Time to Think (or, Slacking for a while)

The past couple of months have been nothing if not interesting (and busy busy busy). Though I’ve continued to read (and make the occasional comment to) many of my favorite blogs, I’ve not posted anything new of my own. At first, I was just too busy to do anything (read or write). As more time became available, I focused on reading just to keep up. When I was at a point where I could start writing again, I decided that I didn’t want to. At least not right away.

It’s not that I didn’t want to contribute any more, or that I didn’t think I had anything to contribute. In fact, the number of people subscribed to this blog in Bloglines actually went up by 2 or 3 (up to a whopping 12) in the time I didn’t post. Basically, when I looked back on what I had done with the benefit of a month away, I realized that I wasn’t really happy with how I was going about things.

This blog, …no straight lines…, was the first and main blog that I started. It had a rough go of it in the beginning, but then it picked up. The focus was kind of Knowledge Management, but in fact it wasn’t really focused at all. Because I’m using Blogger/Blogspot, I don’t have the ability to categorize posts, so after a while I created two more blogs, Thinking in Bits – focused on technology – and State of Education, which addressed the application of KM and technology in the academic arena.

On the reading side, I quickly found (as Lilia warned me) that I had bitten off more than I’d ever be able to chew in terms of reading of blogs in all these areas. My BlogLines subscriptions were going crazy.

So I decided to step back, take a deep breath, and relax. Think about what I really want to accomplish. Figure out the best way to do it. And accept the fact that I can’t have/do everything. As Dean Kaman once remarked when asked if he felt bad about missing out on things like popular culture (when asked if he knew who Tom Cruise was, he responded, “Isn’t he an actor or something?”) — Everyone is missing something.

So here’s what I’ve done: Stopped working on Thinking in Bits and State of Education. Accepted that …no straight lines… is unfocused and rejoice in the relative chaos – this will truly be my Digital Waste Book. And finally, create a new blog that is, by design, focused.

The new blog is called 4 Big Dogs. Originally I had though to focus it on Knowledge Management, but after some thought realized that KM is really just one part, one tool in the toolbox, of what I’m really interested in – Individual and Organizational Performance Improvement. Of course, saying you are going to “focus” on an area this broad is akin to not focusing on anything at all. But my intent is to not post anything there that doesn’t contribute directly to a better understanding of performance improvement.

Thanks to the many people out there that have so many different types of blogs and approaches to blogs that I could look at and study as I tried to figure out where I wanted to go with mine. It is all a work in progress, and I don’t expect that it will ever be completed. But that’s what makes it so much fun.