Saturday, November 04, 2006

inventor of web and blogs approves blogosphere

As my long-term readers know, the first blog was by the inventor of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee. His "What's New" page is considered by Meatball Wiki and other sources to be the first blog, though it was more a univox message board.

David Weinberger did the favor of posting "Sir Tim Berners-Lee likes blogs", directing me to the "Blogging is great" post by Tim, which, due to its relevance and importance, I quote in full below.


Blogging is great

Submitted by timbl on Fri, 2006-11-03 10:11. ::

People have, since it started, complained about the fact that there is junk on the web. And as a universal medium, of course, it is important that the web itself doesn't try to decide what is publishable.

The way quality works on the web is through links.

It works because reputable writers make links to things they consider reputable sources. So readers, when they find something distasteful or unreliable, don't just hit the back button once, they hit it twice. They remember not to follow links again through the page which took them there.

One's chosen starting page, and a nurtured set of bookmarks, are the entrance points, then, to a selected subweb of information which one is generally inclined to trust and find valuable.

A great example of course is the blogging world.

Blogs provide a gently evolving network of pointers of interest. As do FOAF files. I've always thought that FOAF could be extended to provide a trust infrastructure for (e..g.) spam filtering and OpenID-style single sign-on and its good to see things happening in that space.

In a recent interview with the Guardian, alas, my attempt to explain this was turned upside down into a "blogging is one of the biggest perils" message.

Sigh. I think they took their lead from an unfortunate BBC article, which for some reason stressed concerns about the web rather than excitement, failure modes rather than opportunities.

(This happens, because when you launch a Web Science Research Initiative, people ask what the opportunities are and what the dangers are for the future. And some editors are tempted to just edit out the opportunities and headline the fears to get the eyeballs, which is old and boring newspaper practice.

We expect better from the Guardian and BBC, generally very reputable sources.)

In fact, it is a really positive time for the web.

Startups are launching, and being sold [Disclaimer: people I know] again, academics are excited about new systems and ideas, conferences and camps and wikis and chat channels and are hopping with energy, and every morning demands an excruciating choice of which exciting link to follow first.

And, fortunately, we have blogs.

We can publish what we actually think, even when misreported.


Thanks Tim, for inventing the web at CERN in Switzerland, and for starting the blog revolution in 1992.

Isn't it interesting that even Tim B-L has clashes with the rotten, morbid, braindead, hopeless, discredited MSM?

The MainStream Media is dead!

Long live the Blogosphere!

In the mighty clash of cultures, our side is winning...

ALSO SEE: "Web 3.0 and the widgetized web" by Steve Rubel.

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