Feeds

A Million Nation States of One fears Google Balkanization

Blog Tab or no Blog Tab?

Top three mobile application threats

A consequence of this wonderful publishing tool is that the discourse has proved to be so dreadful. There's a case to be made for Weblogs as the most anti-social software yet devised. No wonder they're so popular with egotists, as the right to speech without consequences reaches its apogee on the web soap box. Compared to bulletin boards, or group discussions, there's no one to temper the conversation, or steer it to more useful outcomes. There is a lot of posturing, however, in this fragmented world of a Million Nation States of One. And as anyone who has tried to follow "the conversation" across dozens of fragments can confirm, it's the antithesis of coherent discussion. So it's revealing that one site which started as a weblog, and dropped the restrictive format in favor of editorial control and a Slashdot-style system, has become a runaway success: DailyKos.

Slashdot members have never liked the blog hype, so it was amusing to see the debate reprised once again.

"Please let this mean that blogs are now excluded from the main google search?? Why can't they add an extra tab (sites, images, news, blogs)?" asks one poster.

"With a Report this blog link?", suggests another.

Later, we learn that a developer is creating a toolbar add-in which appends the indispensible string -inurl:www.livejournal.com -inurl:*.blogspot.com - blog [and so on] to Google queries, so Google can ignore blogs in its search query. It sure beats typing it in every time.

The Balkanization of the internet is something we've covered before: it's happening at a social level, where people opt only speak to other like-minded people, and at the technical level, with subnets only accepting traffic from known and trusted nets. But there's irony aplenty in the notion that a form of communication so atomized becomes marginalized. How could it end up any other way?

In the end, it comes down to what we really want from computer networks, and we can start by adding up what we value already. Harmless amusement at work? Probably. Comfortable shopping? Definitely. Hods of "free" porn and music? Absolutely - and we can even begin to pay the artists who create it.

But as an alternative, escapist universe, it was always going to come up short. Any interaction that requires something like 'humor tags' to work was always going to be several steps behind real human discourse. The mooted Google Blog Tab is simply the world's polite way of telling the utopians to take their toys and move along. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.