On Microcontent. Mash-upMagazine. 1
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.
Jason Kottke, moderator
(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
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