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ex machina

warning. the following will probably be blogged to death, but i'm capturing it in the annontated bookmark bin anyhows.

first, jakob stirs the pot with content creation for average people :
"In any case, regular folks must be able to create their own content and contribute it to the Internet. This sounds easy enough, but is actually quite a challenge. The biggest problem is that most people are (and always have been) bad content creators. That's why we have professional writers, graphic designers, filmmakers, speakers, musicians, and other types of media professionals. When an average person tries to create content, they typically don't have much to say and what they do say is often said badly.

The vast wasteland of Geocities confirms this. Giving users a home-page editing program does not turn them into good writers."

"How can we increase the number of people who contribute content to the Web? I see a few promising approaches."
curiously, jakob doesn't mention blogging tools such as blogger or manila in the piece; however he does address blogging in a response to a critique by evan williams from blogger:
"Weblogs are of so highly varying quality that I don't consider them a true solution to the problem. Somebody who is a good writer and has something to communicate will make a good weblog, for sure (see, for example, my current favorite: Doc Searls). But the average weblog is unreadable.

However, I agree with Evan that there are aspects of the weblog format that lend themselves to improved content:
  • The basic idea is that you write a short observation or note whenever it occurs to you: this is surely less intimidating than having to write an entire article.
  • You can get away with the short notes even for substantial issues because of the weblogs' reliance on links to other sites as the way to present the full story.
  • Even if your own writing is not that great, you will still provide a valuable service if you can identify sources of other good content on the Web and link to it. Thus, weblogs are a form of selection-based content creation: you have the entire Web to choose from and you get to post a few links every day. The best current example is Tomalak's Realm: he usually doesn't write anything, so the editorial selection of links and quotes is the only service provided by the site and that is enough to make it the second-most useful site on the Web today (after Google)."
metafilter has picked up the thread and you can find the usual suspects pontificating on content creation for the common (wo)man and a related piece entitled techno greeks from
"...Well, you know, we all want to change the world.” The Beatles defiantly made this statement on their enormously popular White Album in the late 60's. Some 30-odd years later, this tune has been running through our minds, in seemingly never-ending techno-ambient fashion, as the Internet industry routinely uses the “R” word in trade press and business plans. We are deluged with “revolutionary technologies,” “revolutionary new business models,” and “revolutionary revolutions” to the point that the word doesn't carry any clout anymore (other examples of formerly reserved words diluted by marketing hyperbole include “visionary,” “pioneer,” and “guru”). Over the past year, we have been hearing much ado from the various factions and fighting from the front lines of the Blogging Revolution. This Web trend certainly has the earmarks of an uprising, as well as its fair share of passion from all sides, but is that enough to categorize it with other great revolutions throughout history? Since the craze began, commentary on weblogs has run from the astute to the absurd. Since we are all slaves to Internet time, we decided to throw our own hat into the ring by providing metacommentary on the craze, while the latest rash of historical retrospectives are still fresh in our RAM."
in related news, alistapart has a great bit on "indie exposure":
"The fact is - with very few exceptions - e-business never packs the impact of the independent content producer. These are the people who are pushing the boundaries, harnessing the power of the web, and building the things people want and need.

No one throws large amounts of money at them, and the stock market doesn't rise and fall on their pronouncement, but they are the heft, the substance, and the texture of the web.

They are what makes the web go. That hasn't changed.

Like the individuals they are, their contributions are varied: some catalog the strings of the web, while others spin breathtaking tales. People are building communities and raising awareness. They share their tools, their ideas, their passions, and their dreams.

These are the people who make a difference.

I want you to make a difference."
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10/01/2000 08:06:00 PM 0 comments


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