on blog commenting

One of the interesting things about blogs (to me) is that they're supposed to be a bidirectional communications mechanism. There are asymmetries, of course — the blog owner has the soapbox and the megaphone, and commenters are (rightly) guests in the blog owner's virtual house, as it were, with the rights and responsibilities that pertain thereunto. But generally the people who read the blog are supposed to be able to talk back — comment on, elaborate on, disagree with, or otherwise emend the original post. I've been a little disappointed that the Iron Blogger participants haven't commented as much as I expected on each other's blogs. Some of this is I think because not all the posts are necessarily comment-worthy. I seem to be the only blogger writing consistently about science fiction, and if the other people involved are less interested in the aspects of SF that interest me, it makes sense that they don't have anything to say when I go on about it. In the same way, I don't have a whole lot to add to the discussion of a grotty Linux kernel issue.

I think some of it is also that we're more likely to follow up with each other on MIT's zephyr system than in the blog comments — it's one of the perils of us being relatively close socially and sharing a common forum like zephyr. Also, at least for me blog comments don't integrate nicely with my existing attention-management mechanisms (mostly BarnOwl), so they're out of sight and therefore out of mind. Oh, and we're hosed.

At any rate, in the spirit of discussion, and since writing these comments took up much of the time I'd allotted for writing a blog post, here are a few of the comments I've left recently on other blogs, mostly but not exclusively Iron Blogger blogs. Go, read the posts, and chime in in the comments if you have something to add!

2 thoughts on “on blog commenting”

  1. Yeah, I’ve been noticing that to, and have been somewhat disappointed by it. I don’t really write about anything controversial in my blog, I just write about cool outdoors stuff, so it’s less likely to spark “meaningful conversation” or whatever. Still, I think most blog posts out there deserve some commenting. I wonder if we could change the Iron Blogger dynamic somehow in this regard…

  2. I don’t know. Possibly if we made, say, leaving five comments equivalent to making a post for the week? That would be harder to track, though. And people can already leave five comments and then post about leaving five comments. (Ahem. 😉

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