DonnaM » Blog Archive » Do we blog instead of discussing

Do we blog instead of discussing

I was thinking today about something and wondering whether I should mention it here or on a mailing list.

That started me thinking about a couple of mailing lists that were quite active a few years ago but are quieter now. I know that mailing lists go through cycles, but compared to 3 years ago, most of the mailing lists I subscribe to are relatively quiet. The level of discussion is much lower and the issues being raised are not really discussions anymore but links to articles or question/answers.

So that made me wonder whether the issues that we once discussed had gone away (no!) or whether perhaps they are being discussed elsewhere instead – in blogs rather than on discussion lists. Thinking about the types of issues that have been posted on some of my favourite blogs (oops, I need to update my blogroll) makes me think that the interesting issues are being discussed in a different place to where they once were.

Hmmm…I wonder. It’s interesting to look at how communication changes over time.

2 Responses to “Do we blog instead of discussing”

  1. Alex Says:

    I think you’re referring to the “newbie” factor and the “freshmeat” factor;

    The “newbie” factor is when a mailing-list has reached a point where the chasm between newbie and old-timer is greater than the number of lines it takes to explain the newbie what it is all about, which is of cumulative growth as the context of the problem grows with our understanding of it.

    The “freshmeat” factor is when topics go from hot to cold. When most kinks have been sorted out, “go read the friggin’ archives.” Human nature. It is easier to say something to everybody than to someone specific. Always. Any taxonomy goes from general to specific, even the taxonomy of communication.

    Ok, so I’m postulating here. Maybe nobody really want to discuss anymore. Internet isn’t that hot anymore. Maybe people are happy with the one-sided authoritarian fascist way, talking out of their own … uh, blogs. But then, what do I know; Just read my friggin’ blog and give me Google juice. :)

  2. vanderwal Says:

    Donna, you have hit upon part of the quiet on lists. The blog postings do give more control of the content, but it greatly decreases the discussion, even if sites have comment boards. The blog is much more asynchronous, where as the listserv is more synchronous. The quickest communication environment is face-to-face as one not only has the direct channels, but the side channels of communication (side discussions, non-verbal, etc.).

    This came up at the Design Engaged conference, which found many of us read each others’ blogs, but the quick exchanges of ideas was far more productive than a week or month of blog posts or even a week of really active listserv.

    The syndication of sites allows for pulling many conversations into one place, but rate of communication slows down. This seems to slowdown the honing and improving of ideas also.