Watching better blogs

Thursday, June 21, 2007 at 2:33 | Posted in Blogosphere, Freedom of speech, internet, web 2.0. | 18 Comments
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Freedom is the most valuable property anybody could ever have. Freedom as an abstact expression sounds great but remains hollow as long as a person does not enjoy a freedom of opinion and lacks a real chance to express their opinion. For less than 20 years ago, this was the case for most of us. We had an abstract freedom of speech but nobody in the wide World would hear us and our opinion actually mattered just within the physical boundaries of being heard.

The Internet changed all of that. All the bells and whisles attatched to what we know as web 2.0. are great technical gadgets but above all they are tools of liberty. They deliver us the real freedom of speech.

The total number of weblogs in the World is something nobody knows for sure. It was above 60 million for two years ago but taking into account the accelerating speed of new blogs being started, there is nobody to count the exact number of the day. Regardless of numbers, writing a weblog is the first tool in the history of human communications allowing global coverage to anybody’s opinion, at least theoretically. It can be heard and agreed or disagreed instantly throughout the World.

The problem of the average web surfer is paradoxically the very number of blogs. How to find the real good blogs among this multitude? Of course every weblog has a value per se, but most of them have importance just for the closest circle of the blogger, friends and the loved ones.

In order to assist the average surfer to find the blogs that have something to say beyond the boundaries, my friend Peter Wilhelm near Heidelberg in Germany initiated a project entitled Blogwatch.eu. In addition to offering hints to the average surfer, Blogwatch.eu seeks to promote blogs that might otherwise not get the attention they would deserve. That said, the site still reflects the subjective opinion(s) of its three authors. As Peter W. puts it:

Bei dieser Suche werden sie sicherlich über die eine oder andere Perle stolpern, die sich bis dato mehr oder weniger versteckt gehalten hat; aber genau so sicher werden sie auf Weblogs stoßen, die eher einen Würgereiz auslösen.

Joining Peter Wilhelm in this project is German journalist and photographer Peter Roskothen. Peter and Peter are going to cover the German language blogosphere. I was honored to accept the invitation to participate in the project covering blogs in lingua franca, i.e. English.

So our first entries are going to be on line on Saturday 23rd June 2007. There has been a considerable interest against Blogwatch.eu already days before going on line. So I am looking forward to adding my two cents to promote freedom of speech.

May I also take this opportunity to thank my friend Peter Wilhelm for his efforts to kick off Blogwatch.eu? He has done a marvellous job creating the site and also correcting the code that I screwed up. I am proud to be his friend.

Here is what I recorded and posted to YouTube about my participation:

18 Comments »

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  1. *fump* Prost! 🙂

  2. Danke! 😉

  3. […] Eile edastasin kõlaka korras teavet ajaveebide hindamissaidi Blogwatch.eu kohta. Tänaseks pean tunnistama, et see polegi enam miski umbkaudne kõlakas vaid täitsa reaalne asi. Põhjalikumalt projekti enese ning minu osaluse kohta on andmeid mu ingliskeelses blogis. […]

  4. I’m still laughing. Skål, as we say here.
    You ask what constitues a good blog. I ask: what constitutes a blog at all? Sifting through Blogger.com, wordperss.com and other blog genereators, a large percentage of the blogs are first attempts at blogging: There are one or two testing posts and then nothing at all. Are these accounted for in the statistics.
    The blogwatch.eu project is a great idea – give a hint if you need someone to watch the Norwegian blogosphere. As an information, I think we have a similar project here in Norway through the sonitus.org setup. The Sonitus people sift through Norwegian blogs and pick up the best using an aggregator called Spurl.
    And the Global Voices Project is a worldwide excamle of the same thing me’guesses. Have a look at both of them at: http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/ and http://sonitus.org/ (athough the latter has decided to call it quits due to the heavy task

  5. Thanks for the info, Geirsan. I’ll keep an eye on those sites.

    Just keep posting in lingua franca. Somebody may be knocking on the door of your blog. 😉

  6. In addition to the project, at least as far as The Lingua Franca is concerned; how about utilizing the del.icio.us platform – e g in addition to everything else you mention above? I have used it on a reg basis for about a year now & found it very very useful.

    Take a look at http://del.icio.us/VJSalmi, for example.

    BTW, This is an excellent point to focus on – the skill & available techniques to find, arrange & prioritize information is a fundamental concern in actually using the liberty of speech we now have through these technical solutions.

  7. errata:
    http://del.icio.us/VJSalmi
    (i.e. without a comma attached to it)

  8. If you have a concrete idea how we could take advatage of del.icio.us in this project, we would obviously be happy to hear it. In my experience, bookmarking is something which takes place in the user end but there could be something that I have overlooked.

    In my own blog(s) I have dynamic blogrolls based on RSS feeds from Google Reader. The feeds can be sorted to folders (in my case according to the blog language) and displayed as another feed in the blog. There is always a fresh blogroll showing fresh posts that I read through Google Reader anyway. The rolls are always updated but I do not have to do anything about it.

  9. This rumor you mentioned, could it possibly result from your “Beer is food” statement? Or your happy hour photo? Your happy hour blog post? 😀

  10. That is circumstantial evidence, counsellor. 🙂

  11. Okay, then I have to point out, that there was a glass of vodka on your blogger desk photo. Or was it water? I don’t think, they have water in Finnland. It’s all vodka. 😛

  12. I would very much have liked to drink vodka on that occasion but unfortunately there is no vodka in Finland for the price of water.

  13. I’ve got 2 bottles of vodka here, which I got as a present from Russian clients. Would like to travel to Germany for a blogger meeting? 🙂

  14. I would love to, Thomas. However, there is some business here to keep me from travelling in the very nearest future.

  15. […] went on line As I wrote the other night, my friend Peter Wilhelm S. has been working his butt off these last days to build […]

  16. […] recently suggested that a blogger meeting could take place in Germany, presumably somewhere between Aachen and […]

  17. @TK: Gib mir mal Deine Adresse. Ich bin dann in einer halben Stunde da. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  18. Erik, einige Bloggern haben ein Impressum. 🙂


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