agitation you can live with.

Friday, February 28, 2003

The vision of Mr. Allchin

  "Google's a very nice system, but compared to my vision, it's pathetic," he said. He is Microvisioinaire Jim Allchin, drinking his own brew of microblather. C'mon Jim, what exactly is the use of thinking we even want our computers to know about us? Yes, a sensible way of finding stuff - something apparently not on your agenda at any time in the past two decades - would be nice. But you microguys are way over impressed with your presumption that you can create products that are smarter than your customers. It's that contempt that has caused most of them to hate you even before you wow us with your brainy longhorn bollocks..

Posted #  9:48 PM by tom

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Corner your niche now!

  Fishrush Now that Google has merged with blogger, it seems to me that it'll be imperative that bloggers 1) use blogger and 2) develop an area of expertise. Flaxseed.

Posted #  5:29 PM by tom

Steve Yost : weblog standards?

  Steve Yost: Could search engine results be made even more effective by formalizing the structure of weblogs and other related entities? Here are some areas of standardization that the Google/Blogger combination could ultimately produce (again, we hope it's an open process of standard creation):

A weblog format standard
The standard would define markup for the well-defined parts of a weblog, minimally: the posts, including author and date for each; the blogroll area, containing links to other weblogs. Given this, Google and other search engines could more effectively spider and index weblogs. But it could go further, with standard categories for posts: e.g. movie-review, book-review, auto-dealer-review, political-rant, lazyweb-request. Search engines could create their own channels using these categories, and (if desired) target ads or do more elaborate partnering.
More... Discuss here.

Posted #  5:12 PM by tom

Dave sees one possibility

  Dave Winer: Here's what Google can do for weblogs that would be a service to the weblog community -- classify them and group them. Give me an accurate list of all the librarian weblogs, and all the lawyer weblogs, and all the weblogs of people who have implemented an XML-RPC stack. You get the idea. They have been able to do this with news stories, it seems they should also be able to do it with weblogs. This is the biggest unsolved problem I see in this world, and I don't know how to solve it, it's not what I do.

I'm especially glad to see Dave saying this, since it's one of the key wishlist items also described here - (scroll down a bit to Throw another Pyra on the Google? )

- Ease of directory assistance for bloggers. E.g., say you want to find bloggers who know all about Matisse's childhood, or Indonesian cuisine, or Ponca City, OK - how, at present, do you find them?

(the other two major items were:

- Persistence of blogged content - e.g., now if a blogware company goes belly up, what happens?
- Ease of searching blogs - exactly where is that brilliant bit you wrote some eons back about Fainting Goats?)

Posted #  8:13 AM by tom

Head Lemur gets it


''Blogging Google. Googling Blogger. The sound and the fury over this pure internet play is amazing. Make no mistake, this is a pure internet play. Neither Google or Blogger has any meaningful existence outside of the internet. That being said, I can only laugh at all the folks who are wondering, What are they going to do?

It doesn't matter. Because whatever it is, it will be inevitable. Blogging as a method of communication has surpassed the old 'free website with your internet connection' routine. The ability to write what you feel and post it on the web without knowing anything about code, servers, connections, standards or browsers is one of the most liberating and democratic methods of expression since clay tablets.''

Posted #  4:18 AM by tom

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Language shifters

  Marek J.: ''We need translators. Those shamans of old who speak both the language of the tribe and the language of the gods. We need translators who can live in one language and then shift and live in another. We need language travelers. Language shifters. The world is much richer than the best constructions of English language can ever reveal.''

Or if you prefer poetry, see Jeneane.

Posted #  8:18 PM by tom

Miasmatic emphases

Miasma adds pointed insights to some points, aiding and abetting the pointillism that makes this pointy-headed blogululation different from the same old univocal talk we get eeeeevererererey day.

Posted #  7:03 PM by tom

Another take on Google/Pyra

  Jon Husband, on Wirearchy:


There is a rapidly-growing amount of commentary (and "forecasting") about what the tag team of Google and Blogger will make manifest.

If the tinder catches fire, I believe force will be created - a force of transparency, a counter-force to the spin and propaganda of the powers-that-be. Veteran bloggers have been suggesting this, hoping for this, trying to create this since the obvious power of "Push-Button Publishing For The People" came into being.

The means exist for beginning to create something other than the monied, closed-connections dynamics of the ruling hierarchy. Perhaps it's not the Internet that is the new revolution to rival Gutenberg's printing press, perhaps it's the distribution, collection and indexing capabilities offered by:

Googlogger ? Bloogler ?

that will allow tapping into the emergent and self-organizing properties - perhaps this will be "The Experiment" that tests whether or not Emergent Democracy is something that collectively we humans aspire to and/or possess ?

Posted #  6:20 PM by tom

asked, answered?

  Hey Jeneane - saw yr post on Googlers about RSS, and lo and behold, Dave Winer has a post entitled RSS for Liberal Arts Majors.

Posted #  12:46 PM by tom

Saltire as Satire

Steve McLaughlin clarifies his satiric intent

Posted #  12:43 PM by tom

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

back room rhumba

  Dave Winer: Part of the weblog phenomenon is opening up the back rooms so they're visible to the public.

Another part, one can fondly hope, is blowing the back rooms out the back wall into the shitosphere.

[Later:] Ev.

Posted #  7:46 AM by tom

the public space of speech

  Spinning off a lively discussion here on Shelley Powers' blog, I said some stuff about public conversation here. One snip, fwiw:

Sharing what we apprehend, filtered through several minds capable of informing and disproving each other, offers glimpses of possibilities of larger representational richness than what we've grown used to.

Posted #  6:24 AM by tom

  Doc replies to Steve's critique of Pyra, and among other things, makes this point:

What I love about blogging is the way we inform each other. As a knowledge-expansion system, it scales like nothing else in the world.

Posted #  6:19 AM by tom

Monday, February 24, 2003

Times folo

  More than a week after the blogbreaking Live at the Blogosphere, the New York Times is picking up some hints of what might come of Google/Pyra. It manages to slam Google News along the way, then speaks with Meg Hourhihan, who says, "I very much think it's about having the Blogger database, not so much the words but what people are pointing to, and getting their finger on that in real time."

Also, Jeff Jarvis, who says: Follow Weblogs and you follow the buzz." Jarvis = president of, the Internet unit of Condé Nast's parent company, Advance Publications, and was an investor in Pyra.

Actually, the Times doesn't appear to have advanced the story an inch beyond what Dan Gillmor had in his news-breaking blog the night of June 15...

And Steve McLaughlin on Saltire weighs in, none too pleased:

Some bloggers think this is a big win for weblogging. As if Google's acquisition of Blogger should be viewed as a triumph for the weblogging medium. It's not. It's just one company deciding they can take out the little guy for some printed paper, and the little guy gets released from his silicon handcuffs. It's just another company that you thought was different proving that they're just like all the other sell outs.

Posted #  8:36 PM by tom

Powers on mass power

  Beginning from Michael's discussion of CNN, Shelley Powers ponders the Google/blogger fusion through the binary opposition of individual perspectives versus mass-minded coordinated action:

What irony: by being an individual and writing on what I want, when I want it, and encouraging others to do the same, I'm trying my best to disrupt this push for a mass-minded power capable of possibly changing the very war I fight with all my breath.

One would ordinarily not consider blogs as the best vehicle for mass movement, since even to google-bomb, one needs to coordinate an effort in which each blogger has to individually execute an act. This is quite a different arrangement from, say, radio call in shows, which by catering to a specific niche, can seem to be representing a far larger block of right-wing ignoramuses than actually exist. The happy failure of blogging to be a mass phenomenon makes it seem, at least from a purely formal point of view, a somewhat preferable tool for serious discussion.

Posted #  8:51 AM by tom

Sunday, February 23, 2003

Joious Marksism

  Emergent Democracy - Joi Ito (via Doc)

Google and Blogging - Kevin Marks

The growth of weblogs has been a classic disruptive technology event,
with adoption and traffic driven by individuals rather than
corporations. Google has had a leading edge insight into this because
of the objectivity of the PageRank algorithm in measuring the
connectedness of the web.

Blog Power Laws - Kevin Marks

Posted #  9:40 AM by tom


Tom Matrullo
Jeneane Sessum
Michael O'Connor Clarke


Doc Searls
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Chris Locke
George Sessum
Dan Gillmor
Michael O'Connor Clarke
Gary Turner
Eric Norlin
Frank Paynter
Kevin Marks
George Partington
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Halley Suitt
Shelley Powers
Denise Howell
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Ernie the Attorney
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Andrea Roceal James
Helen Razer
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Blog Sisters
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Wood S Lot
Howard Greenstein
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Cory Doctorow
Smart Mobs
Scott Loftesness
Rick Bruner
Jonathan Peterson
Arnold Kling
Bob Hiler
Onlineblog - Guardian
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