Monthly Archives: July 2007

Bligter – will it make my blogging easier?

bligter.jpgAs I’ve mentioned many times in the past I struggle with blogging. The irregularity of my posting attests to that.

Perhaps this new service can help solve my problem – Bligter.

I received the following invitation via email:

Dear Sean,

I am writing to you because we would like to have you among the bloggers that post in bligter, a new web 2.0 for bloggers. We think that our users would love your articles.

Bligter is, basically, a place where bloggers can get posts, written for other bloggers, to publish in their blogs. Otherwise, If you write a post it may get published in other users’ blogs. You will, obviously, get the credit for it as at the bottom of each post will appear your name linking to your blog.

Best Regards.
Rafael R.

Ooh! I’m flattered (perhaps a deliberate strategy?)

But “a new web 2.0”? I thought we still hadn’t come to terms with the old Web 2.0! Perhaps they meant to say “a new web 2.0 service”. Nothing says unprofessional to me like spelling and grammatical errors (and they are all over the website).

So will I be signing up for this service? No. This would no longer be my blog – it would become more of a group blog, with me having editorial control.

Maybe there is a need for this. Maybe it fills an as-yet unmet niche of “citizen publishing” where anyone can now take on the role of publisher and editor. Maybe this service will mature and something will come of it. Who knows. It just feels icky and weird to me at the moment. What do others think?

p.s. This feels somehow related to Leigh’s post about customised essay writing services. Although there’s no deceptiveness involved here, and there’s no plagiarism as full attribution is given, it’s similar in that it is about taking the easy path to getting a result.

Wikipedia – hypocritical?

wikipedia.jpgNow I’m a big defender of Wikipedia – I think it’s a wonderful resource and a wonderful phenomena… one of the best examples of user-generated content, citizen journalism and the wisdom of the masses out there on the Web – so it is with some reluctance and trepidation I criticise its policies which, by the main, seem to be reasonable.

There has been a debate over the recently-deleted entry to Zeitgeist the Movie (thanks to Leigh for the pointer) that has really fired me up and got my goat.

You can see some of that debate in the archived discussion page.

I won’t go into what I think about the movie here… my concern is with Wikipedia’s policies.

Now I agree that many of the supporters of keeping the entry were more concerned about keeping the content rather than whether or not the article conformed to Wikipedia guidelines. They saw the removal of the article as censorship of the movie’s content. But that wasn’t really the issue here – the real issue was whether or not it conformed to Wikipedia guidelines on notability.

In the end the editors decided that the entry failed to meet the criteria. To be fair to editors they did do the right thing by following the guidelines (albeit a strict interpretation – some have disputed that there is room for flexibility).

The problem is that the guidelines for notability state that the subject of an entry must be mentioned in the mainstream media before it is deemed notable. Despite being discussed vigorously on blogs, forums and in chat rooms, and despite getting millions of hits on Google (it’s also been Dugg several times) , apparently a movie has to be receive “full length reviews by two or more nationally known critics” to become notable!

Does anyone else see the contradiction here? The irony even? Wikipedia – the poster child of user-generated content, citizen journalism and the wisdom of the masses says that extensive reference to a topic on blogs, forums, chat rooms and wikis does not constitute notability.

If that is true… then what the policy is saying is that Wikipedia itself is not a reliable source!

Despite what you may think of the content of the movie itself, Zeitgeist the Movie has become a phenomenon. Surely this in itself means it warrants an entry in Wikipedia?

I’m no expert on Wikipedia policy, nor have I followed the debate too closely, but there is something deeply disturbing to me about this situation, and I think that the editors really need to take another look at that particular policy.

links for 2007-07-03