Doc, for the umpteenth time, hyperlinks to do not subvert hierarchy. In fact, they help establish their own hierarchies. They may help overturn existing hierarchies, they may increase the rate of "churn," but as should be abundantly clear by now, human beings are all about competing for rank in a hierarchy and hyperlinks are merely another tool. Technology changes how we do things, it doesn't change what we do.David makes a valid point, but there is a hidden assumption. The assumption is that there is only one heirarchy of value (like in the High-School social scene).
The thing is, hyperlinks make it possible to have multiple simultaneous heirarchies... which really isn't a hierarchy at all, is it?
I write about things that interest me, and read Doc's column every day because he's interested in the same stuff. We both worry about the "echo chamber" effect that can come from it, and always are on the lookout for new opinions, and feedback.
My lovely wife, Noran, uses blogs in the way that David mentions in his posting, as a means of social support and networking. She tells stories about her Father, (whom we both miss dearly) talks about our vacations, or whatever comes to mind.
Neither use of blogs is better than the other. Blogs are about networking, and making connections to help others. The only inappropriate use of blogs is when they are done just to gain status, and then it's called spam. I like to think that I'm not in this just to hear myself talk, if I'm wrong, then I deserve to be slapped down. 8)
Technorati rank is just one handy shortcut for guestimating one's popularity in the blog-o-sphere... the Technorati class of blog, anyway. The number is a shortcut, and as I've said before, there are always hidden assumptions and other dangers in shortcuts. Like IQ test, and other arbitrary measurements, they can NEVER tell the whole story.
Web 2.0, The BlogoSphere, or whatever else you want to call the World Live Web has many different dimensions... many "tails", each with it's own values and value. This multi-dimensional web of communities defintely isn't a high-school social structure... thank G*d.
So, there you have it... hyperlinks don't subvert... but they do?
Thanks for your time and attention
Tags: [longtail, hyperlinks]