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Sir Tim Berners-Lee Still Thinks Blogs are Great

A Guardian article (thx the Obivious?) cited Internet founder Sir Tim Berners-Lee as saying blogging is one of the web's biggest perils. Fortunately, Berners-Lee has posted a correction to the article in a post on his blog with the subject title, "Blogging is Great."
In a recent interview with the Guardian, alas, my attempt to explain this was turned upside down into a "blogging is one of the biggest perils" message. Sigh. I think they took their lead from an unfortunate BBC article, which for some reason stressed concerns about the web rather than excitement, failure modes rather than opportunities. (This happens, because when you launch a Web Science Research Initiative, people ask what the opportunities are and what the dangers are for the future. And some editors are tempted to just edit out the opportunities and headline the fears to get the eyeballs, which is old and boring newspaper practice. We expect better from the Guardian and BBC, generally very reputable sources)

In fact, it is a really positive time for the web. Startups are launching, and being sold [Disclaimer: people I know] again, academics are excited about new systems and ideas, conferences and camps and wikis and chat channels and are hopping with energy, and every morning demands an excruciating choice of which exciting link to follow first.

And, fortunately, we have blogs. We can publish what we actually think, even when misreported.
Like any publishing platform blogs can be used to spread false information and even those most supportive of blogging will admit this. It sounds like the Guardian journalist may have focused more on Berners-Lee's concerns about online frauds and cheats then on his optimism for the future of the Internet. You can read more about Berners-Lee's new research project, the Web Science Research Initiative, here.


Posted on November 5, 2006











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