Every couple of months someone asks me why I haven't written up my thoughts about the current and future trends in social software, blogging and syndication as part of a Bill Gates "Think Week" paper. I recently was asked this again and I'm now considering whether to spend some time doing so or not. If you are unfamiliar with a "Think Week", below is a description of one taken from an interview with Bill Gates
I actually do this thing where I take a week and I call it "Think Week" where I just get to go off and read the latest Ph.D. theses, try out new technologies, and try and write down my thoughts about where the market is going. Things are going fast enough that instead of doing one think a year, last year I started doing two a year. And that’s one of the most fun parts of my job. So, you know, not only trying things out, but seeing how the pieces fit together and thinking ahead what kind of software will that require, that’s a big part of my job. And I get lots of great ideas coming from the people inside Microsoft, whether it’s sending e-mail, or meeting with me, and it’s important for me to synthesize that and so there’s a lot of thinking that I’ve got to do. And, you know, that’s fun.
I have been balking at writing one for a few reasons. The first was that it seems like a bunch of effort for relatively small return [the people I know who've written one first hand got the equivalent of a "virtual pat in the back"], the second was that I didn't think this topic would be interesting enough to get past the layer of VPs and technical assistants that probably screen these papers before Bill Gates reads them.
After thinking about this some more it seems that I was wrong about whether BillG would be interested in this topic given his recent endorsement of blogging and syndication. I still don't think much would come out of it but I've now see myself bursting with a lot of ideas about the current and future landscape of blogging and syndication technologies that I definitely want to write something down anyway regardless of who reads it. If I write this paper I plan to make it available online along with my other writings. The question is whether there are any folks out there interested in reading such a paper? If not, it is easier for me to just keep notes on the various ideas and blog bits & pieces of the ideas as I have been doing thus far.
So what do you guys think?