Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - Whose Party is it Anyway?


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Does the comparison really work?

A blog has a radically different "product" from a Tupperware party. For one thing, you can specify what you want at a T* party. With appropriate apologies to T*-oriented folk... Just causing trouble, is all... :-) (T* being shorter than "Tupperware".) With a blog, the producer specifies the product being delivered.

Blogging, I think, is more akin to a newspaper: we can elect to read it, or not. The content is provided, but the choice of whether to read it? There isn't a viable, material product: it's all ideas and their expression, with no tangible, real or concrete form. It seems real, but the entire expression can be (cynically) rephrased as electrical pulses, recorded, stored and delivered. A piece of Tupperware is a "concrete" product: it's real, it can be handled, and traded. A blog post? I'm not sure that can be traded, except when a blogger agrees to trade their words in exchange for something (usually something more concrete, like money!) (Doesn't that reduce their credibility? I'm still not sure about that one.)

I think a lot depends on why "you" blog. I do it because I like writing; other do it for the lucre it brings; and still others because it might help their jobs. Anyone blogging for financial gain, whether it's immediate, as in "we'll pay you to provide commentary", or more long-term, has to pay attention to their public "space". Others, like myself, don't have to. By way of analogy, when I was single, I found it a lot easier to go buy more coffee mugs than wash the ones in the sink. I probably provided some new lifeforms to the ecosphere, but I didn't care if my guests were offended by my kitchen or not. (Heck, I was usually offended by my kitchen. Why should my guests not get the full, er, well, I'd probably be better not saying that. :-) I still cringe when I recall my Mom asking when I was going to do some cleaning - and my informative response being "Huh?")

Actually, in an indirect way, someone concerned about their blog readership can always use the statistics to figure out what people read. But, again, that has more in common with a newspaper tailoring its reporting to readers' expectations than the purchasing of "real" products, regardless of the forum in which they are purchased. Whew; I can take a breath, now.

It's an interesting idea you put forward, Valeria: but I have to hedge my bets on whether it works or not. :-)

Carolyn Ann

Gee, I never thought of that. I'm gonna have a public relations party. You're invited.

Absolutely, Tiffany. The interesting conversations are going to be with people who have invested time in getting to know you, and vice versa, of course. This is a medium, it's not the answer to all things relational. The right approaches and dynamics still need to be in place for the conversation to carry everyone to the next level.

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