Diffusion of an idea in the Blogosphere 2005 and 2010


  1. How about Facebook? Where does that fit in??

  2. Stephen, I think you're right.

    I'm amazed at how much less conversation takes place on blogs now than even a few years ago. It's as if the Twitter explosion has reduced many to 140 characters and almost a hesitancy to jump back over to blogs.

    Personally, I'm curious as to the topics and purpose of blogging anymore. I'm also wondering how I might go about researching just that: how blogging topics have evolved in the last 10 years among those in education? Being so well-read and immersed in the field for so long, I'm sure you could provide a valuable perspective.

    Up front, I would suspect that in the beginning many edubloggers wrote more about blogging itself (and getting others to change) than anything else. Now, however, it seems like the sub-fields in education have begun to explode with teachers discussing pedagogical specifics more than ever before.

    Then again, maybe my view is tainted.

    What do you think?

  3. I used 'Twitter' as a euphemism for Facebook and any o0ther status-update service.

    There isn't a lot less conversation taking place on blogs. I maintain a very thorough list of edublogs and other resources - http://www.downes.ca/files/opml.xml - and according to Google Reader, "From your 885 subscriptions, over the last 30 days you read 17,373 items, starred 117 items, shared 29 items, and emailed 0 items."

    But what we are not seeing is the direct connectoion blog-to-blog, which narrows the field of vision for most people and makes it difficult to track ideas. A blog-tweet-blog chain breaks the attribution link; you never see the original source. So a conversation takes place, but not directly, only through intermediaries.

  4. Status-update services like twitter are increasing the frequency (perhaps not the quality) of online conversations and I think one major reason is that it's easier to write a tweet than go through a captcha or registration system. There are also tweet aggregators that link back to the blog post, so that you can see who has tweeted it, and the conversation can be quite visible. Of course there's still lots of noise, but we had that before twitter became popular.

  5. Not sure I understand the point you are making.
    - Twitter is skimming activity from blogs?
    - Twitter is enhancing the entry points to blogs?

    There is no doubt that all online content is becoming more and more connected. Twitter is just one of the ways that blog content islands are being connected. Blogrolls are another, online communities are another, and alltop.com is still another.

  6. I am making the point that the way ideas diffuse on the internet has changed between 2005 and 2006, and specifically, that twitter comments often form the connection that used to be formed directly from a link one blog to the next.

  7. What would be interesting is to model the change mathematically to see what impact it might be having on reach, speed, and scope to reference back the original source. (I am reminded of those models you used to see of nuclear fission and the damping of slow neutron emanation resulting from graphite rods being pushed into the reactor core....)

  8. don't you think that twitter (and facebook) cause such a tree to become a graph, with the same idea repeated coming from two or more different sources?

  9. Julia, That is an additional layer of complexity I could have added.

    Not so much the case where the same idea has two different and siultaneous authors. But where a person receives the same idea from multiple inputs.

    I can say for myself, sometimes I hear an idea once or twice, I don't pass it on, but then the third time pushes me over the threshold.


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