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November 1st: Torsten Jacobi, CEO of Creative Weblogging, joins host Anita Campbell. Sponsored by Six Disciplines. Show details.
Sunday, September 25, 2005
PowerBlog Review: Emerging Technology Trends
Read all the PowerBlog ReviewsEditor's note: Welcome to the eighty-sixth and final in our regular weekly series of PowerBlog Reviews.

Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends blog has been one of my favorite blogs ever since I started blogging two years ago.

Roland Piquepaille is a computer consultant from Paris, France. Roland is one of those unique people you have to admire because of his dedication, his incredible range of interests, and the fact that he does it all writing in a second language (English).

For much of this PowerBlog Review I have to credit another outstanding site, Master New Media, run by Robin Good. Robin, who hails from Rome Italy, recently did an in-depth interview of Roland Piquepaille. Robin is in a class by himself when it comes to finding interesting subjects and conducting incisive interviews with surgical precision. There are few even in the mainstream media who can equal Robin's interviewing skills. Many thanks, Robin!

Roland's blog style is quite a thing of beauty, even though it goes against the advice of some blogging "experts" who suggest only short posts. All of Roland's posts are long by typical weblog standpoints (often around 500 words), and cover their subject in depth. Of course, this style of blogging takes considerable commitment. Roland says in the Master New Media interview that he spends the better part of a day per blog entry:
"Between reading the RSS aggregator news and the time I choose a story, it's probably three to four hours, and after that, let's say it's an additional one hour and a half to two hours or more to finally publish it. So overall, it's probably about six hours, yeah."
Recent topics show the range of interests, including such examples as "Self-repairing spacecrafts", "Why leaves change color", and "Algae to fuel our cars?" And because he tends to write about unusual topics, and not repeat what everyone else is blogging about, his blog is regularly linked to, including by the famous Slashdot site:
"Even for me, if a story is already covered by, I don't know, twenty magazines in the world, to me it is not a good enough subject. I want to have a subject which is not completely original but at least which is not covered broadly by the press. So, it is probably for this reason that in the last two years I have been Slashdotted between two and eight times per month (!!!), and yes, I do acknowledge that this is a good thing... though there are also lots of Slashdot haters which come after you after they discover you that way."
Roland is not content to just write a post and leave it at that. At the end of each post he lists links to related articles, which actually go to Del.icio.us bookmarks he has set up by individual topic. This is yet another way that Roland gives a very thorough treatment of his subject matter.

Recently Roland's blog became part of the ZDNet network of blogs, where it is now called "Emerging Technology Trends." This move in and of itself is part of a broader trend unfolding right now, where traditional media companies are now building channels of blogs. In some cases the blogs are new, and in other cases the blogs are existing sites -- like Roland's -- that are being "moved" over to the media site. In Roland's case, he posts a brief extract of the post on his original site, with a link to the full post on his ZDNet blog. In this way he avoids the problem of duplicate content (bad for search engines), but still serves his existing readers. Right now his blog gets 200,000 to 250,000 page views per month, so moving traffic over to ZDNet is significant.

Roland has demonstrated his leadership by stretching the boundaries of blogging for some time now, taking the medium to new levels. For more about Roland's blogging approach, please also read the Master New Media interview.
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