In reply to: Blogs in the Wild
I think the Indieweb is aware of the search problem but they have been focused on getting the essentials for individual blogs and stuff you can do with it up and running first. I’m excited about their outreach to students and educators because I see students and academics seeing the utility for them straight off.
I don’t see mass adoption happening until WordPress builds it into WordPress.com, then lookout world!
But that’s okay. I think what you and I are doing will go like this:
We hunt for homegrown blogs, sites, wikis and such just as we are right now.
We build directories, webrings and syndication services that map out this world.
The thing becomes a self-sustaining flotilla of: a) Talking, pitching in with each other’s projects. b) Experimenting with the format—I like to think that we’re developing an alternate timeline, as if blogs had replaced Friendster/Myspace rather than these other derivative networks. c) And customizing these directories and projects for subcommunities.
Those social network silos did a couple of good things even if they are going sour now. 1. They broke Google’s stranglehold on the web and getting found, 2. They offered an alternative advertising choice besides Adsense and Adwords. This is something even Microsoft/Bing and Yahoo before it could not do. They proved to the rest of Silicon Valley it could be done and Google was not invincible. So I’m not anxious for the social silos to crumble too fast, I also get a fair amount of traffic from them.
(And that maybe part of the lack of wider uptake of our directory, webring, blogroll strategy, everyone is getting some traffic now by syndicating to the silos so they don’t see a problem.)
Anyway, I’m not willing to go back to Google being the sole Gate Keeper of the Web. I’ll fight that, no matter how puny my efforts might be. There is a story behind this: you have never been carpet bombed until Google has carpet bombed you. I’ve been collateral damage in that. It was things like webrings, directory listings, and a huge network of hyperlinks from little websites that kept my directory on life support until I could rebuild elsewhere. That’s kinda why I started reminiscing about them when the topic came up. No I’ll never go back to Google controlling the web. I’ll never take traffic for granted again. Part of the reason I’ve been posting so much is to try and build a reader base before syndication gets shut off.
So yeah, you and I are experimenting with versions of these guerrilla search tools. We will see if there is any life left in them.
I can roll out a directory ready for submissions in a few weeks if I have to. All the old directory scripts are a little long in the tooth but I already know the one I would use and how I would use it. I can roll out webring hosting too since I found that Ringlink perl script. Or you can or we both can. Again, if need be.
Public uptake is the key, uptake by bloggers and webmasters. If they are not willing to list themselves, if the public is not willing to to use these to browse, then we have little chance.
Marketing plays in here. I just put up a little advertising banner for the blog directory. Early signs are it has more visitors checking it out. We’ll see if that’s a temporary blip or a trend.
Anyway it’s fun.