Today is my last day reBlogging for the Eyebeam reBlog. Tomorrow the Eyebeamers will introduce my successor, Tim Shey, who will take it from here. After three weeks monitoring about 100 blog feeds and reposting 15-20 items per day (often with added pictures, text, or gratuitous comments), I would now like to articulate my personal reBlogging philosophy--hopefully you're sitting down. Here are my thoughts, for future reBloggers (and reBlog readers) to take or leave:
1. reBlogging is definitely an art, somewhere between curating and editing. I believe the Eyebeam reBlog can be as important and genre-defining as any of the major umbrella tech sites, umbrella art sites (if those existed) or heaven forbid, regular news sources, as long as original material from a pool of steady dedicated bloggers is given equal weight to clips. The purely anecdotal has value, as does free lance reporting. Accordingly, I tried to emphasize unique, personal blog writing and research over news items recycled from big media sources. By and large I did not reBlog slashdot, boingboing or kottke, assuming that most people were looking at them anyway. I also avoided the major media feeds, such as NY Times, Yahoo, Wired, for the same reason.Because of the rotation system, personal guidelines such as these won't harden into rules, resulting in the "soft bigotry of voluntarism." I look forward to following the reBlog after I Ieave, and invite everyone to visit my personal blog, where posting is about to increase markedly. I'll probably reBlog a few more items today, but wanted to get this up.
[Obviously this was written with self-reBlogging in mind.]
It's a tough job, and someone's got to do it. I don't think it's something I could keep up everyday for three weeks, not these days, anyway. You did a good job and provided a good variety- I'm not just saying that because I got reblogged. Reblogging is kind of a clipping service, and someone who is doing consistent and critical clipping (especially clipping what interests me) is an important service. So now, hopefully you're back to the level of personal blogging as before.
i thought it was a good call to not reblog the news publications and link-only items. and re: it's an art, somewhere in between curating and editing, it's like a dj of information. a blog jockey. :-)
Good point--there is a "time factor"or "flow factor" to reBlogging that makes it more like dj-ing than editing or curating. The reBlogger can bunch or unbunch content, much as a dj might play a run of similar songs or spread the theme out over the length of a "set." But where's our rock star status?
Just to toot my own and others's horns, I wrote back in 2001 about how some webloggers do act like dj's in collecting and mixing content from various weblogs and spin out something new or, more likely, something enhanced. In particular I was thinking of Berkeley colleague Lloyd Nebres who has run summer classes at the university for high school students for many years, and for the last four years on of the main tools his student's have used are their own weblogs. Lloyd has done something he call's "listlogging" which is very similar to reBlogging.
Great set of points, but the only one I take issue with concerns the advice not to reblog from other major news sources. Much of the mainstream media report on important stories yet don't give them the full attention they deserve. Blogs can take these pieces and amplify them. Blogs also give people (especially Americans) easier access to stories published internationally, that may not receive a high profile otherwise.
This conversation has branched somewhat and continues in the comments of kottke.org (how is reblogging different from plain old blogging?) and a later post on my page (what is reBlogging going to do to google ranking, searches, etc?).