train based blogging

I'm on a train, with my T60 (two thumbs up), next to a friend (chris butler from the toolbar team who used to write for orange magazine) using a cell modem (verizon – only okay data rates, heard cingular is better) to post this.  i love technology.

I also love living and working the bay area.  Next to me on the train were some people talking about a new google maps idea.  On the platform while we were waiting for the train, I saw yahoo, google, and microsoft badges (more, but those were the ones I recognized).  Think I'm gonna write more about this and what's like to work on SVC campus of MSFT tonight. 

Today is a big historical day for the bay area – the 100th anniversy of the 1906 SF earthquake/fire.  The San Francisco MOMA has an indepth photo collection of before and after the earthquake on display.  I checked it out a few weeks back and it was pretty amazing.  They have a really cool handout that has pictures, info and stories for the day that is 100% free to take home. 

Blogging and Careers

Some folks are talking about the Boston Globe article on blogging being essential to a good career.

Between Tim Bray and Jeremiah Owyang I think the list is expanded pretty darn well and the "challenges" of blogging are also touched on.  I'd add that another downside is information leakage.  Sometimes, personal info you don't intend to share gets inferred, shared, or found and known to others in awkward manners.  Not a huge deal given how much better that aspect is understood by folks now a days, but I remember how my friend posted pictures a long time ago that came back to haunt someone else in a job search. 

I wonder what Mark Jen thinks of this discussion?  He's been on both sides of the fence.  He works down the street from me now, and we get together from time to time.  I really like him, his peers and the space his company is working on!

FWIW, personally blogging did help me get a job.  It also helped get me my master's degree. 

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

by: bubba murarka

I don't know Kathy, but she has an good read about happiness initiated by Robert's recent announcement and goals to hang with happy folks.  The mirror neurons + emotional contagion that Kathy explains are fascinating, and made me wonder how they promote/impact group think and the power of groups.  Adding it to the list to read up on. 

Personally, I've trying to be content because I think it's a path to happiness.  I figure once I'm content, things won't bother (as much) and I can focus on happiness.  One of the ways I found to be content is to find people that are happy where they are, but trying to become better in what they do (career or life).  That delicate balance lets them absorb success and failure with an even keel. 

Robert, I think surrounding yourself with people that are happy is a good idea.

Information Overload

by: bubba murarka

During the day I work on new features for Windows Live.  I used to work on the toolbar and windows desktop search which resulted in an interest around information retrieval.  Lately I've been thinking about information management and more loosely the proactive side of desktop search.  I'm pretty sure a lot of really smart people have been thinking about this – Susan Dumais, Ed Cutrell, and Eric Horvitz jump to mind (also some of my favorite people in Research), but I'm sure they are only the tip of the iceberg. 

A brief conversation occurred over the comments today and I wanted to think and write some more about it.  It also came up in another conversation with Robert. So, here we are. 

I used to love finding new information.  I got a buzz out of being the first to know about new things, try them out, and tell my friends about them.  This hasn't really changed, but I've found that the amount of time I have to do so has shrunk.  Luckily there are a ton of people out there trying things, blogging about them, and people sharing links to other's exploits. 

Soon enough though, I found I had to make choices about trying vs. reading about things.  And then it morphed into doing one vs. spending time doing my job, hanging out with friends, and keeping up with life (just got another few late fees). 

Like most fluid decisions with no right or wrong I've found myself to be a swinging pendulum.  Sometimes I get engrossed and spend hours trying or reading about new things and others I find myself avoiding new information completely.  I was living "rational ignorance" and iteratively learning how to tweak my experience just like Billy said today. 

More recently I've tried two ways dealing with info overload.  Ones I never thought I'd try. 

The first was un-subscribing from almost all e-newsletters, internal microsoft distribution lists, and setting up very strict email rules that filter away other sources of bulk mail.   I went from a lot of mail, to very little mail.  This was cool because I found myself walking around my office more, having more face to face conversations and just generally connecting with people at a deeper level.  On the flip side, I was the last to know about things like the new google calendar launch.  But, I still found out about it relatively quickly – the day it launched.  The interesting thing was that I my "virtual" relationships actually got better because I had (made?) the time to really engage people that weren't geographically co-located with me. 

The other method was to stop using an rss reader.  I know this is like blasphemy here on Scoble's blog and I'm kind of scared to admit it.  My logic was that I my brain would only remember a handful of sites and thus regulate how much time I spent absorbing information.  The weird thing is that it actually works pretty much like un-subscribing from bulk email sources.  The really important stuff found its way to me anyway (like bootcamp) and I spent more time out in the world. 

Going out and reading about new stuff is invigorating.  I mean, how else would I find out about the new G35's hard drive based audio system or an answer from dare to my random question on david sifry's blog growth post

Hanging out here, on Scoble's blog, has reminded me that there is no one answer to this.  Scoble's is trying something different and so are others.  I will too because of this week.