Ted Howard, who also works at Microsoft, wrote about me recently – I'm tucked in between posts on how much he hates Southwest Airlines, how much he hates Spokane, and how much he hates presidential signing statements. I hope there's no pattern here.
Kim Cameron is way, way too prolific of a blogger. I don't see how he can possibly find the time to read all the blogs he reads, write all the posts he posts, and still do his job as an architect.
I wonder if he just has a technology assistance team like BillG that is posting to his blog. Maybe if I had confidence about the identity of the real-world entity publishing entries on his blog, then I would know.
If you want to be overloaded with highbrow thoughts and debates on identity, head over to Kim's blog.
That's pretty funny. Truth is, I have a bunch of friends who send me links to posts I should read, and I make time to read them. When I've finished, I have a pretty good handle on what's happening.
So my “technology assistance team” comes from across the industry, which has really expanded my thinking.
But I'd prefer to call them a blogging community. And I try to channel this back to this community.
I'd put Ted's question about how I find time to blog and do my job as an architect somewhat differently than he does. There are all kinds of architects, who contribute in all kinds of ways. But to me the most important thing an architect can do is see very clearly what needs to be built. It's not that hard to come up with an idea that could be built. But I'm talking about something different: what needs to be built depends on understanding the objective factors that allow you to tap into some kind of historical inevitability. That's a high bar, but when you are talking about hundreds or thousands of person years, you need a high bar.
I don't think you reach this bar by cutting yourself off and meditating – as healthy as meditation may be. Nor do I think you do it by working on technical minutae from morning to night – even if I might find that more relaxing.
You have to “get out” and see what's happening. You have to put your ear to the ground. You have to feel the pulse of the world.
For me the blogosphere is “essence of pulse”. It makes me question everything. What I've done right; what I've done wrong. What I've just assumed was true, or assumed that others thought.
If you look at Cardspace and Information Cards, my work on the laws of identity was effectively architectural work on the principles of the design, even though it was done in the blogosphere.
Identity represents a central problem of computer science – a complex problem which doesn't have a simple “algorithmic” solution. To understand it deeply, you need to understand every side of it. You need to “integrate the tangents”. What better way than to share your thinking widely and have others help you figure out what is wrong and missing – both from your theory or your presentation.
So there you go – more highbrow thoughts, I fear. Of course, let me point out one more time that I'm happy for this blog to be “the hair on the end of the long tail”. I couldn't help thinking it was a clerical error when CNET named it one of the top 100 technology blogs. Identityblog is super specialized. So one man's highbrow might be another's Iggy Pop. To me they're the same thing, and furthermore, I don't really care. I just do my thing.