I went to BlogHer, didn’t blog a whole lot about it. Mary Hodder was of course an inspiration with new ideas for us to consider. She has started thespeakers wiki so we can find new and interesting people to talk and particularly highlighting cool women doing cool work in technology. (I am still trying to figure out what to say in my bio.)
She also announced publicly the outlines of an open source algorithm for the blogosphere since sketching it on a napkin at Les Blogs in Paris. Link Love Lost or How Social Gestures within Topic Groups are More Interesting Than Link Counts. highlights:
We are going to do this, I think the algorithm has to be open source, at least as far as the weighting of social gestures and what gestures are to be included. Many people are upset that page rank is secret, and that something so powerful online is not open to scrutiny by the community it ranks. So this is an attempt to have the community determine the social weighting as it goes into algorithm, and have it be transparent to the community.
There is a very detailed chart on Mary’s site with it all mapped out.
This post set the blogsphere a light with feedback and commentary. Here are some highlights from the First set of responses:
This is not about making a single list. This is about making a metric that takes several factors into consideration, to find topic groups who consistently talk about something.
From Dana Boyde:
There are a few things that we know in social networks. First, our social networks are frequently split by gender (from childhood on). Second, men tend to have large numbers of weak ties and women tend to have fewer, but stronger ties. This means that in traditional social networks, men tend to know far more people but not nearly as intimately as those women know. (This is a huge advantage for men in professional spheres but tends to wreak havoc when social support becomes more necessary and is often attributed to depression later in life.)
Second set of responses highlights:
Maybe a better way to approach this issue is to define Robert Fuller’s ideas around dignitarianism, where those in power don’t abuse their power and the community creates solutions to problems as they arise. It seems to me that the solution to our rankist issues with inbound links is much more appropriately solved by changing the system, than by asking those who benefit from rankism to share some power with a few (there is no way A Listers have the time or the blogspace to do all the linking we would need to see to correct the problems of rankism with linking.)
And Halley again,recounting Doc’s notion that the internet is intrinsically feminine(Britt Blaser was the first to actually tell me this a year or so ago and I think it’s pretty insightful):
Even the word “LINK” is not neutral. It describes the way the brain synapses work. It describes the way the Net was built. It describes an attitude of distributed SHARED intelligence. It’s funny to remember what Doc concluded — it’s so FEMALE, the Net is so feminine, as is the notion of sharing power in a networked structure. (Ever heard of a “family?”)