Monday, August 29, 2005

Blogs for Dialogs?

Now for some meta-analysis (navel gazing?) of blogs as tools for dialog.

Byran makes a damned good point:
You're asking some pretty big questions, and it's a dialog I'd love to be a part of.

So, if you don't mind a little criticism, I'd like to humbly suggest that you're gonna need a better forum for the dialog; blogger ain't gonna cut it. Too easy to lose stuff as blog posts & their comments roll into the archives. We need something that allows threaded discussion! And a bigger commentbox, maybe with rudimentary WYSIWYG, would also be nice ...
Now, threaded discussions would be nice, but I think that Slashdot has show the model limitations of low cost commenting. Long term discussions tend not to happen there either. I like Doc's idea of subscribing to searches, but can't figure out just how I would search for the thread about capablities without getting every sales slick on the internet.

I think we're going to have to come of with a way of making blog postings into threaded discussion, because a blog (that isn't spam) is an assertion of identity that has a cost.

Ugh.. it's all back to the Identity issue... keeps creeping up, any time you step back and really think about things.

We all want a discussion without spam, and with some maturity, to arrive at the truth.

I'm listening for ideas (and I'm tired... too much news surfing last night)


1 comment:

Bryan said...

Howdy Mike, it's me again, you'll probably get tired of me ...

Anyhow. Slashdot-as-forum is a bad example, given lots of factors really: its difficult site organization; its constantly churning front page news format, its high zealot count, etc.

Instead have a look at ArsTechnica or similar. In particular you can find threads like the Iraq thread in their SoapBox forum which have gone on, with high quality posts, for literally years. The Ars key was to use a bloglike frontpage, then link all discussion to forums. I think that mix might well suit your style - especially since it's possible without too much effort to have new blog entries also be posts in existing forum threads - or vice versa (copy a particularly good post from a thread into a frontpage blog entry).

Drupal (the CMS I'm using at makes this particularly easy, as *any* post anywhere in the CMS can be promoted to front page by simply checking a box and hitting the Submit button.

Me, I don't think software selection is that hard - these are pretty much solved problems, and you can view/tryout many solutions at - the real issue is attracting enough vocal people to get a great debate rolling.

I'm watching, waiting - and wishing you luck!