Conversational “Bleeting” – The blog + tweet + ing = jazz conversations link

March 13, 2009

in Blogging, Conversational Blogging, Knowledge Innovation, Social Software, twitter

In 2003 I wrote a few posts on “Conversational Blogging“. Today my sentiments are similar yet the approach to conversational blogging has changed primarily facilitated by Facebook and Twitter. Today Twitter must be part of your blogging persona, to be successful and part of joining a “jazz community

Conversational Blogging (Unbound Spiral) (April 21, 2003)

Similarly when we thing about Knowledge Innovation I think the concept of value and knowledge flows is very relevant, however, are blog-centric views limiting perspective? Blogs are only one item on the personal dashboard and current conversational instrumentation is too limited. If the publishing projects are part of a personal ecosystems repository then capture, feedback, related comments, conversations can be captured by even non-writers.

Not much has changed. The conversational spaces have further fragmented and we are falling ever further behind in managing the flow. We still don’t have the simple tools to manage our “open” and “public” conversations. See Pew for how Twitter  is impacting. We used to worry about Blog authority (see this Brian Solis piece). We’ve moved from linking blogs via Trackbacks to “shortURL’s” and re-tweets. The flow of these conversations is faster today. We’ve got an active app market around Twitter that is generating all sorts of tools. Yet these same tools don’t enhance the blog world concurrently.

The conversation now takes place in a myriad of ways. See where Twitter drives traffic. Customized by each individual to their perceived needs and interests. We’ve become more efficient about our comments and realize that “commenting” out loud via Twitter may bring more visibility for our thoughts and how we develop our points of view. It’s also more likely to generate a conversation than just leaving it on a blog!

Example:
The other day I tweeted about “innovation” specifically the importance of “fascination”. It struck a chord with me. It fit with my idea of “ruthless curiousity”. So I tweeted a link. That link was then RT’d 3 times. The author may or may not have any idea about this interest. The blog post that stimulated it contains no record of this. My guess is from a Google perspective that post is missed in terms of the link love and value it created. Other readers going directly to the blog won’t be aware of the Twitter mentions won’t see them and will miss them. The half-life of the blog and it’s historical value is reduced.

Link Love Lost:
Heavy users of Twitter send a lot of link love. Often tracing to other posts. Few of these links get recorded on the blog that is being commented on / linked to. (Unless you use an approach like mine where I use a Del.icio.us to Twitter link. The purpose to create a trackback – more detailed comment and “tweet” my interest)

Similarly, if someone comments on my blog into Twitter without reference to my TwitterID I probably won’t know about it. From my perspective that’s a shame. A conversation or my ability to contribute to the discussion goes down. I don’t have a “search” twitter notifies me of links in twitter to pages in my blogs. I also want these in real-time if I am going to participate in the conversation.

Equally if someone comes to the post and sees all the comments, trackbacks, and tweets with it…. it provides a broader perspective. It’s not just comments then but links to personalities, to profiles, and a quick view into other things that interest them.

Tweet Tracking:
This issue of tweet tracking also points to the problem of time. Today’s news or blog flash is just that. The conversation may be over in hours or a day rather than over a couple of days. So in my mind the blog post now needs to capture the larger conversation in real-time. Sometimes when an item is just RT’d there is no need to thank them. In my view of the world it does leave me better informed. This message got the attention of these Tweeters. There’s also a good chance too that I don’t follow them, and we may have interests in common. Thus they may just be good pointers to where the conversation may lie in the future. Or not!

So what do we need….

  1. A better way to go from a blog to a Tweet comment and a way to record that tweet comment on the blog.
  2. A way for a re-tweet to be captured as a trackback to the blog.
  3. A method that works with any “shortURL” format to capture back content.

What exists now?

Tweet this Post:

  1. Plug-ins for Tweet this post. I added “Tweet this post” to this WordPress blog. I replaced ShareThis which I felt was never used anyways and doesn’t update Twitter. The downside of this plug-in is. It makes it easy for someone to quote into twitter about my post. It fails to provide me with any information or way to track that. It also fails to register the Tweet against the post.
  2. Stowe Boyd showed me how on his blog he was testing a “Bit.ly” link system. Thus any blogpost he wrote could be tracked into Bit.ly and seen in Twitter. (Where a bit.ly link was used). Thus if I click the bit.ly link on his post it creates a bit.ly link which opens bit.ly and then allows me to share the post.

Commenting Increasingly Takes Place Off Blogs:
If I’m in TweetDeck and see a blog I may simple create a shortURL and update. In my case I use Del.icio.us for the most part. (see this post). Other simple methods include “Twurl” which is a simple bookmarklet that can post to Twitter and Friendfeed. In all of these cases the comment is being generated outside the blog. Where could this be made better? A great example would be Bit.ly and TweetDeck. The combination could send a “Tweet trackback” to the referenced page. This makes comments for the Tweeter more valuable. Take it one step further and it could send a DM notifying the blogger of the tweeted comment.

Separate note to some readers: The philosophy above focused on escalating the conversation may also provide an understanding of why I am also fixed on making voice conversations a simple part of this ecology and why I created Phweet as one example. I believe escalating conversations outside your direct or traditional buddylist is important.

The original… piece….

Conversational Blogging (Unbound Spiral) (April 2003)

“The best blogs are written with conversation in mind, writes Steve Bowbrick I’ve noticed that good blogging is a kind of conversation. Not the literal, verbal conversation of a face-to-face encounter, but the give-and-take of an unconditional and open dialogue.

A follow-up piece from which I’ve pulled a few lines.

From Conversational Blogging to Jazz Communities (Unbound Spiral) (December 2003)

From Conversational Blogging to Jazz Communities
Our Challenge is to link blogs in a way that retains independent thought while creating a jazz community. A blog based info accelerator helps us engage with information, conferences, CoP’s in a different way.

This applies even more now to Twitter….

Blogging is a natural for the “listening post”, the early warning radar, and for scanning upstream. I’ve been able to identify for some time an emergent blogging community that could do this in the KM area

Finally the PR and marketing teams are stepping in and seeing this is true!

A possible solution for enabling an environment in which we can work together is to show “members” or “sponsors” how they can learn faster than traditional companies.

This held true then and is even more true today.

P2P music experiences revealed how communities of customers can learn faster than traditional companies. So as a leader you want to remain ahead of the competition. You know the surprises come from the fringe, and edge of the network. The deep answers seldom come from inside the organization and almost never from where you are today. It’s not what’s on your agenda that will kill you. It’s what’s not!

Yes… and “conversation” and “dialogue is what will lead to success.

We know where we are starting but not where it might lead us. It’s about connecting, It is about flows. It is about curiosity. Ultimately it is about better questions and learning faster. Our tools will be conversations and dialogues. …


  • Jon Husband

    Other readers going directly to the blog won’t be aware of the Twitter mentions won’t see them and will miss them. The half-life of the blog and it’s historical value is reduced.

    Hmm … not sure about this. Certainly not, if bloggers do what you did above (and blog templates “help” readers by growing more functionality i.e. establish a new context quickly and use it easily). Then the combination adds value that wasn’t apparent before and not possible without the combination.

    But I think ultimately that’s what you’re saying, in terms of participation-and-feedback ecosystems.

  • Yes we are on the same page! Looked at the structure and could have written it better.

  • We agree, I think, that it would be nice to see systems for blog/tweet interaction in place. We found your post by coming at this from the other side of things. We don’t “blog” in any serious sense–we’re just a literary journal run through Twitter–but we’re also finishing up an expansion of our site where we’re using Twitter to power almost everything we do.

    Our comments, for example, is our @reply feed; our news page is run by a twitter feed from another account.

    And then someone mentioned us on their blog–and we knew this would happen–but we hadn’t really considered the implications. People could be talking about the pieces we publish, or us, or our authors, or whatever, and there’s no way for this information to interact with itself effectively. Then again, we’re learning this code thing as we go and would be woefully unprepared to combat the spam potential we’d be opening ourselves up to, implementing some sort of smart trackback/tweetback system without the community support of a WordPress or somesuch.

    But you’re right, there’s a lot of potential, here. And I think–I hate to say this, as overworked as the servers already are, but as the only central entity in this discussion, Twitter’s the only one with a lot of power to make this happen. The API could be updated and functionality that lets blogs and Twitter talk could exist, with updates to the elements associated with a status update that indicate a topic URL. Likewise, blogs could, through the API, notify Twitter that they’re talking about tweet #whatever.

    User-driven solutions might happen in the short term, but I’m imagining the methods available, outside the API, being slow, unwieldy, and scaling too poorly to be made available to the public.

Previous post:

Next post: