Peggy Noonan. Does that name sound familiar? If so, you probably remember that she was Ronald Reagan’s speech writer. On February 17th, she published an article titled “The Blogs must be crazy.” In it, she provides a list of 7 things she thinks are good about blogging and offers some predictions about what she anticipates will come from this phenomenon. The link came from David Weinberger’s blog, JOHO.
Doc Searls, one of the authors of The Cluetrain Manifesto, has posted a significant contribution to the conversation about corporate blogs this morning. It serves to underscore how the metaphors we use to discuss these attempts to frame our thinking about them sometimes can cause us to lose sight of what we are trying to do with a blog.
For all of the publicity that blogs have gotten lately, both positive and negative, many still don’t seem to get that they are about starting conversations, and the outcome of those conversations isn’t predetermined by rules we set up. Their goal is to start real human-to-human exchanges of ideas, not one-way transmissions of tightly defined messages. You don’t need a blog to send out your message; that’s what advertising and newsletters do. If someone is going to blog, then they are saying to those who read them that they are willing to engage in a conversation. Such ventures have their dangers, but they also offer the possibility of the reward of building better relationships between those who participate. As Grace Murray Hopper has said, “A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for. “
Thanks to this link at Tom Simpson’s Webfeed Central, I discovered Harold J. Johnson’s blog, Audioblogs.info tonight. He has some interesting information about the issues surrounding podcasting and audio information on the Internet. I’ve subscribed to his feed because I expect to find useful information there in the future.
The Podcast Directory at www.podcast.net is one of many collections of links to podcasts that are springing up like mushrooms around the Internet. Another is Adam Curry’s collection at www.ipodder.org. Still another can be found at The Podcast Network. If you have a hankering for getting in on the fun and sampling some of the fare, these three links should be enough to get you started.
The scale of quality in podcasts ranges from the proverbial ridiculous to the sublime. This one, called The Seanachai, by Patrick McLean clearly rests at the sublime end of that continuum. I find it inspirational that someone has taken the idea of podcasting and done something so absolutely wonderful with it. Highly recommended!
What, you ask, is a Seanachai? Here’s the answer.
Annalee Newitz has a nice article on Wired Magazine about podcasting, in which she calls “podcasting, the medium that promises a future where anyone can make radio, instead of just listen to it.” Check it out.
If you’ve read my comments about RSS before and thought that it was too complex for you to consider using, I’d recommend you take about 15 minutes and watch this screencast. I’m sure you’ll understand it better after you do, and once you begin to use RSS, you’ll find it hard to go back to plain vanilla web browsing. This technology makes tracking a large number of things on the web sooooo much easier than any other method that it becomes addictive.