The Vanished Posts

Richard Schwartz just posted a comment to my post Best Day Ever: 609:

The “On Lotus Notes” post appears to have disappeared from your blog.

Right you are, Richard. Let me explain.

Though I write this blog on my own time and on my own dime, I make it no secret that I work for IBM, mainly because my respect and admiration for IBM and its employees goes well beyond fondness.

IBM encourages employee blogging, but requires that you distringuish the writing in your blog from that done on behalf of IBM. That’s why I have the statement “The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent my employer’s positions, strategies or opinions.” in my About page. [1]

However, though I do write this blog on my own as a volunteer, I play a dual role.

The principal purpose of this blog is to promote the use of open-source and other open technologies such as open standards and open document formats to assist educators in their vital mission.

I have written over five hundred posts in just over a year, and it is possible I am IBM’s most prolific blogger, at least in the number of words posted. [2]

When I meet with educators, as I did in the recent K12 Open Minds Conference in Indianapolis, I say to them, “I am here as a volunteer, but I do work for IBM, and I have made it my business to learn about IBM’s education business and philanthropic efforts, and the people who runthem, so I can serve as an entry point into IBM. If you have a proposal or suggestion about education that you think may be of interest to IBM, then I will work with you to shape it into a form suitable for presentation, and I will then forward it to the appropriate people. IBM is a large company, and I know it is hard to find the right person, but I do know the right people in IBM when it comes to education.”

For example, I had two phone calls this week that came out of the conference.

The first was with a developer in IBM’s Global Education Group. He is based in Atlanta, and I met him personally when I attended the Sixth Sakai Conference in Atlanta last December, a trip funded by the education folks. I wanted to tell him about a few of the many opportunities that came out of the K12 Open Minds Conference. At one point, I said that Linux, especially Ubuntu, was now “good enough” to run most applications in schools. He agreed in part, but noted there is much work to make IBM’s middleware more interoperable with open-source based solutions.

We spoke for over an hour, our excitement and enthusiasm growing be the minute as we explored just a few of these opportunities.

The second was a call convened by a VP in IBM’s Corporate Citizenship and Community Affairs department and the VP of IBM’s Education business, to discuss one of the most exciting opportunities that came our way via the conference. It was a fabulous call, and we agreed it was well worth the effort to further explore this opportunity.

I still have many posts to write about the conference, and I also expect I’ll be able to write about some of the opportunities that IBM decides to pursue in the k12 space.

Thinking of that made me realize that some of my recent posts, particularly those that made mention of Lotus Notes, Lotus Sametime, and other aspects of IBM. While I stand by them, I felt that someone who read them without seeing any of my other posts could well be confused, wondering whether the post came from “Blogger Dave” or “IBMer Dave.”

I thus “scrubbed” my blog a few days ago, eliminating those I felt might result in such confusion. It was my own choice; no one asked that I do so; and I erred on the side of caution, deleting some I really enjoyed writing.

I scrubbed by looking at all the posts published in 2007 that contained any of the following words:

  • IBM
  • Stallman
  • rms
  • gpl
  • gplv2
  • gplv3

I then deleted all the posts that I thought could be considered frivolous, at least by me. Among those posts were:

I will update this list as I learn of any other posts so deleted.

Thanks again to Richard for bringing this matter to my attention. By the way, his blog seems quite nice, and so I am adding it to my Blogroll.


1. These cautionary words should also appear on the main page, but I recently updated my WordPress theme and haven’t yet figured out how to put them on the main page.

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