Liza Sabater
Since the beginning
Works in New York, Nebraska United States of America

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Re: Re: Blog vs Board (re: Blogging Survey)

On Wednesday, Jul 7, 2004, at 16:20 America/New_York, Francis Hwang
> Actually, I think it's much more promising to add individual blogs,
> for individual authors, than to have one more collectively moderated
> channel on Rhizome. The ecosystem of RSS users already has its own
> collective moderation, as drawn implicitly through the act of linking
> and tracked on search & indexing sites like Technorati, Blogdex,
> PubSub, Google, etc., etc., etc. There are, of course, group blogs out
> in the world, but with a well-armed RSS reader you can mix your
> channel anyway.

The question still is who gets to blog for Rhizome. Payers of the
service? Members who already have blogs? A mix of both? And then how
would that be reflected on the site? Just simple aggregation or by the
# links to a certain post or by the # comments? How is all that
technology going to be put to use to fulfill the needs of Rhizome?

> Individually authored blogs are easier to code/maintain, too.

Maybe, maybe not. It all depends on the user. The issue here is that
you have a very small % of net art people using blogs. So your focus
may well be about educating people on how to use them. Most net art
people equate blogs with just writing and have no idea how to use it
for their own art purposes.

> I also have to say that I don't think it's at all guaranteed that
> email will always be the killer app. These days I get more than 5000
> emails a week, and the overwhelming majority are spam ... client-side
> filtering doesn't work at this volume, legal measures will just push
> spammers into legal gray zones, and, various sender verification
> systems are making their way through the standards process but will
> take years to codify and implement. In the meantime, the upcoming
> versions of operating systems from both Redmond and Cupertino will
> include RSS readers ... the future of email as a one-to-many broadcast
> medium is by no means guaranteed, unfortunately.

That is true to. Push media, due to spamming, is going the way of ...
well... telemarketing and spamming.

l i z a


Re: Re: Blog vs Board (re: Blogging Survey)

On Wednesday, Jul 7, 2004, at 13:30 America/New_York, Alexander
Galloway wrote:
> i find this blog thread very interesting. these are some of the issues
> that we have wrestled with ever since the beginning of rhizome: the
> best way to exchange content collaboratively.


> a quick summary of what rhiz has attempted thus far (Francis--correct
> me if i'm wrong)... at the start of rhizome, mark tribe decided that
> the best way to navigate the signal-to-noise problem was to have two
> lists, one heavily moderated and one completely open. this resulted in
> the Digest/Raw format that has persisted since. people wanting a
> filter subscribed to Digest, while those who could handle the deluge
> subscribed to Raw. in the olden days the website was edited by the
> same person who edited Digest, and therefore ended up resembling the
> filtered email list rather then the unfiltered. eventually a web
> archive of Raw was added to balance things out a little. then, after a
> few years, rhizome switched over to a more decentralized format,
> handing the editorial selection for the website to a group of
> "superusers" who are able to pick which articles appear on the front
> page.

So the decision came out of the main technology email. Since you're the
Perl guy Alex, did you know about blogging systems when you were
building R1 or R2? I am assuming you did not because the technology
really did not explode until about 2 years ago and you were already
done with the site. Correct? I really want this information because ...
well ... inquiring minds want to know. I really want to know the
details of the process for building the site.

> as others have already pointed out in this thread, RSS feeds have
> fundamentally changed the landscape of the web. it's my opinion that
> rhizome might be ready for another redesign, one that can accommodate
> the aggregation and republishing functionality enabled by RSS. yes,
> email will always be the killer app, so of course some balance between
> email content and web feed content should be achieved.

That would be a huge undertaking. You already have the chops with PhP
and there's a lot of nifty things done with it that surpass what is
accomplished with the mere mortal HTML CMS site but, I'm thinking more
of the structure of Rhizome itself. This is social software after all.
How are you going to manage the socialization on the site and why. Two
big questions to answer before going ahead with a redesign of that

> by way of contrast.. i've recently been hanging out over on the
> eyebeam reblog system

Hanging out? Hogging it is more like it. Get off it! I want to reblog
<pout> <pout>

> ( and am currently coding version 2 of the
> backend (with much help from Jonah Peretti and Michael Frumin). reblog
> is formally quite similar to the current rhizome website in the sense
> that it has a community-fed text input system that is then parsed and
> republished on the site.

Nononononono. It is edited. It is not a regular feed where anything
would be aggregated unfiltered. It is definitely not conventional XML
aggregation and Jonah wanted it that way because they wanted a
moderated aggregation to the site. Correct?

> reblog is simple, it takes an unlimited number of RSS feeds as input
> and lets you parse them into a single RSS feed as output. the main
> differences with rhiz i can see are 1) rhizome uses the emails posted
> to rhizome raw as its input channel, while reblog uses posts from
> about 80 web feeds, 2) rhizome uses a group of "superusers" who can
> publish articles on the website, while reblog uses a single rotating
> "guest reblogger" (a convention which could easily be changed in the
> future to include multiple simultaneous rebloggers).

The advantage of 1 list to 80 blogs is huge and that is what I mean by
vertical scaling.

> rhizome could conceivably reorganize itself around the reblog model,
> using both email and rhizomer blog feeds as the input.

Absolutely. Yahoo! has an RSS for their open email lists. So the
model has been proven. I have to dig for the link to that feature but
have used it.

l i z a


Re: Re: Blog vs Board (re: Blogging Survey)

On Wednesday, Jul 7, 2004, at 08:03 America/New_York, Jason Van Anden
> If members felt more secure participating in this board, I feel that a
> lot more would decide to participate as a community, rather than
> opting to secede into their own blogs. This has less to do with how
> new technology can accomodate this activity, but rather how this
> already huge community could be motivated to become more invested.

Well given that the 'community' is mostly composed of geeks, something
dealing with technology might inspire them. Then again, I'd love to see
the median age for Rhizome members. I bet a lot of them are having
offline lives disrupt their online presence. Grock knows now a bunch of
them here in NYC have spawned and will suffer the same fate us earlier
breeders have. Heh.

/ l i z a


Re: Re: Re: Blog vs Board (re: Blogging Survey)

On Tuesday, Jul 6, 2004, at 23:59 America/New_York, curt cloninger
> So what do I want out of rhizome? When I first came to rhizome, I
> wanted to discover a like-minded community of creative folks who
> wanted to talk about art. I never quite discovered that (except for a
> handful of kindred spirits). What I did discover was different, but
> in some ways even more beneficial to me (although it took me a while
> to appreciate it).

This makes me think of the house of greek parents in "My Big Fat Greek
Wedding". It's funny how the house was built to keep the Exenos from
coming in. What I like about having a blog is that I have no idea who
will get hooked into it. I am the #3 search choice for spongemonkeys
and #6 for masturbation month

No I have not been masturbating for a month with spongemonkeys
(although I should post something like that and see what happens).
Anyhow, it's been interesting to see some of the comments on these and
other topics. Then there are the personal emails I receive from people
that, once I visit their sites I go, WOW! now I know why they 'clicked'
with what I write.

You just don't get that on a gated community. Need the traffic or
pedestrians, runners, strollers and transients. That's what makes blogs

l i z a


Re: Blog vs Board (re: Blogging Survey)

On Tuesday, Jul 6, 2004, at 14:33 America/New_York, Francis Hwang wrote:

> So that's a goal of mine, though it's perhaps less concrete than the
> goals you offered. Blogs to me make sense because an increasing amount
> of discussion in our field lives outside the Rhizome walls. There are
> a lot of small reasons for it (and, yes, the membership policy is one
> of those) but the big reason is this: The internet ain't what it used
> to be. There are lots of people who want to maintain their own little
> atomic sites somewhere else besides on some mega-community site like
> Rhizome ... I think it would be cool to find ways to include them in
> the conversation, too.

The poster-child for metawebbing and vertical scaling has to be this
site :

Net Artists should kiss the feet of people like Christiane Paul or Curt
Cloninger. I have no idea how they do it, really. Clicking one bookmark
at a time? Is that the best net artists can do? And don't get me
started with those all-flash-all-the-time sites. Really, keeping track
net art is like trying to give cats a bath.

l i z a