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Published by Martin Lindner
A mash-up of definitions of "microcontent" that were published in the blogosphere since the microcontent-panel at SXSW 2001.
A mash-up of definitions of "microcontent" that were published in the blogosphere since the microcontent-panel at SXSW 2001.

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Published by: Martin Lindner on Mar 15, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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On Microcontent. Mash-upMagazine. 1
on microcontent
a mash-up journal
First notion of “microcontent” at SXSW 2001 Panel:
2001 SXSW Interactive Festival Panel Grid
 “Microcontent: Beyond the Web Page
  Authoring, organizing, managing and distributing chunks of information on the web.
Lance Arthur
David Galbraith
Jason Kottke, moderator
Evan Williams
(Pyra)” >> Peter Merholz, Anil Dash, Thomas Vander Wal were there-------------------------------------
Peter Merholz, March 18, 2001 [SXSW notes] - peterme blog
http://www.peterme.com/browsed/browsed030101.html"Conversation" is one of those concepts you can't get away from right now. Most famously promotedby the Cluetrain clique ("markets are conversations"), it's popping up all over. Alice May Clark, of Monkey Media, approached the subject from a sociological perspective--howpeople 'design' their identities online, and the nature of online community spaces. She provided thebest URLs for the talk, from the infamous Peter Pan guy to Boycrazy.com.Joey Anuff, editor at Plastic, finished off by discussing the deliberations he and
Steven Johnson
 made when choosing the base technology for the site. Originally enamored of the deep self-organization of Everything2.com, they realized its unwieldy interface made using it too difficult. Theysettled on Slashcode, the source for Slashdot, which they subsequently modified.
This panel proved both compelling and frustrating. Participants David Galbraith (very smart guy fromMoreover.com), Lance Arthur, Bryan Boyer, and
moderator Jason Kottke
had difficulty defining thetopic, and the discussion occurred in fits and starts, never finding its groove.The place to start thinking about microcontent is Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox where he coined the term,stating that microcontent is information that refers to macrocontent; headlines, page titles, etc.
Paul Meagher expanded the meaning to include any content that can be produced with relatively little effort at regular intervals.
 I find the referential definition of microcontent uninteresting, in large part because it's nothing new--we've had headlines, abstracts, bestseller lists, and any number of other kinds of 'referring'microcontent for a while.
What excites me, though, is microcontent qua microcontent. Some worthwhile ideassimply don't need more than, oh, 500 words, and before the net, the economies of publishing meant that such content would not get distributed.
(Exceptions existed in
On Microcontent. Mash-upMagazine. 2magazines and newspapers, but such microcontent would be published only alongside longer contentthat warranted such costs.)
Now, the atomic unit of feasibly publishable text is no longer the "page," but the "post,"which could be as small as one word.
The growing popularity of weblogs demonstrates whathappens as
the barrier to entry lowers
. Though largely dreck, there's a wealth of ideas beingbrought forth that before would never have seen the light of day. …
Thomas Vander Wal, Off the Top
Thursday, March 15, 2001
Great Georgetown game!!! I think I disturbed my neighbors as I was yelling (happy yelling) about theoutcome at the last second.The transition back to work from SXSW has been very difficult. The Austin experience was filled withsharing with people with like minds that really are passionate about the Internet as a communicationtool. Many of us there have very similar stories and frustrations from work. There were so manynodding heads it felt like a revival meeting or an addicts support group (just suppositions). Now back in the real world the difference is more than noticeable. Clients wanting to know why pieces of theproject have not moved forward when they have not review and approved the components that havebeen sitting in their desk, e-mail (flagged), and IM reminders hounding them three weeks.Programmers making assumptions as to how things are done that are not on target. It was a long andfrustrating day to say the least. I was extremely tired so I was a little on edge which did not help.I was also feeling badly that I was tired and did not offer congratulations to Lane on the acceptedproposal from Cory. I was enjoying a great conversation with him and his mother when this slipped in.I picked up my gaff from ..... site.One of my more memorable (non-panel) entertaining moments was singing the "Tiki Room Theme"with Cory Doctorow and ... I met so many wonderful people at SXSW it is hard to capture all of them,and there are some whom I did not completely catch, like the balcony conversation with a couplepeople trying to live off the grid in conversation with others who did not mind offering his personalinformation to get better service. There were great discussions after the panels.
Many of the panelsand ensuing discussions nearly blew my head off, the were some of the most incrediblediscussions that cracked my mind open to new idea in the "microcontent panel".
Getting tomeet and thank Jeffery Zeldman, Jeffery Veen, and Nathan Shedroff for the years of resources andguidance their web writings have provided me was great.I got to tie faces and live personalities to some of the weblog I read (which I started reading in tryingto live vicariously in San Francisco. I was a little surprised with the depth of many of the folks, I havenot really come to terms with why I was surprised.I must sleep.posted at 7:58 PM #
Saturday, March 17, 2001
Sure I have the plane tixs, the room receipt, the rental car return form, the SXSW badge, but thisproves I was there at SXSW. I am talking to Mr. MetaFilter him self, Matt.... Found myself LOL at Lance this morning. I was thoroughly entertained by Lance in Austin. He wasvery funny in on
the Microcontent Panel (which was a fantastic mind expanding panelwhich threw my synapses in overdrive)
On Microcontent. Mash-upMagazine. 3

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