Jeff Jarvis writes that I should have gone ahead and blogged the math cover story for months. He thinks our focus on secrets and scoops is out of date, and he points to all the knowledge and buzz we would gain from opening up the process. (The comment trail on that post, by the way, makes for good reading.)
What Jeff didn't mention is how such a policy would change this blog. For six months a good part of my half of this blog would have veered off from its declared turf of business, blogs and media, and into the land of applied math.
I don't say this is a bad thing. Presumably, it would have attracted more applied mathematicians and computer scientists into the discussion. The blog would have grown more mathematical. (Of course, the whole point of the math story was that math's terrain is spreading. So the participation of such experts in a blog about business and media would enrich it...) The point is, the blog would meander, evolving with our interests, the way other blogs do.
This brings us to yet another point of tension in so-called mainstream blogs. We have bosses, we have beats. Most independent blogs are free to wander and evolve. Ours, by contrast, walks a straighter line. In doing so, we march ahead, passing up lots of interesting detours and byways.
Should it be that way? Tell me, would you have been interested to read blog posts about my journey, from absolute to relative ignorance, in the world of math? Or would you rather that Heather and I stick closely to the collision of blogs, business and media?