By terrymckenzie on Sep 10, 2007
Remember being a kid, and lying in your backyard at night, starring at the stars? And thinking about our universe, and what lies beyond our universe, and what lies beyond that, and what lies beyond that? It was my first experience with trying to ponder the unknowable, and I still remember the spinning feeling I had as my brain bumped up against something it simply couldn't comprehend.
Not scientifically inclined by nature, solving the mysteries of the universe was not my first ambition. And as a near-sighted, not particularly athletic child, exploring the mysteries as an astronaut didn't occur to me either. But reading about them? Writing about the wonders of not knowing everything? Capturing the beauty of the world on canvas? Ahhh, that was much more up my alley.
I was brought back to these memories as I continue to read comments on the Sun bloggers' alias (sorry, non-Sunnies...it's an internal email group) about "the wikification of Sun" and a video Danny Holland and Lou Ordorica posted on YouTube. As is my usual experience with the bloggers' alias, I'm lost for much of the conversation as I'm not an engineer. But because we're a broad community (remember, over 10 percent of us blog externally - that's a lot of conversation!), there's almost always something in the exchange that peaks my interest. This time there were two broad themes I found pretty interesting:
- With all the information being made available in blogs, wikis, social community sites, etc., how do you keep vital data from being buried or lost?
- What's the right balance between unconstrained proliferation of Web 2.0 devices, channels and widgets and the need for technical support for users and, I would add, governance to protect the interest of both users and the company?
I'm also hanging with engineering, IT, privacy and marketing folks. Each of them provides another piece of the puzzle, another perspective, another bias and another set of passions to ignite the conversation.
If you believe that the most exciting innovations occur when different people work and play together, than you've gotta be loving the explosion of knowledge and approach happening through Web 2.0. We've built a community of interest at Sun, fueled by curiosity, supported by expertise and knowledge, enriched by interface and sharing with the rest of the world.
So when I lean back in my chair and stare at the many windows open on my laptop, and hear the beeping of text messages on my phone, and remember I need to catch up on what my favorite bloggers are saying, and look for time to check out what's happening on Sun wikis, I don't have that overwhelmed sense of the incomprehensible that I felt as a kid. What I feel is so very, very fortunate to be living in this time, working for this company, surrounded by these remarkable people. And I don't even have to be an astronaut to share in the joy of exploration.