金曜日, 9月 10, 2004

Simply Breathtaking:

From Jeff Harrell:
What followed was an unprecedented collaboration involving hundreds of web sites and potentially thousands of Internet users. Readers from all over the world started sending e-mail to the three Power Line contributors. Information started to stream in. IBM did manufacture a line of typewriters that used proportional spacing, but questions remained about whether the typeface of the IBM Executive line matched the typeface used in the CBS memos. Another possible source of the memos was the IBM Selectric Composer, a very expensive and very slow typesetting system; this possibility was quickly dismissed. And so on and so on at a pace that almost overwhelmed the Power Line editors.

The people who sent e-mail to Power Line came from all walks of life and all levels of expertise. One reader, John Risko, said that he worked as a clerk at the Naval Underwater Research Center in 1971. He said, "These documents are forgeries, and not even good ones." Reader John Burgess differed, saying, "By 1969, I was using an IBM Selectric typewriter with proportional type balls. They were widely available in the public sector and thus readily available to the military."

And so it went throughout the day, a dialogue of the kind we've never quite seen before, at least not on this scale. Web logs use a method of cross-referencing each other called "trackbacks." A very popular Web log post might receive as many as a dozen trackbacks, or citations from other Web sites. By midnight Thursday night, Scott Johnson's Power Line post had received 443 trackbacks, meaning that 443 distinct Web sites had cross-referenced his work during the course of the day. As one blogger put it, "That's got to be some kind of record."


My friend Kevin and I recently got into an argument about blogs. He basically sneered at their low-level partisanship and told me that he got all his news straight from the AP (ha!) and Reuters. I was going to email him Instapundit's stats (better than the circulation of most mid-sized newspapers), but this post is even better.