…I’m going to keep hammering on this. The world at large is beginning to notice the blogosphere. The marketing shills smell money in the air. The bright-toothed, fast-talking, lucre-fixated hordes are girding their well-toned loins and casting a hungry eye our way. It’s coming damn it : the signs are all around, and you should take opportunity to be very afraid.
Alternately, you could make like me : leer dementedly and cock a snook at the bastards.


Join the conversation! 9 Comments

  1. Since you’re in the mood to hold forth on blogs, maybe you can explain this to a guy who knows nothing about blogs: what’s this syndication option people offer so frequently? I assume it’s a way to put a text feed from one blog into another blog or web site, analogous to column syndication in the newspaper business. But is it ever used? Where are some good examples? You yourself have a “Syndicate this site (XML)” link. Are you syndicated?

  2. No, but I’m experienced. The XML feed is in there by default with MT templates, so including it was the easier thing, not excluding.
    Various headline reader applications (Amphetadesk etc) can be used to read these syndicated thingos, for those who like to amalgamate everything into one big soup pot, and the XML feed allows wizardry like the bloglet.com email subscription I’ve added recently. Beyond that, I’m not really sure what good it does me or anyone else.
    Anybody care to throw in their two bits for Eeksy-Peeksy’s benefit (and mine)?

  3. The XML feeds are the Reader’s Digests of weblogging.

  4. But does anyone use them or are they just one of those checklist features everyone adds to their products because everyone else is adding them to similar products?
    I was hoping they could be used to construct a newspaper or magazine out of xml feeds from other sites. Instead of you linking to a site, you would display the other person’s content right there on your own page. A smart editor might consolidate ten good blogs (and maybe some other junk) into a great online daily. People into web design might go to one that has the top 10 webhead blogs, for instance. People into the local scene might go to a site that syndicates the best blogs from their city. And someone would be able to gather the many fine smoking-chimp feeds for people who, like me, derive endless enjoyment from photos of smoking circus chimps. It seems an obvious idea, so I suppose it is being done and I haven’t noticed it, or it was done but it sucked so much that people immediately stopped doing it and pretended it never happened. Which is it?

  5. I never mentioned why I brought this up here: because I think that’s one way blogs could be commercialized — importing content to corporate sites for a small fee; gathering the saleable, stripping it of extraneous overhead, and selling it as part of a neat package.

  6. E-P, what you’re talking about is already in production.
    As an example of just one implementation, Radio’s news aggregator is a piece of software whereby you can subscribe to a person’s RSS. Radio then polls the person’s RSS file every so often to see if it changes — if it does, it pulls in new information. The consumer then sees the new RSS information combined with feeds from other weblogs.
    If they see something they like, they can then click a link and go to the source to read the entire article.
    The concept isn’t specific to weblogs — you can see it in operation at one of my websites, p2psmoke.org — the Meerkat feed, which can be grouped by category.
    As for making a profit from this — hard to make a profit from something that’s already free. And you’ll find that many webloggers do this for whatever reason, most (if not all) not having anything to do with commercialization.

  7. [Host’s note : E-P keeps a very beautifully written weblog here. Just thought I’d throw that in, BB, in case you hadn’t seen it – he’s one of us! :-)]

  8. Sorry, didn’t mean to come across in a “you and us” manner E-P. Must be tired.
    Seriously, though — aggregation of weblogs is becoming fairly common. You might want to check Jon Udell’s Radio weblog. Jon’s written quite a bit on this, and uses the technology very extensively.

  9. Hm. Wel, sort of, but that’s not quite what I pictured. I thought you might see a page with content arrayed on it like, say, in the front of a magazine where they throw all the little titbits. Maybe a top story that covers two or three columns of space at the top, at least with the title (like a headline), and two or three or five other stories flowed into two or three columsn below. You would see at least the first few lines of every story and be able to scroll or pop up the rest of the story if it was interesting. Old-fashioned two-dimensional layout instead of the blog era’s one-dimensional top-to-bottom stream.
    > As for making a profit from this — hard
    > to make a profit from something that’s
    > already free.
    Well, there’s Red Hat Linux. And bottled water. And Blogger.
    But forget it. I’m sure people are sick of this topic. I’ll go read a magazine.

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