Phillip Pearson - web + electronics notes

tech notes and web hackery from a new zealander who was vaguely useful on the web back in 2002 (see: python community server, the blogging ecosystem, the new zealand coffee review, the internet topic exchange).


Less is more?

It's funny the way blogging works; sometimes it's easy to see exactly what people are writing in response to what you're doing, and sometimes you don't discover it for weeks. TrackBack is a great idea, except it depends on people manually adding links, which isn't so reliable.

Yesterday, I came across a really interesting comment by Steven Dulaney on the usefulness of the whole 'huge mess of links' that is the ecosystem. How did I find it? By ego-surfing, in the ecosystem. Heh.

Anyway, Steven points out that it's not very useful to know that a million web pages are fewer than six links away from your blog; that it's more useful to know about a small group of highly-related pages. Personally, I want to know what everybody in the same field as me is talking about (assuming the field is small enough). The standard way of doing this is to watch Scripting News for links, then subscribe to them and watch my news aggregator. In other words, find everybody who might say something interesting, then read everything they write.

Links are good, but we need to have some way of figuring out what people are talking about. I'm thinking a categorised full text database of posts with linkages.


Incidentally, does anyone know how to get a list of referrers for the XML feed on a Salon blog? I can do that for my PyCS blogs but it doesn't look like .xml files show up in the list here.
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