Clay Shirky on Web Logs and Publishing

As usual, Clay Shirky has an interesting point to make:

"Rather than spawning a million micro-publishing empires, weblogs are becoming a vast and diffuse cocktail party, where most address not "the masses" but a small circle of readers, usually friends and colleagues. This is mass amateurization, and it points to a world where participating in the conversation is its own reward."

Although a goal of Zen Haiku is to have more edited writing than your average web log, this doesn't change the point. The poetry entries have comments from my friend Roslee, and the usability entries have comments from usability colleagues such as Joshua Kaufmann and Lyle Kantrovich.

I find it ironic in light of all the people who have been fired for their web logs, that in virtually every email cover letter I've sent out with my resume, I've referred to my web log, often with a link to my Usability Applied to Life column. [Link removed to diveintomark site 03/25/2004]

I've always generally avoided personal stuff. Not for job reasons, but just because I don't feel comfortable talking about personal issues in front of the world. It's like being at a cocktail party, to use Shirky's metaphor, and suddenly you're hearing about someone's embarrassing medical problem: it's a case of TMI (Too Much Information). TMI, once you explain it, is a usefully short interjection to interupt somebody with.

Posted by Chad Lundgren on Thursday, October 3, 2002 (Link)