Jon Udell reflects on a subtle chain of events leading to his becoming
aware of issues FOAF developers had with some of his writing:
What struck me later about this interaction was its miraculous
subtlety. I wrote something that made Edd sigh, I overheard his sigh,
and we had a discussion about what provoked it. Now let's look at how
this happened. My original comments were posted on this weblog. Edd and
Dan may or may not subscribe to my blog, but given their central
involvement in FOAF it was virtually certain that the item would come
to their attention. Their reaction to it, on the FOAF chat channel, was
logged on a public page. I became aware of it when somebody followed
the link to my item from that page, which created an entry in my
referrer log. A truly remarkable chain of events. This kind of thing
happens every day, but I continue to find it astonishing.
Weblog to chat channel (via Feedster, perhaps?), to referrer log, to
email. With human intervention in between each step, mind you. If you
got the dynamics of it all you should get a passing grade in social
The good folks over at the Community Wiki (a fork out of Meatball wiki, with less restrictive copyright and NearLinks into Meatball - brilliant idea) have had a stab at figuring out why people blog. A few drivers from their list which I think are spot-on:
But what drives people to publish personal information in the first place?
People don't always have good friends in real life with whom they can
discuss what is on their mind; the web facilitates finding like-minded
Reputation. In online communities, it
is sometimes important to offer more personal information in order to
build trust (ie. link to your blog from your signature when posting to Usenet or a MailingList)
Plain Talk, Personal Freedom. You are held to your own standards. Your friends are your friends. You can talk naturally. You can be yourself.
Off-Topic. People need
off-topic so that they can build the human interest needed to work
together in trust. But off-topic is off-topic, and doesn't belong in
work mailing lists, and on some wiki. So what you do is you put your
off-topic thoughts into your blog. Problem solved.
Nobody's going to pounce on you for putting your half-baked thoughts on
your blog. People may disagree, or help you see some flaws, but almost
always with the understanding that they are in your house as a guest.
is not showing life to people, but bringing them to life. A
revolutionary organization must always remember that its aim is not
getting its adherents to listen to convincing talks by expert leaders,
but getting them to speak for themselves, in order to achieve, or at
least strive toward, an equal degree of participation.
The RSS feed is here but the site doesn't seem to offer author-specific feeds.