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Background on blogging
Every blog tends, eventually, to reflect on the nature of blogging, just because none of us blogged at school, and we want to figure out what the heck we are doing, when we blog away. Is it a diary? Is it a record of sites visited? Opinions? Drafts of articles that will later get polished by official editors? A subversive, unedited, non-consensus, renegade rant?
Blogs have caught on, and morphed as they spread through the Web. Now groups of friends publish a joint blog (where, at first, a blog was purely an individual outcry). Now corporations pretend to blog (sounding as unconvincing as the stewardess explaining how we can use our seat cushions if we land in water, as we fly over the desert). And marketing mavens are beginning to pitch popular bloggers, because they seem so influential.
From the simple idea of a personal log of web sites visited, with comments, we have come to a day when Dave Winer, blogger extraordinaire, is working at Harvard Law school to get all the students blogging away.
Our own blog is called PricePoints.
A New Yorker working in the company that spawned TypePad, a tool for
creating blogs, Anil Dash writes about blogging, the Internet, and
whatever. He says: "My work in evangelizing things like weblog tools and
technology is grounded in the belief that the best and most important use
of computers is as communications tools." The sidelist of breaking news
Cory Doctorow, Mark Frauenfelder, and David Pescovitz, seize on wonderful
info on the web, often in blogs. Doctorow wrote parts of Essential
Blogging. Frauenfelder was the founding editor in chief of Wired Online.
Pescowitz writes futurist columns in most of the top zines. If it is
wonderful, these guys include it on their blog. Examples: Beautiful
pictures of toxic dumps, from one blog, or how to heat a hot tub with a
Crawls all over the Web looking for links to blogs, and reports back the
results of this democratic survey. The home page claims to offer the "most
contagious ideas" of the day. "Blogdex is a research project of the MIT
Media Laboratory http://www.media.mit.edu/ tracking the diffusion of
information through the weblog community. Ideas can have very similar
properties to a disease, spreading through the population like wildfire.
The goal of Blogdex is to explore what it is about information, people,
and their relationships that allows for this contagious media."
|The Diary of Samuel Pepys||
A day-to-day blog from the 17th century diaries of this man-about-town,
raconteur, lover, and gossip. Links take you to background information
about people, places, and ideas in the 1660s. Phil Gyford recognized that
the daily entries in Pepys' diary resembled a blog, but he has gone beyond
simply posting another entry every day. He has made this site into a full
hypertext excursion into the past.
Checks out more than 15,000 blogs, and lists them by theme, language, and
home country. If you're interested in any topic from "academic" to
"writing," you will get a set of links, with a sentence or two describing
each blog. What's great is to see how many languages people are blogging
in. Not so great: the quality, which ranges from silly through grotesque
to fascinating. You have to really like blogs to keep on clicking.
Chris Locke says he writes this stuff late at night when he should be
asleep. You get to listen in on his conversations with other Cluetrain
Mainfesto writers, and hundreds of other folks. He rambles, he free
associates, he tears into the innocent and the ignorant. Occasionally he
even reflects on what blogging is all about.
|Scott Rosenberg's Links and Comments||
Scott prowls the blogosphere, particularly blogs on Salon, and brings you
a quick summary of interesting posts. He's the managing editor at Salon,
so he has a ringside seat at the circus of Internet, Web, and contemporary
Dave Winer's up-to-the-second (and beyond) blog about whatever occurs to
him. He's one of the folks standing at the center of the blogging storm.
Go here if you want to know what's next in blogging.
|Steven Berlin Johnson||
Author of Emergence, Interface Culture, and Mind Wide Open. Founder and
mourner of Feed. Literate, wide-ranging comments on the digital culture.
Want to know what books are being mentioned on the most recently changed
weblogs. Here's the list, courtesy of Paul Bautsch.
|Weblogs at Harvard Law||
The Berkman Center for Internet and Society got Dave Winer to come up to
Cambridge for a while, and he has hosted conferences, and posted tons of
blogger lore, while encouraging everyone at the law school to blog. You'll
find history, tips, and encouragement to go blogging yourself.
From Userland, this site lists new and updated sites by the hour.
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