Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Online Conversations - unravelling the thread

Participating in a conversation online can quickly become a tangled skein - or a colourful tapestry - depending on the mood the reader is in. I became personally aware of this after my last post when some people commented on the post by leaving a comment in the traditional sense, some sent me their thoughts as public tweets or direct messages, I got a couple of emails, a couple of iChat conversations, a text, a phone call and even some face to face feedback. Oh, and someone notified me they had started a new thread on a Ning in response. Wouldn't it be more fun/enlightening if the whole conversation took place in the same place eg in the comments following?
Being old fashioned I was tempted to copy/paste the other feedback and ideas I had received into the comments under that post, but I was unsure of the netiquette surrounding this. Is that bad form if someone has texted/Facebooked/emailed or DMd? I would really like to know.
I do know that this is where Web 2 currently is at and hyperlinking rulz, but aren't we are all too busy to be trawling several online spaces to participate fully in a conversation?
If you have any ideas about this (or know the rules) please leave them below ;)


  1. My feeling has always been... Don't say anything unless you're prepared to stand behind it... The Internet should be an open forum.
    If it really is a one-on-one and you don't want the world to happen on your comments then ask for privacy.
    Go ahead and throw the comments up there... they must make an interesting line of thought

  2. I have seen speculation that twitter will soon be fully integrated into many blog commenting areas, but until then I'm not sure of the answer. Most of my blogposts are tweeted automatically, which means I'm not always online to answer in any twitter feedback that arises. I do like comments to be on the same page as the post because i think they inform and extend the original post, but, like you, if these comments happen off blog in another forum I'm not comfortable adding them as comments myself.

  3. I get slightly peeved when people multiple tweet that they have written a new post on their blog as if they won't be in an RSS reader anyway.. Especially if they don't give you a clue as to what the post might be about.

    I generally block advertisers from my Twitter PLN.

    Maybe I'm a traditionalist but I like comments related to a post to be where it says 'Comments' after the blog post.

    I am truly grateful for any comment though as it's so good to get feedback.

  4. Personally, I wouldn't be offended if you copied a comment of mine into your blog (if I had made one)! It is more logical to have them all in the same place and easier for interested readers to follow the progression. Hard to imagine many would object.

    BTW I haven't commented on your previous post as I'm still pondering ... you have raised many things I just hadn't considered.

  5. I think the biggest issue with this is you'd have to be switched 'on' all the time. I'm someone who when they're tired tends to be more unprofessional and lose track of the more sensible side of things. My twitter tends to be less than serious as the whole thing feels to me. I don't know if I could serious tweet the whole time.

  6. Kia ora Dorothy!

    In May last year, Michele Martin posed the question, "Should we be commenting on blogs?"My response was brief, but then I hadn't been blogging long - less than a week at that time - but frankly, I haven't changed my opinion.

    I concur with you that it seems sensible to get the conversation all in the one spot. I must say though, it is also fashionable to post about them :-) .

    That's where the 'links to post' come in handy - but it is still a fag following all the threads. I'm afraid I get a bit ragged trying to sew it all together - sorry for the pun.

    Catchya later
    from Middle-earth

  7. Thanks for the interesting reflections here.
    @BarbHud There are still a surprising number of people using the internet who don't seem to understand that you lose control over your words once they are posted - a bit like people using twitter who don't seem to realise that their twitter URL http://twitter.com/user is a public webpage (unless they have made it private)
    @Michael and @AllanahK The integration of twitter into blog comments (if it happens) has the potential to be very annoying. Up there with the new craze to RT constantly! And Allanah I think there are still alot of people using these Web 2 spaces who don't use RSS. In fact I have noticed people tweeting about dropping their RSS in favour of responding to tweet links. A personality/learning style thing?
    @Belinda looking like there are a few of us who would like to have a discussion in the one place. The point raised by @NZWaikato reminds that there are still plenty of us around who are not prepared to spend our whole life online and it is so much more 'tidy' in the one forum.
    @Ken appreciate the pun :) I did wonder if this consensus coming through here is biased because of our age/experience? Not sure. My Uni aged kids want all their conversations to be threading in FaceBook... maybe not age then...