I've been on a bit of a blog vacation and it's time to get back to um, work. Three factors have me holding back: Internal Blogging, WoW and a disconnect from reading blogs.
I find myself blogging internally more than here. Socialtext is over 20 people these days, with most people working from home. We got through the natural scaling point that kicks in around 12 people and the co-location of some of us in one office by making communication an even greater priority. Today most people blog daily, all with their own style. Some use it as an open to-do (and done) list, some wax poetic, others interpret the outside world. But generally I find myself, as a managing reader, with less of a need to ask for status or drive conversation. I always thought I would thank internal blogging for making me and my team effective as it has for our customers, it's just great when it happens. Call it drinking you own champagne.
I've leveled my Paladin (Kalevipoeg) on Word of Warcraft to 45. Like Joi (Jonkichi) and Don (Slashdar), the purpose of playing is research. You can learn a lot about social behavior, coordination and group forming from WoW (think geeks learning team sports). You can forge good relationships (think the new golf) upon shared experiences. You can consider design constructs that make WoW so rich and addictive (cough, research). But I still wonder if it is social software. Unlike other tools, it doesn't provide incentives for me to leave a richer life. With blogging, for example, if I'm not living I have less to share. Because the object (as in object-centered sociality) is so rich, multi-faceted and bound within a given world -- the stories you spin off of it are more about the object than something in the real world itself. One property Clay observed that made social software different was how it augmented the real world. You see it clearly in Meetup, Plazes, Moblogging, etc. I'd expect future generations of WoW and other gaming may trend towards augmenting or incenting a better Real Life.
Of all things, Memeorandum has given me an excuse to read less. I think I've tricked myself into thinking that a quick scan is good enough, but all I'm getting is the group think dosage. Wait, it's worse than that. I'm getting the group think usage as gamed. This isn't a specific digg at Memeorandum, any prime and open real-estate gets gamed. But just wait for the Chinese Link Farmers.