Monday 24 January 2011

About a girl

I think it might be about time I did an introduction post. There also need to be some declarations of interest, and some disclaimers as 'lots of passion and little knowledge is a dangerous thing' rings in my ears.

This is not a blog, in the main, about what I know. This is a blog about what I do not. A blog, to me, is not about broadcast, it is about an opportunity for little voices to ask questions, and for kindly passers by who might know something about the subject to answer. As I ask more questions and more people pass by, it worries me that there is an assumption that I might speak of things I do not know, or that somehow I will not make it clear enough when I do not.

I know about maps. I know about GIS (though I never did a degree in the subject, I self taught in 2 years instead). I love both of those things very much. I used to work with them professionally, but I don't any longer. By association, I know a little about data and the value of open data because what drives maps but the data behind them? But again - this is not part of my current job, officially. So that's a sideline too.

What do I actually do? Well, apparently I am now a Digital Engagement Adviser. I was a Multi Media Communications Officer. In real terms? I use Content Management Systems to update live websites, do a bit of graphics but not much, a bit of content writing but not much, a bit of css but not very much at all, a bit of HTML which is better than my css but again not by much. I advise on social media. I set up the tools and platforms to allow other people to communicate across them, and I do risk and analysis on the use of those tools and platforms. I assess audiences, try and predict where things will go. I do this for a Council and also for a NHS Care Trust. It keeps me busy.

Outside of that? I don't code. I just know very many people who do and they are tolerant and answer my silly questions kindly. I can fix printers, I can fix computer software issues sometimes. If I want to know about something badly enough, I'll teach myself how to do it. I'm not an expert on anything, not a single thing. I have no qualifications in any of the things I speak of. What I do have is a curiosity about everything. Except football. I've tried and tried but bar a slightly yay for Blackpool cos they're the underdogs and I like their coaches ethics, I just can't summon any enthusiasm. Fortunately, I can usually summon some enthusiasm for about 100 other things so it doesn't worry me too much.

I am a geek. I am a little bit technical but not very much compared to most of my friends. I love just about every kind of music going - in fact all you need to know is that I'm as happy sitting watching the Birmingham National Ballet as I am watching Linkin Park. I ride a Marin mountain bike called Alice.

I am not an expert in anything. This blog is not the blog of an expert. I don't know anything. I just question everything. Here is passion and enthusiasm, but also honesty in the absence of knowledge. I do not believe not knowing excludes you from speaking about subjects.

Tell me this. If no one asks the questions, to highlight the gaps through which the sunbeams shine through, how then do the people who know enough to patch the windows know where to turn their attentions?

If we could all just accept that sentence, things would be so much easier. Oh, and, disagreement is not only allowed but encouraged. I don't know anything. You all do. Share.


  1. I strongly suspect that very few people know what they are talking about. The difference with the eternally questioning geek/nerd is that we will investigate, question, and learn.

    I love the idea of a job with a little bit of everything. Sounds good!

  2. They do say the only stupid question is the one you don't ask. I find being an expert in very little very liberating, and the doorway to as much sociability as I can take, because there are always questions to ask, and people to ask them to!

  3. Latent> My other half just said that. I'm not so sure, there are an awful lot of very knowleagable people floating around on Twitter.
    Tom> Agreed. What worries me greatly is that over time the number of ppl sharing seems to be reducing as ppl increasingly hold their cards closer and closer to their chest, because back are against the wall in some places.
    Collaboration flourishes in times of prosperity. I worry it dies in times of austerity.