It is time to stop quivering in our boots in pointless fear of the future and just roll up our sleeves and build it.
- Ray Pierrehumbert

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Blog Debt

A bunch of folks have sent me interesting emails that I ought to respond to.

It's a bit disconcerting that no matter how good of a conversation ensues after one of my postings it fades out in a couple of days. Something about the blog medium kills the momentum of conversations. I'd be interested in some ideas as to how a blog-like article could kick off a conversation that could keep going for a while, sometimes in the absence of the original author.

Anyway, thanks all for some amazing interactions on and off line to date. I'll be catching up soon.

8 comments:

Steve Bloom said...

One post at a time, pinned to the top, with an update under the title inviting continued participation.

Sometimes I won't bother to add a comment when a review of the prior comments indicates that everyone participating has already formed an opinion. This view is reinforced by on several occasions having made comments asking for responses and gotten nothing.

Re continuing threads without your participation, that may be asking for too much. If every indication is that you're around but not commenting, the thread will inevitably die. It might work to note that you'll be offline for X amount of time and ask that commenting continue until your return, but I suspect more often than not some steady care and feeding will be necessity.

Stephen said...

You could start a forum - or nudge someone else (RealClimate?) to start a proper (vBulletin-style) forum. "Open" comment threads are a messy kludge for a problem that is handled much more cleanly by a dedicated discussion forum. For inspiration, see something like PhysicsForums.com or Randi.org

manuel "moe" g said...

Steve Bloom said something startlingly enlightening:

> Sometimes I won't bother to add a comment when a review of the prior comments indicates that everyone participating has already formed an opinion. This view is reinforced by on several occasions having made comments asking for responses and gotten nothing.

What a treat if commenters where obliged to state where their current views are still in flux, and if there was an obligation to provide confirming summary of closed points and open points and provide feedback to previous requests *before* one could bring up a new point.

I fear this sets the bar too high. There might only be a few hundred humans willing to sustain this level of augmentative discipline in the world. (Obviously, I am convinced that I am one of these reasonable people, and my wife is convinced that I am not ;-)

Pangolin said...

Blogging IS an ongoing conversation. Threads die out because we are waiting for new material, changes in conditions or new original content by participants.

When new content of sufficient import appears it frequently gets posted as a new OP and the thread discussing that might refer to comments and content in previous threads.

I don't think there is anything wrong with the text blog. Look at the changes in Grist when it went from a text blog to a magazine format. IMO quality of conversation declined rapidly. Reasonable boundaries and restrictions can improve the quality of the product and the quality if very good here.

Rob said...

Like Steve, I try to read the previous comments frist to see if my point has already been raised. But if the comments get to long, then I get discouraged. I think other people try to do the same so there's a negative feedback! lots of comments suppress getting more comments.

Also the chronological listing of comments make it hard to follow when more the one thread springs up.

John said...

1) There are SO many blogs on which to comment and SO little time.

2) Why assume commenters contribute mainly to converse with other commenters, rather than with the proprietor of the blog?

John Puma

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