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blogon dinner

2004-07-24 18:36:32.031364+00 by Dan Lyke 9 comments

Went to the post blogon conference dinner last night to chat with people, figure out what the state of the art of "blogging" is. Learned a couple of interesting things:

  • I finally "got" the lure of RSS[Wiki]. I forget the exact phrasing, but discussion was made of "I meet someone at a conference, I add their RSS[Wiki] feed to my syndicator, but I really don't have time to read 5,000 feeds, what I want is when 3 years down the road they post something that...". So it really is being used as a replacement for email, and much of the popularity is that coupled with the promise of some sort of learning algorithms down the road as people are already feeling overwhelmed.
  • A lot of people are looking to Technorati for these sorts of algorithms. I've never "gotten" Technorati, searches never return anything I think of as useful there, so I'm not sure why.
  • Someone mentioned Gizmodo as an example of a blog making $10k/month from advertising. This is why I'm not rich, I fail to see the value in something that's essentially the ad pages from Wired.
  • All of these come together to show me that what I thought most people see in weblogs, that someone is doing the filtering from their communities in a way which matches my taste, isn't what those who want turn it into a "movement" see; they'd like to automate the whole editing process.
  • Which brings us to a desire to get closer to a real "press release" feed, which was oft expressed.
  • There are those who can introduce themselves via their URLs, and those who want to make money off of weblogs, and the intersection is smaller than you'd think. Way smaller.
  • My snippet manager[Wiki] is needed on a lot of fronts, and as soon as I get the photo/image management bits to demonstratable (and I'm actually making progress on this front!) I'm going to put the email parts of the back-burner and slap in some RSS[Wiki] management.

Made some good connections, had some good discussions, will try to write something more coherent and in-depth when I've done a little processing of it.

[ related topics: Photography Dan's Life Content Management Weblogs Consumerism and advertising Community Conferences ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2004-07-26 05:09:51.295588+00 by: Shawn

[<tweeeet!> 10-second penalty (for me) for cross-topic blogging.]

I'm not following the "replacement for e-mail" angle. How so?

I understand that I so don't fit the "standard" blogger mold, but I use/prefer RSS[Wiki] because it lets me avoid the overhead of an entire web page - because it does let me read and follow more pages than I otherwise could. (Although 5,000 is way outside that range.) Basically, because it's a step closer to newsgroups[Wiki].

#Comment Re: made: 2004-07-27 21:51:58.199807+00 by: Dan Lyke

Shawn, I'm not sure if I can explain it, but let me ramble for a bit and see if this helps...

This morning a guy I worked with at Pixar called me up. He was trying to track down some information that'd help him with his work and figured I'd know some things that might help him. He was quite apologetic about calling me, but I realized that I want some way to occasionally "ping" people I've met over the years, or worked with, just a way to keep those lines of communication open.

I don't need to talk with those people all of the time, but there are a number of people with whom I've crossed paths over the years who should feel totally cool with calling me for whatever reasons, and who shouldn't have to pussy-foot around "the real reason I'm calling you is that I'm looking for...".

The whole "Christmas Card" thing doesn't really work on electronic media, I never manage to get them out in time, and in the multicultural world in which I live phrasing can sometimes be an issue.

So what I really want is some token I can give to people that they can put in their address book and forget about, but that somehow keeps track of my current interests and expertise so that when they have a need they can find me. And, of course, vice-versa.

It turns out that this is what people are using RSS[Wiki] feeds for. And that's why they're talking about dealing with thousands of them. This is a replacement for email because the overhead of the occasional "ping" with, say, forwarded email, doesn't scale, and because maintaining mailing list information is similarly tough, and lists don't have the "dormant" characteristic.

I'm not sure if that helps any, but...

And I see that Columbine has been characteristically loathe to send Flutterby readers over that way, but Community vs Newsfeed was written in response to this entry and is worth a read if you're interested in this topic.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-07-27 23:51:22.856344+00 by: Dori

Dan, your #1 reason to love RSS should be that Craig's List help wanteds are available in that format. It's the fastest/easiest way to surf the classifieds ever.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-07-28 00:21:13.924929+00 by: John Anderson

So what I really want is some token I can give to people that they can put in their address book and forget about, but that somehow keeps track of my current interests and expertise so that when they have a need they can find me. And, of course, vice-versa.

Isn't this what Orkut (and similar ilk) or FOAF are supposed to be for? If people are really using RSS as a particularly obtuse chunky way of maintaining an IM buddy list, then it really seems like there's a glaring need for some innovative software that's actually designed to do that.

(Of course, we live in a world where email is widely regarded as a file transfer protocol, so maybe I should just shut up and stay out of the way of the masses, lest I be trod upon...)

It occurs to me that an interesting test of your theory would be to start publishing your resume via an RSS feed (since you're looking for something new anyway). Might not get you the jobs that you want, however...

Finally, on the Columbine post tip, I have noticed that since I started using an RSS reader (about two months ago), I don't tend to follow comment threads all that closely -- except on Flutterby, because on Flutterby, I'm reading the comment threads via NNTP. And that reminds me (finally finally) that you were going to send me info about marking up my stuff so that your software could scrape it into an NNTP stream, Dan -- what up with that?

#Comment Re: made: 2004-07-28 00:26:23.234841+00 by: Dan Lyke


You'll have to write your own comment syndication, or we have to agree on some sort of authentication system which can work both ways...

#Comment Re: made: 2004-07-28 00:50:24.632582+00 by: John Anderson

Okay, the CSS changes have been made; other details as requested coming via email. Thanks for the kick in the ass; I remember reading that previous post and realizing how easy it was to do, but then I never really got around to doing it. As far as the comment syndication, I need to punt on that -- figuring out a way to block the comment spam is a prereq, and short of a registration system, I don't see that happening. (Of course, it's not like I get that much commenting anyway, so no great loss there.)

#Comment Re: made: 2004-07-28 01:07:54.902806+00 by: Dan Lyke

Holy crap. It worked the first time.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-07-28 01:34:33.403725+00 by: John Anderson

Woo hoo! Thanks, Dan.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-07-28 03:03:15.387439+00 by: Shawn


I've actually been thinking about this kind of stuff as I decide exactly what I'm going to want out of my own blog. I'm less interested in an actual community than I am in providing that ping you're talking about, Dan. But doing a journal with no comments makes me feel a bit too self-absorbed. I think what I'm looking for is something in between.

I never explicitly thought about what you're describing - just understood on some level that staying in touch was one of the functions/goals of a blog-journal-type site. I've never used e-mail (or even IM) for that kind of thing, though, so I wouldn't automatically make the connection between the two. (How did I do it, if not by e-mail? I didn't. I'm not a social person by nature, and not having some way [that I was competent in] to maintain those kinds of connections has always bothered me.)

As for consuming blogs, I'm already pushing my limit at 22. (I can't even imagine 5,000.) And even then I just don't have the time to really follow more than a half-dozen or so on anything resembling a daily basis (weeks or months go by between reading the others). Aside from an idle comment here or there (to provide requested information or clarify a point) Flutterby is the only one I ever post to.

This means most of the feeds in my reader are more news oriented, and in that respect RSS[Wiki] helps me immensely. I'd probably be down to following two or three sites, with not much time left to post here, without it. But I don't find RSS[Wiki] as useful for community, or more blogish, sites because it's not as easy to keep up with the comments and/or contribute.