Weblog as my backup brain.
Towards the end of the panel, Bill Humphries said “The web log for me is a research tool,” and pointed (verbally any way!) to Cory Doctorow‘s reference to Dorie Smith’s explanation of her web log as her “Backup Brain.” Teresa Nielsen Hayden said “One of the reasons I have a web log is to keep track of all the things I find incidentally.” The Live Journal folk said the same thing, and so I’m going to point (yes, again) to the commonplace book as a close relative if not a distant ancestor of the web log.
This nicely captures some of my key goals with keeping this weblog. It’s the primary reason that I tend to take advantage of Radio‘s news aggregator to post mostly complete copies of the items that I want to remember. I also use Mark Paschal’s Kit tool to search my weblog archives. I can usually manage to remember some fragment or key phrase about something I’ve posted. I can then usually find the original item in my archives.
The notion of personal knowledge management hasn’t been explored enough. Maybe I’m sensitized to it because of my aging brain cells and general absent-mindedness. But I can’t see how organizations are going to progress with knowledge management unless the individuals in those organizations learn how to unpack what they know. Think back to the heyday of expert systems in the mid 1980s. The show-stopper was not the limitations of the AI technology (although that was an issue). It was the huge challenge in getting experts to figure out what they were expert at and make it accessible.[McGee’s Musings]