Blogging and communities

Back in January I asked a question at a conference about CoPs and web2.0

“How are we going to hold the more fragile communities together when some of the key contributors may be increasingly tempted to publish their ideas mainly on their own blogs to the detriment of the overall level of interaction?”

Since then, there has been a discussion on ACTKM mailing list mostly entitled “Blogs vs Forums” which has thrown up some possible answers, for example the suggestion that forum discussions go deeper and last longer, whereas blog conversations (where they happen at all), tend to fizzle out quite quickly.

You have to be careful though, not to imagine that it’s in the comments attached to blog posts that conversations will normally take place. The comments area may look like forums, but they are not, and the real conversation taking place in the blogosphere tends to happen between blogs, typically with one blogger writing a post which picks up and develops an idea referencing what another blogger posted earlier on their own blog, and so on.

In such a way, possible blogging ‘’communities’’ bound together by hyperlinks, RSS, trackbacks, pings tags and searches may arise deliberately or spontaneously in a more or less decentralised fashion.

Jack Vinson certainly entertains the idea of blogging and communities

But are these bloggers, standing as they do somewhat aloof from the forums which they may also take part in, helping to draw in wider participation from the general web, through their high ranking in the search engines and engagement with wider communities, or are they drawing energy and ideas away from forums, diluting the special power of many-to-many asynchronous dialogue?

It is perhaps at the boundaries where the two worlds (blogs and forums) meet that interesting things are happening and future trends may perhaps be spotted.

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