This editorial in Nature asks scientists to “join a social revolution.
Your bookmarks make your web life manageable. But we can all benefit by sharing them.Is the big challenge in the Internet era information overload or underload? Those who complain about the former may simply be inadequately organized. Many tools now exist for taming the flow of scientific information on the web,but scientists have been slow to adopt them and are no doubt missing out on gems as a result. Take, for example,the need to manage the results of a web search. Storing the items selected so that you can easily find them again is often critical. A new generation of ‘social bookmarking’ services now allow a user to post an article or web page with a single click to a personal web collection and to automatically group them under keyword tags. The ‘social’ element arises from the fact that these bookmarks can easily be shared over the web,either selectively or publicly”.
Archive for August, 2005
In Alain Tourain‘s words:
Power used to be in the hands of princes, oligarchies, and ruling elites; it was defined as the capacity to impose one’s will on others, modifying their behavior. This image of power does not fit with our reality any longer. Power is everywhere and nowhere: it is in mass production, in financial flows, in lifestyles, in the hospital, in the school, in television, in images, in messages, in technologies……
If you allow the swarm of signs to flow over you…… and ratify the commentaries that determine their meanings, you will become the passive victim of the situation; but insert a distinction or two – for instance everyday life and modernity – and the situation is changed: you are now an active interpreter of signs.
Here is Ariana Eunjung Cha wrote on the Washington Post:
The explosion of the Internet over the past decade has allowed anyone with an Internet connection to instantaneously publish whatever he or she wants, fueling the growth of “citizen reporters.” Over the past year or so, media companies have been backing citizen journalism efforts like Your Mom in various shapes and sizes across the country. They are creating what some believe to be a more democratic press, but throwing into question what it means to be a journalist and adding a new dimension to debates over fairness, libel, protection of confidential sources and trust in the media.
On one end of the spectrum is Falls Church-based Backfence.com, a venture run by local residents with no editorial guidance from the site’s owners that is evolving into a sort of virtual town square. Its hyper-local coverage is available so far in McLean and Reston.
On the other end, there’s New West, a Web site that specializes in politics and development issues in the Rocky Mountain region. Its goal is to break news in competition with mainstream media, and it contains a mix of content written by experienced journalists and amateurs.
Most others fall somewhere in the middle — almost exclusively written by citizen reporters but edited for grammar, style and some content. Examples include the Northwest Voice in Bakersfield, Calif., Lawrence.com in Kansas and Your Mom.
A discussion about creating a new metric for understanding blogs is something I think the community should have the chance to participate in to find a different way of perceiving a blog, or the ripples a blog makes. Partly I believe this because of the frustration people express about Google’s secret algorithm for pagerank, where they feel something this powerful should not be secret (update: the algorithm is not secret but the ordering of the search results is secret). And partly because I see that blogging is a opportunity for people to talk transparently, so why shouldn’t the algorithm used to express our weight in the blogosphere also be open. Bloggers should have input about the importance of one social gesture over another, one metric over another, and know what it is that is included because it will be used to describe them. And also, I cannot assume that the ways I read blogs is the same as everyone else, so I’d rather have a community algorithm in the sense that the community has commented on the weight of some metrics over others within the algorithm, and not just assume that the ways I or others in the blog search community are correct.
On The WorldChanging, Jamais Cascio wrote:
Soon — probably within the next decade, certainly within the next two — we’ll be living in a world where what we see, what we hear, what we experience will be recorded wherever we go. There will be few statements or scenes that will go unnoticed, or unremembered. Our day to day lives will be archived and saved. What’s more, these archives will be available over the net for recollection, analysis, even sharing.
And we will be doing it to ourselves.