I’ve always thought (well, I guess only since I discovered blogs) that while many use blogs as a way to encourage conversations, the actual facilities within blogs to allow comments don’t seem to be the best way for people to have a conversation. Commenting can be awkward – really, really awkward. I have long been frustrated by Blogger’s extremely small comment window – which makes it beyond difficult to write a long comment. Other blog software suffers from the same problem. I do like the preview feature in Blogger, but wish spell check were available. SPAM forces many to restrict people from commenting anonymously (I’m not making a value judgement – comment SPAM is starting to drive me insane) and/or moderate all comments. Again, I understand the reasoning, yet this inhibits conversations since people may not want to log in and since comments may not appear directly after they are written. Additionally, most comments are put in chronological order – and often times some comments may not get posted in the order they were written. This makes reading the comments awkward and even painful at times – especially if there are a significant number of comments, and one has to scroll up and down to remember what (and who) a particular commenter is talking about.
I would love to see some other way of commenting on blog posts that would encourage and organize specific conversations. Interestingly, Dave Pollard from How to Save the World blog has some ideas and suggestions in the post How to Make Blogs More Conversational– some good ideas based upon the architecture of online forums. Well worth a read – especially for those who might finding the experience of commenting on blog post a bit awkward – and maybe even frustrating.