This morning, I read Mary Hodder's discussion on conversations in the blogosphere at Napsterization, where I left a comment regarding some of the attitudes aflot out there regarding conversation. My sense is that the attitudes towards conversation in the blogosphere will shape whether or not a metric might be developed to measure conversation. If conversation is not valued, and if blogging continues to be viewed as merely as an exercise in information dissemination, then there will be little interest in sorting conversation from information. Conglomoblogs and aggregators, which rarely stimulate conversation, will still be considered the "top blogs."
Mary makes a distinct point about bloggers who comment as well as post--and intimates that sometimes the comments are as interesting as the initial blog post. Take a look at the fabulous conversations here and here at Mac Stone's great blog Stones in the Field. In her posts, Mac posited great suppositions, and the conversations that grew around them end up conveying information within converstion. Significant conversation and information dissemination are not mutually exclusive but can oftentimes be inclusive of one another.
I feel sorry for the little brains out there that can't understand that conversation and information can be combined--and that the conversation may be as significant as the information it contains. Since it's these little brains who rabidly link to all those link-sucking, comment-lacking infoblogs and rarely link to any of the wonderful little cocktail parties going on in the blogosphere, I wonder whether the changes in metrics that Mary suggests will help boost the importance of conversation in the blogosphere.
Perhaps we need to just make the conversations alot louder thru the shameless arts of self and mutual promotion. I'm all over that one!