Shared-discovery blogging

I’ve found a new iTunes-compatible public radio station, KCRW from Santa Monica, CA. It’s a good station for me because it’s in the Pacific zone, so they’re playing early morning stuff in my early morning. I still like WNYC, WAMU and WBUR, but they’re on the other coast.


I’ve heard it said that blogs are about conversations — I’ve never agreed with this.

I’ve seen people complain that if I don’t say things they can react to then they have nothing to say — I don’t pity them.

Hey there are already lots of ways of having conversations on the net, email, IM, mail lists, usenet. We hardly need another way to have conversation.

I blog to share discoveries, large and small, mundane and profound and everything inbetween.

Then search engines can pick up my observations, and make them available to others.

The better search gets, the more valuable blogs become.

Here’s an example. This morning I started listening to KCRW in Santa Monica, a Los Angeles public radio station. Now, a few hours later I’m listening to a music show that’s got all this interesting pop music, stuff you never hear on public or commercial radio elsewhere. In Boston, you get classical on WGBH. At WAMU in DC, which may be the closest public radio station to the Appalachians, you get excellent bluegrass. I bet if Nashville has a public radio station they do country and western. Well, Los Angeles is the HQ for pop music, and presumably draws people who are interested in new stuff that they might be able to sell to everyone else, so you get world pop. Very interesting stuff. What a surprise, but then if you think about, not a surprise at all.

See how that’s not part of a conversation? I’m not calling some other blogger a bad name, or saying he or she is stupid, or whatever. I’m not trying to get on Memeorandum. But maybe some search engine will come along and figure out that there’s some data here, it might connect some dots between various public radio stations based on the kind of music they play. Then when someone wants to know about it they’ll find it.

Maybe the best blogger for shared discovery blogging is Phillip Greenspun in Cambridge. I think he even once wrote a piece like this one where he explained that blogging, to him, is kind of a responsibility for a curious person who does interesting things, or even someone who does mundane things but has a curious way of looking at the world.

11 responses to this post.

  1. Hi Dave:

    KCRW rocks. I listen often – esp Morning Becomes Eclectic.


  2. Nashville’s public station is WPLN and they have both an AM station (all news/talk/BBC) and FM (news and classical). However, they produce a great bluegrass show that is streamed (not podcast’d) call Bluegrass Breakdown. They have a couple of other excellent, locally produced shows and used to have a weekly show in which a different group of four Nashville songwriters would be featured performing their work — not the artists, but the songwriters. It was great, but I don’t think it is still produced.


  3. […] Dave Winer on shared-discovery blogging: I blog to share discoveries, large and small, mundane and profound and everything inbetween. […]


  4. Absolutely right. I try to explain to people that asking the purpose of blogging is like asking the purpose of a telephone or any other medium. There are many purposes. Shared discovery is a major reason why I blog and it’s certainly why following many other blogs is an important part of my life.


  5. Posted by David on April 8, 2006 at 5:58 am

    I think you hit the nail on the head with this one. Most of the blogs I read lead me to new things. I may not always agree with their politics or other points, but they do give me new things to think about.


  6. Hey Dave

    You nailed it.

    I always liked the Flint McCullough character on
    Wagon Train. He’d go on ahead for a few weeks,
    scouting future terrain, then come on back and
    report to the group. An early patron saint of
    shared-discovery blogging.

    Dave and Flint: doppelgangers. Yow.

    — stan


  7. I headed for Knoxville’s blogs and radio stations long before I moved here. For bluegrass, old-time, “Americana” and blues, stream over to in Knoxville 24/7… but especially at noon for the Blue Plate Special — a daily live concert from the Knoxville Visitor’s Center. That’s seriously local public-supported radio…
    Don’t miss out on buying a raffle ticket for that customized Harley! (For local-focus blogs, see and

    Meanwhile, is the city’s NPR affiliate. Farther east, and are just a couple of the regional NPR outlets.


  8. […] For most of the music that I love you just have to imagine how great it is, we can’t listen to it together. Well, that’s not true of Little Feat, one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time. There’s a generous sampling of Little Feat music at, all of it live, and some of it very very good. I’m listening to the set from Ultrasonic Studios, recorded in 1974. Zoom in on this MP3 of Two Trains. Oooooh. […]


  9. […] According to Bob Tedeschi in today’s NY Times, beef jerky is big business in the blogosphere, and he’s right. I wrote about this just the other day (and for the last ten years). It’s great to see the world sorting itself out. Tedeschi once said, a long time ago, that blogging was about as important as CB radio was in the 70s. That was of course intended as a put-down. Seems Bob underestimated blogging, based on the number of times he’s been writing about it recently.  […]


  10. […] Dave Winer: “I blog to share discoveries, large and small, mundane and profound and everything inbetween.” […]


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