Seb's Open Research
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Friday, January 09, 2004
Quick poll: do you write a weblog?

(just click here to see the poll if it doesn't display below)

What do you think? []  links to this post    6:25:42 PM  
Worse than ten years of electric chair

What do you think? []  links to this post    5:04:58 PM  
Microblogosphere Top 100

In the item below I suggest picking subsets out of the subscriptions sharing dataset that Dave has assembled. One subset that is of special interest to me is the set of people who read my blog. What does the top 100 look like for this particular crowd? (In other words, what feeds are popular among those who read my weblog?) Of course I'll show up at #1 (how ego-flattering ;) but it would be quite interesting to see the rest of the list. Not hard to do.

What do you think? []  links to this post    4:03:15 PM  
Exploring subscription networks

Dave Winer has started an initiative for sharing RSS subscription lists. Subscriptions define a social network in a manner similar to blogrolls, so you get an explorable dataset similar to Phil's blogging ecosystem (of which I just found out there's a spiffy new version; here's my record) and Dave Sifry's Technorati.

A look at the most subscribed-to feeds reveals the self-selection bias: participants (so far) are mostly techies -- syndication cognoscenti. Say Dave, wouldn't it be cool to define several pools that people could choose to put their list in? That way we could see, for instance who the "librarians" or "software developers" read. I'd really like to see "learning" and "knowledge management" networks.

Want to add your voice? Don't have an OPML file of your own? Fear not, as from Stephen Downes comes this handy tool:

I created a super-easy OPML generator that you can use to create your own reading list and send it to Feeds.Scripting.Com, even if you don't use a headline reader and even if you don't have a website. Moreover, I am releasing the source code as open source (GPL) software, free to anyone who wants it. So now anybody who wants to share their reading lists can do it quickly and efficiently.

What do you think? []  links to this post    3:51:17 PM  
Should you split your blog?

Last month Lisa Williams answered no, and proceeded to eloquently articulate a key part of the philosophy that motivated the design of the Internet Topic Exchange (which incidentally turns one year old next week!).

Basically, unless there are good reasons to do otherwise, all of an individual's public writing ought to be coherently tied together (that includes comments too, by the way). Some of it could additionally go to other spaces, if the author feels like sharing it with a community. To reuse Don Park's metaphor, bloggers are mountains, topics are lakes, and posts flow like water from one to the other. Topics help generate new connections and they provide good starting points for new bloggers.

Here's part of Lisa's post:

As syndication becomes more robust, I think we will see more and more site/feeds that contain vast quantities of news and commentary on a specific subject as people map their own categories to a kind of "pidgin taxonomy." The categories in that taxonomy could then be themselves a feed displayed in an aggregator or on a webpage or both. (While I was hanging out on IRC someone -- I wish I remembered so that I could attribute this idea -- made the comment that we could use the categories of the Wikipedia as this kind of lingua-franca. Just think how it would enrich an online reference work to be able to get a definition of a term and then hit a button and see a live, continually changing feed of related news stories and blog posts on that idea!! I need to fan it warm in here?).

It so happens that Michael Fagan took it upon himself to create directories of topics in the Exchange early on. One of them uses the Open Directory's category scheme.

(link via Kaye)

What do you think? []  links to this post    11:21:22 AM  
Shift happens

Clay points out how the meaning of the term "weblogging" has changed over the last few years as people have repurposed weblog tools in multidinous ways:

Weblogging used to mean, roughly, “daily personal publishing, with an emphasis on conversational annotation of links”, and the software was originally designed to match that pattern. Now weblogging means “stuff people do with weblog software”, and those uses are far more various than the pattern Jorn Barger named and Rebecca Blood described.

So do we need a new term for the activity formerly known as "weblogging"?

What do you think? []  links to this post    10:16:48 AM  
What YASNSes bring

Jeremy Zawodny:

"Get yourself out of the mind set of social network software for the sake of social network software and start thinking about how adding a social networking component to existing systems could improve them."

Follow the links from JZ's post to find a lot of discussion surrounding this debate.

And see the argument that my colleague Stephen offers to the view that there is a disincentive to sharing one's connections:

"If the value you create is based on 'knowing', then your livelihood will be undercut by someone who has the same knowledge - in this case, the same (or similar) network of contacts - and who shares it freely."

(By the way, my primary point of presence in social networking systems is here, on Ryze. Ryze is one of the oldest systems alive today - it was launched in 2002. Worth a login if you have yet to try one of those systems...)

What do you think? []  links to this post    9:01:11 AM  
Interesting thesis topic

Kaye Trammel is "a doctoral student candidate whose dissertation deals with celebrity blogs."

This post also appears on channel weblog research

What do you think? []  links to this post    5:56:54 AM  

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