Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Groups, and group blogs

For a few months -- as displacement behaviour while I was supposed to be finishing my book -- I got in the habit of visiting the newsgroup sci.logic quite often and trying to improve the signal-to-noise ratio. But there is a huge proportion of sheer garbage (is it getting worse?), and too many idiots apparently incapable of learning from the small number of posters who patiently try to clear up confusions. I despair, for logic matters ...

I mentioned this in an email to Jeff Ketland, another one-time frequent poster, and bemoaned the fact that there wasn't anything between the hopeless sci.logic and the high-end but relatively narrow-focus FOM list. And he had an interesting response: he suggested that in fact the new thing -- the medium de nos jours -- is not the free-for-all usenet group populated with aggressive know-nothings but the group blog. And maybe he's right. For example, I've just belatedly stumbled on The n-Category Café which is indeed fun and illuminating.

But the trouble is that, if discussions distribute themselves around a bunch of different blogs, how do we find what's available? I wonder how we might put together a logic meta-blog to keep track of the good stuff?


phil said...

There are ways to do what you want.

Google blog search can be used to search blogs for things of interest to you. Unlike google web search it is updated very quickly and continuously via the RSS feeds.

Another thing you can do is use RSS aggregators to combine the RSS feeds of all the blogs you find of interest. I use FeedReader which is free.

Best of all, google blog search itself provides RSS feeds for any search so you can combine the above two methods to aggregate keyword searches across all blogs. I find that to be the best method. For example, I found this posting because I subscribe via Feedreader to an RSS on google blog search for "n-category". It is one of my feeds I aggregate into a maths superblog.

Jon said...

I've tossed up the idea of a group logic blog as a way to maintain regular postings. I think a combination of people from computational, philosophical and mathematical logic would provide an interesting array of posts.

Peter Smith said...

Maybe the group blog is indeed the way to go ....! Any thoughts, anyone, how one goes about starting such a thing, finding an appropriate host, etc.?