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The Scoop on Bloggercon III 74

Trizor writes "Bloggercon III commenced today with the opening session ending in a singalong of 'This land is your land'. The sessions ranged from introductions on blogging to a comparison of bloggers and journalists. The developers at O'Reilly have provided notes, coverage, and commentary on the event."
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The Scoop on Bloggercon III

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  • by turnstyle ( 588788 ) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @09:13AM (#10746062) Homepage
    I've seen other sites refer to Slashdot as a "blog" but I don't really think of it that way.

    For starters, it's been around long before the term "blog" was coined.

    Just wondering if others here think it's weird when Slashdot is called a blog.

    • Blog? Web log? I've always taken the definition to mean "fairly personal" content would be included. Slashdot is a news site.
      • IMO, there are 3 kinds of blogs - journals (I ate 3 eggs today), notebooks (opinions, articles, etc.) and filters (sites of links). Slashdot combines all 3. Also, we, the readers are often treated to intensely personal content. Multiple streams of information compete on slashdot, provided by multiple sources.

        So, I'd call it a group blog, similar to http://www.metafilter.com/ [metafilter.com]metafilter.

    • by ChrisFedak ( 611386 ) <cjf809 AT mail DOT usask DOT ca> on Sunday November 07, 2004 @09:24AM (#10746084)
      A lot of webloggers allow the owners to post articles, and then have a section for comments attached to each article. If you check out an active blog over on Livejournal, you'll find that most postings have a fair number of comments. Slashdot shares this characteristic in spades. Slashdot also gives each of us a journal. On the web. One might almost call that a weblog. The usual connotation of weblogs as a journal of personal information rather than bleeding edge nerd commentary is probably what makes the classification seem wierd, and I'll admit that I felt the same when you brought it up.
      • Maybe, but no one reads the journals apart from $$$$$exyGal's. :)

        More seriously, I think the thing about calling /. a blog site because of journals is a bit misleading. For instance, LiveJournal is not a blog site, it's a business that provides users with blog pages. An individual's account page qualifies as a blog site, LiveJournal itself doesn't. /. is a news site, its journals can be blogs.
        • Maybe, but no one reads the journals ~.
          You're incorrect. I checked your friend/foes lists and it is understandable why you believe this -- you have but three friends.

          You need to get plugged into the FK circle [slashdot.org] - there are easily 150 active accounts that journal regularly.

    • Slashdot Journals might meet the criteria to be blogs, but the main site certainly isn't one.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      It's not a blog if it doesn't feature the words "social networking", "blogosphere", and at least one cat photo in every other article.
    • There is nothing new about blogs except for the word. I remember seeing lots of what could be called blogs 8 or so years ago. When the term "blog" first became big a year or two ago, I had to spend some time to find out "what does this mean"? as everything called a blog was just an old-fashioned web diary under another name. It turned out that the word really didn't mean anything new.
    • by Otter ( 3800 )
      For starters, it's been around long before the term "blog" was coined.

      I don't claim any authoritative research on this topic but -- my recollection is that when the word "weblog" emerged to describe a site with continuously updated front page content, Slashdot was one of the protypical examples given. As the word evolved to "blog", it became associated with narcissists jabbering about their cats or linking to links to links about wildly partisan political content, which I think is the way you interpret the

    • When you think about it, Slashdot is a blog representing the lives of the members of its community. In its own strange way, good ole /. is actually journalising the entire geek/nerd civilization.
    • Just wondering if others here think it's weird when Slashdot is called a blog.

      Yes, I think it is weird as well. Though, ./ might be more of a weblog than what for instance the Zawodny ... (name them) league provides, which is pure egomania (IMHO).

    • I've seen other sites refer to Slashdot as a "blog" but I don't really think of it that way.

      For starters, it's been around long before the term "blog" was coined.

      Just wondering if others here think it's weird when Slashdot is called a blog.

      Strictly speaking, yes it is a blog. However, I think slashdot is a lot different primarily because Slashdot is less about the news stories and more about the comments.
      In true blogs the reverse is true.


  • Ach my eyes (Score:1, Redundant)

    by Timesprout ( 579035 )
    That linked page contains way too much vomit inducing material and verifies many of the complaints about blogging, that its really just the leftovers of someones mindless typing diahrea.
    • Most "professional pundits" whose material is nothing more than fresh, mindless typing diahrea...
      • Most "professional pundits" have to go through a process of editorial review. On the Internet where nobody is there to review content, you get a morass of terrible content with a few islands of coherency in it.

        I enjoy reading good professional writing and good amateur writing. Please consider that editors have a real, actual, useful purpose the next time you see "Bush is a moran!!!! Click hear to see an funnie flash video! Comments (0) TrackBack (0) [google.com]"
  • Summary (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 07, 2004 @09:47AM (#10746133)
    Blogs are the best thing since the Internet, no wait, blogs _are_ the Internet, blogs are the Ubernet, blogs, blogs, have you seen my latest MovableType template?, I prefer WordPress, my grandpa has a blog and now he's blogging about his rectal warts isn't that great, RSS, Atom, Atom, RSS, big media is dead, CNN should just hire a bunch of bloggers and fire all those journalists, blogs will save the rainforest, I met my ex-girlfriend on blogger.com but she's now blogging another blogger, blogosphere is such a witty word, blogs are cool, blogs are better than sex, Einstein was a blogger.

    Politicians should have a blog, housewives should have a blog, my boss should blog, dogs should blog, blogs should blog, blogblogblog.
  • by YetAnotherName ( 168064 ) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @09:49AM (#10746136) Homepage
    I thought weblogging would be a passing fad, especially given that the majority of such blogs are updated by people with poor writing skills and dull lives. The pathetic stream-of-consciousness musings of a acne infested high schooler can only keep your interest for so long.

    Sure, there are exceptions [boingboing.net] that prove the rule; the rapid punditry of certain election blogs were interesting, too.

    What would be most interesting to me is to find if there's a business strategy in exploiting blogs. I recall just a few years ago Micro$oft finding some business use for instant messaging (and not just as a communications enhancement, but for things like EDI); I'm sure there are some plans already to deploy Business Visual Blog Server or some such product, to what end I can't fathom. I'm sure another company will say they've patented blogs and/or blog technology, and then we'll know that blogs have really arrived.
    • All a blog is, is a CMS for a single person, really.

      Chips n' Bits would have been a "blog", I've been doing them for years before I heard the word - I just always called it a "journal".

      The word is kind of silly and is misleading. But unfortunately it's what a lot of people understand, so it's used often. (pejorative)
      • I would go so far as to say that a blog is just a mailing list and Usenet newsgroups moved to the web. Not that moving to the web is a bad thing. Certainly blogs are more accesible, and authors have more control then either usenet or mailing lists allowed. But looking at the "blog community" I see the same sorts of people I did back in the pre-spam newsgroups. So I don't see how blogs will revolutionize the world.

        • They're just getting more attention - remember, in the 'hey-day' of the other tech you cited the internet itself was relatively obscure.

          Although, while I certainly agree with your assertion about the pre-spam newsgroups, I wouldn't tout that as a good thing. For some reason, online still equates to complete lack of moderation.
    • There is a *very* active business strategy behind some blogs already - particularily in the small business, freelancer and Direct Marketing business communities.

      And in the search engine spammer communities, who use autoposting tools to pollute search engines with trillions of inbound links with specific anchor text.

      Check out blogger.com's "Recently updated" link - you'll see a *lot* of spamblogs consisting of nothing but automated postings of links to high-money keywords.
  • by irc.goatse.cx troll ( 593289 ) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @09:53AM (#10746146) Journal
    What rolls down stairs
    Alone or in pairs...
    Rolls over your neighbor's dog?
    What's great for a snack
    And fits on your back?
    It's bLog! bLog! bLog!
    It's bLo-og, it's bLo-og
    It's big, it's heavy
    It's wood!
    It's bLo-og, bLo-og
    It's better than bad
    It's good!!!
  • by mikecheng ( 3359 ) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @10:15AM (#10746190) Homepage Journal
    "What a waste of time!"

    Although Phil snorted this in response to a woman's claim of having studied 19th century French poetry, I think I can hear the collective snort of many people in reponse to a story about the blog of a convention for bloggers.

    Blog me with a spoon.
  • by Boss, Pointy Haired ( 537010 ) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @10:19AM (#10746203)
    I'm sure there's some bloggers out there got themselves stuck in an infinite spiral of syndication.

    Better be careful with those little orange XML lozenges; just one in the wrong place could kill.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      It is called "the blogger circle-jerk."

      "I can't believe (blank) would (believe/do)(blank), I mean, all of my friends and blogs I read are totally against it!"

  • I speak quite a bit to pr professionals and marketing groups about the emergence of blogs and other trends in online communication.

    When speaking to a newbie group I provide an overview of what blogs are, along with concepts/sites built around participatory journalism.

    As a previous poster said a blog is basically CMS for the common person. The blog has added comments and trackbacks (most corporate sites I see built with CMS don't allow any user to just comment).

    However more corporations are using blo

    • Slashdot provides very little original content -- it just links to others' web sites and provides a central forum for people to discuss others' articles.

      In much the same way, but on a much smaller scale, the "blogosphere" is a bunch of individuals posting articles and TrackBacking to each other in a futile struggle to gain influence.

      Furthermore, the community of people who call themselves the "blogosphere" are absolutely infuriating with all the manifestos and rants and such about how blogging will transf
      • A few follow-up points:

        "people so deluded as to think that a couple of web applications will transform peoples psyches"

        That sounds a little like....take your pick

        - traditional advertising firms before in 1997
        - TV executives when Tivo launched
        - anybody who said...why use ICQ, I have e-mail

        I am not saying that blogs or the blogosphere will change the world but it can influence things. Take Rathergate and the forged CBS memos. 5-10 years and CBS might have gotten away with it.

        But instead with bl

  • by toupsie ( 88295 ) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @10:26AM (#10746237) Homepage
    I was particularly interested in the seminar discussing the photography of cats and its metaphysical and geopolitical impact on greater society.
  • by Schlemphfer ( 556732 ) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @10:42AM (#10746283) Homepage
    The whole blogging thing has of course made an enormous impact on the Internet. There was a great article in Wired from a couple months back that shows that the very top blogs (fark, plastic, etc.) have traffic comparable to NYTimes.com and other mainstream media. Basically the people who got in on this meme fast, and did the best work, developed huge audiences.

    The thing about blogs is that I think it was a really obvious idea. There were loads and loads of people doing webpages, updated daily, when the blogging concept took hold. For instance, when I relaunched my website around 2000, I had my designer build a custom database so that I could easily post content from a webpage. Then blogs started getting big, and even though I didn't call my site a blog, it had a huge amount of characteristics in common with blogs.

    I think the most important story about blogs is the emergence of back-end software like movabletype and wordpress. No longer were the developers of content stuck with the obvious kludge of using Frontpage or some other mediocre web site creator to post daily content. Wordpress and its ilk lets you post content, and incorporate a bunch of useful blog-related features, without reinventing the wheel.

    But, as I said, I just don't find the "blog" concept that interesting. It's an obvious concept that was being practiced by thousands of websites long before somebody tacked the repulsive-sounding name "blog" on what they were doing.

    In my eyes, far more interesting than blogs is the emerging iPodder concept. Here, people are adopting the very same tools used in blogs (wordpress, movabletype, etc), and using them to attach mp3 files of radio shows to the Internet. Internet radio has been around for a while, but the iPodder concept that taps into RSS sites is incredibly interesting.

    To put it another way, blogs made me yawn and say, "I've already been doing this for months." Whereas podcasts made me say, "This is truly revolutionary. We finally have a way for individual content creators to break the Clear Channel hegemony."

    Two months ago there were fewer than fifty podcasted radio shows. Now there are well over 200. I've been having a great time doing mine, which I post to a RSS feed for users of ipodder [vegan.com], and post to my website [vegan.com] for people who visit it regularly.

    One last comment on podcasting. There is a huge but limited number of people who want to surf the web or fire up their RSS feeder to read a variety of blogs. That circle of people draws from a very different population than those who want to listen to radio shows. And shows like mine can offer compelling content that there's a big demand for, but that traditional advertisers [mcdonalds.com] would boycott. The real news about the democratization of media isn't happening at a third annual blogging conference; it's happening right now with the emergence of ipodder radio shows.

    • The whole blogging thing has of course made an enormous impact on the Internet.

      How, exactly? I see blogs as nothing but an earlier poster described... a bunch of dull people writing (poorly) about the minutae of their lives, with links to web sites they find interesting. How has this had an "enormous impact"?
      • While a VAST majority of blogs are just as you describe (poorly written and dull) saying that they are all like that, and saying that they haven't had an impact on the internet is short-sighted and foolish.

        Lets take for instance the Drudge Report. Despite what you think of Matt Drudge or his writing more people know his name than the name of many of the talking head pundits that inhabit more traditional means of communication.

        Further than just simple name recognition blogs are a great way to share informa
    • Replace "ipodder" with "Shoutcast" [shoutcast.com] and you have an equally meaningless rant about how the Internet was supposed to destroy evil centralized corporate radio about 5 years ago.

      News blogs aren't going to destroy CNN, and webcasted radio shows aren't going to break anyone's hegemony. What's amazing is that people hold annual conferences to make assloads of money off of people deluded enough to believe that blogs will do any more for the Internet than, say, Geocities ever did.
  • by HarveyBirdman ( 627248 ) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @10:54AM (#10746324) Journal
    "Bloggercon III commenced today with the opening session ending in a singalong of 'This land is your land'.

    Did they sing Kumbaya, too?

  • by sakusha ( 441986 ) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @11:43AM (#10746473)
    Blogger con is just Dave Winer's latest lame attempt to be relevant and hijack internet hipsters into endorsing him for High Priest of blogging. We don't need any idiots like Winer telling us what we've already been doing.
  • I, for one, am amazed at the number of well written and interesting weblogs I've found. Yes, many are tedious and uninteresting, but I continue to find new and interesting material. I just wish I had to time to read more and continue to learn.

    But I wonder: where do these people get the time and ambition to write these weblogs? And if they are spending so much time writing, plus have a job, where do they get the time to actually have a life?
  • Blogging is just the start. Much more can fill niches in the ecosystem with this machine readable web. Free speech (spoken, written), searching for relevant materials, information flow, relationships. Incidentally, I would have had better luck finding your comments had you had your own blogs and tracked back to other blogging stories than I had looking in these comments.

    As for the conference its the most open and accessible I know of with live audio, active IRC rooms, a wiki, audio available afterwords

  • by Fnkmaster ( 89084 ) * on Sunday November 07, 2004 @03:07PM (#10747696)
    "Blogging" (admittedly a godawful word - I would never attend a tech industry event called BloggerCon, I'd have to hang my head in shame for the rest of my life) is just a move back to what the Internet was originally about anyway - namely, democratization of content production and publishing.

    Blogging software is just simplified CMS software, a more accessible form of what's been around since the start of dynamic web content and database backed web sites. That's it. Nothing more or less. Let's not ascribe any gradiose proclamations to it. I don't think "blogging" is a fad that will ever go away, I just think a lot of boring people with nothing interesting to say will eventually lose interest in blogging.

    Easy-to-use content management software has just made it more reasonable for people to keep well-updated, more relevant sites without having to laboriously manage static HTML pages. The plethora of good (or at least decent) blog software out there has also done a lot to increase the importance and use of web standards like CSS and XHTML, and actually finally pushed forward useful metadata on the web in the form of RSS/Atom. These are all good things.

    As for the rantings or ramblings posted by people you disagree with, and generally stupid or sucky content that just don't interest you, you certainly don't have to read it. Slashdot has plenty of this too. While quite imperfect, moderation helps separate the wheat from the chaff. Given the development of standards like Trackback by the "blogging" community (god I hate that word, it really kills me to use it), I wouldn't be surprised to eventually see distributed moderation systems or communities and webs of trust factor more heavily into the culture of blogs too (hmm, maybe we can call it the "culture of distributed content" - I refuse to use the word 'blogosphere').

    I just wish that somebody would get rid of the damned word blog, negative connotations, hokey sound and all. And get rid of the meaningless catchphrase "social software" while you're at it.

  • Am I the only one that read it as BuggerCon III?

    yeah, I thought so.

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.