February 15, 2003
Democracy and the Internet: Gbloggle in Our Future

Clay Shirky writes about how movements on the Internet tend away from democracy, over time. As blogging expands, newcomers are at a disadvantage publishing because established blogs are more heavily weighted because so many already link to them. And Ross Mayfield as well has something interesting to say about emergent technologies. Blogging as a style of information flow is like being at a conference all the time, but instead of saying something or asking questions in a room with 300 people, in person, the discussion is quieter, even if 300 people are listening in.

Google buys Pyra, and Dan Gillmor says "The buyout is a huge boost to an enormously diverse genre of online publishing that has begun to change the equations of online news and information," in his blog column.

Cory Doctrow speculates on Pyra and Google, or Gbloogle, and then reprints Matt Webb:
"GOOGLE ARE BUILDING THE MEMEX.
They've got one-to-one connections. Links. Now they've realised - like Ted Nelson - that the fundamental unit of the web isn't the link, but the trail. And the only place that's online is... weblogs.

There are two levels to the trail:
1 - what you see
2 - what you do
("And what you feel on another track" -- what song is that?)

And the trail is, in its simplest form, organised chronologically. Later it gets more complex. Look to see Google introduce categories based on DMOZ as a next step."

Vannevar Bush (1945) explains the memex here:
"Consider a future device for individual use, which is a sort of mechanized private file and library. It needs a name, and, to coin one at random, "memex" will do. A memex is a device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory."

Posted by Mary Hodder at February 15, 2003 07:14 AM
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