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Plato on Blogging

If the internet is Plato’s cavern, then a blogger is the person chained inside, facing a blank wall.

Imagine the typical user walking past the shadows, hearing a cacophony of voices (websites). The people chained to the wall who want to be heard talk loudly and frequently (new updates, twitter). Search engines are designed to report the most frequently linked or loudest site.
That is to say, new and frequent posts get attention. Remember how many blogs, twitter feeds, and facebook statuses reminded us that Michael Jackson was dead? Frequency is then reinforced by search engines (keywords), creating a huge overlap of information that dilutes itself by volume.

Is it human nature to listen to the loudest shouts even if it is as irrelevant as the latest Gawker post? I don’t think so. Eventually, the cacophony of voices on the internet will be tuned out like ads on TiVo. Aggregators will create virtual bookshelves, and the “web 3.0” user will collect content based on its value, and not how loud or frequent it occurs.

The reality behind the illusion is that ideas are what will move and shake on the internet.

Unless, of course, the illusion is thinking that a quiet, infrequent voice will get anyone’s attention.


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