Wireless News: Why Blogs Haven’t

Wireless News: Why Blogs Haven’t Stormed the Business World: “That way lies trouble. While the actual pages in a blog may be simple HTML, the sum total of elements in a blog is a giant heap of files and folders understood only by the tool a blogger is using at present. What would happen if you were to switch tools tomorrow? With even the simplest blogs, many users would be daunted by the need to move files, change directories, get the new tools to hook up with the old. In short, each new tool would break your current blog. There simply is no portability under the current structure.

While such a situation can be a frustration for individual users, it could be a huge barrier to entry for blogging in the enterprise. Just as instant messaging has been hit with claims that its security and bandwidth use are not efficient on local area networks, the heap of content produced by blogging is not the ideal knowledge store a company might wish to produce as a result of employee participation. It is just a big heap of stuff. What’s needed is a uniform way for every blog tool to understand the blogs created by another tool and to pick them up when a user switches tools, much like the way browsers can share HTML.”

Nonono. While Ray identifies the problem correctly (blog knowledge is unstructured), the solution is NOT to make blog tools exchange their content (even though that would be a nice feature). Exchanged content is still unstructured. The solution is to add a flexible layer of metadata on top of the existing blog content, whether that content be in a database, an exchangable XML format or identified by URLs. The technologies exist: use Topicmaps or XFML.

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