Down by the BlogPond

February 24, 2004

in Conversational Blogging

What is the nature of the creative swamp down by the blog pond? Are current reporting systems really just reporting on the fly fishers? Are our views of the blogosphere too linear? Should we dip our toes in?

These questions just emerged from a discussion with Jon today. We were talking about various social networking, blogging and newsreaders — all as part of sharing information. Our reflections centered on the wired nature of the diagrams connecting all this data. From search engines to blogs and trackback there is a linear way everything is connected up. Similarly we wire information when we send it. I believe we tend to associate this visually with the network diagrams of the internet. Similarly we map the data. Think of recent Orkut Clusters. The majority of the current diagnostic blog tools we use all show the wiring rather than any physical manifestation or as any living ecosystem. This approach is very much a this is linked to that sort of world, at least on the surface. This is further reinforced when we look at Touchgraph or Technorati. It is no wonder the most common strategy bloggers use to get ahead is their linking strategy. It enhances google rankings too.

However, perhaps this is only half the story.  Take a moment and contrast the wired view with puddles and pools…. we POOL our information.  Pooling experiences and stories are part of sharing, while pooling assets and resources is all about leverage. The level in the pond or lake changes and the shoreline too with the season. Technorati Google, Orkut, Ryze and their ilk don’t give you this. The blog pond is much more intangible – fungible… And perhaps that is the challenge.  As long as blogging metrics are linked and linear we may never get a real handle on their collaborative nature and the quality of different ecosystems. Blogging is part of a living system. Could the intangibles be as hidden and difficult to measure in the blogosphere as they are in real life?

Why get stuck in this quagmire, this creative swamp? Who will be the one to dive in, and who skips?

Perhaps someone else feel like taking this further. There is plenty of data on keeping a pond. This little post provides a nice illustration. I could see the some deeper wisdom in this post for new blog owners. Finding the way to help develop the blog pond and the things we can do might emerge from this piece below.

Certain biological processes must occur before a pond is fully seeded and balanced. Nitrifying bacteria must be present and working in the pond’s ecosystem before the pond can promote a healthy environment for aquatic life. New ponds will have none of those necessary biological processes in place. This creates a “New Pond Syndrome” that can be frustrating if the new pond owner is not equipped with knowledge on how to deal with it. Giving the pond time to develop these processes is the most important step and there are things that we can do to hasten the development.

  • Biological Filtration
  • Populating with Fish
  • Get Ready for the Green
  • The Crucial Tests
  • Keep an Eye on the pH
  • Not All Algae Is Bad

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