Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Threading conversations

Recent posts have talked about the mining the information contained in comments on blogs. The bigger issue to me is threading the whole conversation that is scattered across the blogsphere. Of which comments are a part. Trying to follow a conversation let alone the comments is, shall we say, difficult? More accurately it is tiresome and bordering on impossible in many cases.

Of course the aggregators and search engines can do a manual method. This will lead to missed posts and more importantly likely to miss the part of conversation held in the comments. Instead we need a system of automatically threading conversations ala Thunderbird or Outlook.

Until now RSS has been limited by being one way. Add in SSE and now conversations can be synchronised across sites. Instead of having a trackback or backlink each post would have a thread feed. When another blogger adds a post to the conversation they use the thread feed instead of the trackback. The post shows up on both sites with comments. Now the conversation is threaded. From any one blog the reader can find the whole conversation and not have to ferret it out across the general blogsphere.

Together RSS and SSE provide the active feedback channel that Zoli Erdos wants. It provides the automatic threading of conversations (including the comments) across blogs. Perhaps not the most elegant method but it is simple and can be done now and I'll take simple and avaliable over perfect and unavailable anyday.

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anina.net said...

woooow! you are so right. comment searching. it'd be cool though if you could turn it on and off...