Solutions looking for problems

I waited too long to write this post, so I’ll keep it short, even though the more general problem–see the post title–has happened before and will happen again.

What I wrote down on my infrequently used Little Pad o’ Post Ideas [yes, there is one; yes, it is a little pad--3.25x4.5 inches, lined; no, most posts don't actually come from the pad] was “Wave & blogs.” I wrote that down after I saw a post, or maybe more than one post, that seemed to be seriously suggesting that Google Wave would be a great thing for blogs.

Seriously. The idea: Your followers could see your post as you write it!

There is a way to send people your raw, unformed thoughts, pretty much as you write them, with no real time for editing (if you’re a typical user, I think). It’s called Twitter.

I honestly don’t want people to read what I’m writing as I’m writing it–and certainly not in an instantaneous manner. I’m not one of those Serious Bloggers who writes a draft, lets it sit for a day or two, comes back to it, thoroughly reviews, then posts it–in about 95% of cases, I’ve spent less than an hour total on a post and almost no time reviewing and editing. (The exceptions are either my movie reviews, posted from Word in groups of four, or a handful of more serious posts that I also write in Word, using the publish-as-blog mechanism in Word2007. I almost never intentionally save a WordPress post as a draft for more than a few minutes.) Even so, I do change drafts–I realized after previewing this post that I’d left out this sentence–and I do want the chance to think for a minute or so before I say something inappropriate or erroneously. Nor, for that matter, can I imagine that any sane person would actually sign up to follow my actions as I’m writing a post…or to do the same for any other blogger. If they did, the word “stalker” would come to mind.

To me, the whole concept of WaveBlogs was a case of looking for a “problem” that Wave could provide a solution for. I thought it was a spectacularly silly notion.

Now, to be sure, the adoption of Wave for its many obvious uses has been so spectacular that…Google’s shutting it down. So if you were wondering whether your library was behind the curve because you didn’t yet have a Wave expert on board, and hadn’t even started any Wave initiatives–well, you’re too late. Such is life when you’re not instantly on top of every new web tool.

3 Responses to “Solutions looking for problems”

  1. moogie Says:

    Most of the time, I think that the process of writing (and editing) is more important than the final result. But I have too much free time.

    For me, it is more about the process than the result. Which facts or quotes that were considered but didn’t get included…. yeah.

  2. John Dupuis Says:

    Speaking of twitter, it seems that Jay Rosen puts an awful lot of effort into crafting his posts: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/features/view/feature/What-I-Read-Jay-Rosen-1735. It’s the 3rd paragraph of his response.

  3. walt Says:

    John: Interesting. So along with problogging we have protweeting–and have probably had it all along. Since I’m not on Twitter (at the moment), I’ve been spared.

    I should note that, in a comment on a blog post lamenting the death of Wave, a commenter–who’s sorry to see Wave go–said it was solving problems we didn’t know we had. I’m deeply suspicious of “problems we didn’t know we had” as anything other than the basis for thousands of commercial products and billions of dollars in advertising to convince us of these heretofore-unknown “problems.”


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