February 19, 2010

How Social Networks are Disrupting Search

Yesterday I posed the question "is knowledge gained through social networks decreasing the number of web searches?"  Are people not searching for things they would have 2 years ago because of what they've learned through social networks?  The Compete data which shows Facebook is now outnumbering Google  in web referrals is making waves this week, and there have been anecdotal stories about similar data for the past several months.  But the data doesn't show whether Google is actually losing searches to Facebook, or if Facebook's traffic is additive.

There are two sets of user behaviors from which to approach this question.  The most obvious way, because it's how we've become accustomed to information retrieval on the web, is when a user asks an explicit question to their social network.  In other words, by measuring the frequency of questions posed to ones social network (Similar to the question I posed on Twitter about this very topic).

Here is some interesting data on phrases that would indicate a question:
From Tweet Volume:

TweetVolume : Home
Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!


From Trendistic:

Embed Trendistic chart in your site - Trendistic
Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!


Clearly, people have become accustomed to this behavior.  There are over 253 million tweets with a "?" according to the data above.

The other way, and not as obvious, but probably more powerful, is knowledge gained serendipitously through social networks.  "If the news is important it will find me." This concept isn't new.  Here's an analysis on this very question from 2002.  But now that people are using social networking in critical mass, I think it's safe to say this knowledge transfer is reducing the need for search.  By one count, there are over 500K unique urls shared per day on Twitter alone.  That's 182.5 Million per year.

This change in user behavior is critical for all types of organizations.  This is a real trend. and probably why there is a huge influx of "social media experts."  Google has been trying for years to enter into social networks and struggling to gain meaningful traction (Buzz, Wave, Orkut, Jaiku, Dodgeball ... I'd argue Reader a minor success, but Twitter is disrupting Reader).  Google is doing a decent job of integrating your social graph into web results, and has done a nice job with real time data, but this doesn't solve their issue with serendipitous knowledge.    

This trend will be gradual.  It doesn't by any stretch mean the demise of Google, but I do think the hyper-growth in search revenue will slow.  It also poses an interesting question for online advertising.  I've argued for years that advertising needs to become socially relevant (I give kudos to LinkedIn and Oodle for models that are starting to tackle this).  There are others who argue online advertising is a bubble, and Google will pay for it.  Regardless, organizations need to start reinventing the way they conduct business and make "social" engrained into all parts of their organizations, people, data, products, and not just through "media."  This new transparency will change how we think about "brands" and be more about "reputation."   After all...."There are no secrets.  The networked market knows more than companies do about their own products.  And whether the news is good or bad, the tell everyone." 


Update:  Sebastien Provencher just wrote similar blog post with recent research by MIT and Microsoft on querying your social network.  Will digest and perhaps expand in a new post.

July 14, 2009

Wkinomics: 3 Years Later

I finally got a round to reading Wikinomics. It was a best seller for months and widely discussed, and I thought it would be a valuable read. But the book offered little in the way of new ideas, and many of the themes discussed throughout seemed to be rehashed blog posts and books I read months or years before the book was published. Themes of The World is Flat abound, but why not read the original. Emergence is also discussed, ditto. Although published after Wikinomics, Clay Shirky's excellent Here Comes Everybody carries many of the same themes as Wikinomics, but does it better and more succinctly.

In a way the book doesn't have time on its side. Published originally in 2006, many of its themes were still emerging (and still are). I found the supporting evidence shaky, like the use of business ideas that didn't prove out, and have since failed. I even found some inaccuracies like the insinuation that it wasn't possible to play songs on an iPod that were purchased outside of iTunes as an example of DRM (any store selling the mp3 format would work). Given that I read the 2008 reissue, I though some of these issues could have been remedied.

I normally wouldn't critique a book about something like this but as a reader I felt overwhelmed with superlatives ("dramatically," "very") and made up buzzwords. The authors nearly recognize it themselves by calling out the hyperbole on page 12. According to Google Book Search there are 11 instances of "we call" followed by some made up word or phrase. "We call it" ....
  • "wiki workplace"
  • "precompetitive knowledge commons"
  • "platforms for participation"
  • "ideagoras"
  • "emergent or serendipitous innovation"
  • "collaboration economy"
  • "developer ecosystems"
  • "wiki workplace"
  • "designing for prosumption"
  • "wikinomics"
I hate sounding so down on a book that discusses many of the themes I strongly support. I think highly of the co-author Don Tapscott. I saw him speak in support of the book but got more out of his presentation than the book itself (the story of Goldcorp is illuminating). And there are bright spots, especially for those outside the web industry. Some of my most favorite parts of the book were those that focused on how collaborative models are changing offline businesses, and there were some parts of the book that made me think of new approaches to opportunities at work. There are great stories about Legos, P&G and Boeing in describing how they are using distributed workforces and are opening up their businesses.

I think the book's success can be partly attributed to great timing and marketing: "Wiki-" a book that came out as Wikipedia was picking up steam, and "-nomics," to answer a question on many non-techies' minds, "why?" In a way I felt fooled, because there was little to no discussion around the economics of wikis, or how collaboration was was impacting economies at the micro or macro scale. I have The Wealth of Networks sitting on my bookshelf, and I think it will do a much better job of answering these types of questions.

There are other books that excel in describing the phenomenon of Web 2.0, networked media, collaborative workforces, or whatever you want to call it. Here Comes Everybody is the best IMO, including the non-web stuff. And if you want a book that gets to the heart of the web, Cluetrain is where to start. I just started reading the 10th anniversary edition (amazing after picking it up 10 years later how much the book described the framework of how the web works at its peak, and yet how far there is to go) More on that in a future post. ;-)

September 14, 2007

Google Aims at More Transparency with Election Site ... Sunlight Foundation Tie would Make Even More Compelling

Google launched a new site to follow the 2007 Australian Federal Election, reports TechCrunch. It allows users to track news for specific members of the house of representatives as well as an easy search of the parliamentary record to track what officials have said and where they stand. There is also a nice mash up of You Tube.

I can't imagine this is far from coming the the States. At least I hope so. I, and surely others, are tired of navigating through the maze of horse race politics, and campaign rhetoric to find who the best candidates are. I don't have time to closely follow politics, but I would use a site that put the information I want right at my fingertips.

What would be even more compelling is for Google to open this site up so the likes of the Sunlight Foundation who could incorporate some of the public policy projects they've developed to bring more transparency and accountability to government.

Take Visualizing Earmarks, which graphs how money is earmarked for States and organizations.

Or Louis, whose goal it is to is "to create a comprehensive, completely indexed and cross-referenced depository of federal documents from the executive and legislative branches of government."

Or OpenHouse, a project aimed at "easy ways to begin the process of more effectively using technology to further transparency."

Or OpenCongress, which tracks the background behind each bill.

Check out Sunlight for other great projects.

Obviously, Google and Sunlight could create a powerful way for citizens to easily get smart on candidates to make better informed decisions.

September 12, 2007

Doc Searls has a new blog covering his efforts in VRM ... check it out.

July 20, 2007

Laurence Hooper, a very talented director of products who was at AOL, is blogging. As customary for bloggers, he takes a stab a defining Web 2.0. He nails it:
If [the] primary value to a user depends on the participation of other users, it's Web 2.0.
That's the most succinct definition of web 2.0 I've seen.

July 15, 2007

Really Stopping Global Warming

To me, there is no other issue as important as global warming. While terrorism, education and healthcare loom, nothing is as important to humankind's survival as reducing greenhouse emissions. The Washington Post is issuing a series covering the subject, and is by far the most informative and actionable piece I've seen on the subject. This issue will require a global effort and leadership by the United States on a scale greater than has every been accomplished.

Today's articles are fantastic and includes tangible steps on what it will take to halt global warming. There is also a nice overview of the pieces of legislation under consideration that would require reductions in greenhouse commission. And of course there is a financial cost to all of this, which is all worth it. Track the series here, along with some nice interactive maps further articulating what it will take.

June 18, 2007

Checking in

Since I obviously haven't kept my word at staying at this regularly, I started a Tumblelog here. I still plan on getting this blog going again, so swing by now and then.

April 10, 2007

WebSense Blog Relaunching as "neXtknode"

It's been far too long since I've posted on this blog. I took a deliberate break over a year and a half ago because of a number of amazing things happening in my personal life and a lack of clarity on what I wanted to blog about. I suppose I didn't find it worth it to figure it out.

But I started getting the itch again. One of the primary reasons I started blogging was to challenge the conventional wisdom at the time around advertising, marketing, media and business, and to contribute to the growing dialogue about the shift from traditional media to distributed media. It would be too simple to call this Web 1.0 vs. Web 2.0. It goes beyond what Web 2.0 stands for today. Regardless, the shift started happening in a meaningful way.

That brings us to today. Web 2.0 wasn't even a phrase when I started blogging in 2001. Today its thrown around widely and has many meanings. Whereas my WebSense blog stood for what made common sense on the Web, neXtknode will stand for much of what is next on the web. Some topics I want to cover:
  • Transparency
  • Distributed Media
  • Attention
  • New advertising models (like VRM)
  • Journalism
  • Politics and distributed citizens
  • Social Search
  • Distributed Social Networking
  • Collaborative technologies
  • Web Services
And in case you were wondering, neXtknode = what's next + Knowles + node. The domain will remain websense.blogspot.com (only because Blogger doesn't let you change domains for blogspot plus domains - a big pain - or transfer posts to a new blog).

BTW, this is a "soft" launch. Expect many more cosmetic changes and tweaks over the next few weeks including an update to my blogroll. My goal is to blog a couple times a week, although if I can get in a few quick link posts, you can expect them more often. I'm also going to be getting rid of comments until I can figure out how to ditch all of the comment spam I've received over the past year and a half.

August 09, 2005

comScore Study Dissects Blogosphere, Finds Ad Audience · MarketingVOX

One of the things missing here is an influence measure. Prediction: ComScore buys Inteliseek by end of year (perhaps Technorati, but that doesn't seem as synergistic). comScore Study Dissects Blogosphere, Finds Ad Audience · MarketingVOX

Update: Rick Bruner had a big hand in this (wait, I thought Rick worked for DoubleClick???) and has a deep background on the study (looks like some form of influence was included).

August 02, 2005

November 7th, 1988 -- worst computer virus outbreak in history


Jason Kottke points to this hysterical posting on Flickr about the "World's Largest Computer Virus" in the USAToday. From 1988.

November 7th, 1988 -- worst computer virus outbreak in history
November 7th, 1988 -- worst computer virus outbreak in history,
originally uploaded by dunstanorchard.

July 01, 2005

Swanson's Unwritten Rules of Management

Business 2.o recently gave a snapshot of Raytheon CEO Bill Swanson's Unwritten Rules of Management. Gadgetguy.de has a more complete list, but without the explanations Swanson provides in the article.

You can order a free copy via snailmail from what appears to be Raytheon's website. I placed an order.

June 23, 2005

There go my Odeo

Noah Glass and Evan Williams (co-founder of Blogger) new project Odeo has launched in Beta. I haven't played around with it yet, but initially it looks like some good stuff. A new tool to discover podcasts through tagging (and not sure if also collaborative filtering).

April 19, 2005

Searching for an article I read a while ago referencing Ogilvy's "I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information" quote. It all relates back to conversations and the ideal that can be achieved through online "marketing." Also, now remembering Howard Gossage as I find this ClickZ article by Jeremy Lockhorn, "The First Interactive Ad Man."
Follow-up article here
Another here
Final Here.





April 18, 2005

Burried in John Battelle's weekly recap is this gem: CraigsList/GoogleMaps mashup.

March 24, 2005

Binded Clarity and Hyperlinked Noise

Steven Johnson has a thought provoking post on how he approaches writing books versus how he approaches blogging (hat tip: Kottke):
What's great [with blogging] is the remixing, the group mind, the hypertextuality, the fact-checks, the trial balloons. it's an amazing environment, but to me it's directly antagonistic to the mental state you need to make a book work as a reading experience, and not just a collection of facts and ideas. It's like trying to compose a new melody in your head while standing in the middle of a full-throated choral group. And so when I'm immersed in writing a book, I try to keep these worlds separate, even if it feels like I'm betraying the blog somewhat with my silence.

March 22, 2005

Lazy Email Users Beware

These large storage free email accounts are making me increasingly lazy. What happens when I hit 99%? Delete all my emails? hmmmmm




February 17, 2005

more for me, but the communications school from back at Ithaca College has started a blog to interact with the outside world. They're also creating a digital media cirriculum for Fall 2006. Great to see!

February 15, 2005

History of the Future

.... was the name of a blow-off class that turned somewhat interesting when I was a senior in college. Anyways ....

A friend of mine passed along this insightful flash movie which looks at history from the year 2014, where a new mega company, Epic, is created out of the consolidation of Amazon and Google and content distribution is taken to the max from the perspective of a socially networked, personalized, dis- and re- aggregated world with a twist of Orwellian madness.
The news wars of 2010 are unique in that no major news organization is involved.
One of the creators of the piece, Robin Sloan, has a few alternative on the alternative social networking blogs outside the circle of regulars: Large is the New Medium, Snarkmarket, The Chaser (a poynter blog which she contributes to). Mathew Thompson, the other creator, has a website here too.

:UPDATE: trascript of the source of it's inspiration (key note address by Martin Nisenholz). Also, good summary and critique in iMedia Connection. Sounds like this has been getting buzz ... maybe I missed it, or the majors are ignoring it (??).

February 04, 2005

Pigskin bloggers, for all your Super Bowl blogging needs.

February 01, 2005

Kelsey Group launches a blog to cover local media with all of their analysts as contributors.

Semantic World of Tags

Since the introduction of Tags by Technorati, there has been much buzz about this new application and the step it takes towards the Semantic Web.

Tags are simply a bottom up way of categorizing websites via keywords. Whereas "Meta Tags," which are a common way for a webmaster to designate keywords to a website, are a top down approach, Tags in the social sense are bottom up and are created by all people. Del.icio.us, Flickr and others enable visitors and webmasters alike to designate and organize tags. For example, I might add "tags," "Semantic_Web," and "Meta" to this entry which would enable others who have labeled other websites with the same tags to see this entry.

While my description above doesn't do much justice to this phenomenon, Shelly Powers (via Strange Attractor) does an incredibly visual and illustrative job of describing tags. Jeremy Wagstaff has a good list of sites that use Tags as well as a good article in the Wall Street Journal.

January 28, 2005

It's Less Than 5%

which is part of what Doc Searls argues in comments on a post by copywriting extraordinare Bob Bly on what he feels is the ineffectiveness of the Cluetrain. Interesting to see what the DM'ers are saying now that they have discovered Cluetrain and blogging. Welcome to the blogosphere, Bob.

January 20, 2005

The End of Objectivity

Dan Gilmor posts a working document stating that the need for objectivity in jounrnalsim is antiquated. He makes the case for four tenets to ensure the quality and ethical standards journalism:

Thoroughness
Accuracy
Fairness
Transparency

January 11, 2005

Malcom and James Riffing

Jason Kottke points to a Slate feature this week that has The Wisdom of Crowds' James Surowiecki and Tipping Point and Blink's Malcom Gladwell riffing on their two newest books. There's a new segment everday this week.

January 10, 2005

History of Blog Marketing

This one came through my referrers and is from Google Answers. A writer wants to know the history of blogging from "everyday" bloggers and the answerer stumbled upon this humble site and links to the 2002 post of mine discussing the value of blogs and "marketing."
I think blogging and other forms of C2C communications (...) are the
future of "marketing." (...) And going back to that stat where only
10% of people trust internet advertising, I think customers are
looking for some kind of communication that is lower in the bullshit
and higher in real value. As marketers we need to facilitate this
marketing and ensure its integrity and honesty is upheld above
anything else (including -- and don't jump -- negative commentary).
C2C ... that kind of cracks me up (consumer-to-consumer) ... but hey, you get the point.

January 07, 2005

Kevin Spacey is playing Lex Luther in the upcoming Superman remake ... now that's pretty cool.

January 05, 2005

Long Tail Marketing

Expect this phrase to pop up quite a bit in 2005. Joshua Wood has created a blog dedicated to the subject. In his 2nd post he examines Google Adwords as an example of Long Tail Marketing. But in my comments to him I say this doesn't go far enough:
Have you checked out John Battalle's "Sell Side Advertising?" It takes Adsense and Adwords to the next level. I think marketing in the long tail will involve a more customizeable approach than what Google currently affords. As a publisher in the new world of disaggregated advertising, one has no control over which ads appear on their sites. Because those of us in the long tail are more engaged with our readers, Sell Side advertising enables us to have a say in what ads are displayed. Which I think is better than an algorithm.

December 23, 2004

Merry Christmas!

December 21, 2004

2005 Crystal Ball

I usually don't like to do predictions because, as an optimist, they end up being just a wish list. But finally some things on my wish list might come true .... so without further a due ... Scott Knowles' 2005 Predictions:
  1. First and foremost, 2005 will be known as the year of the long tail. The efficiency found in the 80/20 rule will no longer be necessary and old, traditional industries will struggle to adopt. As Chris Anderson puts it, 99% of the market can act efficiently as a marketplace because scarcity doesn’t exist in the digital realm. This applies to everything from music distribution to Aunt Nelly’s frilly fabrics to how we manage the radio spectrum. The long tail embodies the the concept of micro markets. Peers reaching peers. No control of the masses, but by the masses. Chris has more in Wired and on his new blog supporting a book he is writing on the subject:

    To get a sense of our true taste, unfiltered by the economics of scarcity, look at Rhapsody, a subscription-based streaming music service (owned by RealNetworks) that currently offers more than 735,000 tracks.

    Chart Rhapsody's monthly statistics and you get a "power law" demand curve that looks much like any record store's, with huge appeal for the top tracks, tailing off quickly for less popular ones. But a really interesting thing happens once you dig below the top 40,000 tracks, which is about the amount of the fluid inventory (the albums carried that will eventually be sold) of the average real-world record store. Here, the Wal-Marts of the world go to zero - either they don't carry any more CDs, or the few potential local takers for such fringy fare never find it or never even enter the store.

    The Rhapsody demand, however, keeps going. Not only is every one of Rhapsody's top 100,000 tracks streamed at least once each month, the same is true for its top 200,000, top 300,000, and top 400,000. As fast as Rhapsody adds tracks to its library, those songs find an audience, even if it's just a few people a month, somewhere in the country.

    This is the Long Tail.

  2. Bloggers will become woven into newspaper content: A major print newspaper will fully integrate reader generated blogs into its content either via the offering of branded blogs or integrating outside blogs by correlating content between the two sites. As a side note, when my employment was a little less certain a few years ago, I was tooling around some business plan ideas that would involve this. I had visions of pitching Washington Post execs this concept and them wondering even what a blog was at the time. Now it’s obvious. Lemonde was the first to do something similar.
  3. Google will introduce a sell-side advertising model via web services.
  4. Only a few social networking sites will exist as a destination, and social networking will shift to be primarily a tool that’s layered across myriad aspects of the web. Foafnet will be the killer app of 2005. Meanwhile big media players keep buying up social networking sites but miss the importance of Foaf.
  5. Web Services will enable the customized aggregation to be integrated into search (think i-local meets Technorati.).
  6. Local Search becomes easy for local businesses through bid management companies like Local Launch and Reach Local and the hockey stick gets started.
  7. The music longtail becomes more enriched through Podcasting, which spreads beyond tech talk and sees the return of the DJ (or shall I say podjay). Traditional media tinkers with distributing content via podcasting but doesn't integrate user created podcasts into its own content (save that for 2006 or 2007).
  8. Out of fear of losing its power, the FCC settles with Fox over its indecent indecency fine and the Courts do not get to limit the self proscribed power of of the FCC.
  9. iPod allows a lossless music compression format (a la Flac).
  10. Tivo and other DVRs accept RSS video feeds.
  11. I drink too much egg nog on New Years Eve.

December 14, 2004

History of Spin

Lisa Stone traces the origins of spin and the history of how journalists have dealt with it. A long, but good read. The bottom gets really good ... and by the end it becomes apparent that bloggers are changing the fabric of journalism and media and, I think, 2004 will be the year that history looks back and identifies this shift.

December 08, 2004

Cool Origins, Dude

Scientific Linguist Scott Kiesling is publishing a scholarly paper on the origins of "dude."
Historically, dude originally meant "old rags" - a "dudesman" was a scarecrow. In the late 1800s, a "dude" was akin to a "dandy," a meticulously dressed man, especially out West. It became "cool" in the 1930s and 1940s, according to Kiesling. Dude began its rise in the teenage lexicon with the 1981 movie "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."


Thanks to PhysOrg.com for the pointer.


December 07, 2004

Fox Brief Filed

ahh ... I love a good fight in the courts against censorship .... Fox is the latest challenging the FCC's authority over fining "indecent' broadcasts. Jeff Jarvis summarizes extremely well (too long to quote... so just read it). If Fox indeed wins, this would be a great first step in taking away the power FCC exerts in governing the airwaves and is trying to exert in other media.
mean to link to this earlier .... the value of the long tail.

December 06, 2004

The Aggregation of Disaggregation

Blogads weblog: "Isn't disaggregation -- not just of content but of bodies -- the trend?" (Henry Copeland's response to Mark Glaser's new news media wish list).

Which makes me think about the concept of the aggregation of disaggregation. Think Foafnet, Technorati and Local-i.

QuackTrack

.... claims to have the world's largest blog index. Technorati probably still holds that title (as David Weinberger points out). But QuackTrack must have the largest structured blog index. Neat site .. check it out. I would be curious to know how they rank the blogs.....

December 01, 2004

A La Blog

Lots of good stuff out there today and no time to comment on all of them so I will just link:

Jeff Jarvis challenges broadcasters to fight against the FCC and states they are finally about to do so. In the same breath Jeff points to the brodcasters (CBS and NBC) who are refusing to air a commerical from the United Chuch of Christ because it's "too controversial" (and we're not talking abortion).

Mark Glasser on how the news media is dead to the wind and what he's looking for in Journalism 2.0.

Doc Searls on Chris Locke's new venture.

And Doc Searls tons of linky love on blog tails.

Jason Kottke is asked by Sony lawyers to take down audio clip of Ken Jennings' loss and its description.

Making the Perfect Marketer
- Strategy + Business.

November 30, 2004

This piece by Halley Suitt on the Alpha Female Blogger has something to do with my last post. Still formalizing what that it is. But read it any ways. It will make you understand bloggers (and writers). And will probably make you laugh.
I won?t tease you. I?ll give it to you straight. Blogs are artful. The best ones play with language, play with style, reference prior art and artfulness. They can reach down deep, make us laugh or cry, be a call to action. I thinHenry James is also famous for calling the novel a “loose, baggy monster.” I?ve always
liked that description. As they incorporate all types of writing within their ungainly
bodies, weblogs certainly commit the sins of loose, baggy monsterhood. As in James?
homage to the novel, I want to bow down to blogs and give them their due. They are
art. They are up to something. They are getting away with murder, entertaining us,
amusing us, making us act. They are not going away. They are here to stay. Get used to it.

They are also political — in the broadest sense, by sharing divergent voices across a
worldwide population — as well as in the literal sense, of often taking politics as their
subject and getting people fired up about new beliefs and calling them to immediate
action.k they are artful and artistic and radical as any new art form. They should be entertaining.



November 29, 2004

Why I Write - George Orwell

The Literature Network posts an essay by George Orwell in which he gives a look into why he and others write. There is an element of truth to this for bloggers as well:
Putting aside the need to earn a living, I think there are four great motives for writing, at any rate for writing prose. They exist in different degrees in every writer, and in any one writer the proportions will vary from time to time, according to the atmosphere in which he is living. They are:

1. Sheer egoism.
Desire to seem clever, to be talked about, to be remembered after death, to get your own back on the grown-ups who snubbed you in childhood, etc., etc. It is humbug to pretend this is not a motive, and a strong one. Writers share this characteristic with scientists, artists, politicians, lawyers, soldiers, successful businessmen ? in short, with the whole top crust of humanity. The great mass of human beings are not acutely selfish. After the age of about thirty they almost abandon the sense of being individuals at all ? and live chiefly for others, or are simply smothered under drudgery. But there is also the minority of gifted, willful people who are determined to live their own lives to the end, and writers belong in this class. Serious writers, I should say, are on the whole more vain and self-centered than journalists, though less interested in money.

2. Aesthetic enthusiasm.
Perception of beauty in the external world, or, on the other hand, in words and their right arrangement. Pleasure in the impact of one sound on another, in the firmness of good prose or the rhythm of a good story. Desire to share an experience which one feels is valuable and ought not to be missed. The aesthetic motive is very feeble in a lot of writers, but even a pamphleteer or writer of textbooks will have pet words and phrases which appeal to him for non-utilitarian reasons; or he may feel strongly about typography, width of margins, etc. Above the level of a railway guide, no book is quite free from aesthetic considerations.

3. Historical impulse.
Desire to see things as they are, to find out true facts and store them up for the use of posterity.

4. Political purpose.
? Using the word 'political' in the widest possible sense. Desire to push the world in a certain direction, to alter other peoples' idea of the kind of society that they should strive after. Once again, no book is genuinely free from political bias. The opinion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude.

November 22, 2004

Real War Bloggers

Kevin Sites, who was responsible for video taping a marine firing on an unarmed Iraqi insurgent, tells the full story on his blog. He's been covering the trenches of war as a journalist for 5 years. This is my first time stumbling upon his blog, and the rest of it is just as gripping.