David Sifry - What is a blog?

June 18, 2007
Help us caption and translate this video on Amara.org: http://www.amara.org/en/v/B0Ts/ Dave Sifry is the CEO of Technorati, the major search engine for blog-based content. I have had the pleasure of spending a whole day with Dave, driving with my motorino around the secret beauty spots of Rome while chatting and discussing about all of our passions. Dave Sifry, greatly enjoys taking photographs and so I drove him to some unique places where few tourists can arrive with their own legs. Here, just in front of the Colosseum, I captured Dave's thoughts about blogs and about their relevance in today's media panorama. His thoughts and vision are a must-listen to, as from his Technorati dash board he really he is on of the few having the true pulse of state of the blogosphere. The clips was shot in Rome on February 2nd 2006. - "A good way of thinking about a blog is that it's a person's attention expressed over time on the internet. So, it's a person writing a daily journal that is their thoughts, what they're doing, what they're thinking, who they care about, things that they want to talk about: products they like, companies they hate, teams that they love, people that they love...sharing is what it's all about. Think of blog like a public e-mail to the world, because infact the tools are very similar. You could write something in a blog editor which looks just like writing an e-mail, the only difference is that instead of hitting send and your e-mail just goes out to that one friend of yours or just that group of people that you're writing to, it gets published on the web and it's available for anyone to see and to subscribe to so that people can now all of a sudden begin a relationship with you so that as you write things, they can actually be informed when you write. I'm not sure about competitive, although certainly there are areas where bloggers are attempting to compete with mainstream media. I personally look at it as a more symbiotic relationship. What's happening is that the media is becoming even more democratized. The amount of money that it takes for a person to be able to become a publisher and be able to continue to do it on the internet has now essentially become zero. And so the only thing that's become difficult now is: are you a brilliant writer, do you have interesting ideas, are you using other types of medias as well, like videoblogs and podcasts of audio programs that you can create. So, in effect, where we used to have freedom of the press as long as you were able to afford one; now, anyone can afford one and that means that literally millions of people around the world are able to get their thoughts out and express it. And it doesn't necessarily mean that they have to be out there trying to change the world or compete with mainstream media. In some cases, it's simply just getting your passions out and finding people of like mind and having that ability to communicate with literally millions of other people over the internet in such an inexpensive way. It's fundamentally democratic and it's also quite revolutionary. So what that means is it used to be that when we watched something on television or read something in the newspaper the only recourse we had would be to yell at our television set, 'Argh! They're wrong!' Or, that article was all wrong and so you write a letter to the editor and if you were lucky maybe six letters a day would get published in the newspaper. And so we as human beings felt powerless. And I think that the interesting thing that blogs give us is a rebirth in civics and so, just like the Colosseum behind me, this is why it's such a wonderful place to be talking here, the place where democracy was created (here in Rome) and thrived...in Greece and in Rome, these wonderful places...that I think we're starting to see a rebirth in civics, as well, around the world where people no longer have to feel powerless that they're only yelling back at their television screen set. But now that they can sit down and they can blog about it, they can write about it and they can reach other people that feel the way that they do and that's fundamentally political and that's fundamentally powerful."
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