January 1, 2009 – a time of new beginnings

One really must do a personal blog, mustn’t one? It’s so 2008 and 9. (And beyond.)

I have been here before, I swear. The science fiction fandom world used to create “apazines” (APA = Amateur Press Association) in which friendly young folk wrote their thoughts about what mattered most. Apazines were printed on letterpresses (mimeograph machines). Each person would write and print their own entry and the group would get together, monthly, for a party and collation.(Collation, the very word puts me in mind of cotillions.) How primitive, hey? But it was a lot of fun. Very social. Great memories of those people and those evenings. Will people have equally great memories around blogs? I wonder.

While the potential to spread one’s ideas further is certainly there, it is a much more isolated experience. The internet does a fantastic job of connecting us, but it lets us sit in our rooms alone for many hours on end, which life has taught me is not such a good thing. Hmmm. What I think I’m saying is, go find a bunch of friends and have a barbeque or ski/bike (depending on the season) or some such.

The point of a personal blog is self expression and sharing, a place for friends and family. A personal blog is not directly about building business. A personal blog may create a fleshed out persona which is useful for a professional whose future depends on their skills being recognized.  If you want a professional presence, create a professional website.

The point of a corporate website is to provide customers with something of value and to build business.  A corporate website is a destination for potential customers and for the support of current customers.

The point of a business blog is to convince customers there are real people in the corporation who are sharing additional thoughts about matters of mutual interest. It adds a human touch. And maintains a personal connection which may have originated at an annual tradeshow or whatever.  It really is a small world, after all.

Just because we can do something is no reason to do it. A thing not worth doing is not worth doing well; and a thing worth doing is worth doing badly, as someone once said. So is a blog worth doing? As an experiment and an exercise, I assume it is. This is worth revisiting, of course, as technology evolves.

So then, it is January 1, 2009. I look forward to the Obama administration. I look forward to never having to listen to George W. Bush again (though I confess I tried to avoid listening to the man). We have, as a nation, pretty much agreed on the issues that need addressing, if not the end solutions we would like to see. More on these over time, but, briefly, I look to see progress on…

  • a national healthcare program:preferably single payer, universal healthcare,
  • increased alternative energy use and encouragement of same,
  • movement toward energy independence for the USA and other countries: the end of the Oil Age
  • removing the religious-fueled restrictions on scientific work in this country,
  • separating Church and State (the way it says in the US Constitution, remember?),
  • massive improvements in our educational systems and how we fund them,
  • federal regulation of hedge funds, speculators of all sorts, mortgages and investment managers, (the list goes on),
  • increased basic scientific study funded by the federal government:NASA, NIH, etc., and
  • an improved position of the United States in the eyes of the world with respect to our foreign policy and behavior within the world community.

I’ve probably missed a few. These things will bring our country to a renewed position of strength and purpose. The standard of living for everyone (well, let’s ignore the top maybe 5% income level for the moment) will be improved and additional real wealth created if we pursue scientific study which in turn throws off economic opportunities. A rising tide lifts all boats.  Not “trickle down economics” which was always a lie.

That’s it for today. The dog needs to be walked and has been patiently lying at my feet as I write this. Let’s hope for the best, even though the New England Patriots are out of the playoffs.

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