[Seb's Open Research] QUOTE
Essential questions about blogging.. Newcomer Florian asks six probing questions, trying to get to the essence of weblogging. Good answers to all of these would go a long way towards building a decent blogging FAQ. UNQUOTE [Seb's Open Research]
[Florian] Weblogging Questions:
- 1.) why? why do we write? what are the motivations to publish all that is published?
- 2.) and for whom? who is the audience? who -exactly- are weblogs created for?
- 3.) are they, can they be an alternative source for news?
- 4.) how do you find your way around? how do you NOT get lost in the matrix of personal entries and worlds? or is that the point?
- 5.) what role does weblogging play in your life? how much time do you spend updating your own weblog?
- 6.) is there a community of webloggers? and what are the "rules"?
Al Macintyre takes a stab at some answers:
1.) why? why do we write? what are the motivations to publish all that is published?
- Different strokes for different folks.
- In my case, I enjoy writing, speculating, analysing, discussing.
- Then some people claim to enjoy my output. This motivates me to try to improve the quality of
- my selection (what I chose to write about) and
- my presentation (clarity of my arguements and beliefs explanations).
2.) and for whom? who is the audience? who -exactly- are weblogs created for?
- The communities are evolving. You can perhaps understand better if you can answer the question why we join and participate in this or that Internet Discussion Group but not some other one that has very similar content and people opinions. Or how about friends of friends we trade e-mail with ... people who are not relatives, neighbors, school chums, co-workers, never were in same social group, but we are fast friends with them on the Internet. I took a vacation in Colorado to meet someone I knew only on the Internet, and also to have a vacation in Colorado the week before me at IBM University in the region.
3.) are they, can they be an alternative source for news?
- This is a reliability / reputation topic. Some are not reliable sources for news. Some are. The difference is in the character of the writer, our skills at being a word smith, using the software, and other topics I have previously addressed in my Brain to Brain Inter-personal communications Category.
- Consider our e-mail contacts who tend to forward a lot of garbage along with the good stuff. It seems to me that some e-friends believe 100% at face value what they hear on the Internet, scams along with it. I have talked with some and learned that they agree with me that 99.999% of the forwarded info about viruses and geopolitics and ete. are fraudulent but they forward all just in case this latest is the 0.001% that is true, and I can't get them to see that the huge volume of false info about scams and urban legends and stuff rooted in racism and so forth is totally drowning out the good stuff in the e-mail. People who cannot distinquish fact from fantasy or why we should make an effort not to pass on the fantasy, they are not reliable sources for news. Well we can have the same people problem in any medium of expression.
4.) how do you find your way around? how do you NOT get lost in the matrix of personal entries and worlds? or is that the point?
- This is related to the learning curve of weblogging.
- First we learn how to post the stuff to our weblogs.
- Then we learn how to work news agregation linking.
- Along the way we see the rules of etiquette that apply here to givng proper credit to whoever was the originator of some text, and notifying people that we used their stuff.
- Then as we explore referers (who is using OUR stuff) and search engine nuances, we figure out how to find the news sources that we are personally going to be most interested in.
- And there is always the Knowledge Management Challenge of how best to organize everything.
5.) what role does weblogging play in your life? how much time do you spend updating your own weblog?
- Different people balance all kinds of hobbies and interests, depending on the tools available and the associated learning curves.
- Some day we may see family webrings where photos of the kids are posted with dates not being dates when posted, but dates pointing at how old the kids were when these photos were taken, with some kind of scroll feature so we can rapidly flip through pictures of one young boy or girl as they get older, and the whole thing linked in a family tree so we can flip through pictures of relations, and grandparents dig out faded pictures ... here is what auntie this and cousin that looked like.
- There is a weblog called Digging Up Dirt, or something like that, which is someone showing the progress of gardening, which in the western culture is one of the biggest family bobbies.
- As for me, I am single, somewhat a loner, interested in a variety of intellectual pursuits, which I try to balance, but more computer opportunities mean less time reading novels, more TV channels means less time with ordinary videos, not having a game club around that is into the kind of stuff I like, means I spending less time on game simulation design. We try to fit weblogs into that mixture, and I guess it means less time on the Internet discussion lists for me. Our interests do not evolve, but jump from related area to area.
6.) is there a community of webloggers? and what are the "rules"?
- Yes, but it is very disorganized, almost anarchistic, with various webloggers struggling in concert to do Knowledge Management out of the chaos.
- There are "rules" but I see them helter skelter, and have copied links to some that I have seen. They are related to concepts of behaving towards our fellow humans in a civilized manner, similar to in e-mail where we are expected to quote in context, not clog up our e-mails with extraneous bandwidth, watch out for the integrity of our fellow computer users systems, help each other out, similar to the open source mentality.