Ming the Mechanic
The NewsLog of Flemming Funch

Wednesday, December 4, 2002day link 

 Advice for new webloggers
Several of my good friends are trying to get around to starting their weblog, but have a hard time finding the time and courage to get going. Here is some good advice from Ross Mayfield from the Ryze Blog & Bloggers tribe:
"They say you play soccer the way you are. I think blogging is similar to this self-organizing sport. You blog the way you are.

When confronted with the chronological format of a blog, the pressure to post is at first extreme. How do I start? What if I don't keep it up? Does this go on my permanent record? But the reality is there is no shame in an empty calendar. Post daily, weekly, monthly or occassionally. You blog when you can.

The question that is most personal is what to blog. As one blogger said, "Find a topic and own it." Finding focus is a sure time saver, but it also contributes to the medium, as its one of specialized voices. The more you post on your domain the better. You blog what you are.

The other part, indeed what this tribe is about, is community. When you have others reading, others you know, their feedback and their own posts spark your own. You don't blog alone.

Make a little plan on how you will start, just begin and you will find your rhythm."
I guess what mostly can be intimidating is if one feels the pressure to produce posts very regularly, like every day, or one feels a pressure to share parts of oneself that one maybe isn't ready for. And, as he says, you can really post whenever it fits your rhythm. And you can post whatever makes sense for you. It doesn't have to be super-smart or super-personal or anything. And in the NewsLogs in NCN it should be even more gentle for you than in most other places, as you don't have to reveal it for the whole world right away, and you have a supportive community around you.
[ | 2002-12-04 16:38 | 1 comment | PermaLink ]  More >

 Lake Fibonacci
picture From Eclectricity: "The town of Bowie Maryland on the outskirts of Washington has built a fountain based on the mathematical ideas of the great mathematician Fibonacci.
The fountain's design embodies an intimate link between Fibonacci numbers and an irrational number known as the golden ratio, (1 + sqrt[5])/2, or 1.6180339887. . . . Ratios of successive terms of the Fibonacci sequence get closer and closer to the golden ratio. For example, the ratio 55/34 is 1.617647. . ., and the next ratio, 89/55, is 1.6181818. . ., and so on. Successive ratios alternate in overshooting and undershooting the golden ratio by decreasing amounts."

[ | 2002-12-04 20:10 | 2 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Total Information Awareness Demonstration
picture John Poindexter is the U.S. Federal Information Czar. Not too long ago he was in prison for being an Iran-Contra conspirator. But now he's in charge of gathering information on all Americans. John Gilmore has an excellent demonstration for him of what it means to have your information pried into, as does the SF Weekly.
"The SF Weekly's column by Matt Smith in the Dec 3 issue points out that there may be some information that John M. and Linda Poindexter of 10 Barrington Fare, Rockville, MD, 20850, may be missing in their pursuit of total information awareness. He suggests that people with information to offer should phone +1 301 424 6613 to speak with that corrupt official and his wife. Neighbors Thomas E. Maxwell, 67, at 8 Barringon Fare (+1 301 251 1326), James F. Galvin, 56, at 12 (+1 301 424 0089), and Sherrill V. Stant (nee Knight) at 6, may also lack some information that would be valuable to them in making decisions -- decisions that could affect the basic civil rights of every American."

[ | 2002-12-04 20:47 | 5 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Dynamic Facilitation
Tom Atlee: Dynamic Facilitation/Choice-creating: "'Dynamic facilitation', created by consultant Jim Rough, is a facilitation style that follows the energy of a group without constraining that energy to agendas or exercises. Using this style, someone can facilitate a highly co-creative process Jim calls 'choice-creating'." Lots of good stuff referenced from Tom's presentation. And see Jim Rough's site and book. The site has this chart on a page about self-organizing change:

Two Models of Change

Manageable (Type 1)
Self-Organizing (Type 2)

e.g. a machine, monarchy, traditional meeting

e.g. a living organism, democracy, dialogue

How order is determined It is organized by someone
(extrinsic forces)
  • Build it / Do it... with no mistakes
  • Closed boundaries
  • Mostly stable with periodic disorder
Order comes from within
(intrinsic energy)
  • Explore / trial and error
  • Open boundaries
  • Dynamic... between chaos and order
Thinking Stay rational
....avoid the unconscious mind
  • Decide on goals ... avoid feelings
  • Discern and analyze
  • Stop things from going wrong
Be creative
....work with the unconscious mind
  • Energy driven... include feelings
  • Generate and synthesize
  • Seek what's right ... i.e. quality
Leadership Manage to get results
  • Can measure progress
  • Emphasize extrinsic motivation
  • Static process... step by step
Facilitate the process
  • Use milestones to reflect on progress
  • Emphasize intrinsic motivation
    ....(mission, vision)
  • Dynamic process... the flow
Orientation Stop things from going wrong
  • There are objective constraints
  • All is measurable
  • Eliminate chaos
Help things go right
  • Expect breakthroughs
  • Measuring can affect the process
  • Some chaos is essential

[ | 2002-12-04 22:54 | 1 comment | PermaLink ]  More >

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