Thursday, July 12, 2007

Tracking a boom

After a bit of experimentation, it seems that it is somewhat difficult to both track the rise of new Web 2.0 technologies AND actually experiment with the technologies. Particularly when doing so is not what you get paid to do. Particularly-particularly when you have other obligations (such as "a life" - however emaciated it may be). I could read about interesting and exciting new web products all day, but in the end, have nothing tangible to show for my efforts. Certainly, there is value (as a developer) in tracking web trends / products / APIs. After all, I believe a key ingredient to building a creative solution is a healthy dose of exposure to not-necessarily-related ideas. I'm certain that employers see this as a benefit as well, but I believe that most employers would consider that the research should be pursued proactively by the employee outside of the work day.

In today's world, there is no lack of feeds (Mashable, TechCrunch) containing simplified overviews of new things. I don't have to go out searching for information. It shows up in my RSS reader faster than I can complete a thought. (So... maybe that's a personal problem.) Still, I have not found a way to learn as much as I'd like AND earn a living at the same time.

Is it possible to do? I don't know, but I'm beginning to believe that it may require the collective intelligence of a community to achieve.

For example, perhaps I may read about web technologies and ideas for hours. I walk away satisfied that I have learned a little bit. But that satisfaction pales when compared with the act discussing for 15 minutes what I have learned with another passionate observer. One must both gather and share.

Hm... Community... Maybe all my investigations of web 2.0 is starting to sink in...

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