Weblogging and Status

Recovered from the Wayback Machine

I made my first posting today at 1:47:09 pm, talking about weblogging buzz and the fact that I had more buzz from my WSP discussion than the recent one on open source associated with John Robb of Userland. I was surprised to see a comment attached at 2:09 — normally it takes longer than that to get responses.

In the comment, Userland’s Dave Winer from Scripting News wrote:

Your discussion on web standards got better when I gave it a prominent link.
You know, I just didn’t know how to respond to this for the longest time — I know that this comment bothered me a great deal. It still does.

To me, weblogging is a tool to communicate without having to go through any kind of authority or any kind of ruling mechanism in order to get that communication out to the world. Weblogging is the ultimate expression of the power of P2P (peer to peer) because webloggers discover each other primarily via links in other weblog posts rather than through one central weblogging server or through the random results of a search engine.

From my possibly warped viewpoint, weblogs are small circles of connectivity that communicate through links to other circles of connectivity and so on. Think of gears within a machine — gear one turns, causing gear two to turn, causing gears three and four to turn and so on.


Weblog A posts an item of interest in his or her weblog. Weblog A’s regular reader, Weblog B, reads the information and, if interested enough, posts a link back to Weblog A. Now, Weblog C is a regular reader of Weblog B, but not Weblog A; however C, in turn, also find A’s information interesting, and posts a reference to Weblog A (and possibly B) — thereby connecting C’s weblogging circle to A’s weblogging circle — all through the intervention of Weblog B. If you think about, that’s exactly how Freenet works. Pure P2P.

If we consider the human synapse as a valid cybernetic element in the equation, weblogging and weblogging circles are the closest thing we have to a Semantic Web today. Fascinating and extraordinary stuff.

Real Life: It’s New Year’s Eve and Sharon in North Carolina is wishing me Happy New Year and I’m wishing Chris in Korea Happy New Year and Julian in the UK is giving me some pretty good advice on the subject of weblogging buzz, and Justin in Dallas is paying me a nice compliment — and so the circles mix and meet and come together momentarily only to split apart again, connected through something ephemeral and powerful, a link. What a wonderous web of discovery! If this doesn’t excite you, than you need to put a mirror in front of your face, make sure you’re still breathing.

Into the midst of all this, drops the comment:

Your discussion on web standards got better when I gave it a prominent link.
Is this a carrot? Or a stick? Am I chastised? Or am I warned? Will I be perpetually banished from the dance of the circles if I don’t acknowledge the power of Scripting News and Userland? Is the dance of the circles dependent on one weblog?

I had thought that the discussion on web standards got better because of the participants.

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