Ming just ran a good "Big Ideas"-type essay titled Many to Many. In it, he uses an inspiring biological metaphor to describe the ultimate information system.
[...] say I have something to say, or something to sell, or something I'm looking for. I'd like my communication to be there for EVERYBODY. Yeah, yeah, so does every spammer. My point is that we need an approach where that is actually a good thing, and where it is feasible. My communication touches everybody. But everybody has different receptors. So it will only stick in some places. Same thing the other way. I want to be informed about everything that everybody is talking about. Except for that I only want to retain the stuff that actually fits for me. I have my own receptors, which will only allow specific items to stick.
He then comes back to his idea of a powerful all-encompassing multidimensional open database, which remains vague in my mind.
Do I really need several profiles and identities – a company website, Ryze profile, Ecademy profile …. the list can be endless. Could a blog consolidate all these identities – a one-stop profile – where you see ALL of me – my thoughts and preoccupations – personal and business - a bit of mind and soul?
Neel Bubba contributes a quite interesting analysis of blogging/journaling use, mainly based on the rich LiveJournal dataset. Here's a graph of the LiveJournal age distribution over time.
The average LiveJournaler's age shows an intriguing evolution over time:
There is an inflection point near the end of 2001. Neel came up with two possible explanations: 9/11 prompted older folks to jump onboard and express themselves; or the dotcom fallout resulted in more older people with time and inclination to blog.
But this does not explain why the curve initially goes downward. Here's a hypothesis. LiveJournal was originally developed by Brad Fitzpatrick, who was then a sophomore at University of Washington. When he made his system available to other people, the first ones to pick it up were his friends, who must predominantly have been around his age. As the word spread virally about this cool new tool, younger brothers and sisters latched onto LiveJournal, told their friends, and usage spread furiously to teenagers, gradually drowning out the college folks and driving the average age down.
Lets say there are lots of NetGeners interested in blogging/journaling (as the graph above shows)...this could be an indicator or perhaps a key aspect of the future growth and impact of blogging/journals.