I’ve been blogging for a few months now, and it’s been interesting so far. I started simply because I wanted to see what blogging was like and to become more familiar with the blogging world. I have to admit that before I started I only paid attention to the few gadget and Getting Things Done blogs that I had stumbled upon.
I began my blog thinking that I would post an update on what I was doing–for my friends and family–and scientific thoughts and discoveries for those interested in hearing science. My blog quickly became an outlet for general ideas on work-related strategies, providing a connection to those with the same things on their mind as me.
Even though I’m a novice in this vast and and incorporeal space, I do feel that I’m a part of a community. I’ve discovered blogs by individuals with similar interests to mine, and reading their thoughts spur my own which sometimes results in my own post. And, of course, I would guess that my posts cause similar responses from others.
Conversations among bloggers aren’t direct but are, by their nature, referential only. Imagine the connection that actors on stage would feel in a Shakespeare play where the dialogue consisted solely of asides, and you get an idea of the connection that exists between bloggers. It is somewhat akin to scientific journals where one scientist’s paper references work in another scientist’s paper, but no direct dialogue or debate between the scientists with competing theories takes place in print. The difference with the scientific world is that these scientists will usually meet and have the missing dialogue or debate at conferences associated with their field of research. In keeping with the sideways communication amongst us bloggers, I should point out that perhaps this post was a result of Irving Wladawsky-Berger’s Reflections on Blogging.
One aspect that’s missing from the blogging world is the ability to easily see the connections between bloggers’ posts. Trackbacks allow one blog to let another know when they reference that blog, but not everyone uses trackbacks. Technorati shows which blogs link to a specific blog, but if Blog B references Blog A, and Blog C references Blog B, the connection between Blog C and A is not readily available. Thus, knowing when a blogging topic catches like wildfire and when it has limited exposure is difficult. Technorati has the database available to create a Post Map that shows all of the connections that lead from a specific post, like a spiderweb. Such a device would be akin to threads on discussion boards or the threading feature available on Gmail to follow continuity of topic. If anyone wants to create a Web 2.0 company off of this concept, be my guest 🙂