There are some fun things happening in the blogosphere. It reminds me of 20 years ago on the CompuServe Forums.
There were forums for every topic possible. Politics, technology, religion, music, you name it, it was there.
One of the fun “sports” on the technology forums where I hung out was to play the “I’m smarter than you” game. These were nerd versions of rap wars that occurred on every forum. I have to admit I used to love to battle it out on the networking forums.
Ethernet vs Token Ring vs ArcNet. Netware vs Banyan vs Lan Manager. Which servers were best. Lotus Notes vs anything at all. It was a blast to try to match wits and to see where the rest of the CompuServers would come in.
The measure of success? The length and duration of the thread.If you could start or get heavy on a thread that would total thousands of posts and last for months if not years (OS/2 junkies know what I’m talking about), it was almost as if you had established yourself as an “authority” on the subject.
The forums were so good, that I used to search them first for answers to technical questions before I would call the publisher or manufacturer.
Which brings me to the blogosphere.
It’s deja’ blog all over again.
Today, there are what seem to be thousands and thousands of bloggers who spend most of their time writing about what other bloggers blog.
Thats not a bad thing.
There are people who read my blog and often link back. In fact, it’s a good thing. It expands my audience to the upstream bloggers’ audience.
What is getting a little wierd, and I have to admit entertaining, are the “incentuous networks” and how they sometimes try to game blog search engines to increase their rankings.
Some of the blog search engines try to rank “authority” based on links to a blog post. That’s cool, and it’s a valuable tool.
Lots of bloggers like to show how many other sites have “linked in”. Again, that’s cool and it’s a nice little ego boost, even though because of the different ways to count the links, it’s not really of much use beyond bragging rights. But hey, if someone stumbles upon your blog and there are lots of big numbers, they are more likely to read. So I guess its useful from that perspective alone.
But all of which has led to an interesting type of pressure occurring in the blog search engine market.
Bloggers want blog search engines to have features designed for bloggers.
That’s not a bad thing. As different bloggers do evaluations of different search engines, we will find out more features that are desirable for bloggers and how best to implement them.
But it leads to a question.
Should a blog search engine be designed as a tool for bloggers, or as a tool for people who happen to blog and everyone else.
Of course they aren’t completely mutually exclusive. You can have features that support both, but as the number of features grow, the responsiveness of engine declines.
And since blog search engines are relatively new, It could create a lot of confusion for those who don’t want to use a blog search engine as a blog reference tool, but rather as a more traditional search engine that is keyword based.
This post of course is a long way of saying that despite all the evaluations going on around the blogosphere, blogs.icerocket.com will focus on providing a service to the majority of internet users who don’t blog, or who blog as a social experience.
In particular we will focus on supporting business users who want a continuous feed of fresh information relating to those things that are important to them.
So far it seems to be working well. Our traffic is exploding.
Hopefully the bloggers who use our tags, scripts and other tools we will be providing will notice lots of new traffic driven to their sites. Hopefully it will be mostly first time blog readers experiencing all the great content bloggers create every day and they will love your site so much, they will subscribe to it.