Creating, collaborating and communicating information is at the core of the internet revolution. The recent wave of new applications under the banner of Web 2.0 in essence, emphasise this core function of the internet. Information is generated with different sources and uses. These days social information has gained prominence as people are increasingly turning to the web to share and inform friends and relatives of their experiences,thoughts and ideas. The explosion of digital entertainment equipment and the simultaneous rise in our ability to capture, edit and create digital content has provided us powerful tools to express ourselves. Yet there lies a gap here. We are yet to completely utilize the various sources of content and integrate them into a coherent entity.
What do we need to fill this gap or do we already have a medium to fill this gap? Blogs are being touted as the medium to solve this problem. Blogs are apt at handling text but are somewhat shoddy when it comes to integrating the many sources of information be it , videos photos or podcasts. Furthermore, the clashes of formats and the bewildering html code that is encountered in blogs can cause frustration and dejection. We need an alternative medium that I would term as "integrative weblog" or in short, ilog.
What are the characteristics that should define an ilog? The single most important feature would be to provide a hassle-free and simple platform for users to integrate information from different streams (i.e. videos, photos etc) into a single page. Expanding on this core, ilogs enable easy sharing of information. Use of social bookmarking has become a great tool in this regard. Furl, del.icio.us, digg and Yahoo! 360 are notable social bookmarking applications online. Email is another tool that should not be ignored. Being able to email friends and relatives about certain posts would be a great avenue to build a dynamic relationship. In this way, ilogs can serve as an excellent platform to conduct the full loop of creating, collaborating and communicating social information.
There can be no denial that blogs have served us well so far. However, the Web 2.0 phenomenon has flooded the internet with information and we need a proper flood defence mechanism. Blogs , our old levees are cracking and we need new, improved ones called ilogs. In this way, the river of information we all use can be effectively controlled and utilized for the benefit of all.
Author: Muthukumar Ramanathan