Personality and Blogging Styles

Now that I had a look at Zak’s Weblog, I was surprised by his new and very inspired way of writing. He actually started to write down his impressions in a poetic way – and suddenly his Weblog gains more of a personal note and becomes more valuable to me. So what we can see here, is a change in Zak’s blogging style, which is nicely documented in his Weblog, because we can compare previous postings to the new ones.

Oh yes, I like the way he writes now!

Thesis 5: Understand the Knowledge Market!

I wrote quite some reports to my Weblog about the UKUUG 2003 conference in Edinburgh. Some people might ask – and I asked myself: “Why does he give away his knowledge?”. In fact, travelling to conferences is quite some fun, but also quite some work.

The reasons to go to conferences is meeting with and talking to people, doing “human networking”. If you’re a speaker, conferences are the platform for your project to let others understand what you are trying to achieve. Conferences don’t pay out quickly in terms of new customer deals. Instead, they often pay out only in terms of “knowledge exchange”. Thus, it might be a good idea to keep to yourself all the good contacts you made at the conference, and all the good talks you have heard.

Writing reports about any session that you’ve visited is even more work. Especially if the aim of the reports is to let other people assess the importance of the talk in terms of “did I learn something new?”. Usually, this is done within companies – but I do it for the public of the Weblogging community.

Why? Because I am a saint? Definitely not! I do it for purpose and I want to “earn” something. Weblogging is about selling, brokering, and buying knowledge. The whole Internet is. By providing precious information to others, I hope to raise awareness of people and thus my share in the knowledge market. Being known to be knowledgeable can in fact pay out in real cash – or at least in Blogshares 🙂

Weblogs perfectly fit into the mechanisms of knowledge markets. They are a vehicle for selling, brokering, and buying knowledge. They offer the ability to individuals to invent themselves as a product in the knowledge market: to show what they know, how they deal with information, on what their decisions are based, which actions they take, which results those actions bring.

Saints? No. Egomanics? Maybe. Rather clients as well as servers of the knowledge market 🙂

The Visibility of Oppinion Changes

During the recent 2 weeks, a heated debate evolved in the blogger community: Mark Pilgrim set up the “Winer Watcher”, a blog that mirrors Dave Winer’s blog entries every 5 minutes using Dave’s RSS feed, makes a diff on the feeds to indicate changes made by Dave to his postings over time, and shows the changes in chronological order. Dave Winer urged Mark Pilgrim to stop his service and Mark (still?) shut out the public from the Winer Watcher with pasword protection. Read more about this debate and some legal implications in the comment by Karl-Friedrich Lenz.

Now, what’s my oppinion? I am very much in favour of transparency, in private as well as in the public. Transparency is one precondition for mutual trust. If you change your oppinion, make it transparent so that everyone can understand what and why you are doing it.

Dave Winer argued that Mark Pilgrim takes away Dave’s right to change his mind by setting up the Winer Watcher. Ok, an application, solely meant to track changes of one individual’s thoughts, must feel awful for the person affected. But Dave is a “prominent” blogger who – from Marks viewpoint – seems to behave badly as far as transparency is concerned. The conflict between both of them emerged because Dave did not cease to change his blog entries and denying things he had written before. At least, this is what the pro-Mark fraction thinks.

I personally do not understand, why Dave acts that aggressively. Writing in the public, especially in a medium like the Internet, means that many people can aggregate and cachy your texts – even before RSS feeds emerged. Searching Google for my name, will bring up many Web sites being more than 7 years old and they show some parts of my personality. And yes, I have changed in those 7 years and my oppinions as well. Clever minds will understand when comparing those old Websites in a chronological order. So what?

People publishing printed articles and books, cannot later take them out of any library in the world just because they published a new version of their document where their oppinions changed. Writers like the philosopher Wittgenstein completely changed their oppinion during their life – and that’s what is so interesting about his thinking.

Webloggers publish tiny articles everyday and up to know, they could change the content without advertising the changes in a diff as Wikis do for example. I am in favour of the visibilty of oppinion changes and it does not matter if they are processed with computational means like a diff between RSS feeds, or in a scholar’s mind comparing Wittgensteins two contrary books. The only thing everyone has to decide on his own is: how much of my thinking do I want to be public and how much do I want to keep private? In any case, you should be transparent in what you are doing, otherwise it is unlikely that people will trust you.

Automatically Locate where a Mobile Picture Was Taken

Moblogging aka Mobile Weblogging means that you send a picture from your mobile phone per email to your weblog. A new cool technology allows to show a map of where the picture was taken, based on the position of the mobile phone while transferring the picture data.

For example, have a look at this picture on Nob’s Weblog and click on one of the “Location Map” links below the pic – and you will see a map of where the picture was taken.

It would be great if we could transfer the geographic positioning idea as a metaphor to build virtual neighbourhoods of knowledge showing a map of geographic locations where e.g. someone wrote a poem to his Weblog, recorded a lecture and sent the audio stream to his Weblog, etc. This is just an initial idea, I’ll think more about it.

via Roger

RSS Reader Plugin for jEdit

jEdit, my favourite programming tool, comes with a plugin for Weblog feeds. I’ve tried it out and it works nicely.

Had to download the jar and put it into ~/.jedit/jars, then invoked jEdit. To add new feeds, you have to go to Utilities -> Global Options -> Plugin Options -> Headlines; to actually use the plugin, go to Plugins -> Headlines -> Headlines and the viewer will pop up. Also works with the ZZ/OSS Weblog feed at http://www.zzoss.com/weblog/b2rss.php 🙂

via Urs

Weblogs and Discourse

Weblogs and Discourse. Weblogs as a transformational technology for higher education and academic research, Blogtalk Conference Paper, Vienna, May 23rd-24th 2003, by Oliver Wrede:

“This paper discusses different questions of weblogs in context of higher education. It is focussing on three loosely coupled questions:
1. How can the weblog format improve discourse?
2. How it can weblogs support teaching at universities?
3. What are the insitutional benefits of weblogs in universities?
It seems obvious that these questions relate to each other and therefore probably should be discussed in context. The document grew out of a wild collection of speculative thoughts and notes. It is also based on some daily experience with weblogs in an educational setting.” [1]

[1] http://weblogs.design.fh-aachen.de/owrede/publikationen/weblogs_and_discourse