This week BloggerView is with Pedro Custódio, author of 2 blogs, a professionally in english (http://blog.centopeia.com), and a personal journal in Portuguese (http://patriciaepedro.com/pedro/blog/). As he introduce himself in his English blog, Pedro Custódio was born in 1976, lives in Setúbal – Portugal, is graduated in Computer Science and is currently working in Lisbon as Web/CMS developer for SAPO. I especially like his answer to the 7th question.
1. When did you start blogging? What were the main reasons that take you start blogging?
Pedro Custódio (PC): I started blogging some years ago (5/6?), at the time the word wasn’t "blog" but something more like an internet diary, actually I don’t event think there were a word to it!
I still have some of the entries from my first blog (dated from 2001, although I have lost most of them with an hardware failure).
At the time being I have 2 personal blogs, one professionally oriented (http://blog.centopeia.com) and my personal journal (http://patriciaepedro.com/pedro/blog/), it all started up with just one, but some months ago I had to split them up, since it’s wasn’t reasonable to be using on blog for such different matters as personal and professional life, even the language had to be different, personal in portuguese and professional in english, but even that was a hard decision!
2. What were your reasons to christen your blog as you did?
PC: /var/log, is as many people know the place where most unix systems store system messages, sort of what’s going on in the machine, it’s name came from there. The blog at Centopeia is only part of professional project, which includes different projects, the idea came from the animal itself, that has a huge number of legs, so does this project, lots of different projects find their one there, the blog is just one of them!
3. Do you have any specific goals or objectives you want to achieve with your blog? What are they?
PC: I have a rather bad memory, so together with my bookmarks, my blogs help me remember a lot of things! Thats probably my main objective. Other than that, I wouldn’t be entirely truthful if I ignored the promotion side of it, I’ve come to met a lot of people this way and had a lot of feedback on ideas from my blogs also. But even if no one read my blogs I would still write on them, I still do, I just keep some of the posts for myself, especially on the personal one.
4. In your opinion, what role could blogs play in the future, for instance at companies or at schools?
PC: Blogs are just in the beginning, they will have most certainly an important role in the future, blogs are just one of kind different tools that have emerged on the net that help consolidate what I synthesize as the "Collaborative Society". Blogs in particular are an important disruptive development on the Internet and to the freedom of speech in general, as they allow everybody to lay down it’s ideas and gather some attention on matters so diverse as our minds can go. I guess that more and more in future, blogs, wikis, and the likes will have an important role on peoples life’s, on and off the internet.
5. What do you think will be the future of blogs over the next couple of years?
PC: Blogs will evolve more and more, we can see that already happening today, with the mass distribution of Internet Access, we’ll see more and more blogs not in text, but in rich media, sprouting everywhere. There’s a lot of creative people out there, and not all work for big companies, many of them don’t even work on the fields they love, so blogs will allow them to evolve in other areas, that not they’re own. All of us are creators, some just tend to explore it further.
Blogs connect people everywhere, the idea of a global network is turning to be more and more real each day that passes. I have people from pretty much everywhere reading my blog, that’s something most of us wouldn’t expect. They’re comments and personal messages, give me a window to their realities. And this global share of knowledge and ideas doesn’t seem to have a precedent in history, so it’s results in the future are unclear to me, although I don’t have any doubts that in the end it will be something mostly good rather than bad.
6. How many feeds do you have on your news aggregator? What news aggregator do you use? Why?
PC: Tricky question, let me check my Netnewswire (which is the application I’m using on my powerbook to read all feeds I currently subscribe).
Ok, I’ve just surprised my self, I currently subscribe 351 feeds, which explains why I sometimes have trouble reading everything…
And the worst part, is that the number keeps on growing!
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?
PC: RSS, ATOM, etc, will have a major role in Internet, at first they simply give us the ability to be notified of new information. This simple thing has a rather great advantage when one considers "life" without them: on the past I normally woke up and launched my web browser, making it load a pre-definid list of bookmarks (the sites I normally read, which I would then read while commuting). I still had to check each and every page to see if there was something new, it was a terrible waste of time. Today, it’s thanks to RSS and the likes I get a totally different experience, each day when I woke up, I get to my computer and I have immediate knowledge of the new information available, wether they’re images, posts, podcasts, you name it, they’re already identified, I can use the time I have to read them, instead of searching for them.
In the future, I envision that the today’s model of communication will be outdated, for instance, our current tv news model, if you watch both the lunch edition and the night edition you’re forced to watch some repeated news, even if they’re exactly the same, one day in the future you’d probably watch only the new stories, saving you time and probably resources too, if you’d consider pay per view scenarios.
Governments today, in my opinion have a hard time reaching citizens, we (citizens, mere mortals, etc) normally know what’s going on from what we see on the television or hear on the radio, but imagine if, and it’s already working with some government offices, you’d be able to subscribe to they’re news? They’d get a new, more direct channel to their citizens, and us would have a chance of knowing something on first hand, at the same time as the traditional media would. No man in the middle! To me the most practical would equivalent to when we lubricate an engine, you normally improve it’s performance, if RSS are viewed as the the oil on the internet, I know for experience that if cut down the time between dialogs, they tend to became more like conversations, rather than mere dialogs.
8. What do you think is the most important thing happening in the Web, now? Why?
PC: The most important thing to me it’s the emergence of a trully collaborative society, almost everywhere projects are being made that help people connect, share interests, and help each-other, projects like the tsunami blog (tsunamihelp.blogspot.com), that for the first time in history of a major natural accident the main source of information wasn’t nor belong to a traditional media, but was a mere wiki.
Tools like wikis, blogs, etc. will help us build a more close society, I strongly believe that the better we know our neighbors the better well coexist together, and all these new tools that are appearing on the web, will forcefully change our habits and those of news sources. All of these technological advances seem to be changing the way our society was traditionally worked. It’s easier to jump in than to ignore, and those who don’t will for sure lose the race. What’s the price of that remains to be seen.
9. Beside blogs, do use other social software, like Flickr, Del.icio.us, Diigo, LinkedIn, or any other?
PC: From those mentioned, I only don’t use Diigo, which I didn’t even knew, but allow me to add some more to your list: Orkut, Meetup, 23people, Plazes, Fotos@Sapo, DailyMotion, Odeo, Frappr, YouTube, VideoGoogle, … the list would go on, and keeps on growing…
10. What do you expect from "Lift – Life, Ideas, Futures. Together.", next February?
PC: I’m actually rather curious about it, I personally know the main organizer, Laurent, which I’ve had the opportunity to meet during one of the best conferences I’ve attended last year, Reboot 7.0 in Copenhagen. Laurent has some important ideas about the future of the web, and he’s trying to make an important happening with LIFT, maybe to open our european eyes to this major culture shift that’s approaching us, faster and faster…
I’ll probably do some life blogging from there if I can, the conversations planned seem to be great, I’m just sad to see so few portuguese attending.