Politicked Off

With this post, I begin a more concerted effort to broaden the content of this blog. After all, politics is boring and for the most part useless, right? From now on, I pledge to address the more provocative, inspiring, and enabling elements that make this existence circa 2006 so damn exciting.

One look at my del.icio.us links opens a door to a new dimension of new media tools and concepts that have either enhanced my experience as a consumer and producer of a world of content or have been put on the backburner until i have more time to check them out. Additionally I invite one and all to steal my .opml file of the news and blog feeds I regularly peruse (thanks, Dave). Grab it here, import it to your newsreader, and try not to drown.

I originally intended this site to be a news aggregator, enabling the user to delve into a fully customizeable sampling of “everything between.” Sure, it was somewhat motivated by my disgust for the unreal extremism of our two-party system and the sheer irrelevance of the main talking points that were established to decide the 2004 prez election for black or for white.

After early talks with developers and other aspiring minds, I ditched enterprise for edumacation and have since been in grad school. But others have since beaten me to it, dirty work and all!
Gabe Rivera has done the best job with Memeorandum and Tech.Memeorandum.

Memeorandum refreshed every five minutes and features the most blogged-about articles (or posts) at any given time. As Rivera explains, the algorithm is based on the amount of recognition, or linked references a particular article gets throughout the blogosphere at any given time. This is why many of the same blogs appear regularly. Last fall I e-mailed Gabe as I was suspicious that some bloggers were they manipulating the algorithm? Or was I just narcissitically jealous that I couldn’t get up there no matter how many sites I trackbacked (I have since received a few referrals from the couple times I’ve appeared in memeorandum, if only momentarily). He reassured me that that was not the case — some bloggers just consistently are linked to and mirrored throughout the blogosphere. The shameless Michelle Malkin, seems to appear in memeorandum “headlines,” just as often if not more than AP or New York Times — and I would argue that this is thanks to her strategy of leaving all of her blog entries open to “trackbacks” and only a select few open to comments.

Technorati founder Dave Sifry noted in his February “State of the Blogosphere” report (a must-read) the fact that traditional media web sites (New York Times, Yahoo! News, Washington Post) GREATLY overshadow blogs in regard to measuring “authority,” or number of linked references.

The 150,000 or so well-read blogs represent what Sifry calls the magic middle: “A realm of topical authority and significant posting and conversation within the blogosphere.”

Together these statistics illustrate the effectiveness of blogs in shaping news and bringing the citizen voice to the forefront, while continuing to rely primarily on information published by the traditionally trusty broadsheet stalwarts.

In lieu of breaking out on yet another tangent… i’m gonna quit procrastinating — next time i’ll bring out some REALLY fun toys to play with, promise 😉

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