The problem with blogging is it's easy to get distracted by ideas you can't do anything about. My previous post illustrates this. In it I railed against Microsoft for wanting to build its own proprietory platform for Web applications. I wrote about it because I'm concerned about the future of the World Wide Web, in particular the Web browser.
But I've come to this conclusion: there's nothing I can do to influence Microsoft's ideas, or Google's ideas, or anyone else's ideas. Why should I worry my geeky little head about something I have little or no control over? Why not do something positive with my time and build my own ideas for the Web.
I look around and I see lots of people designing and building new stuff for the Web. Today Don Park came up with a possible micro-content solution called "Blog Brix". Marc Canter is developing "Laszlo Blogging Widgets" (amongst other things). Paulo and Matt are busy preparing for the public release of k-collector. Elwyn Jenkins is defining and promoting nano publishing. Simon Carstensen is building a browser-based RSS Aggregator. So is Mark Fletcher with his Bloglines service. Lots and lots of people are building new things. As a certain Australian cricket commentator would say: "It's all happening!"
Robert Scoble responded to the comments I posted on his weblog (which I copied from my own weblog post below) and what he said was an apt conclusion to our blogging discussion:
"Richard, problem is, how do we build on the web? Design by committee is not gonna take us there."
That could mean a number of things and he may've been referring to the W3C. But a positive spin on it is: hey, go out and create things yourself!
In a totally separate conversation, one of my programmer colleagues said today (I'm paraphrasing): "As a programmer I'll be able to look back on my life and and say 'this is what I've built'". It's not just programmers who can relate to that. My strengths are in design, writing, analysis. So those are the areas I'll focus on when I build for the Web.
Just to be artsy, I'll finish with a lyric from my Uncle Elvis Costello. The song is called Shipbuilding:
"It's all we're skilled in
We will be shipbuilding
With all the will in the world
Diving for dear life
When we could be diving for pearls"