After just a month of blogging, I’ve realized how gray the line is between professional and personal. I’ve always been appalled at the amount of personal information that people share on MySpace or other social sites. Yet two of my recent posts were written during and about my trip from Seattle to Atlanta. Anyone online could have figured out that I was out of town. It feels a little like putting a note on my front door saying “Burglarize me”. Some great bloggers, including Fred Wilson and Brad Feld, regularly mix personal and professional content in their blogs. I’m not going to go that route but now believe that any authentic blog will inevitably blur the distinction.
One of my relatives had a serious accident a couple of months ago, spurring some convoluted email threads among my siblings and other family members. We’re spread all over the globe so it’s difficult to make sense of treatment options, financial issues and pretty much everything else that surrounds a medical crisis.
I volunteered to start a blog where we could keep track of everything in a more organized fashion. We had some specific requirements. First, it needed to be a wiki so that everything wouldn’t have to funnel through me. Second, it needed to support private groups; unlike the Osbornes, we don’t play our lives out in public. A bonus would be to have web site functionality as well so that we could easily maintain reference information, such as contact numbers.
Sampa has fit the bill perfectly. One of the great things about it is that we can have varying degrees of privacy. At the top level, we post progress reports so that the patient’s extended circle of family and friends can stay apprised. But we also have a section with more limited access that’s open only to the immediate family that’s involved in medical and financial decisions. Our less tech savvy family members post to the blog via email. Two of us are set up as administrators to set up new site sections and otherwise maintain the site.
To be forthright, I’m an advisor to Sampa, and that’s pretty much why I selected it to start with. But I’ve now done some poking around and haven’t found anything else with the same combination of features we need – especially the combo of wiki capabilities and excellent privacy control.