Information Revolution or Evolution – Michael Wesch Kansas State University

Information R/evolution - New CategoriesInformation R/evolution.

The Age of Information is in revolution or just evolution? That is the question behind this entrancing, 5’28 film by Michael Wesch (Assistant Professor at Kansas State University), posted on YouTube on October 13th. This is bound to be a film that will circulate well. It presents the explosion of words, links, tags and information and suggests that the principle of categories is outdated. The film starts out a little tentatively, though, saying meekly that “information is a thing“…. without differentiating between data, information and knowledge. Certainly, the concept of information is evolving and our ability to classify and relocate information is having to evolve. Information R/evolution.

Wesch pours out a number of current facts including the existence of 500 billion links and 5 trillion words on the web today. Two statements that caught my attention: “ontology is overrated“. Try digging that! Among the interesting pieces out there on the subject, at the centre is Clay Shirky’s piece. And the other striking phrase in Wesch’s video is “Everything is miscellaneous” (not good for the left brainers out there), reference to the David Weinberger book (and here is David’s Everything is Miscellaneous blog).

Turned onto this by Luis Suarez‘s blog, Wesch produced another video on YouTube earlier in the year with a similar style and theme, this time with a focus more on the separation of content and form via the XML language; a database-backed web. Worth the visit too: Web 2.0 … The Machine is Us/ing Us.

Others blogging on Wesch:
From NZ, ICT U Can
Sharepoint Holmes from Belgium
Mitch Joel from Montreal Canada (thanks to his Twittering I am HERE!)

When a blog becomes institutional

iblog doesn’t stand for institutional blog

I have been a fan of the freakonomics blog for quite some time — a testament to the power of a good book (now available for $17 on amazon, down from $28 list price!) going on line per se. However, the very notion of a blog is up for grabs at this point as this lunch over ip article points out. Freakonomics is an institutional blog, an anathema to blogging as considered in the blogging world of the [recent] past.

The evolution of blogging

Now that we have more than 70 million blogs (per techorati), it may well be time to add some marketing muscle to the very term of a blog (beyond splog). As Bruno Giussani points out, the blog concept is migrating and, with it, the ways of communicating. Blogging is even entering into an evil phase as this IHT article points out. Incentive enough to make sure that I have a comment policy (see below).

I take note of Joe Jaffe experimenting with the interface of his jaffe juice blog, facebook, twitter, itunes podcasting, and potentially so many more (netvibes, bloglines, myspace, linkedin, plaxo. flickr…). Same idea over at Twist Image, with Mitch Joel, where we are looking at ways to concentrate the multiple [social] media avenues to grow your on-line community. And it’s true that agglomeration is the new buzz word which is going to be a major part of the near-term evolution of the net, not just blogging. The web has cast a wide reach with a whole host of new opportunities, but managing the tangle of [even one’s own] links and gaining critical mass will be the name of the game in the future. By the way, I do love the new Google blog search which is helping to clear up the confounded blog search.

Anyway, as far as blogs are concerned, we might consider creating subcategories of blogs. I propose that we create a new list of definitions for what we have broadly been calling blogs. That list could go something like this:

  • persoblog for those personal life blogs, shortened to plog
  • communiblog for community blogs, shortened to cubelog polyblog for multiple author blogs, polyblog (like it as is)
  • musiclog for the music aficionado, mclog
  • marklog for marketing blogs, as is
  • medialog (aside from the issue of the company of the name), for news blogs
  • shoplog for shopping addicts, as is
  • institulog for institutional blogs (ban the idea!), i-blog (perish the thought twisted)

and final idea (for today that is):

  • noblog for not only bullshit logs…

The question will become: who is capable of setting the pace and giving these names? Us, the community of bloggers… but that’s a whole of people to galvanize. Probably will need the New York Times or Herald Tribune to pick up a piece like this one and then, kapow, it’s off to the races.