An interview with Blogger of the Day, Allen Searls of Wondir.com.
iBt4iM: Tell my readers who you are.
Allen Searls: Professionally speaking, I’m the VP of Community for Wondir, Inc. Although the rest of the Wondir crew is in Bethesda, Maryland, I’m here in Seattle, where I first came to launch a company and website built around “the World Live Web” idea in 2001. Alas, social software wasn’t as well-received then as it is today (not even sure “social software” was readily in circulation as a term back then) and although we generated a devoted following and community, we weren’t able to get funding or make enough money from the site to keep it alive. When Wondir came along with a similar but more successful (and better timed) “Live Web” idea, built around free, open Live Q&A, I was invited to come on board and did so in early 2004. Before Seattle, I sold real estate in Alaska, and before that I attended UC Santa Cruz (creative writing and philosophy), University of Sussex, England (literature and philosophy) and Indiana University (business).
iBt4iM: What's your blog? What's your blog about?
Allen Searls: My weblog is called Wondiring. Used to be called Wondir Land, which I think is a slightly cooler name, but the regulars at Wondir started a Yahoo group called Wondirland, so I thought I’d change my blog’s name and let them have the cooler one J Wondiring is a quasi-corporate blog in the sense that it’s centered around Wondir.com and our pursuits in community Q&A, although the opinions are my own and don’t necessarily represent the views of Wondir the company. In general, I post about anything that compels me. I’m interested in all-things Web 2.0, especially the social media side of it. Since everyone seems to define Web 2.0 in a different light, I’ll coin my own definition of Web 2.0: the sea change from a web of documents and transactions to a web of people and interactions. Defined as such, I want to encourage and participate in the Web 2.0 sea change as much as possible. It’s not that I think documents and transactions are unimportant. It’s just that the social side of the web is much more interesting to me and ultimately where I feel the greatest potential for growth and invention lies.
iBt4iM: What secondary blogs do you have? Linkblogs? Moblogs?
Allen Searls: Although Wondiring is technically my only blog (I do break it down by category), Wondir also has the Daily Wondir blog, as well as RSS feeds for all questions asked at Wondir, which is generally more than 5,000 question-posts per day right now. In that sense you can think of the catch-all Wondir Question Board as one big blog.
iBt4iM: Why do you blog?
Allen Searls: My father originally got me into it, but I find that it’s a compulsive necessity these days, especially if you’re handling an online community—not only to talk out loud about what’s happening in the area you care about and are responsible for, but to keep your ear to the blogosphere to find out what you’re missing (which is always much more than you imagine). Bloggers I’ve met through my blog, such as Cori Schlegel and Peter Caputa, have been instrumental in opening up new directions for Wondir, not to mention opening my mind to new dimensions of Web 2.0.
iBt4iM: What are your favorite blogs?
Allen Searls: These are in first-name alphabetical order so my favorites list doesn’t have any favoritism J
iBt4iM: What do you do when you are not blogging?
Allen Searls: I’m an amateur offline writer. Spend lots of time with my fiancée and our miniature dachshund (wiener dog), who is smaller than most of his toys. Try (usually in vain) to get away from this computer J
iBt4iM: Thanks for taking the time to tell our readers about yourself. You are the Blogger of the Day.
Note: Blogger of the Day is a new series. We will interview one average-Joe great-blogger every few days (we hope). If you want to be the Blogger of the Day, then email me.
Previous Bloggers of the Day: