Welcome!

Machine Learning Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui

Related Topics: IBM Cloud, SYS-CON MEDIA

IBM Cloud: Article

i-Technology Viewpoint: The Five Dimensions of Blogs

"Is a blog a blog if the feedback is turned off?"

The value of blogging continues to surface as a naval-gazing exercise within the technology community. Does blogging matter? Does anyone care whether or not it matters? Should it matter? These and other meta-questions continue to be posed by those who a.) aren't getting enough hits on their blogs, b.) have too much time on their hands, or c.) are onto one of the seminal transformations in history of humans' communications with one another.

My view has always been that blogging serves two major purposes: it acts as an arbitraging agent within the calcified traditional media world, and it keeps a lot of people off the streets and at their keyboards where they belong.

The first, and obviously more serious, point relates to the self-correcting mechanism that blogging has become, whether in debunking the George W. Bush "sugarcoating memo" story, finding flaws in the latest Xbox, or confirming numerous other reports and thereby turning rumors into stories.

What was that last point? Most people think that 99.9% of blogs are mere intellectual onanism, read by almost nobody, and essentially content-free. This is, of course, true, and it reflects the general output of humans in particular, whether yapping over the fence, on their cell phones, or through their blogs.

Yet there is a certain hive intelligence in the blogosphere that frequently focuses that remaining 0.1 percent onto issues that are important and is able to work as a many-handed reporter in seeking the ultimate truth behind any number of legitimate news stories.

But beyond all that, I think an interesting questions also emerges when people try to define what a blog should be. I recently heard a major technology executive criticized, for example, because he simply turned feedback off to his popular blog, thereby obviating the cumbersome business of having to moderate feedback for obscenity and libel while also distancing himself from the direct flaming criticism that often comes cascading in through user feedback.

Is his blog really a blog, then?

In my opinion, yes it is. To me, there are four essential dimensions to a blog. The first is the intent. Is the blog that of a reporter or an opinion-maker? The second is form. Should it be a collection of hyperlinks punctuated by minimal commentary (a view held fiercely by many who think this is the essence of a blog.) Third, should feedback be enabled? (Is this is one-way march or a two-way street?) Fourth is frequency. Is your blog updated frequently every day, daily, weekly, or whenever the heck you feel like it? And fifth, and far most important to my mind, is RSS.

Without some sort of, well, really simple syndication, a blog just sits there waiting for people to visit (you know, like a website). But through RSS, you are now able to feed it to the two or three people or the many thousands (and maybe millions some day) of people who want to read it.

Without RSS, blogs are simply the latest development on Speaker's Corner, the stemwinding letter-to-the-editor, or the subversive little pamphlet surreptitiously distributed to those who want to join your movement. Not to denigrate even that aspect of the blog, because in this respect, blogs are the latest wrinkle in the honorable tradition of citizen engagement, free speech, and the egalitarian principle that we each have an inalienable right to speak our minds to whomever will listen.

But with RSS, blogs become true publishing for everyone-whether or not anyone has anything valuable to say.

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


CloudEXPO Stories
Every organization is facing their own Digital Transformation as they attempt to stay ahead of the competition, or worse, just keep up. Each new opportunity, whether embracing machine learning, IoT, or a cloud migration, seems to bring new development, deployment, and management models. The results are more diverse and federated computing models than any time in our history.
On-premise or off, you have powerful tools available to maximize the value of your infrastructure and you demand more visibility and operational control. Fortunately, data center management tools keep a vigil on memory contestation, power, thermal consumption, server health, and utilization, allowing better control no matter your cloud's shape. In this session, learn how Intel software tools enable real-time monitoring and precise management to lower operational costs and optimize infrastructure for today even as you're forecasting for tomorrow.
"Calligo is a cloud service provider with data privacy at the heart of what we do. We are a typical Infrastructure as a Service cloud provider but it's been designed around data privacy," explained Julian Box, CEO and co-founder of Calligo, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simplicity and reach of the open web. With staff in 10 timezones, Isomorphic provides a global network of services related to our technology, with offerings ranging from turnkey application development to SLA-backed enterprise support. Leading global enterprises use Isomorphic technology to reduce costs and improve productivity, developing & deploying sophisticated business applications with unprecedented ease and simplicity.
While a hybrid cloud can ease that transition, designing and deploy that hybrid cloud still offers challenges for organizations concerned about lack of available cloud skillsets within their organization. Managed service providers offer a unique opportunity to fill those gaps and get organizations of all sizes on a hybrid cloud that meets their comfort level, while delivering enhanced benefits for cost, efficiency, agility, mobility, and elasticity.