Wednesday, February 01, 2006

There might just be something to this blogging thing...

As you know, since you are reading this, I have a personal blog. What most of you probably don't know is that the first blog that I created and wrote for was a blog for work, specifically for our annual conference last year. It was pretty well received, and we ended up creating blogs for each of our other two conferences, which were also pretty well received, each slightly more successful than the previous. Primarily as a result of this, I was recently named employee of the year or, as Mamasutra puts it, fruitneck of the year.

It's a nice recognition to get, but really the credit is due to all the other people who did the hard work of running the conferences, writing content for the blogs, and covering for me while I was trying to figure these things out and setting them up and maintaining them. My work was mostly done on the side, during nights and weekends, sitting in our living room, wearing sweats.

To answer both Mom's and Mamasutra's question: yes, there is a better parking space involved. The one right next to the executive director. Now I need to make sure I don't ding his doors.

As soon as this was announced, my boss and I were sent to a conference on technology for associations, which is where I've spent my last two days, hanging with association geeks from across the country. And yes, I did notice that as soon as you get an award, you get booted out of the office, but this conference worked out well since it was in DC.

It started at 8 a.m., which meant getting up an hour earlier than we usually do, which was hard on both of us, but especially on Mama. She was a champ, though. The benefit of getting an early start was that I got out early enough to visit Mama at work both days. Today we came home and drove to pick up Barky at daycare together. Last night, Mama had the annual NARAL dinner to go to, so I came home and took care of Barky myself after leaving her office.

I suppose it's also good that I picked up several interesting ideas that I can apply when I'm back at work, since work did pay for the conference. And yes, technology for associations can be interesting. Even though lightly mocked the crowd for being all geeks, the truth is more complex--my presence there is evidence of that. Even though I'm an editor, ostensibly concerned only with the content that is delivered by the technology, the dependence of content workers, like me, on the technology that delivers the content, means that almost everything that was discussed applied to my daily work. It is a bit geeky, for example, to plumb the technical depths of wikis--what their capabilities and characteristics are--but if someone takes that knowledge back to their association and uses it it implement a wiki that allows surgeons to share knowledge, data, and techniques, which results in improved health care and a longer life for you, all of a sudden, it's not so geeky. It's very pra
ctical and relevant.

And, that's how I see it. The more that I know about the tools that are available to us, the more likely it is that I will be able to meet our readers' needs, provide them with the information they need to succeed at their work, and help them serve the public, which includes you and me. Just trying to use my geek and grammar powers for good.

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