Elsewhere

You Say It’s Your Blirthday, You’re Gonna Have A Good Blog!

I haven’t seen much going on at Paolo Valdemarin’s blog recently — although my reading habits are very spotty — so it was kind of a sobering experience to read his 4 blog birthday, or blirthday, post.

Blogging allowed me to meet the most interesting people of my life, to get an infinite number of ideas, to develop new products, find new partner, new customers, to learn more then I had ever learned before. It changed my life.

I’m not blogging much anymore on the English part of my blog, I write a little bit more on the Italian side. I’m not involved in many conversations or I don’t feel I have much to add to what is discussed. The atmosphere is changing, pretty soon you won’t even be able to say that blogging is not “mainstream media”.

Hmmm. Kind of sad to think of the fading of that joy and involvement. A number of people have been commenting on the change blowing in the breeze in blogland. Threads like Dave Winer’s blog suicide note, Robert Scoble’s screechiness, Jeneane Sessum’s Shitting Point, and Joi Ito walking away from blogging to immerse himself in Second Life — it all points to a fundamental change in the world of blogging.

Personally, I have been blogging since 1999, although in a interrupted way. You can see my first blog, Message From Edge City, only in the Wayback Machine at the Internet Archives, since the hosting company went under, and sold the servers before I could get my posts off:

I think one of the reasons I still have a fresh feeling for the whole thing is that I have had periods of low or no blogging along the way, and I have changed my blog a lot. Since Message From Edge City (MFEC) I have penned Timing, Instant Messaging, Get Real, and now /Message. I also contributed to a number of group projects, like Operating Manual for Social Tools (with danah boyd and David Weinberger), and Centrality (with Stan Wasserman and others). I don’t remember the official start date for my blogging, so I won’t have a Blirthday of my own. I will just celebrate Paolo’s with him.

I am too hypomanic to give into the gloom and doom that many are feeling about the shifting currents in the Blogosphere, but I will offer some completely unsolicited advice for staying fresh. It’s not as corporate as Nick Carr’s heavyhanded riff on Robert Scoble’s recent spell of misguided lashing out at the rising tide of unquiet about Vista and Office slippage, but then I have already written a piece explicitly for Robert (What We Can Learn From Scoble’s Lament). No, these ideas are just for anyone who wants to retain the sense of fun and even joy that can come from the daily ritual of writing.

  1. Get out of the rut — Write about something you have never written about before. Read new people. Wander around. Get out of your RSS reader.
  2. Interview smart people — Even if you think you have nothing new to write, there are others out there not suffering from that delusion.
  3. Try new techniques — Tired of facing the empty screen? Try audio or video. Write a poem.
  4. Help others — I recently read Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales, and it turns out that one of the characteristics of survivors is that they are altruistic. Even in moments of great danger they hold on and work towards survival by consciously choosing to help others, or try to survive so that loved ones won’t suffer.
  5. Change your blog — Change the template, add new widgets, create a sideblog with comments about your aspirations, travel, or geolocation. Fool with it with the goal of making it a better representation of your relationship to the world.

In the final analysis, you have to stay green or you are fading, fast. My personal mantra is “always beginning, never finished,” and it is that sort of attitude that brings me back, day after day, week after week, month after month, to the task — and joy — of writing.

Jeneane Sessum on The Mainstream Media IS the New Blogging A-List

Jeneane has a great post on the changing complexion of the blogging A-list — it’s becoming dominated by blog consortia:

[from The Mainstream Media IS the New Blogging A-List]

When I look around at the most subscribed to blogs in Bloglines, and not coincidentally many of the new breed in the Technoriati Top 100, I see the effects of RSS and ‘consumption-based reading’ — I see how so many real bloggers who used write in a real, human voice have slipped off the charts, replaced by ‘conglomerate’ news blogs like gizmodo, engadget, wired news, etc. — all well written, but not so much blogs as relentlessly updated zines — and I realize that THESE are the blogs that mainstream journalists who cover similar or related beats are subscribing to. That’s where a large portion of their readership is coming from—and with authority comes the masses, following suit.

With so many in the mainstream news business subscribing and linking to, and getting their news from, these new breed of super-news blogs, what happens to the individual voices?

The blurring between individual blogging and the blog machinery that is emerging — blog consortia like the Huffington Post, the search solutions that feel more and more like media, like Google and Technorati, and the memetrackers like tech.memorandum and Tailrank — means that there will be more and more readership in blogland, but less deep involvement. There will be less active ‘readering’ and more passive audience, as the mainstreaming of blogging becomes more evident.

Jeneane Sessum on Technorati Favorites

Jeneane noticed a bug (I think) in the updating of Technorati Favorites:

[from Bug or Power-Law?]

Why does my new Technorati “faves’ posts” sidebar widget keep showing recent posts for Ken Camp and Stowe Boyd (HI GUYS!), when folks like Sheila Lennon and Will have updated more recently?

I looked, and the same seems to be happening with some of my faves, too. Maybe its related to the chronic updating problems that Technorati is having. If they haven’t been updated for other purposes, does that mean the RSS feeds aren’t updated for Favorites, either?

And Tara Reid is in Chinese?

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