Saturday, July 19, 2003

Garden photos.

Bloggers add Babble to Google

Google hogged by blogs
Spiked Journal
July 15, 2003
by Sandy Starr
'Google works because it relies on the millions of individuals posting websites to determine which other sites offer content of value.'

Best paragraphs are here but the whole article is good.

    PageRank is a wonderful innovation, which has been of considerable benefit to web users over the past few years, regardless of what Google's more irrational critics say. The ideal behind PageRank, of combining a faith in the judgement of others with a desire to make high-quality content easily and publicly available, is a laudable one. But this ideal has been shot down by blogs.

    The self-obsessed nature of many blogs, the incestuous relationships between them, the frenetic rate at which they are updated, and their obsessive use of links, have distorted the snapshots of the web that Google gives us. Blog culture has made links and idle comment into ends in themselves, irrespective of the merit or relevance of the content being linked to or commented upon. It is this failing of blogs, not any failing of PageRank, that has meant that the assumptions which made PageRank work so effectively are no longer tenable.
I sent an email to the author:

    Dear Sandy Starr,

    Great article. I wrote a brief note about this on May 27, 2003 and sent it to several lists that I belong to.

    I got a huge amount of responses that were so interesting that I put up a web page with them.

    I also wrote a note about this topic to your colleague Martyn Perks on July, 6, 2002, and I posted it in my blog:

      Dear Martyn,

      I read with interest your article about the panel discussion. Your last comment is excellent: "It is unfortunate that the more we grasp of the potential of technology to solve problems, the more technology geeks want to play social engineers."

      I see much of what is being done and called social software right now as "20 guys blogging each other". The technology industry is well-known to be exclusionist, elitist, and women-unfriendly, but the frenzy these 20 guys have worked themselves up to, and gotten to the head of the class thru blogging each other, is unprecedented.

    -- Cynthia