A blog is a conversation
January 1st, 2007

A blog is a conversation. People go to blogs to read AND write, not just consume. While Yahoo allows reader comments on their official blogs some prominent blogs like Google Blog and Seth Godin do not allow comments. According to Wikipedia ‘the ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs.’

In Techcrunch Michael Arrington raises the question if the definitions of ‘blog’ should be revised to exclude journals that do not allow reader comments?

The current definitions of ‘blog’ in most dictionaries don’t mention reader comments at all when defining the term.

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Comments

I tend to agree that blogs like Seth Godin’s are not a blog but a journal. I believe that Blogs are intended to stimulate interactivity. Well at least that is how most blogs function nowadays. There is a crucial difference in function between blogs where you can comment and where yiu can’t comment. One is more about broadcasting/sharing the other is about utilising the collective intelligence..

I agree a blog *should be* a conversation – but comment spam is a pretty serious problem. Even with spam blocking plugins (I used Askimet for WordPress), I still from time to time have to wade through sizeable spam streams to find legitimate comments.

So, I can understand why some folks have comments disabled – but I see it as an unfortunately and hopefully temporary problem.

3 - Howard Rheingold

We are constantly attacked by comment spambots, and it’s only Because Boris added that challenge question that we’re able to keep comments open here at all.

4 - Boris

A weblog is a Content Management System configured with certain features and functionalities which, when widespread, incite a certain behavior. (Dated space archiving, presented in reverse chronology, commenting functions, etc…)

As Howard has in his email signature: “What it is —>is—>up to us”. Or put another way: “it is what you make it to be, and how you use it.”

Therefore, weblogs “are” not conversations, but they *can be*. And they can be, and are, many many different things to many many different people. (Ask someone–namely me–who has made many weblogs for many different people and organisations: no two want quite the same thing for quite the same reasons.

Also, keep in mind that the second you define something you realise that it wishes nothing more than to escape that definition. ;)

I can’t believe we are still having this conversation. It’s 2007… ;)

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