Monday, August 25, 2008


Blogging is a type of social communication. Through mutually read and write into a common Web space, blogging essentially builds the blog-author-centered social networks that facilitate information sharing among Web users. Nevertheless, blogging is a typical Web 2.0 phenomenon. It is blogging that gives Web 2.0 the nickname "read/write web".


When Web 2.0 is passing, we may start to think of a question---what the future of blogging might be. Blogging may need to evolve. There are two basic reasons.

First, it has become harder and harder for new blogs to engage readers. To human readers, exploring new blogs is tiresome. When older blogs continuously increase their territory of information occupation, there are basically no mechanisms on this Web to foster young blog sites growing. As the result, information monopolization has gradually been dominant in the blogosphere. This consequence is, however, fundamentally contradicting to the intuition of blogging.

Second, there are lack of tools to explicitly discover and to benefit from the social networks constructed through blogging. Therefore, neither is it straightforward how the blog owners may gain from hosting these networks, nor it is clear how the commenters may benefit from contributing to these shallow networks.


How to solve the problems? Sarah Perez at Read/WriteWeb suggested the future of blogging lying on lifestreaming services such as Twitter and FriendFeed and possibly also more advanced personal services such as Dopplr. Nevertheless are these services improving the quality of blogging, they are insufficient to solve the two main problems I mentioned for the future of blogging.

The real solution to the problems must take care of two sides---engaging more interest of exploration and rewarding contribution (to both of the original authors and the commenters).

We need to inspire people to think more and to think actively. Only through active thinking, people are willing to explore new mind. This action of exploration is fundamental for fostering creative new blogs, and thus maintaining the health growth of the entire blogosphere. Hence new Web services of thinking (other than reading, writing, searching, sharing, gaming, etc.) have indeed been a new, but critical request on the Web.

We also need to encourage the development of services for shallow social networks (the ones with few members and simple goals). When currently most of the developers are thinking of contributing to the mainstream social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, few have seriously worked for supporting shallow social networks such as the network of a personal blog site. Google is working on some project serving for this purpose but it is insufficient. To the end, Google actually focuses more on its competition to Facebook than really serving the end users. We need more creative thoughts on how to really reward people when they do have contributed to the entire human knowledge.

Referenced resources:


Anonymous said...

Wouldn`t it be nice if we could turn each post into the entry point for the mind of the author and a Think Tank he shares with other like minds? ;)

Yihong Ding said...


I think you are absolutely right. Many evidences have shown that certain service about prompting human think has been a demand.