To blog or not to blog?

Blogging of the Global Village Brain – Harnessing Collective Intelligence

Since the coining of the word ‘web 2.0’, internet users have used it as a buzzword with no real understanding of its implications and effects on human intelligence. There has been more than 9.5billion citations on Google, yet not many have grasped the extend of the power of web 2.0 and determine its boundaries. One such power which has shown no boundaries or limits is harnessing collective intelligence through web applications. Harnessing Collective Intelligence is simply the shared group intelligence which is added and updated in a large online community. Hence, Harnessing Collective Intelligence have allowed the web to develop innovative web based services.

There are various web based services and applications which operates under the dimensions of Web 2.0 and stimulates the very basis of Web 2.0;  however, Blogs are one of the most important applications that gave rise to the web 2.0 revolution. A blog could be a simple webpage which include personal diary entries, opinions, information, links, or any creative media. Blogging is mainly constructed around the architecture of participation and the sense of belonging to a community.

This blogging community or so well known as the blogosphere, has an immense impact on the knowledge shared and processed every day. The intelligence shared on the blogosphere are based on different countries, languages, cultures, races and religions.

The composition of the blogosphere is made of Hobbyists, Professional, Corporate and Entrepreneurs. According to technorati blog indexing, there are 133 million current blogs since 2002, and in average there are 625 blog posts produced every minute. This illustrates that every minute there’s a blogger who shares information with million other internet users who would receive as explicit knowledge; thus harnessing collective intelligence.

So why is blogging so popular?

  • Easy to start, setup and maintain
  • Effective communication with other users
  • Freedom of speech and write
  • Publish any opinion, thought, idea, or a theory
  • Effective marketing and advertising

and how does it help in harnessing collective intelligence?

  • Tagging 
    • A tag is a descriptive keyword added to a blog post in which other users apply to classify information to derive knowledge.
  • Multimedia Sharing 
    • With the access to large storage spaces on blogging platforms, users have grown to facilitate multimedia content. More innovative services such as Youtube and flickr has grown exponentially as a result of sharing collective creative media.
  • RSS and Syndication 
    • Really Simple Syndication is a format of web feeds allowing the user to receive updates on the content of RSS enabled websites or blogs. Syndication is the process of collecting information and presenting on a brief feed.

Harnessing collective intelligence have been made quite easy with the above tools and services as the users are updated with data more often and are allowed to share more data effectively. This trend has been the center of the Blogging revolution and have connected its users in a vast global scale. This connection was creatively explained by Tim O’Reily, including the effect of harnessing collective intelligence.

If an essential part of Web 2.0 is harnessing collective intelligence, turning the web into a kind of global brain, the blogosphere is the equivalent of constant mental chatter in the forebrain, the voice we hear in all of our heads. It may not reflect the deep structure of the brain, which is often unconscious, but is instead the equivalent of conscious thought. And as a reflection of conscious thought and attention, the blogosphere has begun to have a powerful effect.” Tim O’Reily, 2005

However, as with every new technology, there are legal and ethical issues that need to addressed on the rise of Blogging.

    • Privacy and personal identity have been a main concern within the online community and the blogosphere. As every blog post is shared with anyone and everyone, it is imperative how a blogger protect their online identity and personal details
    • As the disclosure policy was introduced in December 2009, bloggers are now made to disclose any relationships with products and services promoted on the blogs.
    • Copyright Infringement is also a major issue within the community as it is perceived ‘since it’s on the internet, it can be copied’. Every website has its own copyright policies which should be consulted before copying their content; complying to do so may result in lawsuits.
    • Another issue that could result in lawsuits is Defamation. It is quite common for bloggers to publish anything without any evidence or proof to back it up. Defamation is a severe misconduct as one should not post information for the sake of high traffic and pingbacks.

Despite ethical and legal issues concerned with Blogging, it continues to be a fundamental application in Web 2.0. As the traditional printing media declined, Blogging improved on its tools to publish text, audio, video and the ability to subscribe to content via RSS. On the other hand technological enhancements such as tablets and smartphones have allowed bloggers to seamlessly access and edit content. The ability of blogs to adapt and its drive for substantial content will see more and more corporate blogs to utilise marketing campaigns and personal bloggers to blog more often. Blogs are becoming a cultural standard, in which ‘blogging is accepted as an integral part of the media landscape‘. 


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