Let’s start with a quote from Doc Searls.
Several years ago I was talking with Tim O’Reilly about the discomfort we both felt about treating information as a commodity. It seemed to us that information was something more, and quite different, than the communicable form of knowledge. It was not a commodity, exactly, and was insulted by the generality we call “content”.
Information, we observed, is derived from the verb inform, which is related to the verb form. To inform is not to “deliver information”, but rather to form the other party. If you tell me something I didn’t know before, I am changed by that. If I believe you, and value what you say, I have granted you authority. Meaning, I have given you the right to author what I know. Therefore, we are all authors of each other. This is a profoundly human condition in any case, but it is an especially important aspect of the open source value system. By forming each other, as we also form useful software, we are making the world. Not merely changing it.
These are the words that explain why I stopped aggregating content from other people’s blogs a while back. The service sounded great for my own uses. But, it serves no purpose when I have a desktop or online RSS reader.
Blogging is worthless unless you/I can “form the other party.” Doc’s words, quoted on this post, I hope, while without having value in itself, forms you in your blogging, writing, and other “informing” careers. I hope that we can stop pushing any and all information and raise our signal to noise ratio. Maybe then people will stop doubting the “blogosphere’s” value and give it some credit and we can get on with our lives of doing/making cool stuff (rather than just talking about it).