Work/Life Balance

Let’s talk about what I’m doing with this blog. When I started writing here, in 2007, I had two blogs. I had this blog for writing about content strategy and the semantic web, and I had a personal blog, where I mostly wrote about movies, sometimes about other pop culture things, and sporadically about weird things I experienced or overheard while living in NYC or traveling.

I updated both blogs most actively from 2007 through 2009. After that, I shifted most of my professional writing to a now-defunct content strategy blog we started at Razorfish, called scatter/gather, updating this blog only on rare occasions, and I switched to posting about weird experiences and pop culture on Facebook. I took notes about movies I saw at film festivals in notebooks, but didn’t bother to post them online anywhere.

Both blogs languished.

Since that time, the lines between professional personas and personal personas have increasingly blurred. Part of it is because of Twitter, Facebook, and other online forums which were ostensibly designed for “connecting” but turned into mostly “broadcasting.” Part of it was due to a movement in professional conference and writing circles to start telling more personal stories about empathy, vulnerability, roadblocks, and failure. I feel cynical about it when I hear people talk about their “brand,” but the reality is that empathy works a lot better when we interact as real, multi-faceted people, and not as business robots. I’ve seen many in my cohort do a pretty nice job of writing about the successes and challenges they encounter in both their work and their personal lives, together, in the same places.

So, as I bring this blog back up to speed, I’m still going to be writing about trends and ideas in the realm of digital content, but I’m also going to be weaving in some posts about non-work experiences and observations (like my last post, about movies I’ve seen recently at the Alamo draft house). But, I’ll probably still turn to Facebook to talk about those random celebrity encounters, or weird overheard conversations in an NYC bodega.

OpenID and the Social Graph

First, full disclosure: I don’t know a lot about OpenID. But I do know that there are some serious issues related to online identity. Here are two of the questions I find most pressing:

  1. How do I create a persistent identity, across all the different web services I use? This is a question of convenience. Registering for a website that I’m going to use once is kind of ridiculous. Even if I wanted to use it again, chances are I will have forgotten my password, or even that I ever registered there in the first place. I could always register again, but that isn’t useful for me, or the service provider.
  2. How do I take ownership of my personal information? This is a privacy and security question. I’m online a lot. There’s a lot of digital information about me that could be gathered up to paint an interesting picture of who I am. Ideally, I should be the person who owns that picture and controls who has access to it.

Now, I’m not saying that OpenID has solved these problems – far from it – but it has created the opportunity for people to test things out and discuss what works and what doesn’t. As far as I can tell, the first issue is being addressed more directly than the second. Still, I don’t think we’re going to have a meaningful approach to the privacy question until we get some more experience with persistent identities.

Continue reading “OpenID and the Social Graph”