May 09, 2007

Blogging and Data Redundancy

Blogging is a fad thats caught up with many around the world. Originally called as "web log", blogs are intended to provide news and articles on subjects like politics, local attractions, political happenings, personal jottings, and so on. Images and text together with hyperlinks to other blogs and web pages are some common artifacts that a typical blog is composed of.

That was for someone who was wondering what this article's central object of interest is all about. The growing usage of blogs and bloggers has resulted in the creation of multiple types of blogs. This has been due to the fact that every individual's "need" or "intent" of creating a blog has been different. But one thing remains constant - Every Blog Contains Data or Information. This has triggered a lot of questions in the minds of people. Here is something that I read in an article on wikiHow -

"Any blog you create will most likely be on par with what you've been reading. Don't put anyone through that"
- a part of the article titled "How to Dissuade Yourself from Becoming a Blogger

Well, I personally feel that this is not true. Many blogs do have a lot of redundant information. Going back to the Wikipedia definitions -

"Information is the result of processing, manipulating and organizing data in a way that adds to the knowledge of the receiver. In other words, it is the context in which data is taken"

Information is something that can act as data in many cases. This is precisely what happens when you find redundant information in a blog. I'm sure you can see a lot of redundant data in this blog too. The world is getting more information-centric and in the process, blog is acting as one such forum that helps in aggregating information based on the context.

Let me quote an example to help you understand the above better. Consider the sites like The Hindu and The New York Times. There is so much of news and articles in both of these news publications that get printed/ posted online daily at two geographically different places earth. It becomes extremely difficult for a person to read all the articles - of his taste - in both these news dailies. So, in a Web 1.0 world, one ends up searching for articles using the blessed search engine - Google.

This is where blogs, that came to being with the birth of Web 2.0, have played an important role. One blog can potentially have a lot of redundant information and links to information that are found elsewhere on the internet (on blogs, web pages, wikis, etc). Taking our above example, if my blog captured information on - say, Food - from both The Hindu and The New York Times, one would get the pleasure of getting all the information related to food from my blog, which could potentially act as a gateway to all related information too!

Net-Net, its all about Information and Content. Data redundancy needs to be reduced - possibly avoided - but NOT at the cost of Information access. Blog is one concept that helps to enhance information access - As long as you have a good reason to blog, please do!

What say you?

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