Monday, February 26, 2007

Blogging and originality

Shoot the Piano Player - New York Times - authenticity achieved through mimicry or in this case plagarism is seen as a rip off as it was commercially and morally. Joyce Hatto may have been having a bit of a laugh at the expense of an academic snobbery about aesthetics that seeks to justify "criticism" as somehow more valid even though it feasts like a vampire upon the merit of other art.

Blogging is replication of art like the cries of young swallows to compete for the attention of a much harried hen for worms. Each cry is unique but bears similar tone to others, the many similar voices are competing for the attention of one set of ears doing their duty attending to each as fairly as it can considering how exhausting the entire excercise must be.

In the wild a blog entry probably looks like any other. A news story is published and before a few minutes pass seven thousand bloggers are hitting the same keystrokes in slight variations on each others' themes. The term "meme" came from that. Theme. Meme. Makes sense. It is also pronounced "me - me" and if you read a few million blogs, you will see why.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

2.0 dissent

The Patch 2.0 has been applied, and the web has been upgraded.

"Web 2.0" patchnotes:

- Web not flexible enough. Webpages become obsolete and take time
and money to update. Wiki software and forums are useful to fix that.
- Not enough form widgets. Javascript able for textbox for SSN
numbers, credit cards numbers, textbox for emails, etc.
- Bad search options. Google and the tags systems are usefull to fix that
- Brain dead interactivity of CGI apps. Web apps used to test empty
input forms on the server, and return with a red message "You have to
fill all textbox, dude!". That is horrible annoying. Ajax fix that
(but use CGI internally, in a invisible way).
- Boring, repetitive webpages. CSS fix that.

Know bugs: this web patch is know to add a few problems:
- Usability lost
- Slower webpages/CPU consuming webpages
- It need 7 techs to do a single thing (html, js, css, http,
json/xml, php, sql).
- Etc

Please wait while the real Web 2.0 is released by WC3. The marketed
as "Web 2.0" was a patch from 3th party people :DDD

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

How to Social Network

This site carves the rules out in text.

Blogging and the Mainstream

You have nothing to worry about - the mainstream can only survive. But newspaper may become too expensive to maintain as a medium when sites like craigslist basically undercut every newspaper in the world. Of course, the Herald's publishers have a responsibility to make their product a better place to rent an Auckland apartment than any other.

Back in the late 80s I did contract work with the Newspaper Advertising Bureau and helped setup the national advertising distributions systems of the day. While I was there, the "Wire89" system was established - that was NZ's first News internet using frame relay replacing (I think) telex. My job was to make the new wire89 system carry the display ad bookings.

But, as an old hand at "publishing", my ability to keep up with the 19 year old whizz kids is a little limited. I find "groupware" on the internet including Web 2.0 "societies" do not often provide me with that sense of belonging or identity that a mainstream media entity employs talent and specialists to design and present in such a way that it is not challenging or alien.. It is hard to transgress into the wilderness of LOL and IMHO without feeling shut out by a need of the Web 2.0 generation to out-class each other. Youtube is also quite good for attracting video stalkers!

Blogging started with - and I was one of the first million or so bloggers and used it before it sold itself to Google. I had to kick myself, that I had not written it myself. It is so simple, really.

Blogging means when I have an idea, I can file it, and I do not have to worry about reformatting my hard disk anymore. Blogger have kept my online record and I can republish it to any server, including their own. I no longer worry about losing stuff to the blue screen or hard disks grinding themselves to pieces.

The mainstream have adapted to use the new technology. Web 2.0 works but it connects you to too much drivel and wastes time. It is supreme entertainment.

Mediums that are threatened are: TV, Newspaper, Radio. Mainstream operators that are threatened are those who do not evolve their media.

If what I did in 1989 was infant steps, Web 2.0 is adolescence. It is not so much small defined groups (cells) but dynamic fluid entities that hatch casual connections with exact targets over time. More like the way a beehive works (and I most certainly do not mean the ugly one in Wellington).

The information carries tags and individual behaviour is recorded to show what they want to know about. At some stage the semantics join up. Word matching is not how it is done. Human interaction is. Eventually "news" will just be a functional medium driven by those with the best ideas of how to deliver democratic relevancy.

Google news seems to some to make newspapers irrelevant. In fact it raises interest in what news organisations write. The "publication" entity is no longer confined to the pages the paper are written on. It is extended and the more activity (human minds) you engage in synch with each other, the more that will happen in the world.

20 years ago when I wrote a letter to the editor I felt powerless. Now when I blog, and someone reads it and calls me names, I feel engaged. I think Al Gore's campaign is a great example of how the medium can be used to generate conversations. The Guardian's web boards make interesting reading, it exposes more opinions and demonstrates how the mainstream will survive.

Becoming the Mainstream

A journalist sees the web as a set of nodes that are broadcast to, like a newspaper. But it is not like that at all. Newspapers are vessels of a more limited range of opinions because they are finite documents. In fact a newspaper largely sources its articles along with other newspapers by subscribing to a news wire, which explains why you only really need to read your local paper. It also adds local interesting or relevant writing by writers attached to a particular publication that are mostly shared media accepted over "the wire". Weblogs have developed similarly with a series of tricks which have been called "social networking".

Some small groups exist, exchange information and survive but that is not how the internet connects people. It does not need to be an interaction of reactions that are simultaneous but a slow series of chained events that can rapidly grow (viral growth is actually more like the delta mouth of a river, generally it is a flow across already carved pathways).

To become comparable to the mainstream of information flow has been tried but for the same reason that walking would become less popular if we suddenly discovered we could fly around, getting a mass convergence for an event on the web is much harder than letting it trickle in as it happens.

The beauty of Web 2.0 is a little like post modernism. The reliance on the information pathways, the river deltas now has a new force that allows human connection to drive the information around and facilitate methods that other nodes connected to your node are motivated to and benefit by indicating how interesting your piece of information is. It is using the emotive force of mutual admiration to drive information into the right minds.