My Take on Fragmented Conversations

Apr 17, 2008

Okay, so I’m finally back after a week or so. And there’s been a lot going on in the blogosphere over that week, not least the conversation about comments. Lots of people have written and discussed about this. Two such people were Valeria Maltoni – who asked whether comments should be portable – and Robert Scoble – who said that the era of blogger’s control is over.

For me, the issue isn’t about control. The issue is about the conversations themselves. I would love to know what people are saying, and to be a part of the conversations – to interact with and answer my readers. And also, when different parts of conversations are happening on different places, the readers might not be able to get the whole picture/value of the conversation. If a really good conversation is happening on FriendFeed, the readers on the blog itself could miss out. And vice versa.

That’s the biggest issue for me about the fragmentation of comments. And I’m looking forward to see whether anyone manages to come up with a solution. I think the Feed with Comments plugin that I’m using here (as announced in the previous post) helps solve the second problem slightly – the comments being in the RSS feed themselves makes them available no matter where the feed is ported to.

What do you think?

The Collaboration Trend

Mar 13, 2008

Yesterday, I wrote about how power is shifting. I just wanted to carry on that theme a bit.

I think in general, there’s a huge trend starting, a shift from one authority figure to a collaboration model. It’s happened with journalism and blogs, hollywood and youtube, etc. Now it’s happened in conferences. And scientists are saying that science is headed in that direction too.

Is it a good thing? Personally, I think it is. I like the trend toward collaboration. I like how the playing field is being leveled, and how a 17 year old like me can interact with the likes of Mitch Joel and Chris Brogan.

I think this trend empowers the average individual. We’re seeing a power shift towards the average user. The average person can now interact and contribute in ways that were never before possible. And it undoubtedly empowers groups to do more.

But as we all know, “with great power comes great responsibility”. I think it’s a great trend, but we have to be careful not to misuse the technology.

On a side note, do you think this power shift will happen in education? I, for one, would love to see that happen – a power shift towards students.

What do you think?

Power is Shifting

Mar 12, 2008

By now most of you probably have heard about the SXSW keynote interview with Mark Zuckerberg. If you haven’t, here’s some links from Techmeme. From what I’ve read (I wasn’t there or on Twitter at the time, so my apologies if I’m wrong), is that the crowd ‘revolted’ against Sarah Lacy, the interviewer, heckling her and asking her to let them ask the questions.

There’ve been a really wide range of views on this, some in support of Sarah Lacy, and many – such as this – criticizing her.

And apparently, there’s been another revolt in SXSW.

But I wasn’t at either of them, so I’m not going to comment on what happened, or what went wrong.

I think the significant question, which Jeremiah Owyang asked, is this – Is power shifting? And that’s what I want to write about. My answer? Yes, definitely.

The whole basis of Web 2.0 is user generated content. It’s about placing power in the hands of the user, so everyone can have their say – so no one person has complete control.

Is it any wonder, then that that culture has spread to conferences as well? It was bound to happen, if you ask me.

Blogs vs Static Websites

Mar 8, 2008

Problogger recently asked the question of whether blogs have killed conventional websites. Shana Albert (among many others, I’m sure) added her thoughts to the question.

In the latest episode of Six Pixels of Separation, Mitch Joel asks Seth Godin about the controversy over Seth’s blog (the issue with not having comments and all). Seth’s response? Listen to the podcast and see. It’s definitely a worthwhile listen.

All this is to point out the comparison between blogs and conventional/static websites. What separates a blog from a website? What makes a blog a blog? Comments? RSS?

And more importantly, does it really matter?

Because personally, I don’t think it does. I think it’s just a matter of style. What do you think?