Dating the next killer app?

· People Power

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving everyone, whether here in the U.S. or not. On this day where so many of us convene with our families and talk about or avoid talking about politics, religion, and sex, I find myself thinking about online dating.
A lot of us are scratching our heads as we see venture capitalists starting to invest again in Internet start-ups, particularly social software tools with no visible means of support. Some of these networks are set up explicitly for business and professional purposes but many are geared toward dating.
There have been online personals almost as long as there’s been a web, and there have also been the unstructured meat markets gathered around Yahoo! profiles and messenger (asl, anyone?) and other social/communication tools.
In today’s Circuits section of the Times, danah boyd is quoted, featured, and pictured in an article on Friendster, Tribe, Ryze, and all the rest. I still don’t see where the money is, but the idea is clearly gaining mindshare.
Maybe if Dean is elected, DeanLink can transform itself into a dating network as well.
RFB contributor filchyboy, it should be noted, recently floated a concept for an open source network structured around dating, blogging, FOAF, and some extended custom metadata. He calls it The Dating Syndicate! Now, how do I invest?
P.S.: This year I’m mainly thankful for my friends and family, online and off.

Are blogs a new form of virtual community?

· People Power

Dr. Anita Blanchard has published a preliminary analysis of a proposition that blogs may be a new form of virtual community, based on a studio of the Julie/Julia Project Salon blog:

This research provides an initial look into the complicated topic of blogs as virtual communities. For many readers, the Julie/Julia Project is simply an entertaining, interactive web page with humorous insights into cooking, working in New York, and the mind of its well-liked author. But for the others who accessed and participated in its more interactive feature, this blog also serves as a virtual community.

We can conclude that blogs, even very popular ones, are not inherently virtual communities despite the large number of people reading them. It is the interactive features in which the blog author and the readers interact with each other that contribute to feelings of community. It is expected that blogs that meet the interests of their readers as well as provide opportunities for the readers to interact will be regarded by their interacting members as virtual communities.

Dr. Blanchard plans to write up the final results from this project as an essay for a book entitled Into the Blogosphere: Rhetoric, Community, and Culture due out in Spring or Summer 2004.

IranFilter: English-language group weblog

· People Power

Hossein Derakhshan (better known as ‘hoder’) of Editor: Myself posted an announcement to Blogroots about a new project, iranFilter, writing:

iranFilter is a collective weblog in English, focused on news, reports and everything one can find about Iran on the Internet. Although the name can’t be more cliché, honestly, I couldn’t come up with a better and easier name which showed the type of content one expects to see in the website. It’s my latest project after Blogs x Iranians portal (with more than 300 pageviews per day), and the sister website for iranFilter, but in Persian, named Sobhaneh (meaning Breakfast in Persian, with more than 4,000 pageviews everyday). Both iranFilter and Sobhaneh are run by MetaPhilter 1.42 which is a fantastic and easy-to-use CMS, except that it’s little bit slow.

Since turning Radio Free Blogistan into a group weblog, I’ve been paying more attention to various ways of combining or aggregrating weblog contributions, such as Michael Josephson’s new WELL Members’ Blogs project, which uses Mark Pilgrim’s ultra-liberal Python feed parser to serve up latest entries from a small starter set of blogs from WELL users. (WELLbeings can drop by the blog.ind conference to submit their RSS feeds to Michael for inclusion on the page.)
I’d like to do something similar for Salon blogs and for other groupings I can think of.

Robert Scoble, human aggregrator

· People Power

Have you been Scobleized?

Tristan Cartony: “I no longer require any news aggregators because I found an all purpose one called Scoble.”

Heh, who said I’m not customizable? Want me to watch a feed for you? Let me know. Also, if you don’t see your weblog on the sidebar to the right, let me know at robertscoble@hotmail.com and I’ll subscribe!

[The Scobleizer Weblog]

I’ll have to see if Robert has RFB in his sidebar….

Ah, excellent. He does. I also tipped him off the to the new monolog feed that aggregrates all my recent MT-driven posts on one page.