Blogosphere

Blog posts about blogs and blogging. Related subjects include:

October 24, 2010

Notes, links, and comments, October 24, 2010

Time for a notes/links/comments post just for Text Technologies:  Read more

April 4, 2010

Ike Pigott on the future of reporting

Ike Pigott argues that, as the number of conventional journalists plummets, corporations will have to hire their own “embedded” journalists to fill the void. Read more

May 23, 2009

TechCrunch offers to pay a source’s legal expenses

A recent TechCrunch post recapitulates its dispute with CBS and Last.fm, reiterates its confidence in its accusations, and closes with

And to the CBS employee who was fired and threatened based on this story – we believe certain U.S. Whistle Blower laws may protect you from retaliation from CBS in this matter. We’d like to provide you with legal counsel at our cost.

That’s a remarkable offer to make, one that is very rare for traditional media to match. As such, it’s a strong (albeit very partial) answer to the ongoing handwringing about the future of investigative journalism. Read more

March 29, 2009

Where I think the information ecosystem is headed

The debate about the future of the information ecosystem rages on. As you might surmise from my choice of words, I’m on the side that says something new will rapidly evolve to fill niches vacated by the demise of a teetering economic model. To a first approximation, there are two major reasons to believe this:

  1. People have deep-seating cravings to opine, educate, and otherwise expostulate. Many will gladly do it for free. And labor represents the lion’s share of information-industry costs.
  2. What’s more, a significant fraction of news is something large organizations have a vested interest in releasing. To the extent that’s true — and there certainly are major exceptions in areas such as debunking and investigatory journalism — ordinary enterprises can be and indeed already are a major source of resources for the information ecosystem.

Here are some of the species I believe will thrive or at least survive in the part of the ecosystem focused on enterprise IT news: Read more

September 11, 2008

Blog user interfaces

Over on A World of Bytes, I’ve started highlighting interesting tech blogs people might enjoy. However, I chided each of my first three selections for UI failings. A comment thread quickly ensued, and social media maven Jeremiah Owyang asked how he could make his blog easier to read. This post is a followup to that discussion.

Jeremiah’s blog and my most active ones – DBMS2 and Text Technologies – have a lot in common. Specifically, they are multi-hundred-page websites, featuring dense material meant to be read by busy, tech-savvy people. And so my core advice boils down to: Make it as easy as possible for people to find and recognize what is interesting to them.

In particular, I suggest: Read more

August 25, 2008

Evidently I’m a social media expert too. Who knew?

Network World asked me to do an online chat. That isn’t surprising. What’s surprising is that they asked me to focus on social media. My views on social media boil down to:

The long form of my views on social media — with a little data warehousing thrown in — may be found here.

In somewhat related news, Jason Fry of the Wall Street Journal showed his exquisite good sense by quoting me carefully about online presence, and expanding upon my points at length.

August 17, 2008

A startup that could improve all our lives

Apostrophee aspires to hugely improve the experience of cyberspace, by applying grammar and spelling correction to online content, especially blog comments and forum posts.

Too bad the article is a spoof.

Reflecting on why it has to be spoof could be somewhat enlightening. ;)

July 20, 2008

Micro- and full-length-blogging use cases overlap greatly

Steven Hodson ranted on Mashable that Twitter is not a micro-blogging tool.  His case was, in essence, “Blogs are thoughtful and Twitter isn’t, so the two aren’t comparable.”  I disagree.  Hodson was over-glorifying blogging, while trivializing the broad variety of Twitter use cases.*  Consider, if you please, the following list of use cases that are met both by Twitter and by conventional blogging:

  1. Reporting on your life. By the way, I had a great first week in Grand Cayman, but now it’s raining heavily, which is a big part of the reason why I’m blogging.  Broadband is slow and my laptop is old, so being online is a bit frustrating, so I’m cutting a few corners in thoroughness.
  2. Expressing feelings. That’s pretty inseparable from #1.
  3. Bashing those who you feel need bashing. It works, too. :)
  4. Communicating news.
  5. Expressing analytical opinions.
  6. Promoting your services, opinions, and links.

*More precisely, Hodson was underrating the use cases for a version of Twitter that actually works, but I’ll try to refrain from posting at length again about that problem until I’ve looked into the changes at recent Twitter acquisition Summize.  That said, I think it will take Twitter quite a while, if it ever does, to recover from the terrible loss of momentum due to its lack of scalability.  Certainly my usage has dropped to near zero since the disastrous period in which they disabled the Replies search.

March 4, 2008

Over 80 percent of blog posts are probably spam

Doug Caverly highlights a Matt Mullenweg quote indicating that about 1/4 of all the blogs ever on WordPress.com were spam (aka splogs). Now, that’s probably a higher fraction than for the blogoverse overall, because:

But there’s one more factor. Splogs have much higher posting frequency than real ones. 10-20+ posts per day is not uncommon, and 50-100+ is not unheard of. That’s 5-10X the post frequency of even the more active human-written blogs. So let’s assume:

In that case, over 80% (and indeed probably over 90%) of all blog posts are made by machines rather than by human beings.

February 5, 2008

Sturgeon’s Law, and the future technology of social technology

Social technology has been hugely important to me since 1991. I met Linda on a Prodigy bulletin board. Blogging is crucial to my business. Mailing lists have led Linda and me to two vacations, most of our computer gaming, multiple TV shows (especially Buffy/Angel), and a whole lot of books. I find LinkedIn useful at times, and for the past few weeks I’ve been Twittering up a storm. My love life, work, and entertainment all are rooted in technology that gets people communicating with each other.

I’m not just saying that for street cred. My experiences also illustrate two important points – people use many different kinds of social technology, and social technology is very important to them. When you feel or hear negatives about MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, blog reading or whatever – those are indictments of particular services or technologies, not of online social networking in general. Read more

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