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"Conversation. What is it? A Mystery! It's the art of never seeming bored, of touching everything with interest, of pleasing with trifles, of being fascinating with nothing at all. How do we define this lively darting about with words, of hitting them back and forth, this sort of brief smile of ideas which should be conversation?" Guy de Maupassant

Friday, April 25, 2003

Conversational Blogging

Stuart Henshall writes about Conversational Blogging here and here .... a   current favourite area of interest and pre-occupation. He points to a great article by Steve Bowbrick in the Guardian -  Secret of their success , which states :

"The best blogs are written with conversation in mind, 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."

Stuart raises some issues that i've been pondering over (and expressed a few views in a short post i called Blogs and Conversations), ever since i started blogging a month ago.  Some excerpts from his posts on the topic - my adds in purple :  

"There's certainly a good degree of truth in it (he refers to the Guardian article here).  My question is for myself as well.  If Conversation Blogging is humming  why do I see so few comments on mine or other blogs (except for the real noted ones)? What the reason for the reticence?  Why don't we comment more?  Are we reading them all though newsreaders? "

Keep looking for more stuff .... he has some neat thoughts on the design and layout of "Professional Blogs" and draws comparisons from observations of youth blogs on LiveJournal or Blurty.  

"I'm really thinking we must look at the "professional blog" formats really demonstrated by the Radio / MT professionals that have taken it up  versus the 18/24 year old who has a substantially richer feedback environment and are using them not just to "tell the world". They also have friends and profile components. "

"Examples are: 

Guestmap, SignMyGuestbook, Zonkboard (a blabber board). Various Sitemeters, geo sites like Geobytes  and more playfully imood:  (keep in touch with others moods). "

"Sometimes the threads die to the outside world.  Other times they are lost in a phone call.  What struck me was looking at Live Journal and Blurty pages recently.  Many had comments in double digits.  More like Asynchonous IM. When you throw a post out there it is nice to get something back. A big thanks to all recent commenters!

Now I'm still not sure about the correct protocol for answering comments.  In the comments thread?  Somewhere else?  As the "blogging community" is amorphous, there aren't the "cues" that one finds in RYZE or in Live Journal. 

So what "values" would you promote to create a successful small blogging community? Is there an illustration already out there?"

I think its a relatively unexplored yet potentially high value area, with many many potential applications for individuals, communities and corporations.  I'm going to follow closely the changes he makes on his blog that encourage conversations .. and possibly shamelessly 'steal'  some of his ideas!

7:18:23 PM    comment []  trackback []

Social Software / Blogging Tools

I've been away for almost 10 days and my News Aggregator is full of recent developments in the area of Social Software and Blogging tools ... there've been a lot of exciting happenings ... and i must thank Seb for reporting on many of these events and sharing his thoughts - his blog's a tremendous resource !

Here are some links to these stories :

"Six Apart (Ben and Mena's company, the creator of Movable Type) just announced their hosted service, TypePad. They also announced that Anil has joined the team. Also somewhere in the announcement is a bit about my company, Neoteny investing in Six Apart. I'm very excited both as a Movable Type user/fan and as an investor." (via Joi Ito)

"Competition heats up.
Ben Hammersley gives details on the new features in Movable Type makers SixApart's new TypePad system, which looks like it will be a worthy competitor to Blogger. (Quite a bit of news in that press release, by the way.)" (via Seb's Open Research)

Flemming Funch  writes : "Mikel Maron has a cool visualization of the Blogosphere. You see on the world map in real time what people post on their weblogs. Is it really real time? Anyway, very neat with a different perspective like that. I am fond of global displays. That's how I'd like to get all sorts of information. A display of the world that you can then drill into, to look closer at different parts." (via Ming the Mechanic)

"Many-to-Many blog launches
I'm pleased to announce that
Clay Shirky, Ross Mayfield, Jessica Hammer, Liz Lawley, and I are starting a collective weblog focusing on social software, called "Many-to-Many". Liz has written a nice introductory post explaining what it's about.

Thanks to the involvement of a rapidly growing and densely interacting group of developers, designers, thinkers, and users, social software is getting more exciting every day. I believe that Many-to-Many will provide an interesting set of points of view on this emerging area, and hopefully help fuel illuminating conversations." (via Seb's Open Research)

Ross Mayfield on the recently formed Social Software Alliance -

"Had a great Happening today to kick off discussion on the Social Software Alliance.  What's fascinating about this group is its participation by enterprises of all sizes as well as independent developers and practioners.  Good discussion, example of standards, expression of work to come.  As a trade group it will serve to move as fast as the market, gain quick consensus on what to support, work with other standards groups that support heavyweight issues and foster simple interoperability." (via Ross Mayfield)

Waiting to hear more views on the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference. 


7:12:53 PM    comment []  trackback []

For all Jazz Fans

On Jazz : a wonderful collection of photos and much much more ...

"The William P. Gottlieb Collection: Sizteenhundred Photographs of the Golden Age of Jazz. Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole and Doris Day
--four of sixteen hundred photographs of celebrated jazz artists--" (via Metafilter)


6:00:22 PM    comment []  trackback []