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Wednesday, January 22, 2003


"Communication breakdown, its always the same."- Led Zeppelin

"What we have here is failure to communicate" - Cool Hand Luke

The initial results of our unscientific survey of blogger's opinions of LiveJournal (LJ) are in.  Using rigid statistical analysis and the opinions of respondents, we can make some hasty generalizations:

  • Journals are read very rarely by bloggers
  • Journals don't link to blogs
  • Blogs don't link to journals
  • Journalers and Bloggers don't communicate

What I found interesting about the initial LJ stats (thanks again, Seb) was that here you had about 1 million people engaged in the process of blogging within a relatively closed community.  Although still dwarfed by blogging (Blogger alone has over 1 million users);  its significant, simple, valuable to its users and growing.  The demographic difference, the relative youth of LJ,  compared to bloggers, was equally striking. 

So here's my supposition: LJ is a closed community from which insular communication is an emergent property.  Blogging platforms provide open communication from which community is an emergent property. 

Since LJ is a community first (to join you have to be invited by an existing LJer), it provides the social infrastructure to support new and young bloggers.  That coupled with the founding communities youth may explain its demographics.  Just as LJ can learn from blogging about open communication, blogging can learn from LJ about community (and deploy mechanisms like Blogbuds for supportive ties).

But is that the real story?  I contacted Eric Hancock, who mirrors his blog to both LJ and Radio.  Eric is bridging two communities, some would call a community straddlers, perhaps the most valuable role according to social network theory. 

I originally started posting to LiveJournal because a friend of mine keeps a journal there. After a while, I started reading more and more journals. LJ has an interesting community; very social, pretty interesting. There are nice 'blogging tools for LJ (I use iJournal, a nice, little client for MacOS X), as well as tools for Radio Userland to cross post automatically.

Eric provided a How to Do This:

  • Radio ships with a Manilla-Blogger bridge. It posts to anything that supports the Blogger API. I think, if you were so inclined, the Manilla-Blogger bridge could post to LJ, too.
  • Mark Paschal wrote a tool called Footbridge that easily posts to LJ from Radio.

Everyone has their own opinions of different communities and differences are good.  But if you are inclined to bridge communities and expose differences its even better.

7:55:25 PM    comment []

Blogging for Business

Kathleen Goodwin discusses the implications of weblogs as business tools [Meet the B-Blog].  The beauty of the weblog is that it is extremely cheap compared to any toher form of collaboration. But, does it have enough features to do the job? [MarketingFix]

The blogging in business meme is picking up.  Here are the applications of blogging the article highlights:

B-blogs are highly strategic, here-to-stay desktop tools that can strengthen relationships, share knowledge, increase collaboration, and improve branding. Think of the potential for your e-newsletter strategies:

  • Articles within newsletters can be linked to a blog, extending life and creating a massive conversation.
  • You can offer a bidirectional forum to customers to get true, personal opinions on your products and services.
  • Company experts can start a blog and become industry experts, helping your company edge out competition and, through this interactive forum, draw customers into another exchange of information and thoughts.
  • The beauty of this interplay is you can layer your blog with editorial controls!

12:57:13 PM    comment []

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