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The Blogging Point

December 15, 2004

Over at Mike Rowehl’s blog, he is trying to put his finger on what is really different about blogging as a collaboration technology, noting that Blogs are just HTML on a web site, only worse looking.

Mike should read Gladwell not McLuhan – small changes to contagious ideas yield disproportionate effects. And personal publishing is a contagious idea. You publish. Others comment on your ideas on their blog. Still others comment on those comments on their blogs. Very quickly there are hundreds of comments and even more readers. Then you realize you are spending too much time on your blog and reluctantly go back to your day job.

So what are these small changes that have had a disproportionate effect?
Blogs are much easier to use than home page builders, so people write.
The writing is in one place, so readers get context.
It is easier to link, so readers can find you.
It is easier to get linked to, which confers legitimacy and trust.
Via RSS, it is easier to maintain a persistent link with you readers so they pay attention.

Gutenberg did not raise money from the Medici, go public and buy a huge mansion on the Rhone. He is remembered because the printing press allowed information dissemination that facilitated the rise of democracy. More interestingly it happened outside of his homeland. And so I think it will go with blogging.

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