ME and Ophelia

Friday, January 09, 2004

About the world of blogs and blogging

Dave Pollard's post in his blog, How To Save the World, summarises what he believes were the most important ideas of 2003 about the world of blogs and blogging. It is the first part of a series of posts and he invites readers to comment with feedback on what they think or if he has missed any important ideas.

The following excerpts are my five favourites:

1. The Internet is a World of Ends

Doc Searls and David Weinberger explained to bloggers and to e-business what the Internet is and how it works:

Bloggers (and blogging tool developers) now realise that it's a jungle out here. There are no rules. The blogosphere, like the Internet, is owned by no one, open to everyone, and made better by each of us. A cornucopia of unrestricted and open innovation. Its value flowers at the ends, and, fellow bloggers, we are the ends.

2. Blogs have Tipping Points and manifest the Strength of Weak Ties

Ever noticed how hard it is to get your family and close friends ('strong ties') to read your blog? That's because they see no incremental value in doing so.

But friends of friends, people two or three degrees removed from your network, do. Weak ties probably got you your job, found your life partner, provoked your most innovative ideas, and sourced most of your blog's readership. And you can exploit these weak ties to push a new idea, find new readers, perhaps even save the world. It's easy, just:

--test the credibility of and degree of interest in what you're saying by sending messages to selected mavens (bloggers who incubate new ideas and stick with them until they catch), A-listers (bloggers who already have a huge audience), and connectors (bloggers, like me, who have an audience that crosses diverse communities of interest);

--focus on a few subjects and address them profoundly and creatively, instead of talking a bit about everything under the sun; and believe: persevere until your message finds its audience.

3. Blog functionality is a critical component of Social Networking

And, Social Networking will transform blogging (and also transform the Internet, the media, the way we communicate, and even the evolution of business).

Social Networking Applications (recently voted Technology of the Year by Business 2.0 magazine) will go beyond just allowing you to publish what's on your mind and browse what's on other people's.

They will allow you to map and manage your networks, the communities to which you belong, your strong and weak ties.

They will evolve blogging from clumsy, mostly one-way communication to a rich, two-way seamless multi-media communications medium that will allow you to identify and connect simply and powerfully with people you want to know better (for personal, practical or business reasons). Build deep relationships. Collaborate on awesome projects. Find the next president.

4. Blogs could be the platform for a proxy for each of us as individuals

Our electronic filing cabinet and electronic identity. A blog consists of information about you, and knowledge you've accumulated.

What if you expanded it to be a repository for all the information about you and all the knowledge you've accumulated, your 'locked' filing cabinet. You control it, you decide what does and doesn't go into it, and who can have a temporary key to what parts of it.

Then at work, it could be your proxy, the repository of knowledge that shows your value to your employer and the value you've added to the company. And it could be your resume.

At home, it could be your medical patient record. Your bookshelf catalogue and refrigerator/pantry inventory and recipe book. Your bio for the dating service.

Imagine the applications that could be built on this knowledge. Your intellectual property, under your control. Amazing. Scary.

5. Blogging is increasingly a platform for achieving mainstream recognition

Just as the main readers of most business websites are competitors, not customers, the mainstream media are perusing blogs for new ideas and trends.

So far they haven't really caught on to how the blogosphere works, so the process is serendipitous, creating brief fame mainly for A-listers who provide alternative viewpoints to stories of the day where no mainstream media pundits are at hand.

But the mainstream media and bloggers are both learning how to use each other. Some bloggers have launched books based on their blogs, and some blogging self-promoters now have columns or spots in regular media.

Those who think there's no money and fame in blogging are too quick to judge blogs' importance in the information society.

Source courtesy of Stowe Boyd

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 1/09/2004
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