Jocko, I don't think ease and democratization are necessarily the same thing. Often, they're quite the opposite.
Personally, I was interested in two things: I wanted to build a kickass web-based feed reader and republisher for my own personal use (I continue to use it every day even now), and I was interested in exploring the specific behavior patterns around publishing flows, citation, and attribution. Making all that stuff a push-button action for the fortnightly Eyebeam Reblogger was fun.
We talked a lot about making it a hosted thing for everyone, but I just don't think the will to follow through on it was ever really there. It was mostly Frumin and I building it, and I think we viewed it as a combination of thing-for-Eyebeam and thing-to-make-a-point. I'm happy that Tumblr appropriated the terminology, they've done something a lot more complete with the concept than we chose to because they've been willing to support a centralized, hosted service. I like that the "re(verb)" terminology is present in Twitter as well, because it takes the abstract idea of copying as interpretation, and makes it something that millions of normal people do every day. I would hope that exposure to this possibility through whatever service a person chooses for their communication and publishing will help make real the derivation and distribution arguments from folks like (CC) and Lawrence Lessig. It's important for people to have first-hand experience with such things, even if it's not with the specific PHP application called Reblog.
Thanks for the mention! We struggled a lot with how to handle attribution in Reblog, and I think there's an interesting contrast between how we implemented it and how it's currently manifested in Tumblr or Twitter's retweet feature. In RB, the attribution always goes back one step in the chain to show where you saw something. In the more unified services it's possible to go back to the beginning, so the chain of attribution is invisible and the original creator is favored.
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