Thursday, August 07, 2008

How do I spend the rest of my life?

What he says.
Doc Searls thinking out loud...

I used to think I should do more writing and editing in Wikipedia; to put my shoulder to the vast wheel of a project from which I draw many benefits and contribute almost nothing. I know lots of well-sourced material I could bring to many subjects, and I could help with copy editing on many more. In fact I could spend the rest of my life doing nothing but editing poorly-written articles on Wikipedia. So could lots of other people.

I hate to say it, but there are more highly leveraged things I can do. Most of those involve writing as well — writing that’s mine and not anybody else’s. I turned sixty-one last week. While I have just as much energy and drive as I’ve ever had, I also know that I’m ratcheting down the short end of life’s stick. I need to do more of something I’ve always sucked at: investing my time wisely and deliberately, even as I continue to enjoy spelunking down the digressive tunnels of my insatiable curiosity about damn near everything. As digressive intellectual tunnels go, Wikipedia has no rivals in the online world. Among those digressions is figuring out how Wikipedia works, and how to participate in a fully engaged and meaningful way. I feel like I need to be a lawyer to figure out all the rules.

So here’s what I’ve learned and now need to put to work.

First, I need to write newspaper op-eds...

Second, I should start writing books...

He wants to write about the infrastructure of the Internet and I want to be among the first to buy that book. (Yo, Doc: I don't know if it's something with Firefox, but when I had IE7 last week misspelled words didn't get underlined in red, just like in a word processor program. When I copied the above it caught two such words which I neatly corrected rather than insert sic.) (Yes, I dropped IE7 after that mess with the Sitemeter widget.)

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