Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Are blogs a 'parasitic' medium?

Robert Niles, editor of Online Journalism Review, questions: Are blogs a 'parasitic' medium?
"Could the blogosphere survive without the reporting provided by newspapers and TV networks?"

Nicholas Carr in his Rough Type blog responds: In praise of the parasitic blogger. "I think sets blogs apart, as a literary rather than a technical form, is that they offer the opportunity for a writer to document his immediate responses to his day-to-day reading."

What is missing from both posts is how blogging, and especially the "parasitic" blogging of referring to news articles from "real" news sites, affects searching and search results.

Google is built on popularity. The more links to a website, the higher it appears in search results. The more blogs that refer to an article, the higher that article will appear in search results. The "parasitic" blogging referrals drive attention to the article.

As to my "parasitic behavior, " I post references to articles and news because I want to put them in context and be able to find them. In so doing, I am able to communicate them to the readers of the blog, including me.

I think the same reasons and impact carry over to blogs inside the enterprise. Bloggers in the enterprise would post references to articles, documents and ideas inside and outside the enterprise so they can find the material and they can communicate the findings to others in the enterprise. Some of the content would be original thoughts to provoke discussion and communicate new ideas. My guess is that the bulk of the blog posts would be "parasitic" referrals to other sources of original material. Either way, the ideas are being communicated to the enterprise.

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