Welcome to the IdeaMatt blog!

My rebooted blog on tech, creative ideas, digital citizenship, and life as an experiment.


Welcome to Matt's Idea Blog!

Hi Folks,

Welcome to my new blog! In this first post I want to talk about a) what this blog's focus is, b) its goals, and c) the obligatory bit about me, and some of my interests and influences.

I've been thinking of starting a blog for a while, but I've been putting it off because a) I didn't think I had anything to write about, and b) because I wanted to protect the ideas I've been having. However, I just finished reading Why Not? How to Use Everyday Ingenuity to Solve Problems Big and Small (a great book) and my thinking about protecting was completely changed on the subject of 'hoarding' ideas. In the last chapter (Implementing Why-Not) they look at ideas from an open source perspective, encouraging readers to 'just share it', and it reminded me of something my boss said regarding protecting ideas. The thought was that there are (at least) two phases to idea ownership - first a 'fear' phase in which you're worried someone will steal your idea, then (after others?) an 'open' phase in which you're afraid no one will 'get it', i.e., that the idea doesn't live. (Another way to look at the second phase is that you're afraid no one will steal it!) I'm to the point where I really want my ideas to thrive, so here we go!

In this blog I'll be writing about topics that are important to me, and that (I hope) I have something to contribute about. They will be mostly software related, but will also include occasional progressive political comments. The topics will include, but are not limited to :-) :

I want this blog to stimulate interest and discussion, to get feedback on ideas, and to connect with people who have similar interests and/or those who want to make an improvement in the world.

I'm a research programmer at the Knowledge Discovery Laboratory in the Department of Computer Science at UMass (Amherst campus). I'm helping the lab develop an open source system for relational knowledge discovery. Refs: My del.icio.us account, my Bloglines feeds.

Thanks to the people at blogger.com for providing such a great service, and thanks to you for reading. More soon!
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