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Background on blogging

Every blog tends, eventually, to reflect on the nature of blogging, just because none of us blogged at school, and we want to figure out what the heck we are doing, when we blog away.  Is it a diary? Is it a record of sites visited?  Opinions? Drafts of articles that will later get polished by official editors?  A subversive, unedited, non-consensus, renegade rant? 

Blogs have caught on, and morphed as they spread through the Web.  Now groups of friends publish a joint blog (where, at first, a blog was purely an individual outcry). Now corporations pretend to blog (sounding as unconvincing as the stewardess explaining how we can use our seat cushions if we land in water, as we fly over the desert). And marketing mavens are beginning to pitch popular bloggers, because they seem so influential.

From the simple idea of a personal log of web sites visited, with comments, we have come to a day when Dave Winer, blogger extraordinaire, is working at Harvard Law school to get all the students blogging away.

Our own blog is called PricePoints.

Anil Dash

A New Yorker working in the company that spawned TypePad, a tool for creating blogs, Anil Dash writes about blogging, the Internet, and whatever. He says: "My work in evangelizing things like weblog tools and technology is grounded in the belief that the best and most important use of computers is as communications tools." The sidelist of breaking news will

Boing Boing

Cory Doctorow, Mark Frauenfelder, and David Pescovitz, seize on wonderful info on the web, often in blogs. Doctorow wrote parts of Essential Blogging. Frauenfelder was the founding editor in chief of Wired Online. Pescowitz writes futurist columns in most of the top zines. If it is wonderful, these guys include it on their blog. Examples: Beautiful pictures of toxic dumps, from one blog, or how to heat a hot tub with a wood fire.


Crawls all over the Web looking for links to blogs, and reports back the results of this democratic survey. The home page claims to offer the "most contagious ideas" of the day. "Blogdex is a research project of the MIT Media Laboratory http://www.media.mit.edu/ tracking the diffusion of information through the weblog community. Ideas can have very similar properties to a disease, spreading through the population like wildfire. The goal of Blogdex is to explore what it is about information, people, and their relationships that allows for this contagious media."

The Diary of Samuel Pepys

A day-to-day blog from the 17th century diaries of this man-about-town, raconteur, lover, and gossip. Links take you to background information about people, places, and ideas in the 1660s. Phil Gyford recognized that the daily entries in Pepys' diary resembled a blog, but he has gone beyond simply posting another entry every day. He has made this site into a full hypertext excursion into the past.

Eaton Web

Checks out more than 15,000 blogs, and lists them by theme, language, and home country. If you're interested in any topic from "academic" to "writing," you will get a set of links, with a sentence or two describing each blog. What's great is to see how many languages people are blogging in. Not so great: the quality, which ranges from silly through grotesque to fascinating. You have to really like blogs to keep on clicking.

Rage Boy

Chris Locke says he writes this stuff late at night when he should be asleep. You get to listen in on his conversations with other Cluetrain Mainfesto writers, and hundreds of other folks. He rambles, he free associates, he tears into the innocent and the ignorant. Occasionally he even reflects on what blogging is all about.

Scott Rosenberg's Links and Comments

Scott prowls the blogosphere, particularly blogs on Salon, and brings you a quick summary of interesting posts. He's the managing editor at Salon, so he has a ringside seat at the circus of Internet, Web, and contemporary culture.

Scripting News


Dave Winer's up-to-the-second (and beyond) blog about whatever occurs to him. He's one of the folks standing at the center of the blogging storm. Go here if you want to know what's next in blogging.

Steven Berlin Johnson

Author of Emergence, Interface Culture, and Mind Wide Open. Founder and mourner of Feed. Literate, wide-ranging comments on the digital culture.

Weblog Bookwatch

Want to know what books are being mentioned on the most recently changed weblogs. Here's the list, courtesy of Paul Bautsch.

Weblogs at Harvard Law

The Berkman Center for Internet and Society got Dave Winer to come up to Cambridge for a while, and he has hosted conferences, and posted tons of blogger lore, while encouraging everyone at the law school to blog. You'll find history, tips, and encouragement to go blogging yourself.


From Userland, this site lists new and updated sites by the hour.


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The Communication Circle
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