I absolutely love Phil Windley’s blog, so it was a real treat for me to actually meet him in person yesterday. He is speaking this morning on a topic aptly called “rivers of information”.
He starts out talking about his early experiences learning about blogs and then ties it together with his experience as Utah’s CIO. In that capacity he used blogs to distribute information throughout the government. It is interesting to me that the one concrete example he uses illustrates the power of blogs as a data collection (bottom up) mechanism, and this touches on something I wrote a while back about information force multipliers, which even today ranks as one of the most trafficked posts on my blog.
He’s going over a lot of the basics about how RSS enables distribution and reduces the “drinking from the firehose” phenomena. I think the point that he is really making here is that RSS is becoming a very mainstream technology.
The other interesting point that is making about RSS has to do with the “virtuous cycle” of crosslinking and commentary that ends up creating conversations.
A very interesting connection being made is about scale free network laws recently written about by Clay Shirky but tracing back to Peter Denning. The characteristics of these networks include:
1) new nodes appear randomly
2) new nodes connect preferentially to most connected nodes
Both of the above characteristics apply to blogs perfectly.
Jumping off now onto information routers of the social kind, Phil goes into some of the network laws, e.g. Metcalfe, Reed, Sarnoff. I think what he is saying here is how individuals become authorities through blogs.
okay so the rest of the talk is basically blogging 101… how to get started, rules for blogging, rss, why blog, etc.
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