The Blogging process

Dave Pollard has a great piece on the blogging process. If you already suspected that serious blogging is a rather time-consuming and involving activity, you will not be disappointed.

I particularly like Dave's question on connectivity:

Why can't we enhance blog software so it allows a discussion, at the author's discretion, to migrate simply to other, more powerful conversational tools without losing the connection to the initial blog post that provoked it? I could (as lots of bloggers do) add applets and links for chat, IM, voice-over-IP, a webcam, desktop videoconferencing, my forums and groups, and my Ryze and LinkedIn pages. But they still wouldn't be connected, and I'd expect few readers to comfortably jump to the other 'channels' to continue a discussion started by a blog post.

This resonates with my feelings that the commenting systems on the present weblogs are in their infancy. Not that, as Dave points out, comments are the ideal way of interacting with each other, but working for a big systems integrator has reinforced my natural suspicion that integration can go only so far. It is safe to say that comments are now a basic feature of any serious weblog system and that they could be seriously improved to facilitate discussions. This is a less ambitious quest than Dave's one, however a necessary building block and one that is practically feasible because it is an evolution rather than a new integration. Judging from the recurring calls around better comments, it is also an apparent need.

Here is a short and non exhaustive primer, from my mere thoughts, to real improvements to weblogs comments:

Trackbacks are comments, let's integrate them: Simple Comments, CommentsAPI.
Comments are personal voices, let's sign them: comments authentication, Reserved Names.
How do I fix a typo? Editable comments. But then, I do I track updates? Dive into accountability!
Following conversations (including remote ones): threaded comments, with notifications, TrackBack replies to comments.

One day all of this will percolate enough for me to nail it in a comprehensive form, before it will simply appear out of the box on a prominent system and spread through emulation, the latter being what I really wish anyway.

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