Thursday, June 30, 2005

Dialogue Blogging: superior to Monologue Blogging

Blogs almost always need comments to be of maximum value to both author and readers.

There are almost no exceptions to this general rule.

I have yet to think of one, though I know of comment-deprived blogs.

A link log is the only exception I know of.

A link log is like Robot Wisdom, (of Jorn Barger, and one of the earliest pioneering blogs) which simply collects and provides links that the blogger thinks will be relevant, of value, or interesting to the readers.

I. Dialogue Blogging is superior to Monologue Blogging


Dialogue = two voices = back and forth = conversation = expressing oneself and receiving the expressions of an other = two-way communication = mutual interaction of sender and receiver with message transmission = one message generates multiple messages.

Monologue = one voice = shut up and listen to me = you are of no value = my ideas and opinions shall be proclaimed, and I don't want to hear from you = passive absorbing of message = one message remains rigidly isolated from other messages.

Dialogue Blogging
= blogger/author posts are accompanied by posted reader comments, via comment text entry form or, less ideally, via email to blogger/author.

Blog visitors are encouraged, directly asked, to add comments.

Blogger/Author seeks two-way conversation, not sermon pulpit.

Blogger/Author is humble, teachable, open to others, inquisitive, altruistic.

Blogger/Author desires to communicate in a mutual exchange of information for mutual benefit and further enlightenment, acquired via reader critique of, and contributions to, blog content.

II. Quotes from THE MIRACLE OF DIALOGUE by Reuel L. Howe
(The Seabury Press, Minneapolis, 1963)

* " monologue a person is concerned only for himself...others exist to serve and confirm him." (p.36)

* "The communication of such a [monologueing] person is parasitical, anxious, and lacking in creative impulses and possibilities." (p. 36)

* "His communication is parasitical because he is not really interested in others and values them only according to the feelings they produce in him." (p.36)

* "He is anxious because he seeks confirmation of himself, is afraid of personal encounter, and tolerates only agreement with himself and his ideas." (p. 36)

* "And he is uncreative because his word is a closed, not open, one; that is, he seeks to present his own meaning as final and ultimate." (p. 36)

* "Dialogue is that address and response between persons in which there is a flow of meaning between them in spite of all the obstacles that normally would block the relationship." (p. 37)

* "...a person comes into being only in relation....when a relationship is broken and abandoned, the person as a person dies. This impression is confirmed when we visit a mental hospital and see there people who have been so severely hurt in the milieu of relationship that they have withdrawn from it altogether. The lifeless expressions on their faces indicate clearly that the spark of personhood has disappeared." (p. 86)

* "The dialogical person is a open person, one who is known first by his willingness and ability to reveal himself to others, and, secondly, by his willingness and ability to hear and receive their revelation." (p. 71)

Blogs are ideally, in most situations and applications, dialogical.

Even with behind-the-firewall intra-corporate project collaboration or information dissemination blogs, dialogue is vital.

Employees need to be able to post comments, questions, clarifications, to the information a fellow employee has posted to the blog. In this application, it's strongly suggested that a Recent Comments sidebar link list be used, so users can click-select any comment that seems interesting, and go right to it.

Blogs are ideal for two-way conversation, or for information interaction. Even if it's not technically a "conversation", still there generally needs to be interaction with the message or information. There usually needs to be the availability of questioning, supplementing, updating, or revising the information from the user side.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate

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Captain Platypus said...

Have to disagree w/ you about comments and dialogue being necessary. James Lileks has a daily blog w/o comments that is highly popular. OF course it helps that he is a celebrity of sorts. Comments are good, but not all blogs need them.

steven edward streight said...

Like I always have said about nearly, but not, all my hermeneutics and diagnoses, there may, in some distant enclave of the ultranet, in some dim and dismal or bright and bubbly, pocket of the hyperverse, an obscure and negligible exception.

But again: I can't think of any legit and mature necessity to forbid interaction with any type of web site, including blogs, wikis, glogs, and all the many hybrids that are popping up like popup boxes all over my cyber-garage.

You would honor me with a relaxed and rotating explication of in what application there could possibly be no wish to obtain voluntary input from users.

Or are businesses to busy obtaining involuntary input, via spyware, adware, printer logging, screenshot logging, and other clandestine personal information accumulators?

We demand to know.

Many wonderful geniuses and celebrities wish to have a unilateral sermon pulpit.

So be it.

We all carry our flaws
and wince at the flogs.

You can cut the vocal chords of the readers by not enabling comments at your blog...

...mute it like the button on a television remote control.



The Monologue Pulpit Blog...

perfect for dubious opinions

and preaching to the choir.

Grass Roots or Brass Boots?

We make the choice

by mental chicklet.



carrie said...

i don't like it when people leave mean comments on my blog. i don't want other people to see them.

steven edward streight said...

I don't mind negative comments, as long as they're aren't vulgar, filthy language, racist, sexist, ethnic slurs, cruel to those who cannot protect themselves or talk back.

It's not fair to dump tons of complaint on those who are dead, nor to put words in their mute mouths.

But I actually enjoy negative comments, especially when I'm wrong, or when there's a problem I have not noticed.

Someone has alerted me to "broken layout of blogs in IE browser".

When I view my blogs in IE, I see no broken layouts.

But anyway, maybe there is a problem in older versions of IE. I use Firefox all the time, but as usability analyst, I'm supposed to seek, and inspect for, cross-browser compatibility for all my sites.

So a negative comment, via email or blog comment posting, can help us improve or consider changing something we might have let languish in unperceived mediocrity or problems.

carrie said...

yes, i don't consider that a negative comment-- it's helpful or informative; and, i have actually noticed that about your blogs. when i look at them at school, the sidebar on some browsers is way below the body of the blog. if you widen the main body part by like 50 px or something, that might go away, but ees no big deal.
the negative comments i don't like are ones that are meant to hurt my feelings or embarrass me in a deliberate way.

steven edward streight said...

I don't mean to sound dense, but I cannot imagine any comment that could possibly hurt my feelings or reputation.

I know of some harsh, even filthy comments that exist on certain blogs and other online locations, and the administrators have not, and perhaps will never, remove them.

Odd. Are the administrators also against me? But see--I can't be stopped, only opposed, futiley, to no result, I still triumph in all things at all times.

carrie said...

wow! that's quite an accomplishment!

steven edward streight said...

Positive Thinking: the Extreme Sport Version.

plus a healthy dose of deconstruction,

like when a belief is expressed, one immediately wonders and ponders:

what need is causing this person to have this belief?

why does this flamer have an expressed and implicit, intuitive need, instinctual drive... slay me?
...dismay me?
...try to play me?
...mislay me?
...betray me?

not hooray me?

carrie said...

sucha poet ewe our.