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18 janvier, 2003
Introducing: Seb's matchmaking service!

If you're a newcomer to the world of weblogs, one of the first things you will want to do is to find people with similar interests to yours. Unfortunately, it's so difficult right now that some human assistance can come in handy.

I've been blogging for a while now, and I've seen a lot of high-quality blogs, more than I can read actually, about a variety of topics such as science, philosophy, literature, knowledge management, e-learning, information architecture, communication, design, social software, etc. Most of those I can remember are written by articulate, investigative folks. I've already helped a few people connect in the past, for example Alex Halavais and Liz Lawley, or Alf and Richard Gayle.

So here's my offer to new bloggers. (Veterans are welcome too, but there are more chances that I'll point you to people you already know). Post an explanation of what your core interests are on your weblog, and send me a link to that post. I'll do my best to find a few good blogs that match those interests. I won't spend a day on this though; your mileage may vary. You can also post to the new webloggers blogchannel to improve the visibility of your post.

One thing to keep in mind: the more precise the description, the better the results.

Oh, and it's a free service.

Update, 21/01: I've already received a few requests. You can look at the matchmaking archive if you're curious.

What do you think? []  links to this post    12:53:45 PM  
Blogs and support of inquiry

Nurul Asyikin:

[...] It was horrible - the night before my proposal presentation I was desperately trying to find a way to convey the potential I saw in blogs as a new tool for community building to a roomful of disbelievers. For some reason, none of my web searches last year returned any academic papers on blogging, so you can imagine how completely alone I felt.

A couple months later, things have changed. I've found a multitude of papers (I'm listed there, even), blogs and websites, all devoted to the various possibilities presented by weblogs. I've no idea why I couldn't find them last year, when I felt so alone.

It could very well be because of this blog. Since I set this page up, I've received a bunch of emails offering help and support in writing this thesis. It's heartwarming, and somehow knowing that other bloggers care really does a lot for my confidence in doing this research. It's nice to know that blogs mean as much to other people.

What do you think? []  links to this post    12:41:23 PM  
"Operation of a Large Scale, General Purpose Wiki Website"

One of the first serious articles on wikis that isn't on a wiki (a previous one was The Reengineering Wiki (pdf)). , by founder Lars Aronsson. Abstract:

A Wiki website is a hypertext on steroids. Any user can create or edit any page on the site using a simple web browser, and all information processing is done on the server side. Wiki sites are powerful tools for collaboration in closed work groups, but can also be used for the general public on the open Internet. This paper summarizes the experience from the first nine months of operation of Sweden's biggest Wiki website, including its usefulness in non-profit and commercial applications, in hobby and professional, projects, its social and legal aspects, its relation to geographic information systems, subject information gateways, the establishment of a controlled vocabulary, and its implications on learning, free speech, the price of information, licensing, and copyright. Relevant comparisons to similar projects in other countries are also presented.

(via Peter Suber)

What do you think? []  links to this post    12:32:57 PM  
Must-read design weblog

If you're at all interested in the processes that underlie design and creativity and its connections to software development, be sure not to miss Tesugen, Peter Lindberg's weblog. Quantity and quality.
What do you think? []  links to this post    12:28:08 PM  

Spike on jokes, on learning to learn, on innovation adoption, and on trust, strong ties and deep learning. Lots of great insights. And a K-log inquiry - answer by leaving a comment.
What do you think? []  links to this post    12:21:49 PM  
The ultimate French weblog resource

Outils et Pratiques Coopératifs Libres : Une Année Florissante. [via Maria Milonas] [thomas n. burg | randgänge]

A truly incredible French language collection of worthwhile links on weblogs and wikis. Wow. An English adaptation is in order.

Chapeau, Xtof! J'en suis tombé de ma chaise! Une idée: fais un nouveau fil RSS et postes-en un élément par jour.

What do you think? []  links to this post    12:03:59 PM  
The LiveJournal boom

Did you know that LiveJournal is probably the largest weblog service around? Their users seldom read weblogs outside LiveJournal, which is what makes them less visible to outsiders. Here's a company profile from late 2002 which states that

LiveJournal boasts a total of 782,000+ users. Of these users, 64% are female, 93% are free accounts, and a large majority of the users are between 15 and 21 years of age. The 729,000 free accounts are made possible because of the 37,000 users that pay. When a user pays, they are contributing a little over $2 a month to pay for LiveJournal and the extra features they have access to.

In case you want to see the impressive growth curve, here's a little zipped Excel file for you:, based on the data here. (Scroll down to line 625.) I've estimated that if their membership continues to double every year, their user base will surpass in number the population of Canada around 2008.

And here's another post on LiveJournal demographics at Unbounded Spiral, a blog that you'll surely enjoy if you like reading (or writing!) Ross Mayfield's weblog.

What do you think? []  links to this post    11:50:25 AM  
New bloggers' hangout

I've set up a TopicExchange channel for new webloggers who wish to introduce themselves and for people who want to know who the new faces are (remember, the best bloggers have yet to blog). So actually the best way to introduce yourself is probably for you to ping that channel, which I and hopefully others will be keeping an eye on.

What do you think? []  links to this post    11:26:25 AM  
Infinite self-reference

Thanks to Xeni Jardin for this inspiring demo of recursion. [Scripting News]

Neat. Notice the original spiral pattern.

What do you think? []  links to this post    10:53:45 AM  

Czech Proverb. "The big thieves hang the little ones." [Quotes of the Day]
What do you think? []  links to this post    10:51:16 AM  

Political Patterns on the WWW. Valdis Krebs always has interesting things to discover using social networks and databases. The fact that people who read political books tend to fall into 2 camps is not too unusual but the abolute separation is pretty surprising. It would appear that the 'right' side has fewer books in the cluster than the 'left' side. Wonder what that means, if anything? [A Man with a Ph.D]

Political clans are often quite disconnected from one another, but so are many other kinds of communities, whether they be scientific, religious or otherwise. One of my hopes for weblogs is that they might let community straddlers have a beneficial "bridging" effect, improving communication between people who really ought to listen more to one another.

What do you think? []  links to this post    10:46:41 AM  
What is the most interesting collaborative writing project?

Poll and illuminating (if a little wiki-centric) discussion by Erik Moeller, Sunir Shah, and others over at infoAnarchy. Eric highlights the effect of usability, citing as an example wikis' weird CamelCaseSyntax as an obstacle to growth. I entirely agree - Wikipedia would not be inching towards 100,000 articles if it hadn't switched to free links.

My vote would have gone to the Web itself, but short of that, the 'pedia wins hands-down in my book.

By the way, infoAnarchy has created an action mailing list to oppose insane copyright terms. (via the group-forming community blog)

What do you think? []  links to this post    10:30:08 AM  

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