Blog a Day: Anil Dash

anil dash

Anil Dash is a VP at SixApart, the pleasant folk who brought us Movable Type blogging software and the TypePad hosted blogging service. His site deals mostly with technical stuff in a fairly engaging, often humourous, and sometimes just plain fun way. F’rinstance, when a couple search optimization organizations decided to hold a contest with prizes for whoever could get their site listed first on Google for the keywords “Nigritude Ultramarine”, Dash — though not a search optimization pro — jumped right in, and even won. The whole exercise was not just to show his contempt for the search optimization industry (though there does seem to be a little bit of that) but to show the potential of a strong network built through interpersonal contact — the opposite of the corporate mindset in which “thinking outside the box” means not radically reenvisioning a system but merely learning how to “game” it.

When not discussing the ins and outs of web services or the history of failed apps bundled with Office, Dash offers a more personal look into the life of a tech professional. This seems to be a theme among techie blogs — zigzagging back and forth between critiquing the latest XHTML standards or describing object-to-SOAP transformations or some equally obscure thing you had no idea even existed and then a moment later describing the all-too-human heartache of leaving a city one loves and the anticipation of moving into a new home. Maybe because blogging has become a way to not only broadcast but to build and maintain a network of like-minded people, bloggers like Dash feel comfortable detailing the whole spread of their life-spectrum, knowing that their regular readers know and understand boththe arcane and the everyday details. I’ve tended to avoid the personal on my own site, with a handful of exceptions — I mean, I hope I have a very personal and personable “voice”, but I’ve rarely delved into the details of my private life. Which is a bit odd, since the bloggers I like best tend to be the ones who leaven their political or technical commentary with the day-to-days — something for me to think on, I guess.

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