Having set up a distributed blog article this week, and just concluded it I thought I’d reflect on the process.
Overall I thought it worked well, in that it got at some interesting points and covered some different perspectives.
- It will be hard for a reader to read it as a whole. I will try and formulate it into a real article for publication somewhere.
- The time pressure (which I created) meant that you didn’t have sufficient time to always get the references you wanted, or to check it through as thoroughly as you might, or to redraft it.
- They were long posts. Alan Cann has said that he found them too long for blog posts and I noticed David Warlick today offering the general advice "write short blogs. I can’t tell you how many good blog articles I’ve missed, simply because, as I pull it up, I decide instantly, I do not have the time to read this right now." I have to say I’d find it a shame if I felt restricted from writing long posts, I value the diversity in the blogosphere, but maybe the medium isn’t right.
- It worked! There are a lot of empty wikis and blog experiments out there, so by structuring this one and creating a definite timetable we were able to get something completed.
- Being open sharpens writing. Of course I coul have done this with Ray, Patrick and Will in Google docs, but there is something about being public in the process that a) makes you do it since I have told everyone that you will and b) makes you produce a good first draft.
- It has brought in other contributions. Through comments and links from other blogs the overall article has been enriched.
- It generated some traffic – David Weinberger blogged it so what more can I ask?
So would I do it again? Sure, why not, what have I got to lose but my reputation. Next time though I’d do really long posts.