Nico Macdonald writes:
[A] challenge presented by the proliferation of writing is how we readers and writers might document, manage and use this profusion of information. It is certainly a step forward that Weblog posts have permanent links. But there are so many Weblogs and so many posts that they are impossible to contextualise, at least in their current format of endless scrolling lists. The development of RSS readers at least allows readers to review Weblogs and posts using hierarchical structures, get an overview of unread posts, and hide those that have been read.
We also need to find ways to categorise posts to bring the kind of structure that Yahoo! brought to information on the Web and the seeds of this concept can be seen in Moveable Type, NewsMonster and other tools. We also need to find ways of assigning priority to posts based on who wrote them (an approach often referred to as reputation management) and where they were posted.
At a presentational level we need to find ways to visualise the blogosphere (and not just the blogosphere). We need to be able to use our chosen parameters and employ the visual axes of typography, size, colour, and spatial relationship to help exploit our underemployed visual powers to aid our understanding.
If online publishers, and particularly newspaper and current affairs publishers, syndicated the meta information on every article they published (title, author, date, introduction, and so on), readers could more easily find, review and organise those that were of interest to them. As writers they might choose to post a Weblog commenting on particular articles.
If publishers then used the track back model to list an appropriately edited selection of these comments, in the context of each article, readers could follow the developing discussion and commentary. Tied to reputation management and good presentational tools, this would be likely to facilitate a greater awareness of new ideas and a more engaged (and possibly more informative) debate about them. And for the beleaguered publishing industry it would create greater engagement with its current readers, and may open up new audiences as well.