Wednesday, April 28, 2004

David Weinberger Speaking

While I like Dave's blog, he is more enjoyable speaking. In this way, he is very much like Ted Turner, founder of CNN. So I immediately looked at CSPAN's stream of Technology Politics Summit on Politics & the Internet (it starts 55 minutes in). If you want see people's comments, check Dave's blog post.

My review: it is a wonderful explanation of blogging to Democratic marketers. And he did not talk to my lizard brain. ( Also, the two preceeding talks on liberal radio vrs right wing radio was very informative.)

Saturday, April 24, 2004

High School Reunion

How do you have a high school reunion when there were only 16 in your class? Invite the whole school, all classes. So I'm off to Chicago this weekend to see my brother who all went to the same high school as me and then to the reunion. LaLumiere.

Friday, April 23, 2004

BloggerCon2: All Sessions

Tara has gone to the effort to link to all of the blog posts about BloggerCon2 sessions, including mine. Thanks.

Progress of Blogging Software

Blog software and people's expectations of blogs have come a long way in a year.

In the good old days, blog software only needed to give you a simple form to fill out. Write your pithy comment with maybe an italics or bold, but certainly a link. Click save and the world beat a path to your blog. Well, maybe the success was harder to come by, but the software was that simple.

Six months later and if your blog did not have a feed, you were behind the times. Since there were so many new blogs, feeds made it possible to read more in less time. And they avoided the problem with trying to use the spam clogged email system.

It is obvious now that readers expect to be able to comment on your blog. I think you can thank Howard Dean's blog for that. Everyone expects comments.

So these are the features I'll look at while evaluating and server-side blog tool.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Past times are pastimes

Clank, clank, clank
Clank, clank, clank

Treo600 is a cutting edge badge. But so many peope that I know use a ringtone of the old Bell phone. Clank, clank, clank. It makes me smile everytime.

Past times are pastimes - Marshall McLuhan.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

BloggerCon2: Reflections

While the webcast was great and the IRC even better, there is still something about being in the same room. And between rooms. Most animals don't live in the forest or the meadow, they live between. So I missed the conversation between sessions at snacks, lunch and dinner. But I didn't miss the 9 hour drive both ways and I'm glad to be here for my brother tonight.

The discussions reminded me of a maturing discussion mailing list. You have a mix of newbies and people who wrote the FAQ. The oldies wish that the newbies had read the FAQ first, but then every once and a while "out of the mouth of babes" comes a great insight. John Robb has commented on this a lot.

While David Wienberger was not as funny moderating as he is when he gives a presentation, the remark in his session about external business blogs being narrowcasted really resonated. (The IRC discussion about narrow tasking was also great!) That seems to be working with existing blogs and it is true of mailing lists that I've been involved with. It is also the key concept behind the marketing concept of positioning. And it rings true for how cable television channels developed (e.g., ESPN).

Blogging as Business was the surprise session for me. Many of the same ideas that I heard a few years ago for email marketing. (Does everyone agree that spam has nearly ruined that market?) The surprise was the depth of the examples given in the Wiki. It would be fun to have the OPML file of all those blogs, import them into my RSS reader and sample every single blog. But the really important thing about this session is that it showed that "What is a blog?" certainly doesn't matter any more. Instead, there are many different types of blogs and "What is a good blog?" is what matters.

I was surprised that I did hear anyone articulate that the blogsphere and the feed world are different. Certainly they overlap, but not necessarily.

I also heard someone say that they don't consider a blog without comments to be a blog. I don't think that many of the people in blogging for more than a year "heard" that. It is so true - people expect comments now.

I can not wait to hear what other people have to say. I enjoyed it in my dank basement watching the sun shining outside for one of the first beautiful days on the month. Thanks to all the people of Berkman Center for "putting us on."

Saturday, April 17, 2004

BloggerCon2: Blogging a a Business

Jeff Jarvis is doing Blogging as a Business on a wiki.
  • What is working
  • What is missing?
  • Issues this raises?
wiki covers this well

BloggerCon2: Shirky's Power Law

Philip Greenspun is the discussion leader for Shirky's Power Law.

  • Readership and weblogs: why my poker game is not as well attended as the casino.
    1. Properties of web log. Why did you start your web log..
    2. Literary outlet. 20 or 30 page article don't fit in print, so the web is the only place to publish.
    3. Don't have to convince editor to print idea. (But could do own xerox magazine)
    4. Starting a discussion: comments
    5. Support 3 paragraph idea
    6. Different ideas
    7. Private community
    8. To create a record
    9. People want to be heard
  • How do you breakthrough the powerlog? It is envable. [Ray, I think it is all about positioning. In other words, pure market. In otherwords, you need to be a market leader, so create a new niche.]
  • Is lack of money help breakthrough? No one has funds to use marketing to stay on top.
  • Constantly new stuff makes a difference. Number of links. When I wrote about my cat, lots of attention.
  • Getting rich by being a blog ISP is not real.
  • Bob numbers: 1.1 million blogs per day. Power Law does work in numbers. Looking at top 1000, in lower range there is a lot of movement and spikes, but top rank is rock solid using like from posts to other sites.
  • Is is quanity or quality of you blog? Can you afford to do it as your only job.
  • Lot of leaders are newspapers or columnist.
  • Arguement about links equating to traffic
  • You want more people to read your stuff.
  • How many people have subscribed to my feed is what is important to me
  • 10 times as many unique RSS visitors
  • How much will blog content be considered valuable given the test of time?
  • Barrier of entry to publish is much lower than print publishing
  • Pubsub offered to run different analysis if any one had any ideas.

BloggerCon2: Blogging in Business

Dave Weinberger is doing Blogging in Business. Dave is too good of a speaker to pass up and it relates to my work.
  • Have blogs underperformed in business world? I'm not seeing them spring up at most businesses.
  • Make your own home page did not happen, but web logs adapted more rapid.
  • Maybe they don't work well for business. They are already spending money on PR et. al.
  • Are businesses blogs really blogs?
  • What is the blogging ROI? [Ray: employee leaves but the knowledge on their blog stays behind.]
  • Blog as supply chain and part of open source???
  • Replace newsletter and email discussion with weblog.
  • Business people using blog to distinguish themselves as expert in area.
  • Why blog? Better placement in google.
  • Internal blogs: CEO first?
  • External blogs: still developing policies - what corporations can make that jump.
  • Lawyers don't write blogs: firms are interested in voice of firm
  • constraints: off-hand "comment from three years ago could hurt me"
  • Lawyers: could be used when you have to argue other side of the case
  • Dave: We will all be capable to embarassing each other by Googling each other in the future.
  • [Ray: legal has no case law on blogs so they are reluctant to authorize blogs]
  • Using RSS search engines and then commenting. [sort of reverse blog]
  • Corp that let go of the message? Sun;
  • How do we see the curve going? Three years or more until corp adapt external blogs.
  • External blogs are easier than internal blogs
  • Businesses use every other medium, so don't you expect that they'll use blogs.
  • CEO is interested in narrowcasting, not Prell, but specific community - customers, engineers, etc.
  • If internal blogs are easier, what does that change?
  • Blogs are "off the record" in our company - more communications
  • in large companies: more efficient communication patterns, accelerated project cycles, emergent intelligence
  • Narrowcasting is right. Only voice is the blog for some.
  • Are marketers using bloggers as influencers (Tipping Point)? Dr. Pepper
  • Running a project over a time zone and "divide day back into 24 hours" instead on instant IM
  • Social incentives are better than boards
  • [Ray: web logs in business could become like time clocks. Why haven't you posted in the last hours?]
  • Simple software of blogging is replacing more complicated knowledge management software.
  • Publishing is better than locking up in a repository. So people do it more.
Business Examples

BloggerCon2: Vision from Users

Wendy is leading Vision from Users which is talking about features that bloggers want from their tools.
(I'm IRCing as razweekly.)
  • Talking about categories. Popfile.
  • Comments. Problems: people problems - hostile, only nice things (most of the time),
  • Any comment policy? be nice, registration for comments help, Wendy uses "livingroom policy"
  • Tools used: typepad; pmachine; das blog; wordpress; frazzel; tinderbox, radio, movable type, skybuilder,
  • Client tools: everyone has lost long post, need undo post (CTRL-A, CTRL-C works on all tools),
  • What can people not do? RSS both full and exceprt feeds; feedreaders more like pop3; persistance of reading aggregator;
  • Visual clues and different types: format differs by type of post (short, long, etc.)
  • Comment system that is threaded. Bloggers all about conversation, but comment software is too simple. Subscribe to a thread. Subscribe to RSS feed of thread. [Excellent.] Aren't comment getting away from blogging?
  • [Ray: need to post comments, have it also put in my blog and do the trackback] See
  • Want: to draw prictures [Ray: doodle] can do with Tablet PC
  • blogging wo/ words: pictures from phone, example;
  • audio: does not allow skimming
  • as blogs get heavier we'll need lightweight versions as well - Wendy
  • technorati:
  • secondary blog that links to where I have comments
  • blog widgets: outside comments; blog rolling;
  • breadcrumb trail as part of post
  • privacy: [I want private post so I can use blog as knowledgebase]
Also blogged here by Jeff Sandquist.

BloggerCon2: What is Journalism?

The webcast from Vision from Users is down, so I'm listening to What is Journalism where the webcast is good.

We'll get to a definition at the end.
There is good journalism and bad journalism.
What is pushing blogs towards journalism
1 Blogging towards journalism because we can do it.
2 [missed it] 3 Quest for voice.
- Don't know if blogging is going towards journalism? [going back to Visions]

BloggerCon2: Saturday April 17, 2004

Due to budget cutbacks, I was not able to physically be at BloggerCon2 today. (So bummed.) So I'll be virtually attending via blogs, IRS, webcast and RSS. Beautiful day to stare out at spring and the computer screen.

I was going to take the 9 hour drive up to Cambridge, but then I found out that a family matter needed me here on Sunday.

Think I'll be doing one post per session I attend and update a "misc." post.