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  Friday, August 22, 2003

  Tools to digest your own blog

Sebastien Paquet asks about value/problems of using Trackback in Radio and use of other add-ons too. This is what I think about it:

1. In spite of Trackback in Radio bugs and features it was easy to install and it works. It just doesn't make all the things I want. No breaking Radio in my case.

I agree with Stephen Downes who is "not sure trackback is the way to do it, because it means that we listen only to those with specialized software". I'm not relying much on incoming trackback, but I don't mind pinging others (especially Movable Type users) who use it more.

For me the main value from using Trackback would be in tracking connections between your own posts. For example, if you write something now and link to your earlier post there is no way that readers of that post know that there is a follow up. Trackback can solve this problem. I'm not sure if it does now because it worked for some of my posts and not for others. Will try to get some clarity on this.

2. This brings me to the broader issue: tools to digest your own blog.

I use my weblog as a learning diary. In this case connections between posts (=development of ideas) is one of the most important things (Jay Cross about this) and one of the less supported. Do you have the same pain of finding earlier posts relevant for your current "to be post"? I have, even with many ways I use to seach my weblog. Yesterday I tried to find posts that I could use for my PhD literature review. It pains.

Just think about this: if I (the author and the person who uses these pages most) have problem of tracking ideas how easy then it is for others?

3. On of the tools I use to track ideas in my weblog is liveTopics. It works well, although it's not bugs-free and it's not supported any more since Matt Mover works on k-collector.

I wrote earlier about it in comments to one of my posts:

I believe in work around k-collector, but I think that it serves totally different goal - discovering emergent connections between people. I use liveTopics to provide an alternative navigation for my weblog and I value this aspect as well (especially given not-easy-to-find-a-way chronological structure of blogs). Both aspects are important for me and it's really pity that I have to make choices between these two tools. May be one day k-collector guys will also provide "one blog" functionality next to "group" functionality.

The only reason I'm not switching to k-collector is simple: I have news aggregator, Technorati and long list of other tools to track my connections with others, but I don't have many ways to connect my own posts. liveTopics is one of the tools that makes it possible.

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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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