Thursday, November 13, 2003

Or obsessive compulsive disorder. *gulp*

From this week's New Scientist comes the report that the regions of the brain that are active when someone starts to fall in love are not the areas associated with emotion, but those to do with motivation and reward. These are the same areas that light up when you eat chocolate, or in those with obsessive compulsive disorder.

The whole emotional response bit doesn't kick in til later on, it seems, and does so earlier in women than in men. And no one will be surprised to hear that for men the early stages of love looks neurologically rather like lust.

I wonder if falling in love would be an effective way to counteract the lure of chocolate? I keep trying to give the damn stuff up as it can make me rather ill and I really shouldn't eat it, but it's so niiiiiiiiice. Maybe what I need is to be swept off my feet in a whirlwind, or even a small dust devil, romance.

(Applicants should email me a photo and their current bank balance, and I'll get back to you.)

“We are now looking at people who have just been rejected,” says Helen Fisher, an anthropologist from Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Hm, well, I can give them chapter and verse on that one.

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Trading guest blogs

by Suw on November 13, 2003

I was thinking today about blogs and Tom Coates’ Secret Santa and blogrolls, and how when you see someone’s name on a blogroll it doesn’t really tell you anything about them or whether you’d enjoy their blog.

Maybe it’s just me but I hardly ever click on a blogroll link. That said, my stats indicate that the majority of people find me via Google searches or blog indexes rather than blogrolls, so maybe it’s not just me.

A little bit better is to see a blog quoted by one of my regular reads – it gives me a taste of what this unknown blogger’s style is like and, if I enjoy it, I might go and take a closer look. But I think that better than that would be to read a whole guest post.

It’d be taking interbloggedness to a higher level, letting bloggers reach new audiences, getting a bit more cross-pollination happening, trying to fatten up the tail of the blogosphere power law curve. It’d be particularly juicy if guests were writing for blogs that weren’t already in the same corner of the blogosphere as themselves. There must be loads of blogs out there that I'd enjoy that I just haven't found yet, and it'd be cool to swap content with some of them.

I’m not suggesting a team blog here, but just occasional guest posts on each other’s blogs. The fact that bloggers of a feather flock together would be a plus point – the bloggers I read on a daily basis write in a style that I suspect my audience (nano or otherwise) would enjoy, and they are people I’d be perfectly happy to write a blog entry for.

What I’d like to do, if I had the coding expertise, would be to set up a site where you could register yourself as a guest blogger and/or your blog as a guest-friendly publication, and with a bit of metadata and a search facility you’ve got a way for bloggers who might not otherwise find each other to hook up and swap content.

You could do reciprocals, where two bloggers exchange content, or non-reciprocals were someone can either host content or write content – whatever suits them and the guest blogging community. It’d be like the bastard multi-parented son of a not-so-Secret Santa, Friendster, and Blogroll.

To me, that seems like a really good idea – at least, it did this morning whilst I was in the shower.

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