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Friday, March 09, 2007

Blogs Are Not Scaleable

Or so says Robert Feinman from Dailykos in a comment over at The Buzzmachine blog. I tried to leave my own comment but the technology failed to let me do so.

So here's an extract from Robert's comment and then I'll give you my comment:

"The blog model is failing, just when everyone is getting on board. I offer the following cautionary tale (dailykos):

DailyKos is probably the biggest blog with a single proprietor. There are a handful of featured contributors who appear on the front page and a slightly larger number who are recognized by fans and show up in the “recommended” list for a few hours. Then there are the hundreds of regular diarists, and the larger numbers of commentators and lurkers.

For the popular diaries the comments can reach into the hundreds. This makes it impossible for anyone to read and follow a discussion. So most people who comment are talking to themselves. This is not a dialogue, it is like cheering (or booing) at a sports event."

There were 12 comments, and another that caught my eye was from Mike Mullane from Multimedia Meets Radio.

"Sorry, I disagree - blogging is scalable. The mistake that many of us make is to think about conversation in the singular. For example, every post on the Italian version of Beppe Grillo’s blog attracts more than a thousand comments. But far from killing conversation, there is a genuine exchange of ideas."

So, what I said, or tried to say, was...


Interesting challenge to have.

I think Mike is right though, blogging is scaleable. I've been blogging for 4 years now and obviously reading other people's blogs.

I wont say that I'm representative of blog readers but I get what I want out of blogs. Often I look at a blogs list of recent postings and simply pick one I like the look of - rather like skimming a newspaper.

I read the post then I skim through the comments, reading those that look interesting.

From a blog owners point of view I always answer all comments I receive. I'm lucky because my blogs are not on particularly popular subjects like politics or sport so comment volume is no problem. However, if I reach the scale of comments you're talking about here I would see no problem in letting the readers answer each others comments.

At that point the blog has become a networking meeting where like minded people discuss subjects that interest them. But you don't try and listen or contribute to all the conversations - that way madness lies!"

What are your views? Do you think blogs will become unusable? Do you think information overload will become so enormous we start using other means of communication?


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