’s – not because there will be mass migration from Windows, but instead there will be more and more people who will get Mac’s as their first computers.