Thursday, March 21, 2002

One of today's DailyLinks from references a FastCompany article All the News that's Fit to Blog by John Ellis.

Ellis' article has a lot of good links. I found one to Rebecca's Pocket, by Rebecca Blood. Her weblogs: a history and pespective is especially worth a look.

In this essay, I found a link to the personal web site/blog of Evan Williams, the president/CEO of Pyra Labs, "the creators and operators of Blogger--the "power" behind many blogs, including this one.

Evan's March 18, 2002 blog post references Microcontent News: The Online Magazine for Weblogs, Webzines, and Personal Publishing (spun off from Corante), by John Hiler. As Evan notes, the introductory article at Microcontent is very good. Most interesting for me was Hiler's take -- based on his reading of Fire in the Valley: The Making of the Personal Computer -- on the parallels between Personal Computing and Personal Publishing. He tells us:

The Personal Computing revolution was about the democratization of computing: the idea that anyone could have access to the power of a computer, without having to beg, borrow, and steal access to the mainframes and minicomputers owned by major corporations and universities.

The Personal Publishing revolution seems like the inevitable follow-up: the democratization of publishing. It's another Promethean notion: the idea that anyone can start publishing anything to the world, using the Internet. And unlike the dot-com boom and bust, personal publishing is being driven by passionate hobbyists fueled not by greed, but by a burning desire to share their thoughts with the world.

I agree with Hiler when he says that the "Personal Publishing revolution" blogs represent constitutes "nothing less than the birth of an entire new industry," and an exciting one at that!

Tuesday, March 19, 2002

More on my AtmosphereTM-ic adventures

As one might expect, this community is much different than the one I'm part of at OISE/UT. Maybe the most significant factor is that it's not moderated. This makes what constitutes "fair play" harder to define. I'm intrigued by the latitude regarding acceptable behaviour in the Atmosphere world. Well not so much by the latitude itself, but rather the way participants self-moderate during interaction.

Because anyone can say anything -- and due in part, I'm sure, to the anonyminity ("Tester") afforded first-time participants -- some act inappropriately. From my experience, offending Testers are dealt with in one of three ways:

  • humor, typically at the offender's expense
  • being ignored on the hopes s/he will go away (sometimes this strategy is suggested by a participant)
  • directly challenged -- "Tester, is there a problem?"

Each has worked. From what I've seen, the actual outcome depends on two factors:

  • the content and volume of the offending posts
  • the composition of the group

There are a number of "regulars" at the Adobe Home World and some of them, it seems, suffer fools more gladly than others. That said, these same regulars are extremely informative and helpful with those that "play nice." Just what you might expect as a member of any community.

Monday, March 18, 2002

More adventures in chatting tonight -- I'm about to sign on for a chat with colleagues from OISE/UT CTL 1602.

Earlier today I was chatting with Megan the moderator at a presentation.

Chat isn't second nature just yet, but I'm becoming more comfortable with the medium.