A log about blogs

The world’s first home page acted similar, I feel, to what we now call a blog.

Tim Berners-Lee originally invented the web and the page concept so researchers could simply share timely information via hypertext. After the .com explosion, the concept of a home page has come to mean something different than the web’s beginnings. Blogging, small as it is, is perhaps a return to and an extension of the web’s founding concepts, and the Internet’s social networking and knowledge sharing role. I was asked recently about blogs. Below are two recent articles I enjoyed.

“Every day, millions of online diarists, or “bloggers,” share their opinions with a global audience. What began as a hobby is evolving into a new medium that is changing the landscape for journalists and policymakers alike. – Daniel W. Drezner, Henry Farrell, “Web of Influence“, Foreign Policy, November 2004.

Interconnecting human emotions and emotional response is one topic in Kate Baggott’s “Show Me Your Context, Baby: My Love Affair with Blogs”, The Globe and Mail, June 2004. Kate has coined the interesting new word “mediamenschen” or media human. When in Germany, speak deutschglish. Ich bin ein mediamenschen. Sounds catchy. Danke Kate.

Blogs are also an excellent way to establish a point of personal contact between an organization and its publics. Members from organizations ranging from U of T to the Government of Canada to Microsoft and Fast Company Magazine are using blogs as effective marketing tools and as knowledge bases. Blogs can help people feel like they know you and trust your organization. There are many uses of weblogs in higher education. Yet blogging can also be hazardous. Blogging for/in organizations is clearly a growing topic.

Evolt Conference in Toronto

evolt participants
Photo by Javier Velasco of evolt participants is a worldwide community of web developers. This year’s event was held in Canada at UofT. At TOevolt web professionals came together from abroad and down the way to talk about pressing issues in web design, information architecture, accessibility, internationalization, and standards. Presentations and discussions were made by inspiring leaders such as Joe Clark, Dan Cederholm, Javier Velasco and Adrian Roselli.

Presentation Notes

Context Modelling

The importance of information context: “When we retrieve a document, we may know who wrote it, when it was written and where it resides, but we have little or no insight into its creation, its evolution, how it has been used, how well it performed or what it was intended to do. Intent is of particular note: it not only describes issues around the content, but issues about understanding the context of the information requester. Search engines, for example, must glean intent from one or two words entered into a search box on a Web page. They do not, however, understand the context of the requester, nor do they attempt to leverage the context of the documents to increase the search relevancy.” – Daniel Rasmus, Forrester Research, Inc., 8/2002.