Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Who Values Conversation?

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!


idyllopus said...

Just a note that you might want to fix the links in your second paragraph. Really have been enjoying this blog linking into your post Blogher excursions and thoughts.

Tish Grier said...

thanks, idyll, for letting me know about the links...all fixed now.

and thanks for enjoying these excursions. I'm hoping they will lead to somewhere, not just that they're another lovely adventure for my scrapbook.

Mac said...

Thanks for the plug, Tish! If it's all right with you, I'll link you up in my sidebar, as well.

When I started to realize that I read blogs FOR the comments, at least as much as for the blogger, it circled back around to what I loved about teaching: seminar-style conversations.

Readers of blogs bring a lot to the table with them. I'm always delighted to have conflicting opinions expressed, too, because it helps us get to the root of things in a reflective and respectful way.

Tish Grier said...

Thanks, Mac! As soon as I finish the article, I'll add a link to your blog too. the conversation is so good!

Often, people claim they do not have time to participate in blog conversations and just want the info right in their face in a post. Maybe it's the way I relate to coversation in general, but I glean some of the best information(and insight) in conversation. I guess it depends on what one is looking for.

Dawno said...

Came here from Mac's blog. Great post, it's something that I've been doing a lot of thinking about. In the back of my mind there's a great Science Fiction story about the evolution of these conversations to communities of interest to a drastic change in the paradigm (although I hate that word it does help describe what I'm getting at) of what society or even civilization is. I think about the kinds of groups fostered in Live Journal (when they're not totally dysfunctional) and see the germ of this concept. Anyway, I shall add you to my list of frequently visited blogs, thanks for having a thoughtful and interesting one!

Tish Grier said...

hi dawno!

thanks for stopping by and for linking....take a look at my other blog,'s got some interesting longer pieces on it. and I'll add your blog to my blogroll too...