Comments: Summary of Core Values of the Web Session at Bloggercon

Mary, it sounds like a great wide-ranging but focused discussion. I'm so sorry I missed BC3, especially your session and Julie Leung's.

Posted by Betsy Devine at November 7, 2004 07:55 PM

What is wuffie-hoarding? Google returns 0.

Posted by A. Fish at November 7, 2004 11:21 PM

Mary,

good to meet you. Right after your session (which I enjoyed), I realized that there was another value that no one mentioned... I think it's because it's like oxygen to lung-breathers--so *there* that it's not even noticed:

IMMEDIACY.

Weblogs are immediate. Immediate publishing, immediate feedback. Like many of the values, it makes way for good and bad: quickenss of response is good. Immediate publishing of thoughts: good. Immediate hot-headed flames without benefit of reflecting: bad.

Just wanted to add that to the list (along with "legibility"--but that one is a value of white board markers. hee!)

Posted by Susan Kitchens at November 7, 2004 11:57 PM

Hi Alison,
Wuffie hoarding would be when someone collects lots of wuffie, or good will/links/attention for themselves, but they don't give attention/links/good will to anyone else, or just to the few that they want to get the attention of... it's kind of like social climbing online. It's the opposite of having real conversations with people, and talking with them about what you really care about, and about what they really care about, to come up with something interesting or useful.
mary

Posted by mary hodder at November 8, 2004 06:35 AM

Hi Betsy,
I'm really sorry you missed it too.. it was a blast -- 400 very fun bloggers, but you were missed. I couldn't attend Julie's session but several people told me it was their favorite one of the day. I'll definite listen to it on IT Conversations.
mary

Posted by mary hodder at November 8, 2004 06:37 AM

I just wanted to reinforce the comment on "rankisms" and the problem of "discovery," which got mentioned in "The Fat Man Sings" as well. Neophyte bloggers want to know how to get read. We always advise them to find bloggers with whom they share an interest and to start exchanging useful comments. Yet it currently requires a fair amount of technical expertise and elbow grease to do what I like to call "karass discovery" (the term is from Vonnegut's "Cat's Cradle"): How do I find other linguists and translators (speaking Spanish, French, Portuguese, or English) who might be interested in Brazilian music like me, or work as an Arabic translator like me, or work in the business media like me, and also can help me with technical interests like NLP and translation memory and collaborative translation via wiki? I'm also interested in meeting fans of the Donnas, aging punk rockers, and other Brooklyn cat fanciers. I have a blogroll of sites like Feedster, Technorati, and Blogdigger (and others) and have developed a list of keywords to monitor through trial and errror. It works pretty well. But it's not exactly the kind of magic type-and-go that would turn on a lightbulb in a normal newbie's head. Heck, I've found it easier to get dates on the Web than to find karassmates.

Weblogues.com in France used to have a superior tool that approached closer to this ideal, but abandoned it for some reason. Del.icio.us, the "social bookmarks manager," is an excellent way to discover shared interests, though it's still pretty raw, needs a simplified user interface at this point.

I also support the idea of a world blog census, and have been whining about Nielsen and NY Times bestseller-type rankings for a long time. It's not a question of "why don't we all read blogs from marginal bloggers, like the ones who write in French, Portuguese, Persian or Polish." It's a question of relevance in search results and the need for semantic discovery tools. For example, Google has my blog as a top result for both "Shittybank" and a number of key phrases relating to naked hairy women. I am really not an expert on either of those topics--I was just voicing frustration about poor customer service, but found myself hosting a huge thread for victims of predatory lending practices--so I find myself posting--humorous, in the latter case, and serious in the former--messages to those who arrive expecting to find about those things.

I would point out that Maciej Ceglowski of IdleWords.com has been crawling the Web for the purpose of a blog census for quite some time now in a project sponsored by NITLE. He can tell you all about the joys and travails of THAT gargantuan task.

I personally think the blogosophere is on its way out. People prefer using forums and social networking sites, which don't offer the false promise of, as a Spanish journalist says, "becoming CNN or Drudge," but do offer easy community. Bloggers want to find their micromarket of readers, whether they're plastic modeling enthusiasts or Finnish-speaking nudists in diaspora or (my favorite online communities) the Brazilians abroad who congregate at MundoPequeno.com and the domestic Brazilians who invaded Orkut and translated it into Portuguese to the outrage of the English-speaking minority.

The blogosphere is a failure as social software because it's determinedly egocentric. It's got this phobia about the anonymous hordes. It's a paranoid construct, a monadology, a panopticon, rather than a smart mob. a Negrian Multitude.

You promoters of the "blogging industry" are shooting yourselves in the foot if you can't provide the same kind of easy social discovery tools. Why is the Topic Exchange a failure, or example? Because it's dumb and redundant to write on one site and then ping another using TrackBack, a tool ordinary users don't understand.

Also, if the blogging industry can't internationalize its products to take advantage of growth markets where blogging has not yet peaked and started to fade, it's dead. I personally don't think you can at this late date, because folks like Winer failed to plan for it at the outset. The don't care about localization and internationalization, their attitude is that the Internet is an English-only free-trade zone where linguistic power laws obtain.

But then I'm a contrarian. And besides, who am I to tell the "blogging core" their business?

Posted by Colin from Bklyn at November 8, 2004 07:18 AM

Mary,
Thanks for the definition.

I am sorry I missed your session, I did catch "Thoughts & Emotions" which was surprisingly good, and judging by your post had some overlap with Core Values.

I always thought of these (core values) as the unexpected nuances of blogging.

Alison

Posted by Alison at November 8, 2004 03:09 PM