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    Exploring all aspects of mapping and geography, from field data collection, to mapping and analysis, to integration, applications development, enterprise architecture and policy

Why blog?

Posted by Dave Smith On 1/07/2006 01:28:00 PM 0 comments

Jeff Thurston at Vector One posted some thoughts on categories of bloggers, and this has elicited some soul searching from others in the geoblogging community- Jeff suggests, the categories of bloggers are:

1. The Commercial Blog: Written with a financial view - sensitive to causing maximum financial return and oriented toward causing a stir to attract readers. Blogging for financial gain alone is different than blogging as a columnist, for example.

2. News Bloggers: Basically scanning the news and re-writing what already exists. Original content is low. Regurgitated content is high.

3. Original Content Blog: Strives for original content, links to existing content in exceptional circumstances to support original content. Opinionated. Perceptive.

4. Advert Blog: Sharply written to look like a blog but serving as advertisement. Usually easy to pinpoint over time.

5. The Blog Aggregators: This is a special group. I like them myself.
Planet Geospatial, slashgeo and Journey with GIS are three good examples. They capture the entire geo blogging web at any given time.

Which of these am I? I don't think fit any of them completely, but if anything I am closest to 3.

I try to present original content, however consider myself to be someone who doesn't completely work in a vacuum. I don't avoid other sites, sources and info, however I do avoid regurgitation of the same-old.

I am involved in projects that may be similar to some other geobloggers' work, however I also have a background in and am involved in a lot of types of technical and business areas that most GIS folks aren't normally exposed to. Having been involved in GIS since 1985, along with extensive technical experience in a number of related fields, I sometimes have perspectives, thoughts and knowledge which I at times see lacking in the GIS community.

Although I read some of the other Geospatially-oriented blogs and sites, I also read a lot of apparently independent and non-GIS sources, and have my own inside sources of information for some things as well. I'm not hesitant to post about something other bloggers are discussing, provided I have my own spin on it, or at least some value added. And, I do occasionally come across news items that I find are interesting to share with the community, provided nobody else has already done so.

Now WHY do I do it? Not entirely sure, but probably most for interest in a spirit of community. While I mainly work in the DC beltway, I live in Northeastern Pennsylvania, notorious as a "black hole", where if I talk to someone about things like GIS, GPS, remote sensing, spatial analysis, tracking and tracing of high value goods, they tend to quickly get a glazed look, however the blog can allow me to share with the community, vent, opine, contribute, and more importantly elicit feedback and conversation from all around the world.

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