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Updated: 6/23/2005; 11:50:08 AM.

Mathemagenic


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  Friday, March 28, 2003


  Blogs as an ugly term

Jim McGee:

Given the match between weblogs and this broader trend toward decentralized and distributed solutions, the lameness of 'blog' as a term might actually be one of its primary strengths. It reflects that weblogs are tools coming into organizations from the grassroots, not something imposed from a central source. That may be more important than usual for organizational innovations when we're talking about an innovation that is in sync with the demands of knowledge economy organizations.

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  Magic number 150

Social Capacity of 150 [Ross Mayfield's Weblog]

In the Ecosystem of Networks, 150 is the defining limit of Social Capacity at the Social Network layer.  Steve Mallett  comments on the Rule of 150 and Communities, saying that recognizing this natural limit can enhance community design (this post is worth reading in full).

From Steve's post:

Consider another phenomenom we've all experienced. You join a community, whether it's an email list, website or other and it gains some popularity and so the members in the community grows into an unmanagable size. When I say manageable, I mean self-managing. And so you leave or become frustrated and you lament the 'good ole days' of what your community was.

Weblogs don't really suffer from this potential growth since everyone act as their own entity.

Steve also writes about ~150 blogs he reads. I read much less (11 people are my "regular read" roll and 30+ RSS feeds in my aggregator) and I don't feel comfortable increasing those numbers. Then, coming back to Ecosystem of Networks, it seems that my "comfortable blogging" range fits more creative network type...

This post also calls another association - KMSS02 discussion on defining communities of practice: "corporate KM guys" use this term to address a wide range of structures, from 10 expert group meeting face-to-face to 2000 members on-line community. Last year we were suspicious that "magic number 150" could be used to find out how differently those communities operate. I didn't hear of much research in this direction, but may be it's due to the small number of my RSS subscriptions :)

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  BlogTalk paper: would be bloggers

BlogTalk panelists announced. Wow! "Lilia Efimova"'s, "Oliver Wrede"'s, and my own proposal got accepted. Very cool! Now we need only a few of the US based folks to come over and we could definitely stage a litte get-together of educational Webloggers. [Sebastian Fiedler]

To be selected from the list of great people means that it's going to be a tough time to fulfil the expectations :)

One of the ways to achieve paper quality is to have thinking/writing process in public (I refer to it as to micro-level peer-review). This is especially important if you don't have many people in house who understand your topic deeply enough.

I don't know how much of work-in-progress I will post here, but there is one topic that was waiting for my writing for a long time. In the proposal I suggest to compare bloggers and "would be bloggers" and this raises a lot of questions:

Denham Grey: Be interested to learn how you define your 'would be bloggers' ? People that have tried and failed?, folks that have written negatively about blogging?, people who are totally ignorant about blogging?, someone who preferes voice or cellphones to typing??

How will you reach the 'would be bloggers' ?

Many of these folks may not be on-line yet, tucked away in bulletinboards or obscure listservs or perhaps strictly e-mail users.

0. Weblogs types to consider

I would like to focus on professional weblogs and not on personal ones. So, I would ask people if they agree with the statement like:

"I use my weblog primarily for professional reasons: for my work, professional network building, learning and sharing knowledge related to my occupation (paid or voluntarily)."

1. "Would be bloggers" defined

I could start from considering all non-bloggers as my "would be bloggers", but I wouldn't do so. I think of the common for many of us situation and people saying "it seems that where is something in it", but not actually doing it. According to the stages of acceptance of innovation my "would be bloggers" are between Curiosity - Envisioning - Tryout stages (bloggers are at Use stage).

In the questionnaire I'm going to define two subgroups of "would be bloggers". I don't know if I will find any difference, but it seems logical to do so. So, I'm going to ask people to select one of the following:

  • I'm considering if I should start a weblog or not ("would be blogger - 1"; ~ Making decision)
  • I'm trying out blogging, but not sure if I will continue it ("would be blogger - 2"; ~ I'm not sure if I will be blogging in one year)
  • Blogging is part of my professional life and I will continue doing it (~ I will be blogging in one year if I have internet access).

2. Finding "would be bloggers"

I'm aware that it could be difficult to have good sample (especially "would be blogger - 1" are difficult to find), but it's exploratory study and I'm not looking for controlled variables :). I'm going to:

  • ask "would be bloggers" around me (and there are many ;)
  • ask bloggers to offer my questionnaire to "would be bloggers" around them
  • post invitation at KnowledgeBoard blogroll

Given the fact that I'm not targeting at people who haven't heard about weblogs it should work.

Any comments?

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  Every layer of abstraction costs you 50% of your audience

The cost of pushing abstraction [Seb's Open Research]

Sean McGrath: "It's time for the Semantic Web proponents to stop trying to teach us to think at their level of abstraction."

A thought-provoking piece that deals with a very real problem ("every layer of abstraction costs you 50% of your audience"), though I wish the author had spent more space developing his alternative vision of "semantic shadows"."citc"

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© Copyright 2002-2005 Lilia Efimova.

This weblog is my learning diary. Sometimes I write about things related to my work, but the views expressed here are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

 
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