Mark Bernstein’s Key Note

Some notes from Mark’s very stimulating key note, I know I missed lots of information.

Save the blogs, we have lots of blogs and they are now being talked about in big media and are being covered everywhere and as such now in danger. The blogosphere is an ecology, just like nature.

Notes are like blog posts, how do we make notes?

Most of blogosphere is in the long tail, almost all, provided the tail don’t decrease too quickly, details on the blogosphere http://blogs.salon.com/0002007/2005/01/04.html

The long tail matters because it is where we will find the best work “where the magic can happen”, aka everything we did not expect.

Natural is not always pretty, nor is blogosphere, but it is authentic and that is the beauty and what attracts us from blogosphere. Blogs provide a personal voice and personal response.

Blogs can introduce us to many really interesting people that we would not normally meet. There is a charm in meeting people we don’t really connect with.

Don’t take the long tail for granted, if no one reads the tail then nobody would notice it and then they will drop off the aggregators and. We could always wreck blogosphere in the same way as Slashdot, Usenet by giving authority to the idiots who yell and scream like adolescence.

We need to make sure that A-List is not a factor of being an early adopter. But to quote Marx “there is nothing outside the economy” – aka you cannot stop money coming into blogosphere. But while there is nothing outside the economy money is not everything, watch out for greed. Find an effective economic model or we risk the blogosphere turning into MacDonalds/Disney.

We can lose the blogosphere by making fun of the tail. Fun is fun but if we don’t visit the tail then the tail will disappear.

Amateurs vs professionals, is based on a bizarre basis that journalism is a profession, but it is not. Journalism is a job.

Some of Mark’s ideas on how to blog well, I missed the last couple:-
Write for reason
Write often
Write tight
Make good friends
Find good enemies
Let the story unfold
Stand up, speak out
Be sexy

Just because you are in the tail is not a bad thing, it should not be seen that you are no good or have not done your time on line etc.

You make better blogs by writing better notes, “make it easy to do the right thing”. The only way to help the tail is to help members of the tail one by one, we need better tools to make notes. Notes are not easy to write and the tail needs help.

Tinderbox is a personal content management system, see at http://www.eastgate.com, interesting tool to help manage notes and ideas that Mark has created.

Better notes do not happen with sexy tools, we need tools to help us recognise and ideas to become well ordered. We then get into information farming. Until we have blogged we actually don’t know what the categories are, we need tools to help us manage this content to help with the information farming.

Mark feels that comments build traffic but it is really not the traffic you want due to the flame war activity, something I disagree with. A really interesting discussion happened after the talk about the value of comments. Most of the audience seemed to disagree with Mark’s feeling that comments are bad. Mark highlighted the fact that a small group (say 5) of people can bring down a really good site. Instead he suggests that linking between blogs is a way to build the community. Maybe I don’t disagree as much if I look at things from a linking approach. To quote Mark, ‘having your say in your space, and others having theirs in their space”. He feels closed collaboration through comments can work, but then is it a collaborative blog?

Blogrolling A-List blogger hurts everyone in tail, because the small people don’t get the publicity and the A-List will still get the traffic. However lists in general are good as they help readers understand who you are. Make sure people can identify with you, tell your readers about you, even if it is made up identity.

One final thought, is Tinderbox just a mind mapping tool like Mind Manager Pro?
Blogrolling A-List blogger hurts everyone in tail, because the small people don’t get the publicity and the A-List will still get the traffic. However lists in general are good as they help readers understand who you are. Make sure people can identify with you, tell your readers about you, even if it is made up identity.

Updated: to clean up links, sorry.

4 thoughts on “Mark Bernstein’s Key Note

  1. > One final thought, is Tinderbox just a mind mapping tool like Mind Manager Pro?

    No, not at all. Of course you’ll find out more on their site, but while you can use TB as a mind mapper, I wouldn’t say that’s it’s focus.

    You could say, though, that it uses mind mapping techniques to all you to spatially arrange information, to imbue it with extra meaning, and that only touches the surface.

    Go check it out, you may be very interested… but beware the steep learning curve! : )

  2. Interesting, some of the feedback I have had is Tinderbox is hard to use but at a basic level very powerful. I would like to have a look but it seems to be Mac only.

  3. comments are really a historical record made at a certain time/date for readers to view
    even comments considered adverse to the writer would not affect
    content of a web log as a whole

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