No, I own the new gatekeepers

While I work on both the Johnson Shut-Ins post, in addition to trying to wrap my head around ExpressionEngine modules, there have been some writings too good to miss.

Seth Finkelstein writes New Gatekeepers are still Gatekeepers:

This world is exactly the same as *every* *other* *media* *world*, in that there’s a few participants who have enormous reach, while most have little to none (”Power Law”). That’s just a mathematical fact. One obvious corollary is that if an A-lister (very high audience) writes a personal attack on a Z-lister (very low audience), the Z-lister has no *effective* means of responding, to any comparable extent. This is hardly life-threatening, but it’s not pleasant.

Irony is introduced when one realizes that it is Doc Searls’ response to Seth, not Seth’s original writing, that rates top billing in Tech Memeorandum. (Dave Rogers also notes another bit of associated irony–leading to the title on this piece. Sorry Jon.)

Along similar lines, Phil Sims writes The Piss-Ant Blogosphere. In the post, the Squash Man notices that the A-Listers don’t send him the traffic to go with their ranks, and this tends to cast doubt on the power of webloggers in influencing the success of startups.

I can agree to this: other than blitz of traffic for my Parable of the Languages, and the flurry of links to my Men Don’t Link writing, the most traffic I’ve ever had was for a blonde joke; I still get close to 4000 unique visits a day for this. Perhaps I can get Clairol to advertise on my site in the future.

Turning to more serious matters, 3 Quarks Daily has two thoughtful and should-read entries on the explosive situation about the Danish cartoons: one an original writing by Abbas Raza, and one referencing a New Republic article. I was asked in my comments, can’t we have a dialog on this topic? My answer is yes, but only if we all understand none of us has the answer, because we’re still trying to figure out the question.

From the tech side, Kim Cameron has InfoCards working with WordPress and PHP. This was in response to a challenge made to him some time back about implementing InfoCards in a LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP) environment. I’m not necessarily sanguine of the concept of InfoCards, but the effort that Kim has done deserves recognition and a well done. More on this when I have a chance to look more closely at the implementation.

Danny Ayers has two posts on mining microformatted and other munchkin metadata formats for richer semantic data: Out of Eden and Out of Eden: possible implementation architecture. More on this topic later, too.

Damn it people — stop writing such good stuff. I want to respond individually and there’s only so many hours in a day.

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