Blogs continue to be the talking point in many forums at the moment, with the announcement that the “Blog” is the Word of the Year, 2004, and now speculation is rife over what will be the word for 2005.
Jon Udell, writing in Info World suggests it will be RSS- Really Simple Syndication In his article The network is the blog he discusses the significance of blogs in the emerging architecture of the Web and the role of RSS in this. He states; “Its foundation network is the Web; its protocol is RSS; its nodes are bloggers. These ingredients combine in ways that are not yet widely appreciated.”
Udell argues that RSS’s ability to enable the aggregation of information from a variety of sources, making it easier to keep tabs on the plethora of information that is available to us on the web, will make it the ‘killer app” of 2005.
Meanwhile, Matt Rand in Forbes magazine online argues that Wikis will turn out to be the next big thing. He says; “passively browsing the Web may be a thing of the past. New technologies (eg Wikis) are taking collaborative Web spaces to the next level.” Although Wikis are a technology that has been around for some time, it seems they may finally be set for recognition in the wider web community.
In his article Extreme Blogging , Rand asks:
Will Wikis ever hit the mainstream of Web usage? Blogs, once considered for “geeks only,” are now being created by corporations, major media outlets and universities. In many ways, these collaborative sites offer a better way to share knowledge than the Internet has yet had. Wikis go a step further in democratizing the Web, making it possible for all of the fragments that individuals would normally contribute through personal Web pages and blog entries to combine as continuous living documents rather than stagnating as dead ends
Whatever the outcome, I’ll have a bob each way – we certainly need tools and capabilities (like RSS) to assist us with coping with the large volumes of information available on the Web, and I certainly support anything that continues to empahsise the democratic/participatory value of the web (like Wikis). Time will tell…