Archive for February 17th, 2007


‘Spillover’ Threads

February 17, 2007

If there’s one thing I don’t like about blogs (especially quickly-updated blogs like LGF and Kos), it’s the short attention span.  Discussions and debates within the comment section tend to be brief, as the contributors are pulled away by the allure of fresh posts.  Threads on blogs like these can become “dead” pretty quickly, and sometimes I’m frustrated that I’ve left an argument prematurely.  Life is busy, after all, and often times contributors are unable to respond for a few hours (at least).  As the thread ages, the incentive to post a fresh idea or angle diminishes as it becomes increasingly unlikely that anyone will read it.  Because of this, it’s pretty much accepted practice for members on popular sites to drag discussions into fresher threads, at the expense of proper context (among other problems).

I suppose that’s why I’ve always preferred the message board format for debate; because new comments are brought back to the ‘head of the line’, and because anyone can start a new topic of discussion.  The disadvantage is the natural “echo chamber”  effect of message boards, as the posts won’t ping other sites or really show up on anyone’s radar besides, eventually,  google (it could be argued that you can use feeds with message boards, but that doesn’t appear to be common practice).

For the time being, blogs seem have taken over as the venue for discussion, probably because of the advantages of networking.  So I had an idea….

I could use my blog  to post a ‘spillover’ when the need arises.  In other words,  I could start a thread here that other interested parties could agree to come back to later.  Since my site moves much slower, the discussion would remain relatively fresh here, and still retain the networking advantages if needed. 

Spillover threads could also be used it situations where there are discussions taking place between blogs (which happens daily).   The problem I see is that Kos members can’t post on LGF (and vice versa), so the result is a bit of a “shouting from a distance” effect.  However, these ‘blog wars’ could take place on a registration-free site like this.  Just an idea, but  I think it would be fun to moderate something like this every once and awhile, since I appear to be one of the few people out there with posting privileges on both sites.  This would actually work quite smoothly if the post author got in on the act, and posted the link to the spillover in the main entry.

Hhhmmm…there must be some problem that I’m not thinking of…..