Read Jason Kottke’s musing on the blogworld (in as much as it can referred to as such) as an ecology displaying qualities of ’emergence’ – and be sure to follow through to the Stephen Johnson links he features, but there’s some real juice in the comments off this post, especially where the author himself gets to feedback into his own system:
“It’s important to note that weblogs are not acting in a vacuum in this process. Weblogs are but a part of a larger information network that includes public mailing lists, private mailing lists, Wikis, ezines, private email correspondence, instant messaging, IRC, Usenet, etc.
The primary roles of weblogs in the system are to tie all these other entities together and provide a record-keeping function for the network as a whole (i.e. information is being written down in a public place so everyone can read/use it).”
The ad-hoc collaborative filtering done by the tools Jason mentions above have been the subject of a lot of thought, conjecture, and maybe research in a limited way; but does anyone know of any research done on sites/businesses/entities that are the germs of such ecologies, and how they can best adapt to being integral and vital parts of such ‘systems’.
Obviously I’m thinking particularly of stuff I deal with at the BBC – the News site is already the spin of many a discussion forum, MeFi thread or /. story; but how to make other BBC content as central to community? Obviously there’s some… well, obvious stuff, like have a decent URL policy that identifies content in a suffciently granular way to serve as the germ of discussion or blog-piece – but what more subtle features and facets must content have to ‘go viral’ (ugh!) in the bloggerverse?