Tuesday, December 24, 2002

That was the year that was

I'm flattered to see that Simon Moores pointed to this site in his Computer Weekly column. He's making a general point about blogging (Simon and I started blogs at about the same time) and how blogs are creating an alternative to the usual news sources. I was nowhere near the beginning of this trend - Dave Winer was there about a hundred years ago (give or take) and others were doubtless alongside him, John Gotze got to government blogs before me too. But what we're seeing now, as Simon points out, is a network of inter-related sites that feed from each other, open up issues and provide (hopefully) insightful commentary on what's going on. There is a risk in this as Chris Gulker (another long time blogger) pointed out yesterday in an assessment of blogging versus journalism. He notes that blogs succeed "in Darwinian fashion, by drawing readers in and back again. They do this by being interesting, and believable even though they lack the credibility and marketing budgets of big-brand media" but cautions against those who "just shoot from the hip". Another article, in Wired, adds further to this angle noting some of the stories that were broken (or pursued ardently) via Blogs ... but also notes that many bloggers are merely "navel-gazers". Meanwhile, Blogger (the people who manage the software that produces this blog) have just under 1,000,000 users!

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