Weblogging Panel

December 10, 2002

in Knowledge Innovation

The following panel should be interesting. With Dave Winer now on stage we should be in for something. Interesting thing is Weblogs are probably getting more than their fair share of attention. Many blogs going here. Clearly there is a need for a Webloggers Conference. The Trott’s (Moveable Type) are also in the audience.

The Panel also includes Nick Denton, Meg Hourihan Apologies in advance for my paraphrasing.

KW — Are the Weblogs the next platform? Are weblogs and web services the same things? (It’s a little like asking GOD and diciples if the world will be made in seven days)

DW Weblogs are like the word processor, opening up writing for and to the web for everybody. Need to use tools that are very much like what you use today. He wants to ease the migration. There is a human reason why this needs to be done. (I think Dave hopes everyone will write.)

ND is it possible to publish online media at a much lower cost point. Online media is unfinished business. Weblogs provide one way to produce editorial property to move things out to the fringe.

MH How it can be transparent to the users. Still using it for a browser interface. What happens when we use phones, where ever we are? How does the content and the people come together. What’s cooking is the “writable web” it took time… but now need to take to the next level.

KW Why should it go to the next level?

MH because people want to talk to their friends. ND there was a snowstorm in NY – the times ran other stories, but what peoople really wanted was pictures covered in snow. Digital cameras uploaded in an hour… good local coverage, DW adds… send me your pictures request.. like, art.. they flow in. News on west coast too. There were tools that let you build web pages. Weblog is like starting a mazazine. For a people that likes to write it is an advance. It is deceptively simple. Lot of trial n error, to get to where we are now. Continual process of evolution.

KW VC Based Question. Is this relevant? Tend to get two types of answers. One personal kind of martket and two will it expand it beyond?

ND already using at personal level using for outreach, small businessses marketing. Example Amazon affiliate site cool products, 1000 to write it and bringing in 5000-10000 per month. Pretty profitable small media enterprise. (I’d like to know the example).

DW this may be more like word procesors in the 80’s. Who know what this industry looks like…. ND Tina Brown Talk magazine for a mag launch… 5 years and millions (50m?) before profitability. You can do a weblog for such a miniscule fraction of that?

KW Dave is this wp or hypercard? DW it is not going to happen. Quite a few products are here. MH Hope the buzz dies down. It is the format that you use on every page that needs the ongoing update. It won’t go away. That’s the way you format that kind of information.

Bob F: Tools make it possible to do a certain class of things much better.
Speaker as a user not interested how it got posted. Blog as a tone of voice.

MH Weblog is simply a format! Reverse chronological order… trackbacks…. comments etc.

RK If weblogging a platform? Are weblogs a platform? In what way is a drawing or writing tool as a platform.

DW There is some programability. Do bloggers see it as a platform? MT developers see it as a platform. ND Can you build other things on a weblog platform. KW What’s missing? ND A great way to define the writer. Personalised news service. Is there a promise for building a personalised news system. Even define online dating service? MH How do you find all this stuff? How do you get to it? Information to people when they want it? GF As we get beyond monolithic, 95% men… there are anecdotal — what can you find out? Look at livejournal.com (16 year old woman). KnowNExt?? DS, The first blog put up was tim berners lee. Links are something that are important. Blogs do a great job of linking.

KW Will the blogging community become the general population? Will it follow the same demographics Good or Bad?

ND The politics are very interesting. Will this be like talk radio? NICE METAPHOR. MH traffic, many start just to get connected with a small circle of friends. They might get more traffic. Lot of people forget how easy it is to see people out there. The photo blogs may well have a different impact. DW where many need to be informed. Can be very interesting.

KW in 5+ years from now. What % of people will be blogging out there.
ND There may be 10 times the number that are writing public. That is a pretty major change in western society. DW can pick it up on by structure, two by two style of writing… MR more people will be communicating in their own voice. In the future will the net be primarily a consumption mechanism or interaction? Where the edge is important.

KW You are the center of your publishing world. Where does it fit in the nature of 1 to 1 , 1 to many etc, aimed at small communities and a broad network? Not as urgent as an email. Also have a flame retardent built in. Each of these media change the way people behave. How does it differ. DW Weblogs demand respect. You have to listen to the person. If you choose to you can get it done despite MH thought of it as an IM to the world. Comment… doesn’t demand response in the same way. MH thinking as sending it out… asynchonously. Different interaction. Has an off the cuff message. PW David you use it in the operation of your businees.. How does it work in collaborative work. We needed interfaces for webcontent management systems. 99, became a thing until itself. The instant outlining stuff… (next generation) in a few years will we have new ways for browings this stuff. Brent Simmonds… Phillip Person this idea that have a tool that can browse based on that assumption.

MH Starting pYra working in a living room wanted to share info, within a week made an internal weblog called stuff. Ten most recent entries. Had a space we worked together, rem day… lisitings to helped to build this corporate culture, so they started running this weblog on the frontpage on the site. Send via a check box. Then it became blogger. CD the thing that makes it interesting, blogging allows people to write that have never written before. Despite demographics. How use for business. Numerous examples who because of the informality (homeless guy in philly that has a blog) so speeds up the feedback loop with the public services. In santa monika found out the showers… were opening too late. At EFF needed vetting by lawyers, it was too late, blog a para at the time, killed the standards setting effort that they had spent 20m on!…. Friend paid to blog. but he emails in the stories to the magazines.

DW it slips in looks like a printer on a budget. Enable people to get the job done!

“Windblogs”, pontificating… the mass market doesn’t care as much. However there is great potential for tribes, but need semantics for searching.

KW one two or three new tools… What’s next? AGAIN ASKING!

MH want push for weblogs. and capability to rank. eg some stuff on a phone. Whole system to my context to me and when I think it is important.
DS wants search on blog. Google misses alot. not enough.
DWeinberger Blog threads… Trackback is helping not there. Topic Server?
ND Wants a news onepage of that item day hour etc. Locate myself within a social network, 1 -2 -3 degrees out recommending things to me.

This last thought is interesting. It reflects that bloggers really are doing it because they want to learn faster! However, I’ve not heard anyone say… it accelerates learning. Yet I know if I ask Dave, Doc, Dan et all they would agree. Blogging needs more “learning” aspects — measures etc and more listing capabilities. Blogging Instrumentation needs developing. Similarly and I must return to it. Blogging has no formal market research going on around it.

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