The universe of WebLog sites which link to each other. aka Blogosphere.

  • I mean "weblog" in the loose sense of personal (why?) websites that are updated more-than-daily

  • it's probably more important to think of clusters, rather than a single (semi-regular) web

Which forms maybe a Social Network. I mean bunches of them.

Which could be amenable to Social Network Analysis. See BlogDex, DayPop.

How might this evolve?

See Jon Udell thoughts

Base case: current/low-tech (avoid RssAggregator tools/sites)

I have some number of sites which I read regularly. Some are blogs/personal, some news. Some are mainly for entertainment/diversion, some for "professional" reasons. Many blogs serve both hungers.

  • I BookMark them, or list them on blog page, and visit them with varying frequency from 3/day to 1/week (my A-list, B-list, etc.).

  • If I'm obsessive, I use some method of polling them so I know when they've updated, so I can visit again. (maybe a BookMark-based feature, or a separate service like Spy On It)

I end up on other sites mainly by following links from my primary sites (most often from within blogbits, but occasionally I'll randomly follow their Favorites links). I may also do some Referer Watching. If I hit a certain site often enough, or just notice that I really like the writing, I may add it to my list of regular visits.

What's wrong with this model?

Managing a large set of Favorites can be a pain (e.g. deleting BookMark-s). Grouping them (e.g. by priority), and changing those groupings, even moreso.

Many methods of managing Favorites are fat-client-based, so my list isn't available from another machine.

I may miss some commentary from a B-list site about something of current interest. Especially if nobody else whom I read sucks it into a Blog Thread.

I may consider some authors to be of higher priority when they write about certain topics (Category-s), vs their default B-list status.

The real question is: what do I want to read today?

No, the real question is "does any of this matter?". As long as blogging is mainly for entertainment for fuzzy Brain Training (or, honestly, Entertainment), it's hard to get serious about filtering. The quality of the results (like the various quality measures for search engines) doesn't really matter that much, it's just an arbitrary Game Rule we feel good about using to reduce our options.

So, the next question is, what're the User Scenarios where this stuff "matters" more, and what do we need to do to get there? See Group Forming Networks and Overlapping Scopes Of Collaboration.

OK, maybe that's too high a bar for right now. Maybe a better direction for right now echoes Jason Kottke's question of what could "emerge" from the BlogWeb, and what tools/practices are necessary to make that happen. So then the first step maybe is to define some goals (end outcomes or maybe promising-smelling midpoint-outcomes).

Possible goals

  • help bloggers learn from one another, improve their ideas

  • help bloggers find others from whom they can learn

  • help blog readers manage lots of incoming blogbits (prioritizing, filing, saving?)

Some ideas for tools:

  • ratings (of individual items, or overall blogs/feeds?)

    • upstream to aggregate, or keep private to "promote" new discoveries into inner circle (in other words, you run across a new blog because someone else links to it, you like what you read and give it a good rating, and that starts adding it to your list of RSS streams to subscribe to, and it has a slightly-above-average priority, so you run across it more often in your prioritized inbox, so you read/rate more often, and it climbs up the ranks, etc.).
  • Blog Thread tracker

  • identify links popular among your inner circle, also group with other blog entries pointing to same link (so you can widen your reading, discover new people to bring into inner circle)

  • assign my set of categories to other people's entries based on a thesaurus, so that I can browse non-top-priority items by category based on my interest-of-the-moment.

  • Sister Sites (among wikis, not weblogs)

  • other WikiWeb (Federated Wiki) features (could this help spread the use of wiki for WebLog purposes?)

Edited:    |       |    Search Twitter for discussion