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The first of two invited posts at GigaOm are up.  These are not researchy, they’re intended to be informative to a broad audience.  They describe the state of affairs in data parallelism, and some of the reasons why this is an increasingly hot topic.

This started out as an exercise for Greenplum, a company I advise that sells a massively parallel DBMS based on PostgreSQL.  I’ve been helping them with their recent launch of a MapReduce interface to their system.  That’s been an interesting project. I’ll write about it more soon.

Along the way, they asked if I’d write a blog post for them about parallelism, SQL and MapReduce to put things into perspective.  I sat down to write a few paragraphs on the subject and ended up with a seven-page essay.  Too long for a blog post so I just turned it into a Tech Report. (a.k.a. a white paper in industrial terms).  We excerpted it for GigaOm to run in a couple posts.  The original is more nuanced and playful, but hey — blogging isn’t about 7-page essays.  I’ll try to control myself here too, and stick with a few paragraphs per post.  And if that causes me to write more tech reports, so be it — I’ll link them in.

It’s overtime for me to join the current millenium and start blogging.  A few things kicked me into doing this now:

In defense of my Internet cred, I’m not totally late to the game.  Back in undergrad days, I spent a lot of time writing Usenet articles: in fact I founded (i.e. collected votes for) the jazz/blues newsgroup, which was the first Internet discussion group on the topic.  It had a pretty great run in its day.  Blogging isn’t much different.  

But I’ll stick to technical computer science topics here — a bit of trendwatching, along with updates and thoughts on the research we’re doing in my group at Berkeley, and what we’re seeing from colleagues and friends in research and in the field.  I’ll kick that off soon.

Undoubtedly lots of this will be beta quality.  That’s the point, right?