March 5, 2003 23:20 | WebBlogging

The village elders

Or "(wisdom + character) * concensus = authority"
Or "Weblog Trust Indexing"

Traditionally, small communities have always had "the village elder(s)": a person or persons who, through experience and intelligence aquired wisdom, who's character brought them into the forefront of their community's consciousness and through the building of trust in him (them) by the community achieved a level of authority.

Keep in mind, I am NOT talking about the "might is right" crowd here.

Weblogging, when used to share one's knowledge and experience, allows for such a dynamic to develop as well.

However, the ingredient of community consensus is ill-defined, hazy, difficult to ascertain in the quick way that we have become accustomed to apprehending knowledge online. Evaluating a weblogger's authority is a process of regularily reading their log and the comments left behind by fellow community members, refering to BlogDex rankings and Technorati cosmi.

Of course one can, and I perhaps contradict myself somewhat by saying this, get a fairly quick "idea" by following this process, but I feel it can be enhanced significantly with a simple method of "weblog trust indexing", done on-site.

I must say here that I am not talking about "community plumbing" type of features. I simply want some of the, for the most part invisible, information about the net's interaction with my weblog to be quickly and easily displayed and digested.

So... statistics is what I am talking about: visitor stats, visits/comments, pings/trackbacks and simple basic ratings.

It's still rather unclear in my own mind.. still formulating. I'm sure after SxSW, I'll have it nailed down though.