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Yes, I think that that’s just about enough procrastination for now. Not that I’ve any real reason to complain; who’s responsible for the time spent fiddling around with WordPress RPC? Who insisted on blogging with Emacs (weblogger-mode, for those interested, is pretty neat)? Who spent many hours shining light into the murky gutter of content scraping? Who keeps reading opinion pieces on the upcoming election? Muggins, that’s who.

This is the first of twelve content laden (read: assessable) posts created under the auspices of INB346 (Enterprise 2.0), a recent addition to the IT electives list at the QUT. This week’s mandated topic has the class reflecting on weblogs, how to make and maintain ‘em and how they make themselves useful. Food for thought comes care of the highly recommended Sacha Chua, a diminutive, Toronto based technology enthusiast. Even a cursory glance over the constantly updated contents of Living an Awesome Life reveal the author’s dedication to maintaining an irrepressibly positive, reader-friendly environment. This and an unusual passion for “mutual mentoring” ensure that anyone and everyone tempted to comment / blog / speak about the content of the site will feel as confident as possible when they do so.

Alright, that’s the method. But what’s it all for?

Though Sacha’s blog is primarily personal-reflective in nature, far more interesting to me is the way that her position as a savvy new media consultant for IBM encroaches into many of the publicised aspects of her life. It is in this role that she presents us with quite a few fine (if a little rose-tinted) insights into the aspirations and corporate culture of the world’s fourth largest tech multi-national. This occurs both directly and through the many snippets of IBM / Career / Goal related information that finds its way into other topics.

To a century-spanning tech company that is only slowly coming to grips with social software (CEO Samuel Palmisano described the company’s employee-driven company value-hunt ["Jam"] as “…risky…even painful.”) the community driven online presence of Ms. Chua (and others like her) is doing and will do wonders to soften the company’s monolithic, hidebound and profoundly uncool public image. Whether this effect is deliberate or accidental I’ve really no idea.

A similar approach was taken by the Atwood / Spolsky duo in the promotion of their user-driven, self-moderating, collaborative Q&A platform, Stack Exchange. By leveraging their reputations as intelligent, experienced professionals (established largely through the outflow of well-thought-out, well-discussed concepts from their respective blogs) to drive adoption of their initial prototypes before seeking some venture capital before going to market.

These two examples demonstrate what I believe to be the best possible use that a blog and a personal brand can be put to: establishing sincere, personal interest in the product of a shamelessly capitalist wholly commercial venture.

Is this useful to me? Not just at the moment. But it (hopefully) makes a decent read.

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