You know that I cannot resist joining an interesting conversation. Louis Gray at Silicon Valley blog asks an interesting question - should fractured feed reader comments raise blog owner's ire? [hat tip to Chris Baskind] There are some great insights in the comments to that post you might want to read. Todd Defren also wrote about the issue calling it the broken conversation, to which he got 15 comments. To that, Brian Solis says ladies and gentlemen, the conversation has left the building, and maybe it has.
I raised the question on multiple occasions on Twitter. When individuals engage with each other there, even with half formed ideas and short bursts of words, they think they have already talked. No need to comment on the person's blog, then. What's interesting about this conversation is that it seems to be the same kind of dynamic we observe off line (when we pay attention).
Someone discovers something fun, cool, or any which way you'd like to describe it. They tell their friends and family in different ways. One is a conversation by the person's driveway getting back from work. The other is a phone call on the way to the grocery store. Yet another one, is an email sent during lunch break. You see where I'm going.
Over the years I have often heard someone quote my own words back to me as theirs. That is a high compliment (I admit it, unless they are trying to steal your brand, then it's not cool). It means that the idea and concept, the inspiration, made enough of an impact to be noticed and adopted. The perfect world has the idea attributed back to you - that is if they knew it was yours in the first place. What if they heard it from someone who heard it from someone?
The good news is that online you can track most everything. Someone runs a search for something and it and the searcher's IP address show up on someone else's screen somewhere else. And yes, if that person who is being quoted or searched is known, the word will get back to them quickly.
I consider the comments to these posts very much part of what makes the content work. You are part of the conversation. So if comments are portable, if they happen somewhere else, do they still count towards the whole? Does the conversation lose something because the comments and discussion may be taking place on Twitter, or Facebook (which I left), or somewhere else?
Does resisting this trend represent a valid concern for one's own work -- or
the sort of resistance to the future that allowed bloggers to carve out
a piece of traditional media's pie? I'm listening.