Thursday, July 20, 2006

Downtime Lemonade

We've hit a few rough moments these last few days server-side at WebJunction, I'm not denying it. In the midst of some pretty hard thinking about our future and the technology we'll need to support it, we've run into a buggy site goblin that's causing unpredictable little hiccups in our (usually fab) site service. After months of unstoppable uptime, we're stumbling a bit. Is this a coincidence? Probably not. As a friend of mine once wisely said, the universe is not stupid!

In spite of how frustrating it can be when technology is not working, especially when it's what you depend on as the container/connector for your community, I've found a few lessons, and they're recurring, in these past few days. First, I've been reminded that it's not supposed to be about the tools. Second, when I get too far ahead of myself, thinking too much about the future and not enough about the now, I miss things.

On the subject of present-ness, I'm going back to my desk tomorrow with a new mantra: what does WebJunction need to be today and tomorrow? As always, and I learn this over and over again as well, the solution's in the balance. This time it's the between our futuristic selves and our immediately present selves that will sustain us (and the process of change) over time.

On the subject of tech tools, and this one is harder, I'm gonna just let these questions sit there and marinate: do we (the WebJunction community) exist outside our site or our technology? Is there a WebJunction "way" or "type" of library practice that's not tool dependent? If the internet were gone tomorrow, would we ... say ... call each other on the phone to network, share, and learn?

(I know I said I was gonna let it sit but ... Maybe. I hope so. Ok, I bet we would.)

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