January 19, 2003
Spontaneous Group-Forming: A HOWTO

Over on his blog, Sam Ruby has a good paper describing the different approaches people are using to create software that enables what I call “spontaneous group-forming” — a way for individual publishing tools such as weblogs to knit together posts in such a way that the complete “cloud” of related commentary elsewhere on the Web is connected to each item published. At a more technical level, Ben Hammersley has an overview of the different technical implementations of these general concepts.

As you can see from the wide range of implementations Hammersley describes, weblogs are rapidly becoming the primordial soup of technical innovation on the Web. While industry giants like IBM, Microsoft, Sun, et. al. and standards bodies like the W3C bicker endlessly over standards for arcane (and for most of us, useless) process like Web Services Choreography (!), the weblog world is taking a more incremental approach, implementing small improvements quickly, and then keeping the improvements that work and discarding the ones that don’t. It’s a Darwinian approach to software development, and one that so far seems to be paying off.

Posted by Jason Lefkowitz at January 19, 2003
About Your Host

Ant's Eye View is edited by Jason Lefkowitz, a consultant and Web developer in Alexandria, Virginia. Got a question, comment, or concern? Let me hear it!

Obligatory Disclaimer

If you think anything I write here represents the opinions of anybody but myself, you need more help than I can give you. The opinions are all mine, folks. Nobody else's. ESPECIALLY not my employer's.

If that's too hard to understand... well, I'm sorry. There's only so much I can do. I'm not a therapist, and I'm not a miracle worker. (Unless you consider staying employed in this economy a miracle.) I wish I could help you work through your delusional belief that I'm speaking for anyone else but myself. Honestly, I do. But in the end, that's a monkey you'll have to get off your back on your own. Sorry.