Web publishing, online research, stats, webmining and search engines.

Monday, August 21, 2006

What turns me on

Blogging as a medium is supposed to allow people to be a little more personal. While I don't feel much need to talk much about my private life, I would really like to talk about why I do what I do.

I've been programming since I was 5 and doing generating stats for communities since I was 13 (back in the days of BBS's). Since then I've worked for a publisher, a web developer and an internet marketing agency. Now almost 30, and 4 years into running my own business, the same thing has always driven me.

For me, I have an introverted motivation and an extraverted one.

On the internal side of things, it's all about that eureka moment when something new arises out of nothing. When the machine gives you back something more intelligent and sophisticated than the code you wrote to discover it.

For the outer world, it's about knowledge; helping more people see the facts for themselves, without relying on any elite to digest them first.

NationMaster and StateMaster are referenced thousands of times on the web. For whenever you're in a discussion or debate, you know there's one site you can go to compare countries/states on just about anything. Of course you can generally use stats to support either side of an argument, but it does increase the quality of the debate and encourages people to find common ground in some area approaching reality.

Politics is very polarised these days, particularly in the US and the mass media landscape are more bombarded by sophisticated PR and marketing than ever. Our society in general is growing exponentially more complex. The reality of looking at a stat site like NationMaster is that you're going to be confronted with figures that don't fit nicely with your belief system, or even rival belief systems. Stats aren't perfect, but they bring people closer to the complexity of reality. That's something I really hope we can get on top of in this coming information age.


Post a Comment

<< Home