May 20, 2003

The blog debate

The best summary of the blogwash debate I have read came from a blog. The most empathy-inspiring Iraq information I receive(d) comes from a blog. The blogging ecosystem is a fascinating place.

More and more I find myself going to blogs for commentary, opinions, analysis, and news recommendations. Link ranking is an interesting phenomenon in terms of quality assessment. In today's world, where advertising shapes much of the information exposure that we receive, it's interesting to see a small but growing group of (seemingly) disparate people on the Web volunteering their information processing cycles to filter through data overload for the common good of their community. But, it's important to acknowledge the fears of many: the power to Blogwash currently rests with a group of volunteers. Unelected and unregulated by formal processes.

Will bloggers evolve into a useful, sustainable addition to the information universe? Or, will hubris and bias relegate us to the fringes? There are groups of people who would most certainly claim that either option has already occurred. But, in my opinion, the blogosphere is still in its infancy. It does not yet have enough momentum to guarantee that the current direction will be the final course. I can only hope that link-ranking (or perhaps additional moderation) will regulate the powerful ones enough to hold them to the standards of integrity that they appear to maintain. If we lose the integrity and trust currently governing this space, the blogosphere will degenerate into something that is viewed as more radical and less trusted than the traditional media of today. I can only hope that this does not occur.

"I have a day job. I don't have the time or ego need."
-- -- Netscape Communications co-founder and Opsware Chairman Marc Andreessen doesn't blog.

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