Blogging: Teh Future

Dave Pollard on the role of bloggers in the media and how to improve it.

The fact that leading writers and journalists know we bloggers exist, and take the time to thank us and clarify their thoughts (and ours) in correspondence with us, comes as something of a surprise to me. It is at once sobering and flattering that we even appear on their radar screens — there are, after all, millions of us, and, at least in this corner of the blogosphere, we’re not even A-listers.

I think in fact we play a much more important role in the media than we might think. That role is a result of the power of our networks, which are more dynamic, sensitive and agile than those of print journalists and book writers. We can sense quickly and effectively when there’s something happening — a shift in public consciousness or attitude, a new issue or idea gaining traction — because of our connectedness, because of the strength of weak ties and those ties’ ability to create at least small tipping points. If the mainstream media are the stomach of the media beast, its power plant, we are its antennae.

Richard makes a great point about this:

I find it interesting that the most of the items have to do with private communication. A lot of bloggers eschew private communication because either they are used to publishing their thoughts online or they have an interest—financial or otherwise—in encouraging public discussion rather than private. The really good bloggers, Pollard seems to be arguing, do leg work in and put effort into their weblog conversations privately so as to create sparks that light the fires of public conversations.

Harry Pierson writes about information overload.

I posted yesterday that I’m reading over 200 blogs these days. Those aren’t Scoble numbers (is he over 700 yet?) but there sure is a lot of noise. It reminds me of when I first joined Microsoft – there was so much information available and I wanted to read it all. So I went through several cycles of signing up for a bunch of distribution lists, getting to the point where I wasn’t really reading them, then removing myself. I think I’m at that point for reading blogs.

700? Actually, Robert Scoble says he now reads “more than 1200 RSS feeds” but he can’t handle it.

Al Giordano writes at the Blogging of the President about narrative and blogging:

To paraphrase what they tell us in Day One of freshman writing classes: “Don’t tell them. Show them.” Kerry had moved from reciting a resume to telling a story. And I thought, finally, after 22 years of Kerry’s narrative of winning elections by closing at the 11th hour, Barone has found words to explain why that happens. I said to myself, “It’s the narrative, stupid!” Kerry always closes in the days when the campaign shifts from resumes to narrative.

When we confront the task of The Blogging of the President 2004, we shouldn’t forget that blogging is merely another way of conducting “The Writing of the President.” That’s why a typewriter, and not a keypad, works really well for that blog’s logo. It hearkens back to the more authentic roots than the techno-enthusiasm of today. And why I think that the blogged Campaign Notesfrom Sunday by Chris Lydon and Matt Stoller, reporting from Iowa – complete with MP3 audio files of the closing stump speeches of the two big winners, the two Johns, Kerry and Edwards – serves, to date, as my nomination for the single most important blog entry on this campaign so far.

Why? Because the blog entry stood out in that told a story: It was narrative, that gave me, the reader, a better glimpse of what was happening on the ground than any Commercial Media or other blog report.

Richard links to Danah who writes about how “safe” the blog world is and how discussion goes down.

I continue to be reminded that blogging is not a safe space for me. There’s no common understanding, common ground. Even when i build up the gall to post what’s on my mind, i’m deconstructed based on what’s not said. My blog is not an academic paper. I’m not reflexively positioning myself every time i post. I’m not fleshing out all of that which i feel should be assumed simply because this is MY blog, MY post. I take a lot for granted and i only wish that people would realize that these posts are constructed in the context of me. I’m not trying to be a journalist; i’m not trying to address an unknown population from an unknown position. I’m trying to share my thoughts, ideas, life from my perspective.

Joi Ito is pimping blogs and blogging at Davos. Love it.

I explained that many of the media sites in other countries were receiving more visibility in the US and other countries from bloggers linking to them. I explained that media sites could do things like permalinks, trackbacks, ping pingers, syndication and other things to make them much more blog friendly. Being friendly with bloggers was going to be essential for them, I opined.

I think that I was generally well received and I think many of the participants will be reading blogs and looking at aggregators tonight.


Gadgetopia writes about the big book and the priciest Amazon item.

this tacky piece of jewelry that can be yours for the low low price of $390,000. That’s right, nearly a half a million dollars. I make a lot of online purchases, but even if I had the spare change I’d have trouble clicking the ‘Buy Now’ button for this one. Shipping’s free on this one.

Anil Dash on the destruction of serendipity.

I know a significant number of people who initiated business relationships with people they met while on hold as the phone was being passed, in contexts that we’d now call “loose ties”. And that’s not to mention romantic couples who met this way, resulting in everything from flings to marriages. I’d suspect all of us know at least one person whose parents met by accident because communication in the past was typically to a place before it was to a person. It’s gradually gotten less centralized, of course; Few of us in the United States can remember party lines or going to a general store to get the mail.

So I lament the serendipity that’s been lost. Many of the most interesting and exciting things that happen to us happen by chance, and now most of the time when I talk to someone, I do it by getting in touch with that specific person. There are of course the rare times when someone is using a computer that belongs to another person and that entry on my buddy list yields a surprise when I send a message. Or a few times I’ll call a cell phone and it will have to get handed to its rightful owner before the conversation can begin. But those pass-through moments used to be commonplace, and used to result in the incidental creation of social capital.

Lisa Williams on blogging’s impact and Collision Clive’s note that before blogging most people didn’t write ANYTHING after school.

By the way, the “unimportant” characterization isn’t Clive’s — he’s commenting on the attitude of some that blogs are trivial because they focus on the things that are important in the ordinary lives of people (this criticism often takes on an ominous sexist tinge, as the most common way it is phrased is “blogs of teenage girls,” as if these were somehow uniquely unimportant — just as society sees its authors, I suppose). Like Clive, I have a basic beef with this slant — that somehow blogs are only important if they concentrate on topics that society has already decided are important, like politics or economics or technology. Those are great blogs too, but one of the corrective measures that blogs can take is to make the cultural battle less “winner take all” and restore some measure of deserved importance to neglected topics. After all, look at Pepys Diary. Full of “trivialities,” no? Yet it is a work of enduring literary and human power. True, not every personal blog is like that, but that’s because we can’t know in advance which of the millions of blogs out there is going to pass the test of time.

Richard in China writes about “The Unique Magnificence of a Blogging Community.”

So to anyone who says blogging is a stupid waste of time and a meaningless exercize in navel-gazing, I say you’re wrong. It brings people together in ways never before possible, and the results can be inspiring and beautiful. To the two gentlemen who offered their help for my friend, I want to thank you once more, although you are probably tired of all my thanks by now. It is important to be reminded now and then of man’s capacity for goodness. Thanks for reminding me.

Fairness, Justice, and Blogging

A few people in the blogosphere are talking about blogging in terms of justice and fairness. I grabbed a few of the longer pieces and threw together. In the end, it tasted delicious.

Marko asks, “Is the Blogging World Fair?”

The real question, however, is whether the question as it has been posed makes any sense at all. Clay Shirky is a pioneer in this topic so it is only natural that Marko would focus on him.

Shirky offers three reasons for his claim that the blogging world is mostly fair. All of them are important and perhaps necessary conditions for a just system. But these reasons aren’t sufficient to establish that the blogging world is a fair social system. I’m not saying that the blogging world is or is not fair. I’m just saying that the question makes sense and is worth asking. And that Shirky’s reasons don’t settle the question either way.


While important, it seems that Shirky’s three reasons do not alone or jointly establish the fairness of the blogging world. So the interesting question this raises is: What are the principles if satisfied that would show the blogging world to be a just institutional structure? And the meta-level question: How would we justify these principles to each other?

One commenter writes a very interesting question about the assumption that underlies all these answers:

Maybe this is a naive observation, but it seems to me that the metaphor underlying this notion of fairness — economic competition in an open marketplace — is the wrong one. It treats blogs as micropublications rather than networking tools, and the blogosphere as a broadcast market where channels view for viewers, rather than as a random access database that can accomodate and facilitate all possible queries.

One possible answer to this is that everything is a market, even a “random access database” and because of this it is okay to study anything in general “market” mode.

Later Joi Ito ask if blogs are just.

Joi first talks about what is means to be just, this is the first step in any philosophical discussion it seems, and often the most difficult: What do we mean? How do will we know when we’re done? As you may have noticed, Marko focuses primarily on saying that the ground rules were not set very will in the Clay’s discussion.

What Joi then talks about is other peoples’ opinions about what it means to be fair or just and whether the blogosphere succeeds at doing this:

I know Dave Winer likes the word “triangulation” and the blogs are good at that. Is it possible that blogs can help us get out of the echo chamberand achieve the Aristotelian Virtue of the Golden Mean? (I know many people disagree with this, but I continue to believe as I argued in myEmergent Democracy paper that this is possible.) danah expresses her opinion that blogs are not an equalizing technology and that it is the a technology for the privileged. To her, fair (and probably just) isn’t about having rules that are difficult to game, but rather about being available and designed to promote equality. She is probably more of a teleologist with a bit of correlative ethics and feminism thrown in. (Sorry, just playing with the labels a bit. Don’t mind me.

And for me, the most important consideration that Joi makes, is that he says: It is one thing to talk about what the blogosphere IS, and it is another to talk about what we want it TO BE. We have control over our technology and the goal of this discussion is to figure out what the problems are, what the possible solutions are, and how we will know when make them happen.

This is something very interesting to me. Sometimes you have academics and philosophers who write a whole lot, mostly to each other, about things that are in the past or thought experiments. None of it really matters, on its own, because the things have already happened or they were never meant to happen. Other times, you have technologists who create technologies because they can and sometimes they don’t have a lasting effect on our lives: Will anyone remember Tamaguchis? Did you just have to look it up?

But, sometimes these two groups come together and you have a way of turning vision into reality. A way of testing out hypotheses that could never be tested “in the real world.” Isaac Newton (right? It doesn’t actually matter) did a thought experiment, he said that a bowling ball and a feather would reach the ground at the same time on the Moon. Technologists tested it.

Right now, the blogosphere represents a place where experiments and ideas about social networks that existed before the Internet can finally be run. It is very difficult to change and experiment on a culture that already exists, but when a culture is being grown up around you–you can influence it and experiment.

This is the paradigm I’m in: There is not an “American Blogosphere” or a “Russian Blogosphere.” There is The Blogosphere. We are “citizens” of our country and the sphere. When Lawrence Lessig wrote Code, he said these things of the Internet. But that Internet he wrote about is gone, but a part of the Internet like that exists, and it is the Blogosphere.

Joi Ito, always the visionary, moves the question from “Are blogs just?” to “Can blogs promote justice?” And writes about how the blogging world will evolve:

My last blog entry about blogs and justice was a bit theoretical and ended with more questions than answers. Maybe it was confusing. Let me try to be specific. I think blogging will go beyond text and by blogging I mean the whole space that includes all sorts of micro-publishing of micro-content in a highly linked and low-cost way. This includes camera phones, video and audio. There are many things going on right now that will be sand in the vaseline from a technology perspective. Most types of DRM will suck for micro-content distribution. So will things like thebroadcast flag. The whole notion of architecting systems for streaming video on demand goes against architecting systems for sharing. These technology and policy decisions will greatly affect the ease in which we publish and share information in the future.

And later quotes:

In Aspen the year before last, Jack Kemp said an interesting thing, “It doesn’t matter what you know if you don’t care.” I agree, and generally people don’t care to learn about things they don’t care about.

Right now, you and I, we care. And because we care there is hope.


Bill Dennis on the Internet and the Real World.

Every Tuesday, my day off, I get in my brand new used 1991 Chevy Lumina and hit Interstate 74 and begin a quest for wit and wisdom in the real world. I get about about halfway to Bloomington when I realize there isn’t any. I turn around and head for home and my DSL connection so I can cruise the ‘Net. There isn’t any wit or wisdom there either, but I don’t have to cough up gasoline money.

Richard Tallent proposes a few ways to better utilize technology in schools.

Turns out that computers don’t help in the classroom environment and may actually be harmful. Doh! We waste massive amounts of taxpayer money on technology that is outdated before it is even installed, we have generations of teachers who couldn’t even install a printer driver to save their life, and most schools have no specific plans on how to use the technology, partially because their school board members are just as tech-illiterate as the teachers and students. It this any surprise?

Michael Feldman writes about the Adopt-A-Journalist scheme and has some recommendations at making older media organizations more blog friendly.

The basic idea is that to counteract the relative anonymity and lack of accountability on the part of Major Media writers and reporters, Bloggers should choose a single reporter and monitor, repost and comment on all of that individual’s journalistic output.

Come on! That’s the most invasive, repugnant and counterproductive idea we have heard in the ‘Sphere since paid subscriptions! Who appointed us to be the Thought Police? And Who is Going to Monitor the Monitors? What a misguided, uncivil and rude waste of time!

Richard stole the words from my keyboard with regards to social software.

I’m fairly skeptical as to this whole social software idea, since it still doesn’t seem to be designed to get people out of their chairs and into actual social situations. Besides, my weblog is my social software. Linking to others using the <a href=> tag has been far more effective for me in “meeting” new people than any other form of online conversation. Right now—and probably for the duration of my flirtation with Orkut—the only people on my “friends” list are joiito members. Yes, I’m effectively saying I will not invite you or accept you as a “friend” unless you’re a joiito regular. It’s been putting a face to the screennames, but of course I must factor in the possibility that at least one of the faces may be a “Kaycee”.

Richard links to a slut who doesn’t like being used: Phil Ringnalda.

Commenting is also a great way to get yourself known among webloggers. If you write something interesting, or just write well, in someone’s comments, I’m quite likely to click your link, to see what else you have to say. [...]

But, the inevitable but, I’ve been noticing lately that there are quite a few people who are spamming comments, only with a link to their blogs rather than to a casino, a pill, or a naked woman. If you only have six words to say to me, that’s cool, but if I then see that someone in my blogroll has just updated, and I go over there only to find that you had six similar words to say to her, and searching for shows that there are dozens or hundreds of links to your blog, all coming from six-word, nothing-much comments, I’m going to feel used, and even a slut doesn’t like to feel used.

The Author of ecto writes about spam and spammas:

I’m starting to think that spammers do not spam for profit anymore, if ever. I don’t see how bombarding innocent users with hundreds of totally uninteresting and often obnoxious emails could generate even a bit of dough. This is plain revenge. Spammers are the notorious salesmen, Yehova’s witnesses, and their offspring. After years of getting the doors slammed in their faces, they have finally found a way to remain unconditionally pushy, annoying and irritating, and without even having to ring doorbells.

Al3xander P4yn3 writes about how you should not write about blogging unless you are an idiot.

The next time I hear someone drag out one of those generic intellectual litmus test concepts that get tediously applied and re-applied to any new big thing that comes up (“gender and [x]“, “race and [x]“, “social justice and [x]“, “geopolitics and [x]“, “deez nutz and [x]“) and apply it to blogging I’m going to break heads. Seriously. That shit’s tired enough when the big thing in question is actually new and radically different (ex: the Internet). Something like blogging that’s little more than offshoots and amalgamations needs no more mental energy wasted on its “analysis” than the aforementioned deez nutz (though admittedly the already substantial body of research and critical theory regarding deez nutz makes comparison difficult at best).

Michael Feldman points to a story about Bill Clinton’s email experience.

The archives of the Bill Clinton presidential library will contain 39,999,998 e-mails by the former president’s staff and two by the man himself.

“The only two he sent,” Skip Rutherford, president of the Clinton Presidential Foundation, which is raising money for the library, said Monday.

Clay Shirky wonders if the Dean campaign’s use of the Internet actually hurt the candidate.

When I was 19, I remember seeing a bunch of guys in a parking lot in New Jersey absolutely rocking out to Twisted Sister at top volume, “Oh we’re not gonna take it, No, we ain’t gonna take it, Oh we’re not gonna take it anymo-o-o-o-ore” and I remember thinking the song was using up the energy that would otherwise go into rebellion.

Just rocking out to Twisted Sister so hard, and feeling so good about it, made those guys feel like they’d already stood up to The Man, making it less likely that they would actually do so in the real world, when the time came. And I’m wondering if the Dean campaign has been singing a version of that song, or, rather, I’m wondering if the bottom-up tools they’ve been using have been helping their supporters sing that song to each other.

Blogging Is Another Way Of Saying “Lame”

Jon Husband on social networks and Gary Murphy’s take.

Jon’s awesome comment:

“Ever watch dogs social-networking? They cut to the chase pretty quickly”

Gary’s hit:

So why don’t they work? Because they are notsocial networks.

A social network is a network with a social cause, a social reason for being. Social networks fill a niche need for interaction. Church clubs, business clubs, square-dance clubs, these form natural, anthropologically sound social networks with the intelligent self-organization moving from the local (chapter) out to the regional and then clustering still beyond. They are also self-governing, electing their executives from grassroots, organizing on the need to expand the social network.

So then, social-networking software should be the desired thing. Software that someone can easily use to help manage their grassroots one. Whether such a network would coexist with something like orkut is up for grabs.

A possible design: You join communities. (Check.) You add friends. (Check.) But, when you add friends who associate your connection with them by the community. (Nope.)

So, I could join the “Berkman Thursday” community, then add “Dave Winer” as a “Berkman Thursday Friend” (and possibly other types of friends.) Then when I’m looking at the network I’m part of I can filter out everyone not in the “Berkman Thursday” community–or look for intersections and what not.

How to make money would be to provide this network online as a service rather than a product which is not conducive to easy, light-weight setup or sharing of information.

MNOT on the stupid orange “XML” buttons.

It’s like having a “get your ASCII here” button; completely meaningless.

There are literally thousands of XML formats out there, so you’re not really being helpful by labelling it as such (the */xml media types have similar problems).

Mine says “Feed,” I was thinking maybe “Syndicate” though. Hmm?

Jeremy Zawodny writes about why Google needs Orkut and the power it gives them.

Just think about it for a few minutes. If you’ve been thru the Orkut registration process, you know that it attempts to collect a ton of data about you. The kind of demographic data that marketing folks drool over. And right now there are lots of folks dying to get that special invite and begin the sign-up process.

Still with me? Good.

Let’s assume that Google internationalizes Orkut and lets it run to the point that it has millions of users registered and active. That’s not an unreasonable thing to expect. Then, one day down the road, they quietly decide to “better integrate” Orkut with Google and start redirecting all Orkut requests to

A Vision of Next Generation Blogging Tools

A Vision of Next Generation Blogging Tools

Dave Winer posed a question on the BloggerCon site for discussion, perhaps at BloggerCon II.

Premise: We’ve reached a plateau in blogging tools. There haven’t been a lot of changes in the last two or three of years. The growth continues, lots more weblogs, and we’ve got better tools for reading (aggregators).

Question: What’s next in writing tools for weblogs? If you could influence people who are making the tools, what feature or features would you want? Think as big as you like, or as detailed as you like. What bug is most in your way. Ramble, please. Is there one thing you’d kill for? Or perhaps you’re satisfied with the tools as they are. I hope your comments are on the record so I can assemble a quote sheet as the beginning of a conversation that I hope will yield better tools for all of us.

I am attempting to summarize some of the discussion that was generated by this, as archived in the comments and the TrackBacks.

Lisa Williams posted the first summary of this discussion.

Behind every wishlist lurks a manifesto.

Be it as humble as the grocery list, as innocent (and voluminous) as a kid’s missives to the north pole, as big as a National Five Year plan, our wish lists tell us what we really want, and perhaps a bit of who we really are — or at least who we want to be. The harried person in the supermarket chooses chicken soup because they want comfort; a kid wants a bike because they want freedom; the politicians want increases in production of everything from ball bearings to grain because they want prosperity, abundance (and not incidentally, re-election).

But what do bloggers want?

Shimon Rura did an amazing job categorizing the posts so far.

Michael Fagan wanted a summary. He got 3 of them!

Ryan Tate on the idea:

This page is probably the single best roadmap to the future of the consumer software industry I have ever seen.

Microsoft, Google, Apple et. al. should tap in. This is the ultimate focus group.

Benoit Bisson on Lisa’s summary:

Keywords that came up: simplicity, ability to blog anything, anywhere, anytime, connectivity, community, conservation.

People – ordinary people, not tech heads – want to blog, and they want it as simple as writing in a diary, with the same ease to mix content. Add to that the ability to make that content – audio, video, photos, text – available on the Web, easily archived, easily searched.

The tools for blogging, ideally, should be invisible as far as tech goes, yet powerful enough to handle content in the form the user chooses – not the software maker.

I will organize primarily by type of feature or comment, and on occasion I will point to a place that talks about this problem in depth if I know of it.


Erik Neu would like to be to avoid link rot in what he links to. He has the outline of how to implement this as well, basically he’d like his tool to copy the text and change the link when the text changes.

Pedro Daniel would like to have a portable back format for switching between systems, possible just an RSS feed of all your posts.

Rauno Saarinen would like to be able to have “Slashdot Insurance” and have his blog mirrored automatically when traffic picks up. (Note: The Freenet Project has a feature like this.)


Brian Sullivan would like a stronger editor, preferably one that is stable, with special checking and previewing, and makes integrating multimedia easier. (Also Mark Seifert.) (Also Sarah Looney, who adds that a thesaurus would be great too.)

Jack Foster Mancilla would like not only to have the ability to integrate multimedia into his posts easier, but would also like his system to manage the data about those pictures in a Who/Where/When/What/etc style.

Tom Degrémont would like for blogs to find “nice resting places, once they’ve expired their last post.” This is something we’ve talked about at Berkman Thursdays in relation to the Dean/Clark blogs.

Mike Lougee takes Tom’s idea and runs with it, think it would nice to make a “blogs-to-paper” system for permanently archiving blogs.

Dale Pike would like tighter integration with blogging and the system he already he has. He’d like to interact with bloggers with whatever tool he wants, giving email as an example. Why can’t he email a blog post? Or, reply to a comment email and have it show up as a comment?

Steven joins in asking for spell checking, valid code generators, and a good drafts system, to save posts for latter. This is n-th’d by

Ron Jeffries.

Pete Prodoehl wants quality and valid code over features.

Rauno Saarinen would like to be able to share calendar information on his blog more effectively.

Phil Wolff wants to be able to give geographic data about everything on his blog for filtering purposes later.

Phil Wolff, who accounts for about half of all the comments, thinks that “Print to Blog” or “Save to Blog” option would be convenient.

Tilman Haerdle would like “perfect” support for offline blogging.

Rob Robinson would like a way to license his feeds and issue keys that unlock them.

Cesare Lamanna would like more simplicity and thinks that large number of diverse systems will be the best way to do this.

Benoit Bisson would like more integration with his browser, Firefox, for editing and better support for W3C standards.

Fabrice would like for his blogging to much more transparent to the way he uses the computer, he resounds the call to make it easy to “upgrade” any document, email, page, etc to a blog post.


“Dan” would like a way to notice if a page he is looking at has been blogging, but without the overhead of going to Technorati. He’d like it to be an automatic “emblem” on a page.

Jim Biancolo would like a more decoupled comment system as well as threaded comments for his posts.

Phil Wolff would like his comments on other people’s blogs to be cross-posted to a side-blog on his blog to control the spread of his internet identity. (Note: Phil also posts some links to proposed solutions to many of the above problems.)

Bruce Landon wants to be able to connect to more, to do this he thinks it would be nice to have a translation tool to accurately transform his text into different “levels” of English and other languages.

Mars F. would like an authentication system like a PKI for posters and commenters so he could have a distributed identity with different privileges in different places.

Pea would like to be able to link to anywhere on the web, not just to a page, but to a particular word on the page. (There is a W3C standard for this, see XPointer.) (2nd: Bob Stepno.)

Peter Eschenbrenner wants better support for loosely coupled conversations. He wants to know if some replies to a blogger who replied to him. (There is a W3C standard for this, see Annotea.)

Darren Rowse would like a way of showing his readers what entries have been “most viewed in the last 24 hours,” so they can know what are “hot topics.”

Jeff Jarvis wants more intuitive tools, in more languages, and without techno-speak. This will enable more people to interact and expand the blogging world.

Scott Johnson, of Feedster, wants all tools to support RSS feeds for their comments. This will make searching RSS feeds more effective.

Stephane would like to be ale to easily setup a relationship between his blog and another, particularly to associate his blog with his students and (perhaps?) approve their posts. He thinks this would be a small thing that would great aide blogs in education. (Note: This is a very rough understanding/translation of the original French.)

Jon Husband thinks that the next step of blogging is more general and powerful social networking software:

Blogging and its dynamics is about online presence, the experience of self and others online, and the exchange of value, whether psychic, emotional or knowledge-based economic value

There’s a new application being developed here in Vancouver that will be useful for blogging, bloggers and the spread of blogging-like microcontent assemby and publishing into social networking domains – workplaces or virtual private social networks where work gets done and deals start.. It’s derived from and designed based upon some fundamental cognitive research as to how the human-computer interface supports (or not) the way humans think and put together thoughts to create knowledge.


Blair Fannin would like an easy way to put all the audio and possibly the text “audio-ized” onto his iPod to take with him. He’d like to listen to the daily news, but from a blogger.

Franz Scherz wants to be able to filter out blog entries that point to stories he’s already read. Like the Universal Story Id proposal.

Phil Wolff would like many ways of filtering his aggregator content (viruses, family, etc) and getting recommendations for feeds/items he might like by his history of linking or “voting” on certains items/feeds. In his words: “Prioritization Filtering Trusted referral Summarization Threading Geo sensititivity Clustering Behavior analysis and related techniques to manage the flow in a reasonable time.”

Mars F. would like easier syndication… preferably one-click.

Anna would like a way to annotate that she is providing new content, commentary, or just propagating links. Then someone could filter their intake based on this.

Tilman Hardle would like to be able to subscribe to non-RSS/Atom content and just be notified when it changes.


Jason Fried thinks that the discussion is too focused on features. He says that the problem with blogging is not that there are key features missing, but that people don’t “get it” and it needs to be simpler.

A note from me on Fried: Perhaps the discussion should be split in two: How to make blogging more accessible to more people, and how to make blogging more featured for the “experts.” Basically some people need to work at getting what we already have to the masses, while others look at what’s next–which one to we want to talk about?

Adam Curry makes an important point related to the above, and (sorry Phil Wolff) lends his support to the simplicity crowd:

Dave poses an important question. If I could have answered this question after the release of Word 1.0, would I have asked for all the features Word has now? There’s probably a lot of overlap there and we might only wind up creating more bloatware.