cyberspacial musings
bits about the real and virtual worlds

03 Apr

Whither Thou Bloggest?

As I’m sitting here in a forum discussing the use of blogs, I’m listening to a speaker talk about how those of us who only post every couple of weeks aren’t really taking full advantage of blogs. Being an example of that, I thought I’d go ahead and make my first April post.

Blogs have become fascinating examples of social software. Personally I set this up so that I didn’t have to continually edit HTML in order to add my $0.02 on some particular topic, but it seems that blogs have taken the role today that USENET used to have. In the previous decade, most of the discussion between people was done through USENET and newsreaders. When the technological sophistication of the userbase decined as a result of the massive influx of users, USENET migrated first to the web (was DejaNews, now Google Groups) and now, it seems, into Blogs.

In the old days, individuals would create new news groups for particular topics, often crossposting to several different newsgroups to get answers and discuss issues. (People also used, and still continue to use, e-mail lists for the same purpose.) But with the emergence of the web and the appeal of adding a web-based publishing aspect to this, micropublishing has finally emerged.

Where we were previously mapping the web, now there are some efforts to map the blogs. Take a look at Technorati, where you’ll find out who links to whom in the blog world. Is this important? Not totally clear to me yet. It used to be considered important that we find out who the most linked to sites were. We were discussing this years ago while I was at IBM as part of an effort to build a new search engine. Yet it seems that key words and ranking in DMOZ are actually still more important.

No conclusions yet — just a marker to continue to think about this ….

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