I've read a lot lately on the power of RSS, cross-posting, and blog indexing and search tools like Technorati and Bloglines. But do either of those services (and the many others out there) index one of the best features of many Weblogs (including this one)?
I'm talking about comments, of course.
On my blog, the comments sections to many posts are far more interesting than my original throat-clearing and quite frankly, I've written several posts quite consciously as conversation starters for the core group of reader/writers here. Who can forget the classic debate over the Spanish Civil War that began life as an item about Condi Rice? Or the recent post about the disgraceful Republican trial balloon on postponing the election, which turned into a wide-ranging discussion of election year politics? And this week, a quickie "I'm on vacation" post turned into a discussion about campus life at Columbia University circa 1980.
Who'da thunk it? And that's the point! These entertaining conversations are simply not apparent via a quick scoping of an RSS feed or an index via MyYahoo. If you relied on the current "feed" mania, you'd also have missed these classics:
And those are just a handful. The comments are where the action is on DailyKos, with spirited and only occasionally profane posts by political jousters. They're also the big draw on Jeff Jarvis's BuzzMachine blog (sorry Jeff, you are prolific, but it's your community that makes your site the must-read it is). In seven months of doing this blog, I've posted 109 items, some short, some long, some unreadable. But the comments are clearly where the action is - I've had a grand total of 634 so far, or an average of about six per posting.
I love these conversations; without 'em, I'd have shut this baby down long ago after the requisite experiment with the blogging software ended. So where are Technorati and Bloglines? Why do they believe links and search and RSS are where the action is? Why don't they understand that it's the comments, stupid?!