Wednesday, January 30, 2008

What happens when you blog

I found this on today, a diagram of what happens when you post to your blog. Check it out.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Blog Networks

Many businesses not only use blogs to create goodwill among customers and potential customers, many specialized websites run their own blogging services., a video game and entertainment website owned by News Corp. has a blogging site called It's a unique network that hosts blogs written by IGN editors, IGN users, and game developers.

The blogs of IGN editors generally serve the purpose of the Microsoft blogs discussed in Naked Conversations by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel. They write about what do at their jobs, places they visit, events they take part in, etc. An example is the blog of Matt-IGN.

The blogs of game developers try to illuminate the process of game development, allow consumers to get to know the people behind the games, and, of course, promote their games. As I'm writing this, the most popular developer blog is Bethesda Softworks'. Bethesda is the DC-area company behind the Elder Scrolls games and the upcoming Fallout 3. Recent posts include a profile of developer Erik Deitrick, and an introduction by the Executive Producer of Fallout 3.

Most blog networks are either open and content free like Blogger or corporate like Weblogs Inc. (Engadget, Cinematical, TV Squad). has a unique place in all of this. It publishes its own corporate-backed content, allows other companies to publish on it, and even allows individual users to do so.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Social Networks and Value

In Howard Rheingold's Smart Mobs, there is an interesting discussion of how the value of networks increases exponentially as new nodes are added, Reed's Law. In the five years since Rheingold's book was released, Reed's law has been proven again and again.

Wiki's have surged in popularity in recent years. One of the main reasons is Reed's Law. While it may not be apparent at first glance, Wikipedia is a social network. Different authors collaborate on articles, linking them to other articles. Behind the scenes, authors and users discuss changes to the article.

Wikipedia had to have started as a single page. Let's say that article was "France." By itself, that article have very little value. But when someone creates a "Napolean" article linked to "France, and in turned linked to "Corsica." As the number of articles on Wikipedia increases, the value of each article increases exponentially. How many times have you gone exploring on Wikipedia starting somewhere like "Washington, D.C." and ending and following a trail of articles to "The War of 1812" and reading about when the White House was burned? Wikipedia is a social network of encyclopedic information that works as describe by Reed's Law.

Wikipedia isn't the only Wiki that acts like this. There's "how-to" wikis, comic book wikis, programming wikis, etc... Theres also a number of websites, like answers .com that use Wikipedia as the source for their content. The development of the wiki has made the internet even more valuable that it used to be.

It's important to think of social networking as more than just instant messaging and profile websites.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My First Post

Hello, I am a student at American University. This blog is for the class Six Degrees: Social Networking and Business. I'm going to be reading some stuff related to this class. Then, for your benefit, I will be writing MY opinions of the subject matter of what I read and respond to the author. On my honor, all posts on this blog are my own.

I have had many experiences with social networking. I had a Xanga back a in high school, I have a Facebook, and now I have a blog. Those all are great, but my personal favorite social networking tool goes by the name It's a tool that keeps track of all the music that you listen to on your computer and then the website provides recommendations and connects you with people who have similar music taste. You can also listen to custom radio stations, find concerts, and much more. My profile can be found here. You should try it out.