Mon Aug 19, 2002

Internet Signal-to-Noise

A recent item by Ray Ozzie, mentioned on Brad DeLong’s, weblog argues that whereas

conventional discussion groups produce either an appallingly low signal-to-noise ratio or rapid moderator burnout for largely similar reasons: flamers, spammers, et cetera have every incentive to post irrelevant information. Groups of weblogs, in Ozzie’s opinion, solve this problem by a means similar to Google: if a flamer publishes a rant on his own weblog and nobody links to it, does it burn anything?

This argument goes double for the TrackBack feature implemented in Movable Type, the software that powers this and many other weblogs. TrackBack is better than comments in weblogs for the same reasons groups of weblogs are better than discussion groups.