Things others have been able to do because of their blog

Here’s a story by Mark Frauenfelder showing how he found a set of books he was looking for via his blog. Once again it is a case of the conversational richness that a blog community represents, how natural-language amorphous requests and queries resolve themselves beautifully “given enough eyeballs”.

Of course I appreciate the skill, talent and expertise of professionals in libraries, bookshops, archives and what-have-you. Of course I appreciate the intellectual horsepower and creativity of search tools and techniques.

But I also appreciate the collective power of community in resolving the more amorphous and “provisional” queries that we have. The provisional aspect of blogs extends beyond statements and views and reaches into questions and searches and finds.

If anyone else has stories to tell about the sheer joy of using community to find things and solve problems, please do share them. I think it’s worth collecting and documenting on an opensource basis.

3 thoughts on “Things others have been able to do because of their blog”

  1. In BT (welcome, by the way!) we have an internal newsgroup, btintra.misc. This has been running for over a decade on a variety of leftover servers, looked after by people’s goodwill and spare time, and like all on-line communities has taken on something of a life of its own.

    I can hardly remember in all that time anyone asking a question about anything from internal systems, through legal issues to obscure bits of music and literature, who didn’t get an answer.

    The Powers That Be often regard the newsgroup as a waste of time because of the amount of non-work-related discussion that goes on. By doing so they overlook the amazing power of having thousands of people, with amazingly diverse areas of expertise, available to help their colleagues out without the constraints of traditional hierarchies and contact networks.

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