I just listened to the structured blogging podcast with Marc Canter and Joe Reger. I first met Marc at the 2005 SXSW. I didn't realize at the time what a blow-hard he is (that's a compliment, Marc). Point? He blusters so much that even if he agrees with you, he induces an argumentative reaction. While occasionally inducing unpleasant internal turmoil, there's no arguing with the fact that it gets some important issues out there in the debate-o-sphere.
But here's what I notice the most about this last podcast: no Attention! What the hell guys? Such a perfect setup too. Here's my take: Think Emergence, ala Steven Johnson, but do a mental find/replace of "pheromone trails for ants" with "attention trails for people."
Structured blogging allows the scent of one's travels to be picked up by other seekers. Two things that a scent should contain: 1) My intent, what is it that I'm trying to accomplish (entertainment, education, profit, etc.) and 2) the quality of my success: (Bullseye! Near miss. Left field, etc.). If my attention trail is logged implicitly while I'm doing stuff, then I don't have to even lift a finger. Two issues with this: privacy and relevence. First, log this privately and give the option of publishing it later. Second, allow me to specify a container context (am I putting on my porn-hunting dud's, or am I riding over to the business district?), and then to optionally augment it later with specific tags that make it relevent. Part of additional context that is logged implicitly is where I've come from and where I went to from here, as well as the other people I'm watching related to this space.
So, when Alex or Josh ask what the benefit for the user is to do all the work of structured blogging, I think three things: 1) What effort? It can be mostly implicit -- okay, yeah, there is some coding to do, 2) The benefit is that I can find my own stuff later, and find related stuff now. Attention trails are very lightweight bookmarks, and they are optionally social (possibly even social but anonymous). I'm building useful context for myself, and for others, which brings me to: 3) I can sell access to the useful context that I've generated. There is monetization. Those evil money grubbing capitalists that Marc was mock-drubbing? They be me! I become the capitalist who makes money off of my own context, all thanks to...
Identity 2.0. In the prior podcast with the ID 2.0 guys, I think it was Kim who kept objecting that attention won't catch on because no one is going to make their whole attention cloud public. I almost fell out of my chair when he said this. That's the whole point of Identity 2.0! It renders obsolete the dominant meme in the culture that if something is captured and published, then someone else has it walled off in a garden somewhere with full identity info back to me -- I was surprised to hear ID2.0 gurus fall into this trap. The way I think of ID 2.0 is that I can publish something anonymously, and if you want to know more about it, query the item and say "who is your owner." The owner asks me if it's okay to reveal my identity, and I reply, "no, but you can tell him that I'm over 25, male, Texan and speaking have been in high tech for 10 years" all of which is authenticated, none of which is identifying. Or, I can tell him it's "meme_pool," and like my bevy of Ebay ids, he can look that up and see the reputation of that authenticated id, without getting any other ID info.
One more thing about the Structured Blogging podcast: at one point someone said "the intelligence of the algorithms." I'll step gently in this area for now, and have more to say later. The algorithm is the relatively easy part of intelligence. The hard part is the non-algorithmic intuitive stuff that human beings do so well. One of the major themes of the Opposable Mind meme, is that the machine becomes our complement, doing the mental heavy lifting grunt work of linear computation, freeing us up to do the design and creative intuitive bits, but in concert with one another. An example of this: why on earth should I have to give a link to the RSS feed? I should just be able to say "subscribe to http://www.opposablemind.com" and let the robots figure out what the RSS feed is, right? I mean, come on. The friggin' bots know how to read email addresses and phone numbers, surely they can figure out what an RSS link looks like.