Change of focus

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Today I’m going to do something a little unusual and it may signify some changes to the blog and the sorts of things I write. I’m going to talk about me and my past work experience and what I’m planning for the future. No, the plan wasn’t to pontificate the finer points of gadgets, online media and general nerdery forever but figuring out what to talk about took some time and focus.

It’s been a really great month or so for me. I’ve taken some time away from being a full time dad (which is not so great for the family) and I’ve spent a lot of time immersing myself back in the world of social media and community generated content. Before my hiatus, I worked on a little site called Epinions which is one of the first and one of the largest, most active community generated content sites on the net.

With a trifecta of social media conferences, Gnomedex, WebVisions and WordCamp, my head is spinning a bit, but it made me realize that I really need to share some of the great stories from my time at Epinions and the lessons that I learned there. I had lunch with some old colleagues there and gave them a head’s up that I was going to do this.

What’s really great about Epinions is that in many ways, it is a microcosm of the world of social media. Many of the issues that companies are facing working with consumer generated media have already happened at Epinions. Some of the stuff that I’m going to talk about really hasn’t been discussed in any sort of public way, but I think that what I learned there is valuable to anyone who is trying to develop and grow online communities.

My intention isn’t to rock the boat, so I’m keeping my old pals at Epinions abreast of what I’m doing. I didn’t ask permission, but I’m not going to talk about things like revenue or internal stats in any specific way. I hope that anyone who wants to learn about working with and cultivating web communities joins in the discussion. I’d also be glad to answer any questions about Epinions that you might have.

One final word, I want to give a shout out to Garrett and Christal some ex co-workers of mine who taught me everything I know about Epinions and are two of the reasons that the Epinions community still prospers today.

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