Dave Pollard's chronicle of civilization's collapse, creative works and essays on our culture.
A trail of crumbs, runes and exclamations along my path in search of a better way to live and make a living, and a better understanding of how the world really works.



March 27, 2004

WHY HAVEN’T WE DEVELOPED ‘WORK-AROUNDS’ FOR BLOGGING’S LIMITATIONS?

Filed under: Using Weblogs and Technology — Dave Pollard @ 13:22
david wI enjoy reading Dave Weinberger’s Joho the Blog for two reasons: because he’s an incredibly bright guy, and because he gets you thinking about things you don’t ordinarily get around to thinking about (due to a combination of lack of imagination and lack of time). I don’t have time to think, I’m too busy blogging. If that’s your problem, Dave’s the cure for what ails ya.

I’ve talked on these pages before about the limitations of blogs: Their inaccessibility to the technologically inept, the immense difficulty of building an audience (and even finding others to ‘talk with’) when you’re a newcomer to blogging and hence subject to Shirky’s Power Law (first one in gets all the attention).

To me, the greatest limitation is blogs’ lack of integration and ‘transitionability’ with other communication tools. Why haven’t we developed generally-accepted work-arounds that allow us to transition from blog comments to e-mail threads, IM, telephony, wikis and other tools, and back again? Have we become so used to being led around the nose by the functionality (and lack thereof) of communication tools that we’ve lost our imagination and social will to develop means to jump to better tools when the one we’re working isn’t optimal? Skype was one of the Top Technologies of the Year in Business 2.0′s list, and it’s wonderful, and free, so why isn’t everyone using it to extend the relationships they develop on blogs? And why are webcams still ridiculed, when everyone agrees facial expresssion and bosy language add immensely to communication, and we now have the high-speed bandwidth (well, 47% of us have anyway per a recent study) to accommodate multi-media conversations? Why do so few people take up my (and others’, from what they tell me) invitations to call them, Skype them, IM them, to allow the iteration (back-and-forth) that is the essence of true conversation? And why, when we do make that transition, and meet someone who’s become a ‘friend’ through our blogs, is the first meeting or conversation in aother medium so awkward, even jarring?

That’s all I have today — a lot of important questions, and no answers. Thanks to Dave for raising the issue. If anyone has any thoughts or answers on this, I’d love to hear them. Even additional questions are welcome. And if you’d like to use another, more robust tool than blog comments or e-mail to converse about this, just ask.

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