Last Tuesday, I posted a seemingly inconspicuous entry on the need to understand the architectural intent of the provider of your SOA and integration infrastructure. In the entry, I provided names and links to some thought leaders in the service-oriented architecture (SOA), integration, and event-driven architecture (EDA) spaces that I had the opportunity to speak with (and learn their architectural leanings).
One of those links, for Michael Terner of KnowNow, happened to reference a Jon Udell podcast from December 2004. And that single (coincidental) link, made for an interesting day for me on Thursday, when Jon wrote this piece about Blog
Biology. In it, he describes how he found me through his sensors (Technorati and his referral log), and how it makes sense that we would eventually meet given our common interests in SOA and EDA, but this one oblique link (of mine) expedited that meeting.
Why that link made for an interesting day (days really) for me is threefold. First, Jon’s “reinforcing the connection” introduced me to his large readership. Second, one of my free works that I am sharing was picked up by ZDNet’s Between the Lines. Third, in a reinforcement of “a cool thing about my job is I get to talk with a lot of smart people”; I had the opportunity to chat with Jon this morning about SOA.
Not bad for one link. So, that got me to thinking about blogging and linking. Because for me, technology is most interesting for what it allows us to do—for our businesses, our lives and society. [Although, I must admit, occasionally I’m drawn to a technology because it’s cool.]
On linking, many companies employ “Google Gaming” strategies for high search placement (results and ads). But, I wondered, can an individual link their way to inclusion? Look at what happened with my one link.
So, if (for the sake of illustration) I started being intentional (and incessant) in my links, targeting high influence individuals and communities, would that provide me entry? Or, would my appearance (my URL) on blogosphere sensors become the equivalent of spam? Forever, relegated to being filtered out (ouch!)
Gut feel says, the latter…because the overall connection has to be stronger than the initial (one-way) link. There needs to be relevance for all parties. The blogosphere, after all, is opt-in.
Jon’s post speaks to manufactured serendipity, which essentially says the technology of the blogosphere makes the useful discovery of ideas, individuals and groups less accidental, or somewhat manufactured.
Although these interactions are prompted by technology, there is still something natural at play. There has to be a reason/force – shared interests, views, friends, or associations – for any link back, and forward introductions. This is what promotes a one-way link to an actual connection. Which, in this instance, were SOA and EDA.
So, I worked myself around to “No, an individual can’t just link their way to inclusion”. I believe the natural forces of the blogosphere would protect serendipity despite any manipulation of the manufacturing. This is good…