The Analog Blogger
by Michael Hay on Nov 5, 2009
In a sense information wants to be free and Alfred Sirleaf in Liberia seems to be an agent of information freedom. He appears to be the world’s first and only analog blogger. I find this interesting, because in my mind this is innovation. He is using the tools at his disposal to gather the information, and just like an Internet news aggregator site like Google News, but on a chalk board, he publishes his findings free for all to see. I just finished reading rather short article here and watched the video which is embedded in my post at the bottom. Due to the lack of regular information in the country he is apparently quite successful with “droves” of people lining up to get to the information. My primary reason for believing that this is innovation lies in the fact that Alfred recognized a need of his country and sought to fulfill said need. This is the basis of innovation. In fact if we look up the definition of innovation on wiktionary we find the following:
The act of innovating; the introduction of something new, in customs, rites, etc; A change effected by innovating; a change in customs; something new, and contrary to established customs, manners, or rites; A newly formed shoot, or the annually produced addition to the stems of many mosses. (source: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/innovation)
I think that too often in our modern world we are tricked into thinking that innovation can only occur in the domains of sophisticated R&D labs, an the innovations themselves can only be scientific in nature. I believe that Alfred is a great illustration that something simple but new can be extraordinarily innovative. For the longest time one of my personal driving forces has been to think of one thing that no one has thought of before; I envy Alfred who has thought of this new thing.