Nothing worse than a reformed sinner is a phrase that I have often used in connection with ex-smokers like myself. We hate it more than those of you who never smoked, because of course, we were foolish and reckless enough to do it at one time. The same holds true for adopting a position or point of view that one previously held in contempt. It is thus with a great deal of humility that I write my first ever blog entry and hope that someone reads it.
As recently as late last year, I was a confirmed cynic, dismissing the whole ‘blog’ thing as an exercise in self promotion, a shameless display of one’s personal life and habits for all the world to see, a sign of the dissolution of consensus and the body politic, as we fragmented into a ba-zillion little self interest groups, gazing lovingly at our own navels and calling it ‘social software’. I had better things to do than either write blogs or read them. Anyway, where would I have started? There were and are so many of them. Then I read ‘How the Internet is Destroying Our Culture’ and become truly unbearably smug, as it seem to crystallize and confirm my own mushy and half formed opinions about the utter uselessness – nay DANGER – of it all.
How much more mistaken could I have been? Thanks to colleagues, many of whom I count as friends, I had the scales fall from my eyes. What sealed the deal for me, after a long and somewhat heated exchange with Gene Phifer, Daryl Plummer, Ray Valdes, Tom Austin and other Gartner analysts, was when someone pointed out that Our Competitors, bloggers to a (wo)man, had readership in the millions, while they, and I, with what we think of as more to offer, had readership in the thousands. If we were lucky. With our content locked behind the firewall of Gartner’s subscription model, you had to pay to find out HOW SMART WE WERE. But you’d have to take that on faith, cause of course, you’d never heard of us, cause our content was locked behind the firewall. DUH!
So here I am, writing my first blog entry.
Besides confessing my sins, my main subjects in this blog will be those that I cover for Gartner and probably the occasional rant about something that really bothers me, which I am of course discouraged from doing by my boss, my colleagues and my editors, when publishing ‘officially’ for Gartner. Another opportunity missed in my anti-blog days: Cheap Therapy.
Right now, my main area of interest and research are around the topics of e-Discovery, Information Governance, Legacy Content Management, Records Management, Content Archving and a few other things as well. In e-Discovery in particular, I feel that there are vast gaps of understanding and knowledge between the technical and legal communities and that we must get to grips with a problem that has huge implications for our justice system in the United States, not to mention business competitiveness. In the (related) area of information governance, I like to think about things like what companies should do with their e-mail (don’t save it all, but don’t throw it all away, either), legacy documents (what is in that 10 Terabytes of stuff on the SAN and the file servers, anyway?) and legacy content.
I don’t see any of these issues as issues for IT, but ones that effect all of us in business, politics, you name it. To the extent that we are alive now, we must all deal with the issues of how much information is too much, who to trust in the vast universe of content on the internet, how we make personal or business decisions, when we feel we can never have a complete picture. And oh, yea, how about all those right or left or center wingers, flaming away over there on those other blogs/wikis/twitter sites?
Like it or not, we’re all blogging now, including lawyers discussing e-discovery and other topics I’m interested in.
One of the best (laywer) sponsored sites for e-discovery (let’s give the people some value here, I haven’t compromised my original anti-blogging principles THAT badly, I still want to write stuff worth reading) is this one, http://www.ediscoverylaw.com/articles/ediscovery-case-database/ at K&L | Gates – W.H Gates Sr founded firm in case you are wondering if they are related. It contains reasonable synopses of e-discovery decisions and you can also download the full text of most of them from there, if you are stuck for something to do on a rainy Saturday afternoon. They can be surprisingly amusing.
Excuse me, while I go and figure out how this software works. Tell me it has a spell checker.