Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Blogging about machine vision

Conard Holton, Editor-in-Chief of Vision Systems Design magazine, says there are a lot of folks blogging about machine vision. I disagree.

There are, it is true, more than a few vision bloggers but most make only one or two posts before disappearing. And those who manage to keep up the practice, which I find to be rather like keeping a journal, tend to post infrequently. Is there a word for infrequent bloggers? Perhaps there should be.

The few active machine vision blogs around are generally maintained by those who wish to publicize a product or service. Presumably they reason that a web presence is essential for anyone who wants to be found by potential customers. Other possible reasons for blogging are either to generating advertising revenue or for self-promotion.

You may notice that my reasons are none of these (although I may at some point decide to monetize my online activity.) So why do I do it?

Well first, a little history. Some years ago I found that my list of machine vision bookmarks (“favorites”) had become so long as to be unmanageable so I began making notes about companies and sites that I found useful. But that list resided on just one PC so I investigated the various bookmarking services available (Delicious and so on,) but none of these quite did the job. Eventually I turned to Google Blogger as a notes or journal facility, and that seems to have worked quite well.

I also found that I enjoy the process of scribbling down the random thoughts that flow through my head, and so blogging gradually became a kind of hobby for me.

I don’t consider myself a journalist: I have friends in that profession and I make no claims to emulate their skills. For example, I certainly don’t write in AP style and I’m rather good at “burying the lead.” I just like to ramble away and I’m flattered if people are interested in what I have to say.

Conard complains that I hide in the shadows, but I have my reasons. First, my anonymity let’s me maintain my independence: I prefer to make up my own mind rather than having companies trying to influence my views. Second, I have a day job that I want to keep separate from my blogging hobby. I think I owe that to my employer as well as the companies I deal with.

Will any of this change in the future? Well possibly, but for now I like being able to observe the industry and comment as I see fit without being pressured to adopt a stance on aspects of technology and business. Please keep reading, and keep emailing your comments and questions, but for now our relationship will be strictly virtual.

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