So here I am at the hyperlinked society conference put on by the University of Pennsylvania. I’m mostly riding my wife’s coattails, as she is a Humanities Computing (nigh) PhD, and I am a mere Biology undergraduate.
However, I’m interested in implementing a bidirectional hyperlink system using a distributed hash table. So it is interesting to me to see what the august speakers at this conference have to say on the subject.
So far, my impression is that everyone is fully enmeshed in unidirectional links. It should be interesting to see what “Web 2.0 links” is going to be about. They’re definitely talking about the social implications of links, and that will be very helpful.
Many of the speakers are old media folks that have embraced new media, and people that have spent a lot of time thinking about marketing on the internet- only a few are coming from scientist backgrounds or non-journalism industry; Jimmy Wales seems to be the only “pure play” fellow on the panels.
Here goes Tony Gentile, talking from the perspective of Healthline. He’s talking about the importance of purchasing good links from google etc, optimizing pages for search engines to get free links, and contractural linking requirements.
So the next Tom is a marketing fellow who is “trying to help clients get more ‘linked in’ so to speak” but he’s also a net-citizen. He thinks google is a turning point.
Complains about link-spam, argues that search engines made it happen by making links valuable w/r/t PageRank. IMO this is just a side effect of unidirectional linkage & lack of attribution (don’t know who posts “really”).
Spamblogs are eroding value of links.
Now Eric Pichard, a guy who works for Microsoft’s ad-farm. He talks about how for the “very first time” there are ads in games. This comes as a surprise to me, as I was sold .
Microsoft is an “ecosystem company” according to him … he says they “support the ecosystems” they work in. I would call them good gardeners of their walled gardens, esp. the OS does. Claims web properties support the ecosystem and the MSFT search engine does too.
Moderator is back, suggesting that mass-media is coming apart, that people aren’t masses. Mass media connected us “up” to bigger groups – cov’t, producers, etc. Disruption of internet is connecting us across.
Weblogs lets him write without editing.
First questioner spends most of his time making declarative statements. There’s a discussion of how one can’t get a linkback through talking.
The MSFT guy says people blog for three reasons: Family, Fame, and Fortune. I think that is a bit misleading, as my primary interest is in collaboration and… I dunno, informing? Teh Internets of things I’ve learned. I guess that can be folded into fame but it seems to oversimplify.
I asked how one disambiguates the value between advertising links and spam links. A good reply from the Medlink fellow is that you can differentiate between your contribution and others. The moderator says he gets to skip it.
Dave Weinberger says the web architecture is links. Talks about social vs. commercial value of links. Says he’s set up a channel. Not sure where he’s going- there might be a question here somewhere.
Joshua Greenberg finally brings up the point of increasing the semantic value of links and cogently explains the dilemma of the binary unideractional link. The Medline guy agrees. MSFT fellow says “we’re working on it” says MS Spaces helps “Family” type bloggers. He talks about how MS Spaces supports livejournal-style visibility constraints.
That’s the end of my blogging for the first talk; will start a new post with the next.