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inkwell.vue.182 : Rebecca Blood, "The Weblog Handbook"
permalink #76 of 124: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Thu 8 May 03 18:43
    
> Weblogs were different in several ways from those publications: they
> were published continually, not periodically; they were made up of a
> series of short entries, rather than article-length pieces; and their
> content consisted of or was formed around pointers to full-length
> pieces or other sites.

Rebecca, don't you think these differences were format-related? When we 
were making zines, we did so because that was the best medium available 
to fit our intentions - but the web gave us more freedom, so we published 
closer to the form we really wanted - continual, brief (because we could 
always publish more tomorrow), and hyperlinked, because we could.
  
inkwell.vue.182 : Rebecca Blood, "The Weblog Handbook"
permalink #77 of 124: Rebecca Blood (rebeccablood) Thu 8 May 03 19:13
    
Well, you tell me: I never made a zine. I found weblogs, fell in love
with them, and never looked back. :)

Truth is, I think blogging appeals to different people for different
reasons. Some people want to be part of a community, some want an
audience for their writing, some want to share information, some want
to influence public policy, and some want to organize their lives.

Why were you attracted to e-zines, and why are you attracted to
blogging? I think of them as two very different forms. Does blogging
accomplish what you were trying to do with your zine?  

I think there is value in longer pieces. I love weblogs, but I am
don't think that one size fits all. Longer pieces--and collections of
longer pieces--are valuable, and can, for example, carry a theme or
subject through to completion in a way that weblogs rarely manage to
do. Writing short is hard--but so is writing a real, structured
article, with a beginning, middle, and end. I think there's a place for
both longer and shorter form writing on the Web. I hope to see some of
the bloggers move to longer forms and more complex projects. 

In fact, I've seen this happen already. People start blogging, and
suddenly they realize that a) they *can* write, and b) they have the
persistence to stick with an ongoing project. For some people, that's
what it takes to start a novel or a collaborative project or to start
writing longer pieces on their own sites.
  
inkwell.vue.182 : Rebecca Blood, "The Weblog Handbook"
permalink #78 of 124: The Fucked-Up Piano Chicks (magdalen) Thu 8 May 03 20:16
    

the universal adoration of conciseness online is one of the things that
actually bugs me about web writing in general and blog writing in
particular. maybe that's why i always end up wasting away my hours on the
Well: here, i still get pointed to all kinds of new links and info, but
with a sense of personal context and using serious *voice.*

to me, the zine revolution was as much about the writer's voice as anything
else. when blogging becomes a contest in who can write the cleverest 7-word
link to outside content -- i just find it dull. and i haven't found many
blogs that i like enough to read all the time, probably because of these
tastes. i want less rambling than a journal, but more interesting
personality than what i think of as a "typical blog." 
  
inkwell.vue.182 : Rebecca Blood, "The Weblog Handbook"
permalink #79 of 124: Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Fri 9 May 03 10:55
    
(quick aside: readers who aren't on The WELL can send comments and questions
to   inkwell-hosts@well.com   and they'll be posted here)
  
inkwell.vue.182 : Rebecca Blood, "The Weblog Handbook"
permalink #80 of 124: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Fri 9 May 03 19:30
    
I'm trying to think why I see continuity from zines to blogs. I think it's 
a desire to express your vision more expansively by showing affinities and 
synergies with others. In the zine world, we did that by anthologizing, so 
we were creating not just from our words, but from a collage of our 
affinities. To me that seems similar to the thing I do as a blogger (and 
which I started doing almost ten years ago in TAZMedia): creating a 
collage of affinity links, with personal annotations.
  
inkwell.vue.182 : Rebecca Blood, "The Weblog Handbook"
permalink #81 of 124: Rebecca Blood (rebeccablood) Sat 10 May 03 11:25
    
This desire to make connections--I think that definitely applies to
lots of people to who maintain weblogs, and I think it's one of the
form's greatest strengths. But it doesn't have to do with the form, per
se. It has to do with hypertext, specifically, working in hypertext
within the biggest encyclopedia ever amassed: the Web. In print, you
have to collect and then print all of those things side by side.
Online, you just have to find them and link to them. It's an amazing
medium. Because you can link to material that already exists online,
you can get around gathering permissions, and paying authors, and
questions of fair use. It's there for the linking.

Is this activity of publishing from a point of view really any
different from what newspapers and magazines have been doing right
along? It seems to me that the common thread from Xeroxed paper zines
to ezines to weblogs is the homemade quality--suddenly all of us had a
printing press at our disposal. Suddenly we describe the world in our
own terms, on our own terms, and get the word out to others.

I was just reading a book review that reminded me that back in the
day, the printer *was* the publisher. That used to be the point of
power (before a publishing industry was developed and the printer
became just a craftsman). The Web is our printing press. We don't
command the large audiences of a mass media enterprise, but now we
command a corner of the Web.

In my essay "weblogs" a history and perspective"
http://www.rebeccablood.net/essays/weblog_history.html, I adopt Greg
Ruggerio's term "participatory media" to describe the activity of
highlighting and commenting on news stories--editing a traditional,
link-driven weblog. Leaving aside the ability to comment directly on
the news of the day, this impulse to personalize and contextualize what
is already out in the media ecosystem--to reorganize the pieces
according to our own understanding--I think this is an important thing.
I guess the question I keep asking is, how much influence do we really
have? The question that goes along with that is, does it really
matter?
  
inkwell.vue.182 : Rebecca Blood, "The Weblog Handbook"
permalink #82 of 124: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Sat 10 May 03 12:27
    
Have you seen the conversations around 'emergent democracy'? These are 
conversations around some thinking that Joi Ito captured in a paper he's 
been creating in collaboration with quite a few other folks - the latest 
version of the paper is at 
http://joi.ito.com/static/emergentdemocracy.html, and if you google the 
term you can find quite a bit more on the subject. Your comment about 
influence reminded me of the emergent democracy discussions, and the 
question of how we get from some aggregate sense of opinion within the 
blogosphere to impact on the broader sociopolitical sphere. Do you 
see blogs as tools for democracy?
  
inkwell.vue.182 : Rebecca Blood, "The Weblog Handbook"
permalink #83 of 124: Rebecca Blood (rebeccablood) Sat 10 May 03 17:37
    
I'm going to have to spend some time with that paper to fully comment
on it, but my quick answer is that anything that gets people talking to
one another is a tool for democracy--provided that people don't just
shut themselves off in a gated community and talk amongst themselves,
but thoughtfully consider varying points of view. All too often weblogs
cluster so tightly that they don't admit opposing ideas, except to
dismiss them. 

So many weblogs link--naturally--to the other weblogs that reflect
their own point of view. Discussions between these weblogs, when they
occur, tend to be about points of policy, not points of view. People
engage in long, complex discussions--or even arguments--but when you
look closely, it's often clear that all participants share a
fundamental, underlying set of beliefs. To some extent that's a
prerequisite for discussion of any kind, but I rarely see much
thoughtful discussion--or even linking--on weblogs between people who
fundamentally disagree.

I first noticed this echo-chamber effect with the left-leaning weblogs
in the summer of 2001, but then the warblogs emerged after the
September 11 attacks and quickly embodied the same phenomenon. Confront
a cluster of this type with their uniformity of opinion, and they will
quickly point out their diversity, maybe even with examples. But click
through the blogrolls of one of these clusters, and you will be left
with the impression that a majority of interested people think the same
way about the issues. Opposing viewpoints are admitted only for the
purposes of derision, and articles of faith are rarely, if ever,
questioned.

That's my first thought with regard to this subject. Technologies that
encourage involvement and real discussion will foster participatory
governments; those that allow us to shut ourselves off from opposing
points of view will just widen existing rifts.

I will also say that I'm a big fan of representative government,
especially in a country as large as the one I live in, the United
States. I don't have the time or the information to vote responsibly on
every issue that comes to a vote in my city and state, let alone the
bills that come before Congress every day. I *want* to elect officials
to (hopefully) make thoughtful decisions for me. 

Now I'm going to read that paper more carefully. At first glance it
looks like it's asking the right questions, and I'm eager to see what
conclusions Joi Ito has drawn--and what others here think.
  
inkwell.vue.182 : Rebecca Blood, "The Weblog Handbook"
permalink #84 of 124: Rebecca Blood (rebeccablood) Sun 11 May 03 16:44
    
I'm back. In short, it's a smart paper that asks lots of the right
questions, but I think it has an idealistic view of weblogs and the
ways in which they interconnect and interact. My observation is that
the linkages between weblogs are far less orderly and evenly
distributed than this paper premises (everyone reading 12 weblogs of
their closest friends, and tracking 150 in their social network, with
the most compelling information bubbling to the top in every cluster).

It wasn't until the warblogs started getting significant media
attention that many bloggers in other clusters even *knew* of their
existence, for example. I think there is a great deal less interlinking
between the clusters than Joi Ito predicates. There is also a good bit
more noise on weblogs than he acknowledges--at least, there is a good
deal more specialized information of one sort or another (weblog as
social conduit, weblog as partisan rag, weblog as hobbyist central).
One man's noise is another man's signal. People are maintaining weblogs
about so many kinds of things, and for so many purposes, that it's
hard to get even a sizable percentage to agree on what is "important"
news. Others--a sizable number--just don't post about current events or
politics, on principle. 

I would also point out that, while weblogs often contain thoughtful,
complex discussions of issues, more often they consist of either
knee-jerk responses or an amplification of a party line. Some people
just enjoy bashing President Bush or anti-war protesters, and there
isn't any getting them to thoughtfully discuss either subject. 

So I think the paper posits a great deal more uniformity in the weblog
universe than really exists.
  
inkwell.vue.182 : Rebecca Blood, "The Weblog Handbook"
permalink #85 of 124: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Sun 11 May 03 19:50
    
I figured he had to idealize the blogosphere to some extent just to get 
his head around the 'emergent democracy' concept. One thing that bothered 
me, though, was the emphasis on a technology that's associated with a 
limited demographic. How many voices are totally without representation in 
the blogosphere? Should we expect them to adapt to this form in order to 
participate in democratic discussion and debate? 
  
inkwell.vue.182 : Rebecca Blood, "The Weblog Handbook"
permalink #86 of 124: Rebecca Blood (rebeccablood) Mon 12 May 03 11:30
    
> jon: I figured he had to idealize the blogosphere to some extent
just to get 
his head around the 'emergent democracy' concept. <

Sure, I think you have to do that when you're constructing any model.
But in this case, I think some of his assumptions are flawed enough
that his basic model doesn't hold up.

What I'd like to see is some research on emergent behavior in the
democracies we *have*. Only a small percentage of people in the us
vote, but are there other behaviors that affect public policy, whether
or not people actually vote? (Like widespread refusal to abide by speed
limits or jay-walking. Does that impel governments to pass laws that
are more lenient? Does it eventually lead to a crackdown by law
enforcement?) do consumer boycotts really affect the market? Do they
ever affect public policy? And what *makes* people voters?

If we could get a handle on how emergent behavior works in the
existing system (and maybe someone has done this research, I don't
know), then we might better be able to predict just how online emergent
behavior is likely to affect those same things.

> jon: One thing that bothered me, though, was the emphasis on a
technology that's associated with a limited demographic. How many
voices are totally without representation in the blogosphere? Should we
expect them to adapt to this form in order to participate in
democratic discussion and debate? <

That's a very important point. Millions more than excluded than are
included. And I'm not sure the best thing we can do is to get them
online, either. There are more basic needs that must be addressed
(health, hunger, shelter, education) before Internet access becomes an
advantage.

Taking your point a little further, even among those who have the
computer equipment and internet connection, most people still haven't
heard of weblogs, and among those who have, most don't have the
time/interest to read them. This is an enormous piece that is
frequently left out of conversations like this one. Many people simply
don't use the Internet the way everyone reading this does. Lots of
people have their limited set of tasks and interests they pursue
online, and that's it. They have no desire to add things to their list
of online activities.

For example, my Internet usage has changed tremendously since I quit
designing websites. At the time, I was online all the time, and it was
easy to pop over to see what this weblog or that weblog had to say.
Now, I often turn the computer all the way off during portions of the
day, especially if I'm focused on offline tasks. I find that I'm often
happier and more productive when I just check onto the Internet twice
or three times a day. When I wrote my book, I took myself offline
altogether--otherwise I just spent all my time surfing the Web and
reading email. The internet is simply too attractive and too available.


I've been spending the last two years trying to balance my life. For
me, that means a certain amount of time spent on my home
responsibilities, a certain amount of time spent on my work
responsibilities, a certain amount of time spent on family
responsibilities, a certain amount of time spent for myself, and
hopefully a certain amount of time spent on social activities. It's
terribly difficult for me to work this out--it would help if I had an
8-5 job that I went to every day, with a boss that was expecting a
certain output from me every day. As it is, I have mostly self-imposed
deadlines, and often the Internet serves as a giant distraction machine
that I need to escape from if I want to get anything done.

Technology is a great enhancer, but I think one of the greatest
challenges facing us, starting now, is going to be managing all of this
information and all of the social contacts that the Internet makes
possible. I just can't keep up with all the email I get. I can't read
all of my friends weblogs. I can't read all of the news that is now
available to me, and I can't read all the weblogs that are filtering
and writing about all the issues I think are most important. I'm being
drowned in information and social connections.

Weblogs can theoretically help people to do all the things they need
to do--keep informed, keep in touch, keep involved--but I'm not sure
practical usage is quite so useful. I'd be interested in hearing how
others here are managing their time and information, and whether they
think the Internet is making them more informed and more productive, or
if it is often confounding those goals.
  
inkwell.vue.182 : Rebecca Blood, "The Weblog Handbook"
permalink #87 of 124: Rafe Colburn (rafeco) Mon 12 May 03 12:46
    
 My vote is for more informed, less productive, at least in my case.
On the other hand, as a programmer, being able to leverage work other
people have already done has made me infinitely more productive, and
the Internet has been the key to enablign that.
  
inkwell.vue.182 : Rebecca Blood, "The Weblog Handbook"
permalink #88 of 124: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Mon 12 May 03 20:41
    
Whenever I hear somebody say that computers make things easier, I laugh, 
and tell them that computers just facilitate complexity. In my case, my 
life is infinitely more complex than it might be if I didn't have 
applications to extend my capabilities (and allow me to vastly 
overestimate what I can do, at times)...
  
inkwell.vue.182 : Rebecca Blood, "The Weblog Handbook"
permalink #89 of 124: Rebecca Blood (rebeccablood) Tue 13 May 03 10:51
    
Another thing about the Web is that it never ends. There's always
another article or website about the subject. Another opinion on
another weblog.

I do think the popularity of filter-style weblogs is due in part to
this mass of information. Going to one site for all the information on
a subject every day is an incredible efficiency. Going to five sites
for links to interesting news you would never have found in your usual
rounds is an incredible boon. 

For me, one of the big time sinks is the communication the Internet
enables. I get just too much email to really answer in a timely
fashion. Often the notes that require the most thoughtful or lengthy
response go unanswered, just because of the time factor--but they are
the ones that I probably should answer instead of the one-liners.
Commenting on sites takes a lot of time, too. I stopped reading
metafilter altogether for a variety of reasons, one of them being that
I was spending so much time writing--typically 20-40 minutes a
post--that I wasn't getting other things done. 

So for me, it has partially become a choice between where I want to
spend my writing time. In email and on other people's weblogs, or on my
own projects? 
  
inkwell.vue.182 : Rebecca Blood, "The Weblog Handbook"
permalink #90 of 124: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Tue 13 May 03 19:59
    
What other kinds of projects are you into? Do you still do design work?
  
inkwell.vue.182 : Rebecca Blood, "The Weblog Handbook"
permalink #91 of 124: Rebecca Blood (rebeccablood) Tue 13 May 03 20:56
    
No. I re-design the Pocket from time to time, but that's the extent of
it these days. This week I'm consumed with working on my speech for
Blogtalk. http://www.blogtalk.net/

I recently helped my sister prepare the manuscript for her children's
book for submission. Sometimes I help my husband with an essay or to
prepare a presentation. I've been sporadically making notes on an idea
I have for another book and just trying to keep up with the day-to-day
stuff.

I feel like I spend a lot of time talking to and emailing journalists.
Everyone, it seems, wanted to do a story on weblogs and the war in
Iraq. It's a weird position that I find myself in--because I've written
a book (and been quoted in lots of articles) the press frequently
comes to me when they want to do a story on weblogs. I think that's
neat, but sometimes I spend hours researching or talking to them, and
some weeks it makes a real impact on my time. 

I've thinking about this strange phenomenon of micro-celebrity. Lots
of webloggers find themselves as important figures in their little
clusters, and the result is that they receive a lot more email and
requests for advice, etc, than they did when they started out. At some
point, many bloggers post a note saying that they can no longer keep up
with their email, though they love receiving it, and most of them seem
to feel a bit guilty for not being able to keep up.

It's a funny little world we've created. In the entertainment
industry, more attention equals more money. On the Web, more attention
might *cost* you money in bandwidth charges if your site becomes
suddenly popular. It certainly costs you more time. I think that's one
of the reasons so many people are eager to figure out a way to make
money from their sites. That, and often they enjoy updating so much
that they'd love for that to be their full-time job. I know I used to
feel that way.
  
inkwell.vue.182 : Rebecca Blood, "The Weblog Handbook"
permalink #92 of 124: andyp (aapark) Tue 13 May 03 21:22
    
Because of the prevalence of blogs, filters, RSS feeds etc. have you
ever come across a popular site that has manipulated an original piece
of news from, say the BBC, with the intent to be deliberately
misleading?
 
As a news and information junkie, I find my self continually trying to
verify the authenticity of articles, especially if they are not linked
to the original author/site.
  
inkwell.vue.182 : Rebecca Blood, "The Weblog Handbook"
permalink #93 of 124: Rafe Colburn (rafeco) Wed 14 May 03 08:43
    
 Google News has really become the greatest tool ever for this.  If I
read something provocative that's either not attributed directly to a
verifiable source, or only seems to be covered in one publication, I
always put it to the Google News test, just to see if it's from out in
left field.  
  
inkwell.vue.182 : Rebecca Blood, "The Weblog Handbook"
permalink #94 of 124: Rebecca Blood (rebeccablood) Wed 14 May 03 10:05
    
> andyp: have you ever come across a popular site that has manipulated
an original piece of news from, say the BBC, with the intent to be
deliberately misleading? <

The only example of deliberate manipulation that I can think of is the
recent scandal with the Agonist, which was posting items from Stratfor
(a subscription service) without attribution. Apparently, he was
hoping to cultivate original sources by giving the impression that he
already had some inside leads. What he did is outright plagiarism
(never mind directly violating his user agreement), and I'm surprised
that the Agonist was as forgiving as they were. I was also very
surprised to see a majority of reader comments who seemed fully to
support his actions.

But that's not exactly the kind of case you were asking about.

I can't think of any instances in which a blogger has re-written a
piece in order to manipulate perception, but weblogs are notoriously
biased. Bloggers tend to link most heavily--or exclusively--to those
news stories that support their own view of the world. Part of that is
simple confirmation bias--it's easier to believe what you already
believe. A news source that consistently publishes articles that
reflect reality as you already see it will seem to have a sensible
world view. One that does not will always be suspect. That's basic
human nature. I remember reading one warblogger's comment that NPR was
pretty good on all subjects, except for its coverage of the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Now, I suppose that *could* be true, but
it seems more likely to me that a standard of accuracy would extend
through coverage of all areas. But it didn't occur to this man to
question his own set of beliefs about the Mideast--he knew what he
knew, and judged all news sources accordingly.

With the Web, we have access to thousands of news sources, and a
motivated searcher can probably find "credible" evidence to support any
belief they might espouse. So bloggers are very selective in the
sources they cite, and this leads to manipulation of a more subtle
kind. 

Now, this is, I think, as it should be. Bloggers' biases are pretty
easy to spot, and why are we maintaining personal sites if not to
express our opinions? Besides, we have news agencies that are striving
for "fair and accurate" coverage of current events. I believe that
bloggers should strive for a different standard, that of transparency,
and in fact  in my book I proposed set of ethics for weblogs, excerpted
here:
http://www.rebeccablood.net/handbook/excerpts/weblog_ethics.html.

In the case of citing any online source, I believe weblogs should
always link to the material, so that they readers can fairly judge the
blogger's comments. This is one of the great advantages hypertext has
over old media--we no longer have to rely on a commenter's account of
original source material, we can read the source ourselves. I regard it
as intellectually dishonest to routinely comment on items without
linking them, or to link selectively. And it's cowardly.

This is just one of the reasons I'm skeptical when people talk about
weblogs replacing traditional news sources, or about weblogs as a new
form of journalism. 
  
inkwell.vue.182 : Rebecca Blood, "The Weblog Handbook"
permalink #95 of 124: Rebecca Blood (rebeccablood) Wed 14 May 03 10:14
    
> rafe: Google News has really become the greatest tool ever for this.
<

I agree. But most people just don't have the time or take the time to
do that much research. 

Some weblogs have sprung up to "fact-check" various warblogs, but I
think the people who read the "fact-checking" weblogs tend to already
disagree with what is written on the weblogs they are designed to
check. And even if weblog #2 disproves what weblog #1 has said, there's
no guarantee that weblog #1 will link to weblog #2, or that any of
weblog #1's readers will ever come across weblog #2. This is one way
that trackback could be very useful if it were widely implemented, but
it's doubtful that someone who was prevaricating on a regular basis
would be likely to add it to their site.

Maybe what we need is a browser plug-in that would do a daypop or
google search for the page you were reading, and automatically present
you with a list of articles that linked back to that article.
  
inkwell.vue.182 : Rebecca Blood, "The Weblog Handbook"
permalink #96 of 124: Christian Crumlish (xian) Wed 14 May 03 16:22
    
"Some weblogs have sprung up to "fact-check" various warblogs, but I
think the people who read the "fact-checking" weblogs tend to already
disagree with what is written on the weblogs they are designed to
check."

There was a great Tom Tomorrow cartoon a while back about people
putting up websites to dispute newspapers, and cascading down from
there.

Re: "micro-celebrity." A few months ago I coined what I believe is a
new term for extreme-nichely famous people: nanocelebrities.
  
inkwell.vue.182 : Rebecca Blood, "The Weblog Handbook"
permalink #97 of 124: Gail Williams (gail) Wed 14 May 03 16:44
    
Nice.  Enjoying this discussion, by the way.  I wanted to toss this 
reference into the mix, as an aside:  Journalist Dan Gillmor is doing a
book which seems to be largely on blogs and journalism, and is taking input
on it on his log, as many folks know.

http://weblog.siliconvalley.com/column/dangillmor/archives/000924.shtml#000924


The interest in the relationships between corporate and individual
commentary and professional versus avocational reporting and all just
doesn't seem to abate!
  
inkwell.vue.182 : Rebecca Blood, "The Weblog Handbook"
permalink #98 of 124: Rebecca Blood (rebeccablood) Wed 14 May 03 19:10
    
> xian: There was a great Tom Tomorrow cartoon a while back about
people
putting up websites to dispute newspapers, and cascading down from
there. <

:) There is a diminishing value, at some point. but I think this is
one of the things weblogs can do well. Unfortunately, this information
rarely gains traction in the non-weblog world. A letter to the editor
is much more effective in garnering a response from an established
media outlet than a weblog entry.

>A few months ago I coined what I believe is a new term for
extreme-nichely famous people: nanocelebrities. <

That's a great term. There certainly is a slew of nanocelebrity
bloggers, but I guess they exist in many fora. Public-access
television, certainly. Local entertainers (? even if they have their
own TV show?), hobbyists of all kinds, town characters.... There is a
pair of twins in San Francisco who appear in local advertisements, and
I've seen them downtown. They are older ladies, always dressed to the
nines. Everyone seems to know them, and they seem to just bask in being
known. As far as I can tell, all they are famous for is being local
twins who are always dressed to the nines. (Someone here probably knows
more about them than I do.)

Then there is that man who does (or used to do) a skiing movie every
year. I learned about him when an acquaintance was all excited about it
once. Would you qualify someone like that as a nanocelebrity, or do
you think that anyone who has gained their own mass media vehicle is
automatically disqualified? What about indie rock? Only unsigned bands,
or signed bands that remain totally unknown? Do we need numerous
categories to classify the many levels of niche fame? :)

> gail: The interest in the relationships between corporate and
individual
commentary and professional versus avocational reporting and all just
doesn't seem to abate. <

Honestly, it's been interesting to watch. Articles about weblogs
started coming out in 1999, and then it was Blogger, Blogger, Blogger
through 2000. I think all of us in the community thought it would die
out at a certain point, but it has just continued to grow. People just
love a Horatio Alger story, to start with, and this is a form that does
allow unknowns to become nanocelebrities. In a culture of
celebrity-worship, that's no small thing. And some people instinctively
understand the potential of these easy-to-use applications to turn
ordinary people into publishers, and that is appealing.

Another reason for the continued swell is that more people *haven't*
heard of them, than have, so anytime an editor runs across the idea for
the first time, she instantly wants a story on it. And have talked to
reporters and producers in just the past few months who literally were
starting on square one with the whole thing. Not the first idea, nor
had one even seen a weblog, he'd just heard of them, and wondered if
I'd ever come across one that was focused mostly on the war. :)  
  
inkwell.vue.182 : Rebecca Blood, "The Weblog Handbook"
permalink #99 of 124: Christian Crumlish (xian) Wed 14 May 03 19:19
    
exactly, nanocelebrity is not aimed at bloggers per se, although
people like cory or kottke are perfect examples. there are
nanocelebrities in every walk of life. most people don't know them but
the people who care are very excited to catch a glimpse.

i'd put people like successful novelists into the microcelebrity
category. they may be famous among the new yorker-reading set but they
don't get mobbed on the street.
  
inkwell.vue.182 : Rebecca Blood, "The Weblog Handbook"
permalink #100 of 124: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Wed 14 May 03 19:24
    
That brings me to a rather perverse question: who (besides Rebecca) is the 
biggest celebrity of the blogosphere?
  

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