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August 24, 2006

Transperency vs. Disclosure in the Blogosphere

Seth Goldstein, who used to work with Fred Wilson, was on the Trust Gang podcast that I discussed yesterday, and he mentioned Fred's A VC blog as the ultimate example of transperency in the blogosphere because he lays it all out there for everyone to see, his music, family info, what he's commenting on, what he's searching, his Feedburner ads, etc. Besides sharing similar tastes in great music (I've probably gotten more leads on great new music from Fred over the last year or so than I have from any other single source) I think that it's his openness, honesty, and breadth of subject areas that have made me a faithful reader.

I mention Seth's point because the transperency/disclosure discussion drives at the core of an idea I've been struggling to formalize. I have been prematurely calling the idea the "ah-hah" moments of discovering new knowledge compliments of the internet making connections between seemingly disparate information. If we have true transperency on the internet, to a point where we can track our thoughts, click-streams (see Gillmor and Seth for more info on how they're trying to monetize on this premise), and comments, I think we can formalize the process of acquiring new knowledge, which results from making the connections between those previously disparate ideas of piece of information.

It's making these connections, creating new knowledge by combining what we know already with new building blocks, that is what makes me so excited about the internet and the future of blogging and social media. This is what keeps me energized about the internet and it's a truly defining characteristic of the internet that makes it unique among the more traditional top-down, content-push-only models of mass media like TV or radio.

Lastly, the Engadget guys draw some similarities between the recent TiVo/EchoStar court case with the Research in Motion/NTD (the great Blackberry scare earlier in the year) court case on the 8/22 podcast. What's their conclusion? The patent system needs to be overhauled.

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