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This story has legs

This week’s Time Magazine has Dan Rather on the cover with the title, "Who Owns the Truth" which should be a page-turner for anyone in the blogging industry. Previously and editor for The New Republic, now a brand name blogger, Andrew Sullivan writes a piece in which concludes that the ecosystem of old media and the "pajamahadeen" bloggers is really a beneficial one:

Does this mean the old media is dead? Not at all. Blogs depend on the journalistic resources of big media to do the bulk of reporting and analysis. What blogs do is provide the best scrutiny of big media imaginable—ratcheting up the standards of the professionals, adding new voices, new perspectives and new facts every minute. The genius lies not so much in the bloggers themselves but in the transparent system they have created. In an era of polarized debate, the truth has never been more available. Thank the guys in the pajamas. And read them.

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Monitoring Blogs

The San Jose Mercury News did a piece this week on companies turning to new tools to track consumer opinions on blogs. More and more people are beginning to realize that the right blogs, if monitored correctly, can serve as an early warning mechanism for the PR flacks everywhere. With their finger on the pulse of “the next big story,” the more popular blogs can amplify little known facts and points of view to the point where they can get picked up by the popular media and broadcast to the world at large.

So how does a company keep track of the sentiment of what’s being said in the blogsphere about their product and brand? One of the more interesting tools highlighted in the article is Blabble. Founded by Rochester, NY based web designer, Matt Rice. The concept is called “thought parsing” using natural language processing to aggregate opinions expressed about a set of user-defined keywords to get at overall sentiment.

Existing software products aggregate listings from blogs, but require the user seeking a view of overall trends or opinions as represented in blogs to read through all the blog listings to make that determination manually.

Rice says Blabble goes a step farther by incorporating natural language processing that parses blog listings returned in a search into parts of speech so as to extract from them words, phrases and constructions that indicate opinion. “50,000 people may write about a topic, but you don’t have time to read 50,000 listings,” says Rice. “And I probably don’t care about one individual opinion; it’s the aggregate that I care about.”

Internet Retailer.com

UPDATE : as of January 2006, the Blabble service will no longer parse the blogosphere. According to the site, “we don’t know what we’re going to do with the technology.”

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Bush’s Blog

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You know your industry is getting into the mainstream consciousness when The Onion does a parody piece on it.

In other news, this blog got it’s first Comment Spam this morning, in a strange sort of way, I feel that I’ve arrived.

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Bloggers and the DNC

A lot of people are reading about weblogs and bloggers for the first time in the media coverage of the recent Democratic National Convention. While the debate in the traditional media over what exactly qualifies as a jounalist comes off sounding a tad defensive, it’s instructive to read some of the coverage of the convention from a blogger’s point of view. I particulary enjoyed Jessamyn West photo blog coverage which turned the camera on the cameramen with clever meta commentary on the side.

DNC Day 1
DNC Day 2
DNC Day 3
DNC Day 4
DNC Day 5

I particularly liked this shot which shows Moveable Type in action (on a Mac and a PC as well!) at the convention.

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24 Hours Non-Stop Blogging

Hooray to Mie and Dav who just finished 24 hours of non-stop blogging.

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Moblog

My sister Mie

My sister was just over for a visit with her and took lots of photos for her moblog site.

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Blogs

Blogs have now entered into the mainstream. AOL is releasing a blog package for all its subscribers and now Doonesbury has picked up on the trend as well.