Based on the endless stream of weblog press (and the limited number of unique angles), I've come to the conclusion that a news article about weblogs is akin to a working volcano model at a science fair. Sure, it attracts everyone's attention for a minute or two, but can anyone really say that they learned anything new?
Here's a mainstream-friendly story I'd like to see written about weblogging:
The way weblogs are changing the way we're finding (and asking for) information on the web.
This post on my personal weblog was the prompt to this question. Written over a year ago, this entry has become an ongoing resource for those looking for specific songs in television commercials. I'll receive an email notification stating that a new comment has been posted -- usually a question such as "I really like the song in commercial X. Can you tell me what it is?" Despite evidence to the contrary, I always expect that these questions will go unanswered. That is, until someone shows up four days later from a similar search query and answers the question -- and usually leave a new one behind.
People find the entry usually via Google and the search terms "song commercial vw mercedes" and, as it appears to me, are completely unaware that the entry and its comments are part of a larger whole -- my weblog.
Comments like "I'm so happy I found this site!" or "What a great website!!" confirm this; there is an assumption that the entry, "Showroom Dummies" was created for purposes other than navel-gazing (Oh, how I have fooled them).
When I published that post and the mp3, unbeknownst to me, I became an ad-hoc AdCritic. So, without any real nurturing on my part, a mini-universe has come into existence within the comments of a post I've long-forgotten.
Ninety-nine comments later, it's easy to understand the reason that we all keep archives: weblogs aren't as temporal as we may think.
And while the resource of information can be found in other Internet outlets (news groups, mailing lists, message boards), it is the enthusiasm and personality behind weblogs that makes the source sweeter.
And then, there is the information we're finding by accident:Collaborative Serendipity, Manufactured Serendipity Targeted Serendipity. No matter what you call it, it's about changing the way we look for information.
It's empowering, yes. But at the same time, it places the responsibility of truth and knowledge in reporting, observing and stating on our shoulders.
We can think about that tomorrow.