Thursday, March 03, 2005

The Future of Blogging

Click here to zoomThe future of blog-related technologies is not a topic on which I've seen much speculation. As a heavy blogger over, lo, these many (16) months, I present some nebulous thoughts as to blogging directions over the coming months and years.

Blogpresence - first, I'd like to introduce the concept of Blogpresence. That is, a public face for a blogger's identity. Even when you're asleep, you're blogpresence "speaks" for you - even if it's just to say you're unavailable. Blogpresence is roughly equivalent to the instant messaging concept of buddy status. Buddies can put up away messages, or indicate that they're around but busy, or active. Blogpresence will provide a much richer version of buddy status. Implicit with status will come a concept of user identity. Anonymous users will not see as much information as trusted friends. Trusted friends, of course, will get to see additional information about the blogger (contact info, email address, etc.). In other words, blogpresence will morph to fit the user's identity.

Blogmessaging - building upon the concept of blog comments, blogmessaging will incorporate IM and text message into a blog. A trusted friend who wants to get a hold of you will visit your blog and punch a message directly into a text-box on the blog. A routing system will determine how best to deliver the message: via text-messaging, IM, voice-call, email, etc. Anonymous users will get the same message delivered, but only via a low-priority mechanism (say, email).

Blogalog - Amazon and other aggressive Internet retailers will soon embrace the concept of blogalogs, catalogs published by bloggers. If I read a book or listen to a CD, a toolbar add-in in Firefox will let me instantly create a blog entry or sidebar panel for it: link, image, affilliate tie-in (so I get credit for the sale), etc. A blogalog toolbar will make it much easier to pitch merchandise from my blog.

VoxBlogoli - is a term coined, I believe, by Hugh Hewitt that means "voice of the bloggers". Hugh organizes blogswarms on specific topics: say, filibustering of Supreme Court appointments. But VoxBlogoli could be organized by any influential blogger around virtually any topic: a potential conflict-of-interest by NCAA referees, what bloggers thought of the Superbowl commercials, etc. Of special interest to marketers, VoxBlogoli takes the pulse of the blogosphere quickly and efficiently.

Blogflow - based upon a concept I described in August of '04, blogflow is a workflow concept in which the blogger's inbox and outbox are partially made public (at least to trusted users). More useful in intranet situations, blogflow provides ad hoc workflow capabilities and, more importantly, visibility into work-processes that today are completely invisible.

Any other thoughts on future directions? Comments appreciated.

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