Archives » February 10th, 2003

February 10, 2003

Power Laws

Clay Shirky: Power Laws, Weblogs, and Inequality

Though there are more new bloggers and more new readers every day, most of the new readers are adding to the traffic of the top few blogs, while most new blogs are getting below average traffic, a gap that will grow as the weblog world does. It’s not impossible to launch a good new blog and become widely read, but it’s harder than it was last year, and it will be harder still next year. At some point (probably one we’ve already passed), weblog technology will be seen as a platform for so many forms of publishing, filtering, aggregation, and syndication that blogging will stop referring to any particularly coherent activity. The term ‘blog’ will fall into the middle distance, as ‘home page’ and ‘portal’ have, words that used to mean some concrete thing, but which were stretched by use past the point of meaning.

Power Line Internet

I’ve heard about power-line networking, where you plug special devices into your electrical outlets and your home wiring carries the ethernet signal. I’ve never tried it myself, but it’s been on the market long enough that I figure it must work okay. But now electric companies are looking into ways of using the same technology to provide Internet access to their customers. This article outlines some of the plans, which involve using fiber optics to route around high-voltage lines and transformers, and repeaters to strengthen the signal along the way. I guess a number of years ago it would have seemed silly to talk about getting the Internet over your cable TV wire. Could power-line Internet catch on the same way?