State of Innovation in the Blogosphere
I have read the post on "Bubblegeneration – Evil Corporations Only" that discusses some of the strategic moves technorati and bloglines have taken recently. The post discusses the consequences of these moves towards the future of these companies in the evolving ecosystem surrounding the the enabling RSS/Blogging concept. I have to admit that I am not very fluent with the history of the blogsphere but still I wanted to make a newcomer's comment.
I think it is too early to predict what kind of influence specific moves of early movers will have on their specific future as well as on the part blogging will take in our future life (Both as businesses and consumers). The simple reason is the new applications and new profound concepts that are invented and tested every day nowadays in the blogging world, ideas that can change dramatically the way the future surrounding markets will look like (As it happens in the emergence stage of new markets that are based on new enabling technological concepts). Few examples are tags, conversations, information relevancy, corporate blogs, new journalism and more.
If we examine the tags concept for example then it is really the first time web publishers can easily "highlight" important concepts in their content in a machine readable format. Aggregation and processing of this new type of meta data can lead to many different applications when imagining a futuristic scenario where the majority of the public web content is tagged (It is in a way some kind of a decentralized public taxonomy). We can see what a very basic concept of processing web link ranking has done to the search world. Tags, if adopted by the mainstream can create a new layer of meta data that maps public content in a new fashion – a new type of information that seems to be as a very good ground for innovation.
I think that blogging in general enables people to communicate in ways that didn't exist before and that means simply the creation of new information that didn't exist before. Although the need for businesses to capitalize on their newly built assets is very high and that is understandable in reality's point of view, still it is a totally green field opportunity and I think that it is the right time to explore and test new tools and ideas that can sometimes fall through or may not lead immediately to financial strength but still will contribute tremendously to the evolution of the industry as whole – both in terms of new applications and new business models. Although the words "new business models" are risky to pronounce nowadays, still I think that well adopted concepts that bring real value to their users find their way eventually towards a financial reward (i.e. eBay) and should not necessarily be based on the known way of building a userbase and selling ads. Enforcing this conventional business model (That is the basis for many many successful and respectable businesses) at this stage will limit innovators ability to see other inherent opportunities that exist and are waiting to be explored.