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Michael Fioritto: WebLogs

WebLogs - news and information about the WebLogging community

Last Build Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2004 15:55:52 GMT

Copyright: Copyright 2004 Michael Fioritto

Wed, 28 Jan 2004 19:58:02 GMT

Blogs Bubble Into Business. Great in-depth article in Computerworld on how enterprise weblogs are being adopted.... [Ross Mayfield's Weblog]

Tue, 13 Jan 2004 21:51:43 GMT

Channel Z. I'd meant to write something about this a little while back when I first saw the breadcrumbs (e... [raelity bytes]

Fri, 09 Jan 2004 17:32:57 GMT

Web and Weblogs.

Kevin Werbach writes: "While the Web dramatically lowered the cost of publishing and accessing information, it kept the static and impersonal page metaphor of older media. Weblogs, aided by syndication mechanisms, remove that crutch...Some day we may look back and identify the rise of blogs, not the Web, as the decisive development that changed our relationship to information... and to each other."

Excellently put...and we are just at the start of the blogs (and RSS) revolution. We are still using tools and lenses from the previous generation - what we need are the next generation of applications which recgonise that we may use multiple devices to access the same information store, that content is no longer just text, and that we like to share things we like with friends. This is the Publish-Subscribe, Always-on World.

[E M E R G I C . o r g]

Mon, 08 Dec 2003 16:50:44 GMT

Can RSS, Sun, Apple challenge MS Office?.

Steve Gillmor thinks so:

[RSS] could be as disruptive to personal computing as the digital video recorder has been to television...Generated by Weblog authoring tools such as the pioneering Radio UserLand, RSS feeds were consumed by a growing circle of cross-linking bloggers and a spillover audience from the trade press. But vendors and developers soon saw the opportunity to deliver content directly to the technical audience, and users saw a way to route around the growing inefficiency of e-mail and Web browsing.

Suddenly, the Windows advantage as the essential platform for applications was neutralized. In a pre-RSS world on a ThinkPad, I spent about 40 percent of my time in the browser, an equal amount in my e-mail client, and the rest in Word, Excel or PowerPoint. Now, on the Mac PowerBook, I spend 40 percent of my time in NetNewsWire (the leading Mac RSS reader), 20 percent in Entourage X (the Mac Office mail client), an equal amount in the Safari browser, and the rest in Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

With [Apple's] Safari, browsing is now an operating system service. So are spelling checking, Zip compression and, most important, instant messaging services. iChat AV brings usable videoconferencing to the table, integrating IM presence information with any tool that wants to take advantage of its service.

It's the combination of these system services that produces the RSS information router. IM presence can be used to signal users that important RSS items are available for immediate downloading, eliminating the latency of 30-minute RSS feed polling while shifting strategic information transfer out of e-mail and into collaborative groups.

Advances in RSS search, offline storage, authenticated feeds, embedded browser rendering and rich authoring tools are in progress, and all kinds of data are yielding to the RSS momentum.

Sure, but as one e-mailer asked me, "Why would developers switch to a platform of only 7 million users?" Perhaps they won't. But they will take a careful look at a Linux look-alike such as Sun's Java Desktop System, particularly with its forthcoming Looking Glass user interface and a rumored RSS tool based on Mozilla's cross-platform browser.

Sun has no problem disrupting Outlook's market share with a free RSS router, something Microsoft is loath to do. RSS puts users in charge and at a price they can afford: free.

[E M E R G I C . o r g]

Fri, 21 Nov 2003 17:46:23 GMT

Working with Bayesian categorizers.
There's been some discussion in the blog world about using a Bayesian categorizer to enable a person to discriminate along various interest/non-interest axes. I took a run at this recently and, although my experiments haven't been wildly successful, I want to report them because I think the idea may have merit. [Full story: O'Reilly Network: Working with Bayesian Categorizers]
This month's O'Reilly Network column was a struggle because categorization itself is a struggle. I remain convinced that the automated classifiers that are doing such a good job beating back the tide of spam will also turn out to be more generally useful. But finding the right synergy between an automated assistant and a human overseer is a subtle and tricky thing. ... [Jon's Radio]

Wed, 12 Nov 2003 21:49:50 GMT

Winer prunes blog and plants a tree. Dave Winer's transformation of Scripting News from a weblog to a directory makes more sense if you look at his categories page and an example category such as the one devoted to Howard Dean.

Apparently, the new slogan of Scripting News is "plant a tree."

I don't know if I like the idea yet, but I'm glad he's trying to jump outside the form we've all come to expect from weblogs and see what he discovers on a new frontier. As I learn more about Winer's distributed knowledge tree, I wonder if there's an opportunity to benefit from RDF rather than using OPML at its core. [Workbench]

Wed, 12 Nov 2003 19:00:26 GMT

Paid Subscription Blogging, Part 2. The second part of our article examining the feasibility of paid subscription blogging was published today by JupiterMedia's It also features the opinions of Hylton Jolliffe of Corante, Steve Outing of the Poynter Institute's E-Media Tidbits, Henry Copeland of Pressflex and BlogAds, and Nick Denton of Gawker, Gizmodo, and the recently launched Fleshbot. The article elicited this response from one reader: Hello I love your piece - but what exactly is a blog? Showing that you can't take anything for granted when writing an article about this subject.... [Digital Deliverance]

Thu, 23 Oct 2003 14:56:05 GMT

Citizen blogging. Steve Outing documents an experiment in participatory journalism by Jeff Jarvis at, which has introduced citizen bloggers at two of its local-news sites, and [Hypergene MediaBlog]

Thu, 23 Oct 2003 14:55:45 GMT

Five More Radical Things About the Weblog Form in Journalism. NYU Press Critic, Jay Rosen, offers "Ten Radical Things About the Weblog Form in Journalism." We add five more to his list. [Hypergene MediaBlog]

Mon, 20 Oct 2003 18:05:05 GMT

When blogs get really popular. While there are a hell of a lot of blogs and blog readers, blogs aren't even close to being a mainstream phenomenon the way email is. It'll happen. And here are some guesses (note: guesses) about what they'll look like when they do: 1. The word "blog" will expand to cover any linkable posting (a place) where a person gets to speak her mind more than once. If it's more permanent than IM, it'll be a blog. 2. Group blogs will be at least as common as individual blogs. Most people don't have time to stoke the blogfires every day,... [Joho the Blog]

Fri, 17 Oct 2003 17:22:16 GMT

Text Mining.

NYTimes writes:

[Text-mining is] a technique that academics have been experimenting with for years but for which tools have only recently become commercially available. The prospect of rapidly scanning through reams of documents is stirring interest among researchers and analysts faced with more material than they can handle.

To the uninitiated, it may seem that Google and other Web search engines do something similar, since they also pore through reams of documents in split-second intervals. But, as experts note, search engines are merely retrieving information, displaying lists of documents that contain certain keywords.

Text-mining programs go further, categorizing information, making links between otherwise unconnected documents and providing visual maps (some look like tree branches or spokes on a wheel) to lead users down new pathways that they might not have been aware of.

In most cases, text-mining software is built upon the foundations of data mining, which uses statistical analysis to pull information out of structured databases like product inventories and customer demographics. But text mining starts with information that doesn't come in neat rows and columns. It works on unstructured data - e-mail messages, news articles, internal reports, transcripts of phone calls and the like.

To make sense of what it is reading, the software uses algorithms to examine the context behind words. If someone is doing research on computer modeling, for example, it not only knows to discard documents about fashion models but can also extract important phrases, terms, names and locations. It can then categorize them and draw connections among the categories.

It would be nice to apply some of these ideas to blog posts.

[E M E R G I C . o r g]

Wed, 08 Oct 2003 20:56:43 GMT

Community Services for Enterprise Blognets. Community Services for Enterprise Blognets While your firewall protects you from intrusion, it also cripples the community software that keeps the blogosphere hopping. Here's are some of the services you might want to bring inside to help your blognets grow and prosper. The list grows, changes, and is not complete.   I've grouped these services, arbitrarily, into three categories: Discovery, Reading, and Writing. Discovery services help you find stuff and navigate, and understand blognets and the blogosphere as a whole. Reading services help you keep up with relevant information. Writing helps you author and publish. Basic blogging service is extra. In your workplace: Which 3 are mandatory for a blognet pilot? What risks do you assume if you don't provide these services? Which services might you be better off operating in support of public employee and customer weblogs, even though they are the open blogosphere's services? What policy and IT operations issues do these services raise? Service Description Discovery Intranet search Covering the intranet and DMZ, your private search engine must update its index frequently. Best is if they re-index within a few minutes of fan update server being pinged. Engines which work well in public, because they use hypertext links to establish relevance, may not work as well in the intranet, where there are fewer links or other cues. For example, the Google appliance. Location tagging and search service Find blogs physically near me; find posts related to a location or system. For example, Referral logs Who's sending traffic to me? It's sometimes useful to understand your readership. Other times you discover people with similar interests. Weblog neighborhood Who is like me? Who writes about things like me? Who else is cited like me? For example, Technorati link cosmos. Topic service Find posts related to this one within my weblog, across the intranet, and perhaps across a collection of partner blognets. See K-collector and Easy News Topics. Realspace Generate live meetings using information from blogspace. For example, Meetup or Evite. Random walk Manufacture serendipity. Sample the intranet, get a bigger picture. See also wanderlust. Directory So you have an employee directory, maybe even a yellow pages for services and departments. How about extending the yellow pages to people, by topic, updated automatically? For example, see blogarama, Eatonweb, Oblix. Advertising Text ads for internal announcements. Think of it as the new bulletin board. Cemetery A directory of abandoned weblogs, because of personnel actions, lack of interest, or because their focus or relationship is completed. See Fucked Weblog. Product or object watch Analyze weblogs for well-understood references, store and analyze the results, and notify subscribers. For example, seeing what books people mention in their weblogs. Or people. Or competitor products. Peopleroll and social network I'm sharing some of my friends, and friends of friends. See FOAF, Friendster, Ryze. Reading RSS portals server side directories of RSS feeds, aggregation and browser presentation of those feeds Updates What's new? A central service that writing tools notify when a blog is updated. Sometimes called a "ping service". Like and Blogroll & WebRing services May be linked to enterprise directory services, the better to provide automatic maintenance of blogrolls that match the formal org chart. Of more value, giving users the ability to create their own blogrolls. This reveals informal and temporary social networks. is an example. Blog distribution gateway Distributes blog posts by email, SMS or [...]

Mon, 06 Oct 2003 15:20:18 GMT

Heath Row's incredible BloggerCon notes. [Scripting News]

Mon, 06 Oct 2003 15:19:42 GMT

Adam Curry is doing a feed he calls SyncPod to help developers adapt aggregators to work with enclosures. Scott Johnson says Feedster will have a special report listing all feeds that support enclosures. Now that I have more free time, I'm going to tweak up enclosure support in Radio. There are some serious problems that are relatively easy to fix. Jake, please note. [Scripting News]

Mon, 06 Oct 2003 15:19:14 GMT

Doc Searls on Day 2 and dinner report, especially interesting because it includes a route-around prediction by Internet radio, which I fully agree with. [Scripting News]

Mon, 06 Oct 2003 15:16:16 GMT

Welcome to "a demo of Feedster's soon to be officially released Feed Compare feature. What this feature does is let you see the postings from Blog or Feed A in comparison with Blog or Feed B, C, D and E." [Scripting News]

Sun, 05 Oct 2003 13:28:55 GMT Another stab at communal editing (Clay Shirky). Ian Clarke, of freenet fame, has lauched, a Web-based tool for creating communal documents. 3D17 isn’t a wiki. Though most of the documents up now are tests, it’s already clear that 3D17 differs from wiki logic in 3 ways:... [Many-to-Many]

Wed, 24 Sep 2003 16:00:28 GMT

Picking out the gems.

Summary: A chance to scan weblogs that also deal with the same topic? Useful, helpful, even to the writer who in some real sense discovers the subject after having completed the effort. But useful, certainly, to the reader who found the blog entry through, say, Google, and then has some Waypath located blogs to follow.

Lilia got Waypath to work for her.

Waypath plug-in installed.

I wrote earlier about Waypath Radio plug-in, but didn't have time to install it. I did it today - check my homepage to see how it works (I'd like to play a bit more with styling, but this is for another time).

Let's see if it survives in my templates :)


If you see some links below... then it will have worked for me too. ;o]} [Connectivity: Spike Hall's RU Weblog]

Waypath looks interesting.  They claim to have over 8 million posts in their database which is a lot.  It'll be interesting to see how this develops and how often  they pick out the gems from among that lot :-)

[Curiouser and curiouser!]

Mon, 22 Sep 2003 16:04:39 GMT

Joi worries about weblog syndication and Microsoft.   One thing everyone needs to understand is that in this syndication debate, the juice in the aggregator tool space and not with weblog tools.  Weblog tools are the weak sister in this relationship. 

Why? There is so much out there that is worth subscribing to if it had a feed (from HBO high-definition schedules to low cost air fares on routes I frequently travel). In this area current aggregators just fall short, nor is it possible for the small companies currently producing aggregators to do the required work needed to extend them.  This will be the place where Microsoft via Longhorn will clean up. 

Additionally, the writing tools are much less important than the tools by which you aggregate and manipulate the data you subscribe to (the ratio of readers to writers will always be 100 to 1).  

A smart approach for Microsoft would be to embrace the quirky weblog world's RSS syndication format, put an advanced RSS aggregator with a world class search engine on everyone's desktop, and extend the RSS format into everything else. The fact that it started with weblogs will be historical footnotes in five years (and to say that they shouldn't call it RSS is just silly). [John Robb's Weblog]

Fri, 19 Sep 2003 15:12:42 GMT

Language instincts.
The dictionary of the Semantic Web may one day be written. But not until we've done a lot of yammering, a lot of listening, and a lot of imitating. We need to find ways to help these behaviors flourish. [O'Reilly Network]
The ideas put forward in this article got a big boost this week when Kimbro Staken revealed Syncato, his way-cool new blog software that's based on XML DB and that uses XPath expressions in its URLs. Today Kimbro released the source code which (I can't resist) you could also find using this search:[contains (@href, '.gz')]. ... [Jon's Radio]

Sun, 07 Sep 2003 17:40:54 GMT

MyYahoo Now Supports RSS. You can add the Blogs module from this page.... [Lockergnome's RSS Resource]

Mon, 25 Aug 2003 00:53:43 GMT

RSS with a hands on approach.

Sun recently developed a RSS Utilities Package that is geared towards non-technical editors of web sites that use RSS for aggregating news content. The goal behind this project according to Sun Microsystems was to simplify the use of RSS, thus making syndication more viable in the long run. The results of this project were a set of custom JSP tags and a flexible RSS Parser. The RSS Utilities page describes everything from installation to using the tag library properly. For more details and all of the "how to information", check out Sun’s website.

By [Lockergnome's RSS Resource]

Thu, 07 Aug 2003 15:40:18 GMT

A series on participatory journalism. A few hours ago the Online Journalism Review posted what I consider to be my most important series of articles this year (not counting the book I'm working on). The subject is participatory journalism. The three-part package includes: • Personal... [JD's New Media Musings]

Tue, 05 Aug 2003 21:10:29 GMT

(image) Newsgator 1.3 (an RSS news aggregator) is out.  Nice Microsoft Outlook integration and support for newsgroups (an area of declining interest).  It does require that you download .Net (20 Mb).

I suspect the next step with Newsgator is to add publishing to a weblog via e-mail (Manila, Blogger, and MT).  Despite what people say about MS Word, the primary text editor people use is their e-mail system.  Given the direction of Newsgator, e-mail posting to weblogs is a natural evolution of the product.

[John Robb's Weblog]

Sat, 02 Aug 2003 17:33:43 GMT

The Blogging Process..

Dave Pollard decomposes a day in the life of an active blogger. Very focused. Much more than this flowchart. I'm going to read it twice.


While the act of posting is trivial, the other behaviors surrounding it are not. This is a great improvement over similar work written in 2001.

[a klog apart]