Sunday, December 11, 2005

Next Blog >> Is a Powerful Addiction

Since I study mediated communication, part of this blogging adventure began in hopes of better understanding the medium. Early on I wondered about the consequences of having so many speakers. More and more, however, I am finding that so many people have something to say.

If you want to waste time online, and I mean really waste time online, click on the "Next Blog >>" icon in the upper right corner of this window. It will take you to some arbitrary Blogspot Weblog. The algorithm seems to have something to do with recently updated Weblogs since most of the times that I click it, I find a Weblog that was updated today. Or, interestingly, clicking on it tonight I found several Weblogs updated tomorrow ahead of the international dateline. But sometimes the Weblog is stale.

During the past 36 hours, I have devoted approximately 3 hours to "Next Blog >>." And I stopped clicking it now out of guilt. In short, it is amazing the crap that people have to say. I have seen wedding photos, baby photos, random junk from people's lives, and more international languages than I could identify. Blogging is big in Australia and Singapore. There are many Spanish language Weblogs. Teen-agers are the same idiots they were when I was among their ranks (and an idiot myself).

It is interesting to note the varying comfort level among bloggers. One interesting site commented on the advertising industry from the inside, so it was anonymous. I have run across at least three Weblogs by bored (desperate?) housewives. One was anonymous, but the other two had many photos. One woman had a lot of pictures of her kids. One of the photos was a picture of her kids in front of their elementary school. I knew it was the elementary school because the photo was posed under the school's sign ... which also had the school's street address. I almost left a comment suggesting that this was probably unwise.

Next Blogging is like channel surfing on steroids. There are millions of stories out there. Most of them are awful. A few are fascinating. I ran across several Weblogs purporting to be about how to blog. However, they were really revenue generators. They were quickly complied with some blogging tips and linked ads (i.e., revenue generation). I quickly learned that you can spot novices and lazy bloggers by the presence of the default "Google News / Edit Me / Edit Me" links, which are meant to be updated.

The principle component analysis still runs in my head. I will keep thinking about it. As more and more of my colleagues take to the blogsphere, however, it becomes a more powerful medium for expressing research agendas and making our science available to the public. And I believe that has to be a good thing.


Blogger Gskinner said...

Three days ago I decided to have a blog. I was a few years trying to undertand why everybody had one. I don´t have really anything to say, but it seems people likes to show it´s lives. I think there´s a few blogs interesting, most of them are bored. So I would like to know by myself what is that powerfull addiction that takes people not to read, to write instead.I have written in my blog a personal article about this in spanish. Maybe you could read it. For my part I will be attentive for if you come to some conclusion.

9:27 PM  
Blogger theaudioprof said...

I have found myself vascilating between wanting to put too much information on there (like details about my kids, details from work that are controversial or confidential) and wanting to truly represent my life.

I have found the "next blog" feature to be interesting, too. However, I try to avoid it because of the possibility that rascals will begin using it to install spyware, etc. To date I have not found assurances from Blogspot that they don't screen to prevent it. I'm honestly not sure how they even COULD with the magnatude of the blog universe.

7:39 AM  
Blogger IUAngelini said...

It's because of the next blog function that I found, and now keep going back to,!

9:43 AM  

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