A Dozen Things We Know
(May 17, 2002) Blogging is in a primitive form. The heavy users only know
that it is possible. "Why?" is a question that awaits a claifying "How?"
Here are a dozen things we know.
Personal publishing has always moved
from the grassroots out to society and blogging is an advancement in
The technical ground beneath "blogging"
(web services, net services or whatever you want to call it) is moving
from the grass roots out (and not from the top down as Oracle, Sun, IBM
and Microsoft would have it.)
The blogging phenomenon itself is a
market based example of a self-organizing system that appears to be
producing features and functions just as they are needed.
The growth vectors associated with
blogging dwarf the original growth vectors of the Web in Phase 1 (circa
The sprawling, "static web" is in need
of a function like consciousness that guides and focuses attention.
Blogging makes that a volunteer job (in the sense that the great
assignments go to volunteers who see risk differently than the 'never
volunteer for anything' set.)
As was the case in early static web
publishing, the egos of the individual contributors are larger than life
so the story is exciting.
In it's current state, 'blogging' is the
product of technologists who are less concerned with "Why?" than "How?"
although they grapple with "Why?" as content.
Even as the technology finds its limits,
applications are being unearthed. Knowledge-Logs (or K-Logs) are an
underground phenomenon that may deliver what Lotus Notes promised.
While the throngs of marketing
professionals have not yet embraced the phenomenon, clusters of
influence are forming. That sort of infrastructure (the social network
that creates technical momentum) has a longer half-life than the
technical innovation itself.
The first real beach-head in the
maturity of the tool set will be the arrival of the "usual suspects".
Although some from the "Wired community" are on board (see boing boing),
expect near term entries from the standard digerati.
The rhetoric is heating up. With
forecasts like "blogs will overturn conventional media by the end of
2002" circulating widely, there is relative assurance that this thing
has the standard 3 year adoption windup. As near as we can tell, it's
still year one.
Blogging is a nuance. If the Bugler, the
Scripting News, the Electronic Recruiting News and EGR haven't been
blogs for the past 8 years, it's the underlying technology, not the
form. That said, the nuance makes the form accessible to a far broader
array of participants. Automatic transmissions, which made automobiles
accessible to the majority, were a similar form of nuance.
We're wondering what's next. This is five years
later. Any ideas?