Unbound Spiral: More Pointers Conversational Blogs

May 4, 2003 05:16 PM

I've enjoyed the comments received on Conversational Blogging and the follow-up. See Jonathan's post some excellent perspective.

Blogrolls are an awkward attempt at community-building.  Gluing blogs together with RSS/aggregation/trackback and TopicMaps is helping build the community features in, while allowing complete control of each individual blog.

Having just got my trackback working this seems to be a key element to me. A greater element of control with improved likelihood that my postings will be seen by others. It's also got a long way to go to get every blogger using it.  Control rests with the user. 

Should we favor blogs with trackback?  We're probably not there yet.  There is a great trackback section here on the MT site.   

Although TrackBack's most prevalent use thus far has been as a form of remote commenting, a more exciting use has been emerging: using TrackBack to aggregate content into topic-based repositories. This was actually the original intended use of TrackBack--the remote commenting grew out of a special case of a topic-based repository, the "topic" being a single weblog post.

 



Comments (1)

Been thinking a bit more about conversation blogging too.

One of the strongest characteristics of the blog is the sense of ownership. Each blog *belongs* to an individual or sometimes a small group. The blog has basically replaced the individual homepage. And the home metaphor is really apt. A person's blog is their on line home, which they decorate and fill as they see fit.

Now back in the real world, a home can be a space of conversation, but it use is a bit sporadic. People generally only hold house parties a few times a year, and invite friends over maybe once or twice a week. Obviously this varies depending on people's personalities and the location of home, but you can get the gist.

Most conversation takes place outside the home, in spaces better engineered for interaction. Bars, cafés, restaurants, parks, the telephone network, or online. Note that the home often serves as a jumping off point for some of these spaces.

Now conversations occur in blogs, but for the most part they are pretty stunted. The reason is that the blog, like the home is not the ideal space for conversation. There are a lot of better spaces online, Bulletin Boards, Chat Rooms, IRC, MUDs, MPGs, etc.

Now unlike a physical home, the blog is a relatively new concept and its structure is still highly flexible. Things like trackback open up room for more connected blog environments. But I think the key is to look at the blog *as a path towards a better designed conversation space*, not as the conversation space itself. I just don't see conversation flourishing to its full potential in the highly owned and branded environment of the blog.

Posted by: William Blaze at May 5, 2003 5:06 PM