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October 9, 2005

Blogosphere Monitoring Tools Useless?

Jeremy Zawodny does not like the tools used to search the blogosphere.

The problems he is running into are based on:

  • Writing original posts takes so much more time than just copying other’s information, so the signal to noise ratio is just plain shit
  • there are limits to the social capacity of the human brain
  • the software is designed to help you find, not filter
  • even if the software was better at filtering inevitably the recall would plumit
  • sometimes even we don’t know what we are going to be interested in until we see it. How can software predict that without filtering out some of the good stuff?
  • The best blogs are good not just because how they state their opinions, but also because they are willing to do the hard work to find that extra bit of information. If information were easier to sort through then we would just find ways to produce & consume more information.

What is the solution? I have always found that taking effort to look through areas not well covered and trust others to catch most the main stuff works well. I also think sometimes you can find your way into other conversations if you give other people excuses to find their way to you. There is no better way to get a scoop than to create the news, story, or idea yourself.

There also seems to be a huge push throughout blogworld to be the first guy with a story. Sometimes this is going to end up being effort wasted, as only one person can be the first person with each story. It is a far more efficient use of time for most people to spend a bit less time flipping through their feeds over and over and over again and trust other people to bubble up important issues.

If the issues do not bubble up then most of the time they probably are not that important. It is also hard to find new information reading the exact same things everyone else does, and most blog authority tools are going to only tell you what others already think is important.

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