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How to appeal to non-bloggers? Think virus wikis

? The Continuing Saga of Blogs and Biking |


| Trackback spam hits new high ?

July 02, 2005

How to appeal to non-bloggers? Think virus wikis

Stephen Baker

I haven't been blogging. I've spent the best part of a week in Oregon, wandering from the misty coast to the high desert to the vineyards along the Columbia Gorge, and I have yet to meet anyone connected with the blog world in any way (at least as far as they told me.) To be fair, there were probably some bloggers or at least blog readers at those cafes in Portland and Bend. I didn't go around tapping on their tatooed shoulders.

My point is that blogging seems enormous and nearly omnipresent when you're doing it, but can seem marginal when you step away. Will blogging inevitably spread to rest of the world? I don't think so. Lots of people look at the computer as an information tool--a search engine and e-mail machine--but prefer to have most of their human interactions elsewhere. I've tried to interest my wife, for example, in our local Montclair, NJ, blog, baristanet. She'll use it for movie schedules but has no interest in reading or writing comments (and has trouble understanding why anyone would).

I think it will take new types of blogs to broaden the appeal. They'll function as tools, and will feed less from comments to other types of input. One example is this new virus wiki (from Ross Mayfield). Here users create the value by contributing data. It's promises clear value, even for the comment averse.

An apology to bloggers in Portland. I suggested beers or coffees in Portland, then promptly got caught up in family stuff. I'll respond to your e-mails in the next couple of days--from the east coast.

11:00 AM

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? A Serious Application of New Web Tools from Marshall's Web Tool Blog

Another example of blogs and wikis being put to very serious use will soon be available in the Avian Influenza (Flu) Wiki written about by the progressive public health blog Effect Measure. Here a network of public health officials, observers and oth... [Read More]

Tracked on July 2, 2005 02:40 PM

? The Marginality of Blogging from The Importance of...

Stephen Baker wonders about how important blogs are (How to Appeal to Non-Bloggers? Think Virus Wikis).I haven't been blogging. I've spent the best part of a week in Oregon, wandering from the misty coast to the high desert to the... [Read More]

Tracked on July 4, 2005 05:11 PM

"Will blogging inevitably spread to rest of the world? I don't think so."


You ask the Big Question. I believe over the next two to three years we are going to see an explosion in the use of blogs outside the hi-tech sector and at a more grassroots level. Small businesses and not-for-profit organizations will soon realise that having an interactive blog is much more valuable than a static website that sits out in cyberspace...dying of lonliness. My prediction: the tipping point will come in 2006!

Posted by: Edward Deevy at July 2, 2005 12:31 PM

Portland & Bend...

The CTO of pMachine (Expression Engine) who I mentioned as a source of help when you were having problems with MoBlogging is in Portland. And Rick, the founder/creator is in Bend.

I think you missed a wonderful educational opportunity :-)

Posted by: PXLated at July 2, 2005 06:02 PM

Your wife aside, we're getting about 2000 visits a day -- and for many people, we're the only blog they ever read.

Thanks for the plug, though.

Posted by: Debbie Galant at July 3, 2005 09:58 AM

Debbie, congratulations on the baristanet site. I sent my wife there precisely because it has the broad appeal. My point in the post was that while she accepts it as a site, she doesn't embrace the blog features (ie. the interactivity).

Posted by: steve baker at July 4, 2005 07:17 AM

Yes, most blog posts are comments about other blog posts that are comments on something already produced on old fashioned web sites, TV, or newspapers. There is no much hard data on blogs. But this is to be expected from a publishing format that thrives on fast "real time" typing done by people with other day-time jobs.

And yet... and yet... people can be surprisingly prolific in writing and reacting when faced with serious issues - like personal physical or financial survival, choosing between Kerry and Bush, or more recently - the incredible wave of Internet activity for the tsunami disaster.

So, here is a point I want to emphasize - the issues. And then again - as Stephen points out - the large amounts of useful information.

See fuller version of this comment on my blog where I discuss a new Web 2.0 platform called AidPage (important issue + publishing of large amounts of data).

Posted by: Emil Sotirov at July 8, 2005 02:57 PM

Reading blogs is one thing, but actually posting or commenting is another level entirely. Even among those who comprehend the technologies, there are plenty who subscribe to the old adage "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

Posted by: Fiver Stone at July 13, 2005 01:10 AM

Public health experts agree this definition is incomplete. WBR LeoP

Posted by: Arnold at January 21, 2007 04:18 PM

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