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Newspaper with cup of coffeeI have been fortunate over the years to have spent a lot of time with journalists. I consider them colleagues and have been able to maintain contact during my "e-tirement". Journalists are very focused on the issues and talking with them keeps me on my toes! They ask tough questions that really make me think. The In The News page lists the stories that refer to the conversations I have had. The primary way I communicate is through the weblog which you are reading. Occasionally, an editor will read one of my stories and ask to "re-print" it on their site. I always agree to do this assuming the appropriate cross links. The most recent case was the story about convergence. It has just been "re-printed" in CircleID. CircleID Network describes itself as a "unique collaborative hub that shares the control of its content with the community it serves". They have an interesting model.

Basically, CircleID is using the insights, comments, articles, and interviews of others and sharing it with their site visitors. Where will they find these content contributors? Weblogs. There are a lot of people in the world that have a point of view about something, are good at communicating, and are interested in doing so. They are not journalists or in many cases not even "official" experts. Many of them could write a book but they don’t want to or don’t have time to go through the hassle of finding an agent and working through the publishing process. Blogging is empowering people to easily publish their point of view and have it automatically syndicated through the power of the RSS (really simple syndication) protocol. As of today — October 19, 2003 — technorati.com is "watching" 1,107,053 weblogs and 92,413,962 links that point to those blogs. There are some doubters, but from my point of view blogging is a very big deal. It is changing the way information gets created, published, and shared in a major way.

There are many subtleties to blogging. One is the syndication which is enabling blog readers to be updated automatically when a blogger writes something new. Another is that readers can subscribe to a blog by incorporating the web address of the RSS "feed" — think of it as a table of contents — into their blog reading program or blog reader. There are now many of these available — I use Newsgator. A third subtlety is referential power of blogs. Lets say I am interested in what is going on with cell phone technology in Japan. I don’t know who knows about that subject but I do know who would know who knows. I go to Joichi Ito’s weblog and browse through his blogroll — similar to a favorites list. Joi’s blogroll will tell me what blogs he is reading. If Joi is reading a particular blog then that is in effect a validation of the blog. This indirect referencing will become how knowledge gets shared and leveraged inside of enterprises and across the public Internet.