Best practices

· The Power of Many

Though I have a chapter overdue from first-round development (Chapter 4) and I’m supposed to be calling Bill O’Reilly’s press secretary at FOX, I find that this past week I’ve been spouting themes left and right.
Mostly in conversation, answering questions like “What is your book about”? It all starts coming out. And it needs brainstorming, and email and even this blog are inadequate for all of us to discuss it together. We need a group whiteboard thing like the Schwarmanizer that Laramie Crocker (a Berkeley musician – “Little Black Box,” etc.) built to Dan Robinson’s (eVol*? CTO?) spec or…. a wiki.
I am finally starting to get wikis, because of VoodooPad, which presents the convenience of the wiki model in a latency-free (desktop) environment using familiar (Mac OS X, in this case) interface conventions.
I started using it for brainstorming and realized that it’s going to absorb my to-do list and my address book and my scratchpad.
Wiki is the killer app, in a way.
Have I mentioned that anyone who wants to post to this blog should just get in touch with me (I’m an open source person) and ask? If I know you, I’ll definitely say yes. If I don’t know you, I’ll probably say yes if you are sincerely interested in contributing and not trying to sell* something**
*besides my book… in the immortal words of Susan Mernit on seeing the soft launch of this blog (and I am trusting my sense that she will not mind me quoting a private email message – if you do, smernit, just let me know and I will redact immediately), “what’s the biz model”? Right now the business/self-sufficiency mission of this blog and the rest of this site is to sell the book. If we succeed and the book is considered a success, this blog and related sections will be free to continue covering the beat.
**particularly anything associated with hate or shame.
OK, back to best practices. I want a brainstorm list of themes that must weave through and be addresed in all revelant chapters and which may affect the flow of presentation of ideas.
Just posting a lot of brief blog entries such as

  • Managing your identiy online

makes for a tedious playback experience later. Better a whiteboard/wiki approach, as I mentioned. I am debuging phpwiki and will probably get it going here soon, at which point I can build a list in public and accept open-source improvements in the remaining time.
Also, then I can focus on the next draft of Chapter 4 without the nagging feeling that there’s something that isn’t getting tracked properly and the awareness that in a few hours people won’t be working too hard on the east coast anymire.
Note to self: Add textile or smartypants or the new markdown filter for easing rich-blog-authoring.