In this week BloggerView, I have the pleasure to have Dannie Jost. Dannie is a “philosopher and part-time poet aka writer and physicist”, who is the author of “uncondition“, “the next – economics of the hidden: the life of a writer who took a few detours along the way” and more recently one of the authors of elements of tensoriana, an community blog. I hope you enjoy Dannie’s answers.
1. When did you start blogging? What were the main reasons that made you start blogging?
Dannie Jost (D.J.): I started blogging in March of 2004 under a pseudonym at BUZZNET. The account is still there with the pictures, however I no longer update it. Soon I found out that blogging on that platform was a pain, so I started an account on blogger some days later, still under a pseudonym. I wrote a whole story there and it was the story of a rather messed up relationship with this one fellow I had bumped into one day in Zurich, but who does live not too far from here. He and I shared a passion for words, but then the rest of the story was one hell of a mess, and to me writing those 60’000 words or so was pure therapy, I needed to get the guy out of my system, and reclaim my life. Eventually I moved the story offline, it is presently being edited and I do hope that I will soon find a publisher for it in book form. I have several blogs running under that pseudonym that I keep on writing as time permits.
I started blogging under my civil name shortly before LIFT06, that is at the end of 2005 with “uncondition” and that was because a good friend of mine who had read all my psudonym babbling started to tell me that I should be writing for a newspaper. Now, I even tried, but I know myself and journalism, and I am not much of a journalist, I like to interpret things, I like to give my opinion, and I like strong language, none of which are desired in journalism. Considering that my firs paid job ever was as a sports journalist for the university paper, well, I had some experience in that, and I know that it is not my thing. That is how “uncondition” was born. However “uncondition” is focused on more or less serious stuff around intellectual assets, leadership, development and what not.I do not always focus it as well as might be desirable, but this is my idea.
I also like to share what is going in my life. At the end of 2005 I started my personal blog “the next” and there the tone is much more personal.
2. Why did you choose to give your name to the blog’s name?
D.J.: “uncondition” has for me the implication of breaking the conditioned thinking that keeps us (me) on the same old tracks, and that leads nowhere. It inspires me to think of matters beyond the conditioned ways that we have been trained to think.
“the next” also has a subtitle “economics of the hidden: the life of a writer who took a few detours along the way” and that subtitle might as well be my autobiography. While “the next” has something to do with the fact that I was preparing to move apartments, I also amused myself with the play on words and the fact that it was the next blog, and that I would most likely never write about what is to come. I wrote a first novel – never published – together with my school friend Cristina Guerreiro now a gynecologist and obstetrician at the Maternidade Afredo da Costa when we were both fourteen, and that is what I really wanted to do all my life. Clearly I got a few distractions along the way, and it has been only in the past four years that I have taken the plunge and started writing my stories.
3. Do you have any specific goals or objectives you want to achieve with your blog? What are they?
D.J.: “uncondition” is still developing and I have not yet found its zone. What I initially wanted to do with it was to write my own column on a weekly basis on subjects that have to do with intellectual assets, intellectual property, and leadership development. I have yet however to find a bridge between the intellectual asset part and the leadership development. The blog is a way of airing out some thoughts and observe what emerges, what conversations and controversies do get started.
“the next” is about personal stuff. Since Aikido is one of the anchors in my life, I often write about Aikido and my experience of it. I also write about what I experience with my friends, what is going on in my life and what not. “the next” is a way the kosher version of some of what I write under pseudonym.
More recently I started the “tensoriana.org” community blog and that you will need to follow the links and read what is there although there is not much there yet. The idea behind “tensoriana” is simple. I contend that business is art. Business as an art form that takes into account sustainability, technology and innovation, and then contributes to the social welfare of the society is the kind of business that I am interested in. In particular, I would like to grow tensoriana to be a community of entrepreneurs willing to contribute not just with ideas on how to make business an art, but also with funds to support youth social work. Oh, yes, I will eventually write a whole lot more of what this is all about.
4. In your opinion, what role could blogs play in the future, for instance at companies or at schools?
D.J.: To me a blog is just an instant electronic publishing tool. I think that it is the greatest revolution since the printing press, and I think that we still have no clue as to what the real role and function of blogs in enterprises and schools is going to be. The next few years are going to be fun while we figure this one out.
5. What do you think will be the future of blogs over the next couple of years?
D.J.: Uhm. I tend to be a bit skeptical when it comes to making future predictions. I know that I can not predict the future. I can at best make a few conjectures as to what developments are plausible. With this in mind, what I am thinking is that blogs and wikis will continue to evolve and borrow from each other. I think that dynamic sites are still nowhere where they could be, and hyperlinkage still needs some good help. Search engines are however the magic wands that we will all need and will be using. Be it a semantic web, or be it a chaotic web, it will be the ability to find information that is going to make or break the internet, and certainly what will shape it development. Remember, this is a new toy, we are still exploring the possibilities.
6. How many feeds do you have on your news aggregator? What news aggregator do you use? Why?
D.J.: I use endo (kula.jp), bloglines and netvibes. I am chaotic when it comes to reading feeds. Sometimes there are weeks when I do not open endo, but then I have a few hundred feeds in there and they are sorted by various scholarly or more fun subjects that I follow. Bloglines is what I use to publish my blogroll on the blogs, but I also use it for the quick checks on the dozen or so blogs that I follow more closely. Usually those are the blogs of people whom I know. I use netvibes for feeds that I look at more often, especially those from my wiki so that I can keep track of what is new.
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?
D.J.: For me RSS is about pull. People are not pushing information on me, I am pulling information from them. I like the idea, it is news and information tailor made to me. The only challenge is to know what to pull. Yes, semantics, context, and that whole good stuff is important.
8. What do you think is the most important thing happening in the Web, now? Why?
D.J.: I feel that I would like to cheat on this question. What did the others say? I am practically drowning in information, and my scope is narrow, so I do not even begin to pretend that I know all that is happening out there on the web. I think that the web is a wonderful piece of information logistics and that the quantum leaps in the technologies powering this infrastructure are still to come.
I think that some serious thinking and more serious action needs to be taken about the legal issues around the web and its technologies (keywords: DRM, IPR, jurisdiction, regulation, standards). Frankly we need new laws, and we need them fast, and we need these laws to be created by the people who understand the technology. I think that the revolution already began anyhow. I never cease to be amazed at the difference in a web site that is old school and the one that is new school. Old school, command and control, makes flashy websites with much of a face, they are colder than marble in a morgue, and as warm as Pluto. New school, social software friendly sites have real faces and real people with real opinions that they can stand to. While the new school is blogging, the old school is predicting that blogging is a fad and dreaming of monopoly.
9. Beside blogs, do use other social software, like Flickr, Del.icio.us, Digg, LinkedIn, Twitter or any other?
D.J.: All of them almost. I am quite a fan of 23hq.com, and del.icio.us is for me a working tool. Twitter is amusing, Jaiku in my view has more potential to be useful. I am also reaching a certain saturation point, and I can not be bothered to join something like mySpace although some flesh and blood friends do use it. ClaimID also does not get my attention, Suprglu seems dead on arrival. I am, to my surprise returning to Yahoo Messenger. I like good old word chats with friends and for work, and since Skype showed up I have used it less. I also use Adium. LinkedIn is something that I am starting to use more and more, and am starting to prefer it to Xing.
10. What do you expect from LIFT 2007?
D.J.: Nothing and everything. LIFT 2006 as it was, it changed my life although you may have to read every single word in “the next” to figure that one out. There is something very exciting happening in Geneva, and LIFT is at the center of it. I feel at this point very involved with LIFT, in particular what concerns my own OpenStage “Knowledge Ownership” preparation, I have very high expectations for myself and this is right now just a bit scary. I have been checking out the participants and speakers, and these are all fascinating, with a diversity of opinions and attitudes. LIFT is about the faces, the people, the liveness of the internet. The people do make the difference, without people, there is no web. I look forward to see you in Geneva!
BloggerView #1: Rui Carmo
BloggerView #2: Nuno LeitÃ£o
BloggerView #3: Pedro CustÃ³dio
BloggerView #4: Carlos Jorge Andrade
BloggerView #5: Pedro Melo
BloggerView #6: MÃ³nica AndrÃ©
BloggerView #7: AndrÃ© Ribeirinho
BloggerView #8: Beverly Trayner
BloggerView #9: Jose Luis Orihuela
BloggerView #10: Laurent Haug
BloggerView #11: Martin RÃ¶ll
BloggerView #12 Stowe Boyd
BloggerView #13: Stephanie Booth