Blogging for Business
Hammock: I have set in motion several things that probably won’t start showing up until later this spring.
However, internally, at Hammock, we’ve made digital tools and online collaborative approaches a way we work for as long as I can remember. Or, at least, whenever something new comes along, I typically dive in as a guinea pig and then roll it out to others if it makes sense to me.
We have recently gone through the process of integrating the administration of all our approaches into a cohesive product that we are introducing to our clients. We didn’t start out to create a product, we merely pulled together those things we use to manage our work online and discovered it was an elegant solution to a lot of challenges our clients—and probably other publishers—face in trying to manage all the challenges of introducing social networks and wikis and blogging to the mix of content we’re all dealing with these days.
When and why did it become important for you to take a personal interest in the online world?
Hammock: This is a hard one, because I was never a computer geek, but from the moment I discovered that I could move type around on a monitor, I was hooked. One of my first jobs out of college was a three-year stint in a congressional office in [Washington] D.C. I was a speech writer and legislative aid, and quickly discovered the amazing power of having a monitor and keyboard at my desk on which I could access the databases maintained by the Library of Congress and Nexis, and some of the other commercial services just coming online in the early 1980s.
Once you drink from that firehose of information, it’s hard to go back to depending on traditional methods of research. I was one of the first people to purchase a Mac computer back in 1984, and there are many subtle developments in the early days of the Mac—most notably a program called Hypercard—that I used, which later provided a philosophical foundation for me to understand what was taking place 10 years later when a graphical interface was applied to the Internet.