How technology blog rumors are made.
For the past week, I’ve been posting a fair amount about the raging cow and about establishing trust in a market where marketers are trying to get in side by side with other bloggers. Chris Pirillo makes some good points about the raging cow campaign: Is it so bad if they are trying to engage us in a conversation? If markets are conversations, as a popular book says, is Dr. Pepper doing the right thing? It’s a tough question to answer. After all, they are trying to do what we told them they should do. On a related matter, the blog world is now abuzz with a description of the Internet as an agreement. While the document provides an interesting set of concepts that are sound from a purely technical standpoint (yes, the underlying standards of the Internet are based on an agreement), it does not cover the variety of choices of what is on the Internet. If the goal is to say “hey, the Internet is just an agreement to tie networks together” then World of Ends succeeds. But the contention that this makes a difference does not really matter much in today’s world. What world of ends does…Read More
The raging cow incident shows that there’s a need to establish trust in the blogging (and maybe the web) world. Tim Bray demonstrates that most bloggers have relationships to products, concepts, companies, and other bloggers. His declaration of truth is a good start but there are a number of things that still need to be done. Meanwhile, Scott Johnson asks the important question: How will we establish the current level of trust we have for blogs?. It is an important question that requires much thought. In the discussions surrounding my suggestion of how we can level the playing field, I’ve learned a couple of things: First, whatever solution we come up with must be easy to implement. It is easy for those of us who are more technical to come up with XML rules and complex structure to represent the world. However, most people neither have interest nor experience in experimenting with such thing. Hence the first rule of any answer is that whatever solution is implemented, it needs to be simple. Second, trust is a very large issue and some portions of it are being addressed. For example, FOAF allows you to establish trust between friends. But what about…Read More
Ed suggested in a Metafilter thread that we come up with a blogging vow of chastity similar to the one Dogme film-makers did in 1995. Here’s my stab at a first draft of this: Declaration of bloggerdom We are bloggers. We are individuals. We are not for sale We are not a target market. We link to sites because we find them interesting, not because we think we’ll get free goods or money out of our links. If we have a relationship with a product/company/service/person we link to, we will disclose it in the same post. We believe in contributing. We believe in truth. Our writing is our own. Our words are our own. Like them or not, our opinions are our own, too. It’s a start. But does it need more?Read More
The ragingcow blog got me thinking about the concept of Astroturf blogs (I would call them astroblogs). A lot of people are saying that a blog like ragingcow can’t work and yet, there is a number of discussions about it all over the blogosphere. Now, if it doesn’t work, how come I now know about a product that I didn’t know about a couple of days ago? I don’t watch TV so television advertising doesn’t work on me. I listen primarily to public radio so, apart from placements in the form of contributions, I can’t be targeted there. I read a paper (the New York Times) every day and a bunch of technical magazines. What I get of pop culture is from flipping through magazines at the supermarket cash register, or reading about it online. Online, I not only read the mainstream sites but also a number of blogs. I could have been blissfully unaware of the existence of raging cow, had it not been for the pointers to it from several blogs. Does the existence of the blog matter to me? Not really since it’s not a product I would buy. But what about a product I might buy?…Read More
It seems that my bit of navel gazing about blogs has attracted a lot of attention. Among some of the things that came up, though, is that there is no clear agreement as to what blogs are. So in the search for definition, I went back to trying to figure out what people mean when they talk about weblogs and whether blogs are indeed journalism. If you take Dave Winer’s definition, you end with a definition that is much more limited than thinking of blogs as journalistic tools. Let’s examine the four basic tenet Winer presents as the basis for a blog: A weblog is personal: if that is truly the case, what does this mean for “community weblogs” like Slashdot and Metafilter ? Things they are not driven by a single person, can they truly be called weblogs? And what about the whole trend of companies setting up weblogs? Doesn’t that go against this concept? A weblog is on the Web: It’s pretty much a given (hence the weblog name). But so are web pages? What is the big difference between a Geocities personal page and a weblog? Is there any? Is it just the rate of updates? A…Read More