After a two weeks break, my next BloggerView is with Euan Semple, the author of “The Obvious?“, available at http://theobvious.typepad.com/blog/. Euan Semple, that was one of the speakers of SHiFT, last September, “has four years of unparalleled experience learning how to make the most effective use of blogs, wikis, forums and other social networking tools, in a large corporate environment.” Please enjoy his answers.
1. When did you start blogging? What were the main reasons that take you start blogging?
Euan Semple (E.S.): I started blogging in 2001 and it was really just because I had heard about it, thought it looked interesting and wanted to find out more about it.
2. What were your reasons to christen your blog as you did?
E.S.: I wanted to call it “Stating The Obvious” because it was me overcoming my reticence about stating the obvious but someone had that title already so I shortened it. The question mark was to suggest that it is just me chucking ideas out to see what people make of them.
3. Do you have any specific goals or objectives you want to achieve with your blog? What are they?
E.S.: No, I still don’t, I just like having somewhere to chuck interesting stuff and trigger conversations.
4. In your opinion, what role could blogs play in the future, for instance at companies or at schools?
E.S.: Given that spreading the word about social computing is now how I make my living I am pretty passionate about the potential of blogs in all sorts of environments. They various uses are too many to go into in detail here but suffice to say anywhere where people are engaged in doing something and would benefit from better communication between each other would benefit from blogs – and so that means pretty much anywhere!
I recently wrote a blog post about blogs in education, as a tool for teachers, and I firmly believe that this simple technology has the potential to revolutionise all sorts of bureaucracy burdened activities.
5. What do you think will be the future of blogs over the next couple of years?
E.S.: They are already becoming much more mainstream and the demand for understanding them in business is clearly increasing. They will probably morph and change into other tools with other names but I believe the basic principle will remain the same.
6. How many feeds do you have on your news aggregator? What news aggregator do you use? Why?
E.S.: I have around 250 and I use Google Reader because I can get to it wherever I have a browser and it works really well.
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?
E.S.: I think RSS is the killer app. It is what makes the increase in communication a benefit and not a burden. Certainly anyone needing to stay across patterns of opinion and comment can do so much more readily than before and this will affect businesses as well as governments.
8. What do you think is the most important thing happening in the Web, now? Why?
E.S.: I think managing identity is getting bigger and will affect more and more people in ways they don’t really yet appreciate. This can be as basic as remembering that Google doesn’t forget. I think it will actually make people more accountable and thoughtful about what they say and why.
10. What do you think will be the near future of social software inside organizations?
E.S.: Increasingly rosy and lots of work for me!
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