Friday, February 17, 2006

Web 2.0 requires reputation

Don Marti looks at the LiveWeb and RSS, and sees history rhyming with itself, and predicts a repeat of Usenet.

We can learn from history and avoid the mistakes. I don't believe that we're really looking for threads, so I think we'll avoid a repeat of Usenet inspite of ourselves. The current LiveWeb (Web 2.0) is an artifact not of the reading software, as Don suggests, but rather of the structure of blogging in general.

A blog is generally the output of a single person or a small group. The result is that the blog has an inherent identity and reputation associated with each and every single post. The biggest problem with usenet is that these two items were left out. (This is also why spam plagues email, the "from" address is just a variable)

All of these forms of communciation can be mapped into each other, if you look at things from a meta-level. If we all do what Doc is doing, en mass, and just doing keyword searches, we'll quickly be back where we started, and Don's prediction will come true.

My interpretation is that what we really want is to be able to find interesting stuff, add some things to it, and share it with others. The essential key to everything is to avoid spam. If we insist that some form of reputation is absolutely necessary for what we allow in to Web 2.0, we'll lick the problem, and have learned our lesson.

Technorati comes close to some vague ideals sitting in the back of my brain with Tagging. As I've pointed out before, it doesn't quite get there. We want to add value... allowing readers to actively add tags is a big way of adding value. The folks at Technorati would be insane to do it without one crucial ingredent... keeping reputation with the data.

This allows us to filter out spammers as we find them, without having to re-read everything on the web, in order to re-build the "authority" database. In real life, we always take whats said along with who said it as a pair. With mass media, and aggregation, an imporant part of the equation is lost. We need to prevent it from happening again.

Let's keep our reputations. Let's keep the Live Web just that... a Web of Live people we can relate to. What is said is never separate from who said it.

Thank you for your time and attention.


PS: I've since posted another view of this.

1 comment:

zeevveez said...

You say: "What is said is never separate from who said it". This is called wishful thinking. The trend of Web 2.0 right now and even more into the future is opposite: it takes microcontents and mashes them up so that the precious identity of the author (not just in Blogs)is lost. Anyhow, there is always a link to the source where you can find the person behind the microcontent chunk.
Eventually the authority is you...