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Fri, 23 May 2003
Blogrolls and the "inner circle"
Dana Blankenhorn dropped me a nice note to thank me for referencing his blog. There's something simple about that gesture that warms my heart. From there we got into a discussion about the political process and blogrolls. I'll skip the political process part, but I do want to comment on the blogroll part. Dana and I were talking about the whole blogroll thing and how it is silly to define the success of your blog by your blogroll. I'd also say that it is silly to define the success of your blog by how many blogrolls you are on. That's only reinforced as I read Simon's posts about "cracking the inner circle". Simon, I don't care if you use frames in your blog, or where your blogroll is, or whether I'm on it or not. There are some of us who care about the content. One thing I will say is that I know that you've got more content in there. We've talked when we were both at IBM, and I've seen you speak a few times. You've got things to say and a manner of saying them. Don't give up.
[23:26] | [computers/internet/weblogs] | # | TB | F | G | 2 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Posted by
tes at Sat May 24 01:05:03 2003

I'm a little biased, but I also agree that content matters. The count of NITLE's nascent weblog census is already close to 400K blogs, so chances are there's relevant, interesting content out there on a blog you've never heard about. The problem is: how do readers find your stuff if your not in the same clique.

(Wait, clique is a bad word choice. According to m-w.com, it's a "narrowly defined circle or group; especially : one held together by common interests, views, or purposes". Unless you count being and staying "in" as a common interest, most of the BlogRoll Elite don't seem to have that much in common.)

I've been working in connecting documents by their content for a few years, weblogs for about half of one, and I'm excited to see others paying attention to semantic search and navigation these days. You wrote about LSI a week or so ago. In my comment, I pointed you to Maciej's work at NITLE on LSI and applying it to this space. While LSI doesn't scale to something like weblogs, it's encouraging to see others calling attention to the importance of the content.

I know of a some tools available that help address this problem, expanding your link lists beyond those sites you already know. The Techorati plugin builds links to weblogs that link to you. (Sure, they have to know about you, but at least you don't have to know about them first--its a little less incestuous than blogrolls.)

Waypath plugins build link lists of posts that are thematically similar to yours, expanding the borders of findable content far beyond those weblogs you already know. (That takes care of relevant;  As for the interesting part, you're on your own.) It's not foolproof, but it scales (over 100K weblogs indexed so far), and it's already giving great results at sites like fozbaca.

What other tools do you know about that us content people can use to find like-minded blogs?
Posted by Steve Nieker at Tue May 27 09:48:06 2003

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