There was a nice overview article on blogging in The Transcript yesterday. Topher Cyll ’04 gets lots of good press as the creator of the WSO blog tools.

“Instead of telling people that you’re friends,” said Topher Cyll, a senior at Williams College and administrator at Williams Students Online, “you note that one blog leads to another blog. Or they both link to the same thing, and then you suddenly have information that two people might be interested in the same sorts of things. So you can build social networks that way.”

“I’m fascinated by digital community,” said Cyll. “I think that’s sort of the heart of the phenomenon, it lets everyone mix and match. It’s so organic that it’s really redefining the ways we interact on the Internet.”

Cyll maintains his own blog on the Williams site (as well as one elsewhere) and tries to keep up with the 85 others as best he can. Most of them, says Cyll, function as public journals, but topical discussions are beginning to spring up and they can get intense.

“I think that may be part of the appeal of blogs: It’s a chance to be utterly narcissistic in the public eye and yet it’s socially acceptable,” said Cyll.

[Cuts a little close, eh? — ed Afraid that you would say that.]

“You hear all these complaints about instant messaging degrading literacy skills, whereas the blog, in some cases, is the exact opposite,” said Cyll. “It’s a chance for people to sit down and write coherently and eloquently. In some ways, it’s the letter reborn.”

[Applies to EphBlog? — ed We can only hope!]

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