Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

We recently had a cluetrain moment on my blog. I wrote an entry about the Shure E2c in-ear headphones. We got a discussion going about great headphones. I don't know if it was because Google indexed this entry on the first page of search results for "Shure E2c", but Matt, the product specialist for the E2c, dropped in and joined the discussion. He wasn't the marketing or sales guy, but the product specialist. This combination of Google and blogs may create an opinion management and cluetrain manifesto sort of human conversation about products in a much less centralized method than some of the earlier models like epinions.

One more thing that I've been thinking about more and more these days is what Howard's been saying for awhile now. How do we get comments to become a more important part of blogging. Slashdot and Slashdot-like sites thrive on comments. Many blogs have very active comment areas. Is there a better way we can structure the indexing so that people have more incentive to comment? I have a feeling that either RSS feeds or how blog entries show up in Google results might be able to highlight comments more.

I sense a fairly active "comment" community developing on my blog. Maybe I should figure out a way to allow active comment contributors to spawn their own blogs on my site...


I call it multimedia conversations.

Here's the principles:

    - regardless of whether it starts as a comment thread, IM or chat interchange or email interchange - a conversation is started

    - media (photos, audio, video) can be part of these conversations - taking us beyond just text communication. The media is 'attached' to any 'node' of the conversation

    - these 'conversations' are then re-entrant - so that OTHERS can join in - at any point of the conversation - not just at the bottom - or in chronological order

    - of course - access to conversations can be limited (to members of one's private cloud) or completely public

    - conversations could be sorted by author, chronological order or by topic

    - public servers would house these conversations (the data structure and APIs would be totally open)

    - various tools would then add their own sensibility, viewpoint, UI, UE or attitiude - creating a vibrant environment

    - and needless to say these conversations can be tied into blog comments systems, IM, chat tools or just standalone conversation environments (like Usenet, Slashdot or iVillage)

Now we just gotta go build it.

- Marc

Excellent idea, Marc. I have one more suggestion - it might be a bit off the point. Assuming a baseline "schema" of your nodes, allow for a customizable subset of the baseline schema. This might make it easier for a variety of platforms/clients/devices to consume. And let's be sticklers about keeping the baseline schema very well formed so that we can use XPath to query/scrape whatever we want or need.

Sounds fun.


* an easy-to-use subscription feature that enables each participant to keep a list of conversations that he/she follows, and to EASILY NAVIGATE TO THE NEXT NEW POST since the last one read. This is, in my experience, key.

Right on, this evolution into distributed conversations is what's pulled me into creating a blog as well. Some folks are providing an RSS feed to recent comments as one way to help people track conversations, but this doesn't support following just the threads you like. If we can do this with not only text but also full multimedia that would certainly rule!

I was also happy to see your first foray into creating Flash content!

I was at a retreat this weekend with a gentleman who runs a promiment blogging software company that does NOT currently have comments built in like MT and Radio. I've been told that the next major code revision will have comments, so that's something to look forward to.

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Are some blogs offensive? from Thinking Out Loud: Thought Leadership from an Enterprise Architect
May 17, 2005 10:55 AM

Before you read any further, I ask that you stop what you are doing and read the Cluetrain Manifesto and then come back to this page. I have obtained wisdom from many blogs (too numerous to list here, but have... Read More