Wednesday, May 24, 2006
The Wonderful World of Weblogs
(At the WWW Conference)
Attended the Workshop on Weblogging Ecology (WWE) at the World Wide Web (WWW) conference yesterday. Didn't have to travel far as it was being hosted here in Edinburgh. What tipped me off that this was a big deal of a conference, beyond the camera crews filming stuff, and the fact that parts made the news, was that Jack McConnell, Scotland's First Minister was among the opening speakers. Of course, I was only there for the workshop, so I had a bit of a lie in.

I suppose given the 5000 miles, it's not surprising that there weren't so many faces familiar from the CAAW symposium I was at in March. It did offer an opportunity to catch up with Matt and Natalie of BlogPulse, along with meeting Thomas Lento from Cornell, who I didn't get a chance to talk to in Palo Alto.

The day was pretty interesting. Mostly different work from CAAW, with just a smidgeon of overlap. Disappointingly there was little work on the language of blogs from a sociobiographic perspective, but there really aren't that many of us.

One interesting difference is that BlogPulse released a blog corpus for people to work with. The aim was to report the results of what you did with it at the conference. This is a standard idea in technical conferences, but the first time I've seen it done. The obvious follow up was the discussion section of the day: the topic was around the general idea of creating a really good corpus for all to share. There were lots of good ideas, and everybody is very keen. The tricky part is finding people to do the work: the cleaning, removing splogs etc. Of course no corpus would be of use to me without some serious demographic labeling, and that sort of data doesn't just grow on trees.

One interesting observation concerning the days blogademics...very few of them blog. I got that impression at CAAW, but here we were asked to write our name, affiliation, email and blog URL if we had them. I was near the back as the paper was passed around and a quick scan revealed very few URLs. I know I've made this point before, and I'm not saying people have to blog to study just wouldn't hurt.

All in all it was a pretty good day and I got a neat bag!

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