What If There’s Bears?

I am a huge, huge fan of Atlassian’s tools, and I’ve worked pretty hard to make them a part of culture at my office. They’ve just started a series of blog posts on using a wiki for technical writing, and I loved this bit:

Do you feel nervous at the thought of customers adding angry comments on your documentation wiki? Spammers running riot? Here’s the flipside for you to consider: customers answering other customers’ questions in the wiki, external developers adding code samples to help flesh out your document, partners volunteering to write new documentation.

I think that when it comes to implementing any new technology (especially from being inside IT), there’s a lot of fear and belief that someone, somewhere, is going to misuse/abuse it. But we often lose site of the advantages that will come from the tool and clever use by your community.

“But what if…?” is the common thing I hear when talking about new technology, and my tongue-in-cheek response is now going to be “What if there’s bears?”, in due deference to this old Will Hines video:

Stop planning for doomsday. Pre-empt the obvious abuses, and handle the subtleties as they come.


The Mid Bimonthly Weekender Weekend Weekender

I’m unsure if the joke is going to make much sense to people outside the NYC metro area, but here’s an attempt at background: the NY Times runs TV ads advertising “the Weekender“. The ad feels like a distant cousin of the old Apple “Switch” commercials, in that you have “regular” people talking about how many great things they can do by subscribing to a Friday/Saturday/Sunday edition of the Times.
I would embed a clip of it, but it is apparently too worthless an ad for anyone to even have put it onto YouTube.
So with that in mind, this ad from the newly opened 92Y Tribeca may fall flat if you haven’t seen the original:


Who Will You Choose, America?

We live in an accelerated world. Culture, as it stands today, values immediacy and repetition over things like finesse or nuance. Stories are quickly beaten dead by our media; memes can run through the internet within a mere day.

I realize that even with a significant amount of time left, people around me are already fatigued with the 2008 US Election. I cannot fault them; I, too, tire of the incessant punditry and echo chamber madness that constitutes political dialog anymore. My rallying cry at this point is “Is it December yet?”.

But I think we all realize how important this election is – possibly the most important in the last 20 years. A country as damaged as ours will be shaped significantly by the next administration.

I like to think that my readers are reasonable people, who can debate the issues without resorting to partisan mudslinging. So in the spirit of trying to have a sane dialog – friends, who are you voting for on October 21st: kitten, or newborn?

A kitten president? That’s change *I* can believe in.

(You can watch more Kitten vs. Newborn 08 coverage on Superdeluxe. Tip of the hat to Steven Cento.)