Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.


Thanks for posting the videos. Its a neat way to see what goes on at these exclusive conferences.

Who is the woman that Joi was referring to in video "Panel 4"? The woman who deconstructs articles in the New York Times. I'd love to check-out her blog.

Wow, Joi sounded quite intelligent on the panel in one of the videos, speaking about the power law. I wish we could see more of that on your blog. (Of course I realize that spending time explaining it on the blog gives less of a reward than giving a speach to the big guys who really matter)

That Loic guy didn't seem to really have any defendable ideas. It seemed he was at the same level of blog understanding as I am... "it is fun and cool to put your thoughts in a blog instead of CC lots of people"

He said some outragous things like "I feel totally transparent". If he really does, he hasn't given any real thought to blogging identity, in which case he doesn't deserve to be giving a talk on blogging. The other option is that he is full of BS, and knows that he is not totally transparent, and is just trying to sell his product. If that is the case, he fits right in giving a speach to a group of corporate / political elite.

And what was that crap he was saying about (to paraphrase) "Blogging is worse for the press than napster is for the media because most people can't write a good song like a professional and then give it away, thus reducing record sales, but anyone (including him presumably) can write articles just as thurough as a professional reporter, who has dedicated their life to their profession. Therefore, blogs will be very dangerous because no one will need professional reporters... not when you have people like me giving you your news!"

Thankfully, the BusinessWeek reporter nailed him on that issue, pointing out what a dink he was, and the moderator saved him by giving a much more intelligent answer than he could have ever given (just guessing).

Although then Joi piped in saying he doesn't do his blogging for any reason that resembles advertising to a magazine... Riiiiighht... so you don't have any stake in how blogging turns out? We know you are open about the fact that you are an investor in blogging technology, but just because we know doesn't mean that you don't still have a personal stake in promoting it. And you don't have a personal stake in promoting yourself? If not, then why don't you spend as much time blogging as you do meeting the people who have the real influence on your personal "success". How much time did you spend preparing for this conference... and how much time did you spend blogging about it? Not that I blame you, but let's come clean with ourselves man!

Then the Loic guy came in and said something that sounded like what I would have said. That doesn't go very far in promoting blogging among the "people that matter".

He says that technorati is a good filter of what is important in blogging, but in actuality, techonorati is nothing more than a Nielson rating for the web. It is based on the interests of people who have great jobs where they can hide in their cubicle and surff the web 5 hours a day, while pretending to do work. Work that pays them well over the world average yearly income, and allows them to buy more crap than any person needs, and most people can ever hope to see. The same peopel that influence the techonorati polpularity chart are the people who all the advertises in the mass media are very sucsessfully tagetting.

Joi talks about how his blog about quitting drinking became such a great and popular platform just because it is a blog and it was indexed by google. Did you ever think that what made that "I quit drinking" blog so popular was that you have so many loyal followers who love to link to anything you do in the hopes that you will give some linkage back?.. wait. That was uncalled for. But still, if it wasn't Leader of the Future Joi Ito making the blog, using his OFF-LINE influence to get other big-shots to add to it, it would not have near as many people looking at it and taking the time to comment as it does now.

In the last video, the moderator tells how difficult it is to get links, stating that you have to have something interesting. That's true, but if what you are after is links, you better have some other clout to go with it. Otherwise, according to the power law as explained by Joi, the peopel at the top end of the blog spectrum will get the links, simply because they managed to find your insignificant blog, and by their graces, shared it with the rest of the bloggin world. - Dang! again I said something that sounded worse than I intended. I don't have any problem with the way that the power law works, and the way that networks need people who provide valuable services and information, and other people who do nothing more than pass it on, but I wish that people would realize it, or if they already fo realize it, at least admit it.

Tom. Thank you for spending the time to post such a thorough response. I'll let Loic defend himself if he feels like it.

Power laws. I write about them all the time here. Maybe too much. I'm assuming you're being sarcastic. There is some redundancy because of the archives but there are 48 results for a search on "power law" on this blog.

My stake in blogging. I started blogging as a way to make it easier to update my web page which I started it in 1994. I became addicted to blogging and have worked very hard to try to figure out ways to make it my business to blog. One way was to invest in the tool I was using. I'm working very hard trying to figure out the business models around blogging. I do have a stake and as you say, I don't hide it. I will continue to try to have more stakes in this space. My point about it being different from a magazine with advertising is that advertisers often influence the content of the articles. I was particularly sensitive after spending a great deal of time with editors and owners of media who were talking about how to balance editorial freedom with pressure from governments and advertisers. So to rephrase it a bit... Most reporters have bosses. Editors, "desks" have the ability to edit and influence their content. As a blogger, I have freedom. I have freedom to promote myself and I have freedom to say whatever I want. My point is that I blog because I enjoy this freedom and that this freedom is something that a professional journalist often does not have. I personally would not give up this freedom in order to earn ad revenue.

As for the "We Quit Drinking" blog... I was really trying to share an anecdote that illustrated the relationship between search and blogs and it was in response to a question about whether there were any interesting applications for blogs in community building. I agree that this particular example does use the power law amplifier and is not a generally applicable case.

So as I have written in the past, I do not deny that the power law exists and some blogs are focused on the amplification part. It does not make the less linked blogs less important. The fact is, one can take more risk and be more speculative on blogs that aren't as widely read. The example I used before is that if the power law is the amplifier, the tail of the curve is the guitar. I do not think that all bloggers are after just links. Just like your friends, I think that most people would choose quality over quantity unless you're trying to win an election...

Finally, I probably spend more time trying to express myself on my blog than in any other mode including presenting at conferences. I didn't spend any time preparing for these talks and presentations and probably spend more time blogging and responding to comments than making speeches to the rich and powerful people at Davos.

Well, Tom, where is your blog ?

I think with so many hard criticism against me you could have first written them on my blog.

I will not take as much time as Joi to answer, at least not right now.

The only thing that you may take into account is that 99% of the audience did not know what blogging was, so the very simple points I made were a way for me to adapt to the audience. I hate those sessions where experts about something discuss between themselves and the audience does not understand anything. It could have happened with the blogging panel as few "normal" people know what it is and I think we did a good job explaining it in simple terms you seem to judge as stupid.

Having seen the remarks and questions I had from many people at the end of the session hopefully they did not have the same feeling as you have expressed here.

As far as the Business Week guy is concerned, I saw him the day after in Davos, and actually he liked the panel very much and we continued exchanging our views about blogging.