Deciding on a Tech Talk topic is always a challenge. While I do have a list of dozen or so topics on hand, it is not until the Saturday night before the Sunday morning when I actually start writing out the Tech Talk that I actually make a decision on what to write. I will then mull over the various topics and pick one of them. To make things easier when I actually start writing, I create an outline of the various ideas that I want to cover. All of this makes sure that when I sit to write on the Sunday morning the words flow out smoothly.
So, where do the actual ideas for the Tech Talks emerge? There are many sources a conversation I had with someone can spark off a thought which could later grow into a Tech Talk, something I read which I feel needs more detailed thinking (so writing becomes one way to do that), or a random thought which seems interesting enough to explore further. Keeping a list of topics handy also ensures that as I come across thoughts or ideas related to these topics, I can file them away (mentally) or abstract them on the blog for later reference.
I also try and make sure I write the Tech Talks at least a week in advance else the pressure of the last-minute can become quite acute. On most occasions, I have managed to do this. This ensures that should something urgent come up on the Sunday, I am not caught in a situation where I dont have any Tech Talk to post on a Monday morning.
When I started the Tech Talk series just under five years ago (November 2000), I had always worried that one day Id run out of topics and ideas to write on. But luckily, that hasnt happened yet. I have kept a diverse set of readings and interests, and at any point of time, there is a list that has never come down to zero. So, I think Ill be going on and on! All in all, the writing of Tech Talks has been a great experience and looks likely to continue. There is enough of action happening in the world of technology and emerging markets that one needs to keep the cycle of reading-thinking-writing continuing.
So, it was on a Saturday evening that I found myself reading Business Week over dinner (I am one of those people who just have to be reading something while eating) that I came across a story that caught my attention. South Korea has, over the past few years, emerged as a cradle for new technologies. So, keeping an eye on what is happening there is important to get a glimpse of tomorrows world. This Business Week story on South Korea was all about emerging technologies and a government plan called IT839.
Tomorrow: The Context