TITLE: Learning via the Blogosphere AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: December 06, 2004 8:14 AM DESC: I stumbled across a new blog that reminded me how the blogosphere is changing how we share ideas. ----- BODY: This is why I love the blogosphere so much. Somehow, I stumble across a link to Leonardo, an open-source blogging and wiki engine written in Python. I follow the link and start reading the blog of Leonardo's author, James Tauber. It's a well-written and thoughtful set of articles on an interesting mix of topics, including Python, extreme programming, mathematics, linguistics, New Testament Greek, music theory and composition, record producing and engineering, filmmaking, and general relativity. For example, my reading there has taught me some of the mathematics that underlie recent work on proving the Poincare Conjecture. But the topic that attracted my greatest attention is the confluence of personal information management, digital lifestyle aggregation, wiki, blogging, comments and trackbacks, and information hosting. I've only recently begun to learn more deeply about the issue of aggregation and its role in information sharing. This blog argues for an especially tight intellectual connection among all of these technologies and cultures. For example, Tauber argues that wiki entries are essentially the same as blog trackbacks, and that trackbacks could be used to share information about software projects among bosses and teammates, using RSS feeds, and to integrate requests with one's PIM. But I'm not limited to reading Tauber's ideas, as he links to other blogs and web pages that present alternative viewpoints on this topic. Following all these threads will take time, but that I can at all is a tribute to the blogosphere. Certainly, all of this could have been done in the olden days of the web, and indeed many people were publishing there diverse ideas about diverse topics back then. But the advent of RSS feeds and blogging software and wikis has made the conversation much richer, with more power in the hands of both readers and writers. Furthermore, the blogging culture encourages folks to prepare their ideas sooner for public consumption, to link ideas in a way that enables scientific inquiry, to begin a conversation rather than just publish a tract. The world of ideas is alive and well. -----