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by Jay Fienberg

PlaNetwork conference, blogs and online communities, part 2

posted: Jun 6, 2003 4:00:58 PM

Blogging the plaNetwork conference in San Francisco.

Rebecca Blood is speaking about different types of blogs, different uses. Talking about blogs in business. Talking about interesting blogs. (I spent some time on the planetwork IRC and also got some IM action in the background: crazy being connected like this.)

Showing kuro5hin as an example of a powerful, smart, interesting site. Example of a kind-of citizen journalism. Now showing Dialog Now, a blog for Pakistani and Indian meeting online for dialog. Another one for Northern Ireland:

So many people have been transformed by doing blogs. It's a transformational form. Connects you with other people, gives you an excuse to go out and find things. Using the web as a personal publishing medium to transform their world, even if it is just expressing their personal point of view.

Someone asking about signal to noise ratio of blogs. How to promote good blogs. Jason is responding. Talking about the blogging "A" list (from Clay Shirky's power law at How to get more bloggers heard and linked to. Talking about using Google technology to help blogging / bloggers.

Rebecca saying that the Clay Shirky's power law being off in that people who do good work get recognized very quickly. Talking about trackback as a way of making connections more visible. (Note: iCite has automatic trackback: I agree this is important.)

Rebecca says: becoming active in the community and doing good work everyday is how to get your blog seen. Mena says: quality and voice is what it really comes down to. Write as if people are paying a subscription: like they are actually expecting something good.

David says: Link prolifically. Talking about Technorati's interesting newcomers as a thing he created as a way to show off new blogs. If you are writing good stuff, chances are you will show up on interesting newcomers the next day.

Question about blog for political cause. The questioner has blog trying to get a free and fair election in 2004. Looking for way to gather people together (online) in action, not simply as individual voices.

David is talking about group weblogs as one response. Another example is topicexchange. A great way to start organizing groups around particular topics and issues.

Question about security risks with blog software. To date, not a big issue. But, needs to be taking into account over time.

Question about too complex blog technology. Suggesting bloxsom is an example of simple. (I use blojsom, which I like. But, whatever, you know.) David says: to each his own. Different tools for different folks. Rebecca says people start simple and often try other ones to find what they like (right, I did that).

Someone asking about corporate blogs. Yes, there are corporate blogs. Mena: you can see through a corporate blog if people aren't in personal voice. Some in intranets, some are public sites.

Talking about Raging Cow, fake blogs by fake teenagers, thinking this would work as a advertising tool. Everyone saw through it.

Jason: good examples of corporate blogs. Mostly in web development areas. In a couple years out, will see it in other industries. Mentioning beverage blog that is really good. Macromedia employees have good blogs.

Mena: you would be surprised how many people market products just because they like them. Talking about People come to her site through Google because she talked about music in television ads.

David: two types, external and internal. Internal blogs: project based like B.I.G. (Blogger in Google, that Jason mentioned). Engineers using blogs for project management. Knowledge management internal to an organization. Allows you to keep a history of the organization process. Where did that decision come from? Can still find it in the blog.

Question about environmentalist blogs: Rebecca mentioned a bunch. After this conference, there should be more!

Question about what is the next thing (evolution) of blogs? Mena: photos through phones. Talking about Japanese with phone cameras with IM. People on trains posting to blogs. New phones coming to US. One big thing. Audio an other. Audio posts as event activity.

Jason: Way to record ideas at work. Maybe speech to text. Phone stuff will get way better. What comprises a blog post could change a lot.

David: audio is already here. Video will come at some point, probably not within the next year. Mentions Dan Gillmor talking about the next major news events getting covered by people with camera phones. People being able to show action well before the journalists get there. A new information source. People are already doing stuff like this.

Political action in Korea. Margin of presidential winner came from bloggers posting. People texting on their phones. This type of grass roots mob action is something we are going to see more and more of. More social issue than technology.

From audience: WYSIWIG editing will get better. Maybe information organization different. The speaker is from (blog and wiki). Mena: alternate ways to find content. Fundamentally, the (reverse) chronological order is what makes a blog a blog. Jason: agrees, you post thing that are fresh. Time is an aspect of relevance.

Rebecca: weblogs were a revolution in personal publishing. The next part of the revolution will include ezines. The tools will become more extensible and other forms of personal publishing will evolve. People doing new things with it.

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