Tom Coates offers a brief history of weblogging and discusses hyrbidised feeds.
Our feeds are ugly, and they don’t quite work right and neither do our sites. But this is because the technologies that we’re using to organise and collate our lives aren’t quite communicating perfectly and aren’t splicing themselves together in the way that we might like. And things are getting ever more complicated, and we need to do something about it.
And I’m beginning to think that the thing we have to do is start to reconsolidate and refactor the weblog concept itself. We need to take a step back for the first time in years and re-ask the question – what is it for? How do we find something hard and shiny in the middle of all these hybridised trends and make it the ideal shape to support all the other services that will grow upon and around it. In a whole range of issues – from the collation of our browsing to the handling of our photos, from the posting of our opinions to the way we’re relating to our social networks – the traditional weblog format is starting to buckle. So rather than concentrating on the specifics of clashing informational streams in our feeds and looking to fix them, I’m going to make the problem even larger and ask – are these clashes evidence of something more seriously broken? Does anyone really have any idea what we do next?