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From: 'Alan Gutierrez' [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> There's a problem with trolls that will turn comments off on
> most high-traffic blogs, especially political blogs. Culling
> comments can take up a lot of time for bloggers.
It's a barnyard. The chicken fights dominate until the bulls
go at it. Have you noticed the uptick in well-placed articles
warning people that 'anything you blog can and will be used
against you in the court of Human Resources'? Blogs scare
the MBAs witless. Blogs out branding, they out attempts to
use language to hide the truth, they out the con artists and
the fakirs who can push a stock price into a bubble by gutting
the employees's benefits without doing anything to get product
out the door. The blogs scare the ownership society. They
force them to confront the customers face on without the
protection of their spin meisters and closed door meet-and-greets.
They can co-opt blogs, but they can't change the essential
openness. Vampires don't like bay windows on their crypts.
> I've always felt that conversations ought to take place between
> blogs, if there were applications that could piece the
> conversations together.
I agree with that. On the other hand, it seems to me you are
describing a semantic aggregator. So I push back to the
'unstructured information' thread. We can make some progress
here by staring a bit more deeply into systems that take raw
or semi-structured data and categorize them for the sake of
auto-linking. Note that in the UIMA architecture, those
components are pluggable, so in theory, one could subscribe
to a service where the last component is the categorizer by
the description of that. I'm not sure that gets us beyond
the Fox News Network model in blogs although they are very
useful in databases where connecting the dots is the key to
> A blog conversation protocol, then, in answer to your question
> at the end of the post.
Please describe that. It's an interesting idea but see above.
> >The recognition of the "A-List" preceeds the creation of a market.
> And just as markets have leaders, disruptors emerge to threaten
> the A-list. "Burn down the mission, if you want to stay alive..."
> Sure. The A-list will be relevant always. You can't have a
> society without celebrity, and vice versa.
If society is monolithic, true, but I see a world of different
A-lists with occasional cross-referencing. Even if there is a
'greatest readership' when you look at that list, a lot of it
is the people who post about the web, about the technology,
etc., and that means so far, we are just admiring ourselves.
If you look at the political blogs, you don't see so much
a conversation, but the same self-admiration.
On the other hand, I've stumbled into scientific blogs discussing
say, quantum theory, and the arguments are a lot more formal and
reasoned. So again, it n-furcates. That's fine. The utility
of a semantic aggregator is one that can connect the dots among
concepts that aren't labeled the same, but have hidden couplers.
Outing hidden couplers is the prize. Then we learn and the web
is doing what I've always believed such a system should do.
> Most of what exists today addresses the needs of the A-List,
> however. Blogging software itself makes sense for someone who is
> trafficked, but doesn't make as much sense for a programmer like
> myself, who blogs only when time permits.
I don't understand. Which features address the steep curve vs the
> A personal CMS, makes more sense. With feeds, of course, but
> also with versioning, for the essayists among us.
Ok. Please expand.
> > There are going to be new protocols for the construction of
> > edges in the network, that are richer than tags and URIs, and
> > the meaning of the edges will not be entrusted to a ranking
> > algorithm.
>> That's the music market. You may not like what emerges here, but selah.
> Lost me.
The music market is based on bribery for airtime. There are subtle ways
to achieve that and few if any ways to avoid it.
> > Rather, it will be negotiated by the nodes, the individuals, who
> > will agree on a meaning of the link.
So we are back to 'good for whom'?
> If it is important enough, it will be packaged, marketed and gamed.
>> Yes, yes, yes. It's all good.
It's all traditional, that's for sure.
> > I'd like to enhance exsiting blogging software so it can act as
> > a node in a graph data structure, that can be accessed
> > programatically, and see what new applications can be created.
> That's what it is now. What programs are you going to add?
> I'd add an XML/REST interface to blogs for searching that blog.
Ok. That's good.
> I'd also add a XML/REST vote interface, that would allow anyone
> to rank an article on that blog.
Ok. Somewhat like the Microsoft voting on their technical pages?
> I'd let to go wild, address the problem of gaming later, (or
> maybe after I get some sleep).
It's a difficult problem much like trying to keep voting exit
surveys from influencing voters in other time zones. Get some
sleep. It's Friday; we can turn back into humans tonight. :-)