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Blogs - Quietly Moving from Noise to Signal

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  • David F. Prenatt, Jr.
    As most people who follow the news know, CBS aired a story about President George W. Bush recently on _60 Minutes_. (
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 28, 2004
      As most people who follow the news know, CBS aired a story about President George W. Bush recently on _60 Minutes_. (< http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/09/20/politics/main644539.shtml >.) The story was supposed to be about Bush's service record in the National Guard. However, once the story aired, the spin quickly began to gravitate around the dubious authenticity of certain documents used by CBS to prove its allegations against Bush. Presidents come, and presidents go, and the impact that this particular _60 Minutes_ story may end up having on the presidential election is not the real story. The real story is the medium by which the negative spin over _60 Minutes_ was propagated over the Internet. To wit, while most Internet consultants and Web designers have been obsessing over keyword density and Google PageRank, the ever-growing community of bloggers have quietly become a force to be reckoned with.

      The efficacy of blogs in creating and spreading media buzz is not a new phenomenon. Since their inception about five years ago, blogs have been recognized for their ability to generate all sorts of noise, particularly on search engines. However, few people outside the blogging community realized that the noise could become the signal.

      The term "blog" first entered the unofficial Internet lexicon in May of 1999 when it was coined by Peter Merholz (< http://www.peterme.com/ >) as a contraction of the term "weblog." Shortly thereafter, in August of 1999, Pyra Labs released the Blogger blogging tool (< http://www.blogger.com/start >), and blogs quickly became a full-blown online megatrend. However, for the uninitiated, the question remains, "What, exactly, is a blog?"

      Decades ago, a friend of mine graduated from college with a degree in electrical engineering, and he was offered a job starting on the ground floor in a new field called "computers." He declined, explaining, "On/off switches . . . How far can it go?" He ended up working for a defense contractor and had a notable career as a project manager. Even so, had my friend recognized the enormous potential of digital technology, I have no doubt that he would have gone much, much further.

      To be clear, blogs are more than just online journals. First and foremost, blogs are the medium for a new type of technology, what marketing people refer to as a "disruptive technology," and blogs themselves are a "killer application" that is the most significant killer application since the advent of the World Wide Web. Moreover, as noted above, the community of bloggers have become a force to be reckoned with on the World Wide Web, a force that can blow established media properties out of the water when they fail to verify their sources, and game search engine algorithms without even trying.

      Ignore the phenomenon of blogs at your own risk.

      Humbly Yours,

      XODP Moderator netesq
    • Rob O. Zilla
      I understand Dan Rather may be in danger of losing his job at See B.S. News over this story. LOL ... From: David F. Prenatt,
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 28, 2004
        I understand Dan Rather << http://www.rathergate.com/ >> may be in danger of
        losing his job at See B.S. News over this story.

        LOL

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "David F. Prenatt, Jr." <netesq@...>
        To: <xodp@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2004 10:27 AM
        Subject: [xodp] Blogs - Quietly Moving from Noise to Signal


        > As most people who follow the news know, CBS aired a story about President
        George W. Bush recently on _60 Minutes_. (<
        http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/09/20/politics/main644539.shtml >.) The
        story was supposed to be about Bush's service record in the National Guard.
        However, once the story aired, the spin quickly began to gravitate around
        the dubious authenticity of certain documents used by CBS to prove its
        allegations against Bush. Presidents come, and presidents go, and the
        impact that this particular _60 Minutes_ story may end up having on the
        presidential election is not the real story. The real story is the medium
        by which the negative spin over _60 Minutes_ was propagated over the
        Internet. To wit, while most Internet consultants and Web designers have
        been obsessing over keyword density and Google PageRank, the ever-growing
        community of bloggers have quietly become a force to be reckoned with.
        >
        > The efficacy of blogs in creating and spreading media buzz is not a new
        phenomenon. Since their inception about five years ago, blogs have been
        recognized for their ability to generate all sorts of noise, particularly on
        search engines. However, few people outside the blogging community realized
        that the noise could become the signal.
        >
        > The term "blog" first entered the unofficial Internet lexicon in May of
        1999 when it was coined by Peter Merholz (< http://www.peterme.com/ >) as a
        contraction of the term "weblog." Shortly thereafter, in August of 1999,
        Pyra Labs released the Blogger blogging tool (< http://www.blogger.com/start
        >), and blogs quickly became a full-blown online megatrend. However, for
        the uninitiated, the question remains, "What, exactly, is a blog?"
        >
        > Decades ago, a friend of mine graduated from college with a degree in
        electrical engineering, and he was offered a job starting on the ground
        floor in a new field called "computers." He declined, explaining, "On/off
        switches . . . How far can it go?" He ended up working for a defense
        contractor and had a notable career as a project manager. Even so, had my
        friend recognized the enormous potential of digital technology, I have no
        doubt that he would have gone much, much further.
        >
        > To be clear, blogs are more than just online journals. First and
        foremost, blogs are the medium for a new type of technology, what marketing
        people refer to as a "disruptive technology," and blogs themselves are a
        "killer application" that is the most significant killer application since
        the advent of the World Wide Web. Moreover, as noted above, the community
        of bloggers have become a force to be reckoned with on the World Wide Web, a
        force that can blow established media properties out of the water when they
        fail to verify their sources, and game search engine algorithms without even
        trying.
        >
        > Ignore the phenomenon of blogs at your own risk.
        >
        > Humbly Yours,
        >
        > XODP Moderator netesq
        >
        >
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