A Question for Blog Authors and Readers: Discussions

This post is more than 2 years old.

My blog, like most blogs, allows me to express an opinion, share news, write reviews, or whatever, and then people can comment on them. If I choose to, I can reply, but the comments are really secondary... normally. (I'm not trying to say they are unimportant, but you get the idea.)

I belong to a very small listserv with a few good friends. These are people who - while I seem to disagree with most of them - I have an enormous amount of respect for. We are currently discussing recent decisions by the FCC and basic ideas of what our country should allow corporations to do. I think it's a great discussion (although my friends are completely wrong ;). I'd love to share it on the blog - however - the comments system isn't really well suited for something like this. We could make one very long blog entry - and use different colours and stuff to represent each author - but that doesn't seem right either. Comments - as I said - wouldn't work. I'd want this discussion to be limited - not because I don't value your input, but because I'd want to keep things focused. It's kind of like - how would a blog handle a political debate... which would have a few participants, but many viewers? A "member-only" theaded discussion could handle it - but how do you integrate that into a blog setting.


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About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a senior developer evangelist for Adobe. He focuses on document services, JavaScript, and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support. You can even buy me a coffee!

Lafayette, LA https://www.raymondcamden.com

Archived Comments

Comment 1 by Rob Brooks-Bilson posted on 6/2/2003 at 10:26 PM

I find myself reading your blog a lot today... Anyhow, it sounds to me like what you want to do is basically have an ongoing "chat" with a few select participants, with the transcript of that chat posted where others can read it, but not participate. Is that it?

Comment 2 by Bryan F. Hogan posted on 6/2/2003 at 10:30 PM

Ray, I had the same idea. The best thing that I could think of would be a RIA discussion app.

One could click on a link to view discussions which would open a small ria app that lists all topics collapsed. Upon clicking on the collapsed topic it would list a collapsed list of replies, etc, etc.

If designed well, I think it would be a very easy and cool addition to a blog. Eventually I will have the time to create it, but if someone beats me to it, all the better.

Comment 3 by Rob Brooks-Bilson posted on 6/2/2003 at 10:35 PM


This sounds kinda like what I was talking about - although your RIA idea is more elegant. Basically, it''s like private chat that non-participants can view.

Comment 4 by Bryan F. Hogan posted on 6/3/2003 at 12:03 AM

Yeah, sort-of, I really wasn''t thinking of a chat app. Although that is a good option also. It would actually be a discussion forum but a simple one that can only be viewed.

If it was a discussion type app it would allow the user to easily sort through the past information. Instead of joining in on reading in the middle of a chat.

Comment 5 by William Steiner posted on 6/3/2003 at 3:00 PM

This is the perfect distinction between "what is a blog" and "what is a forum". Ray, I think you are 100% on target with "comments are really secondary" in a blog. The focus is the author''s opinion.

I think the best way to handle a discussion in a blog is to link to it..."hey we are having a cool discussion on...you can read it here" with a link to it. Though since your discussion is happening on a ListServ...that doesn''t really work. Linking to a page...or even just making the long blog entry as you mentioned - while sort of hinky - is a good solution for THIS particular issue. If a discussion is needed - then use a forum. You could have your own forum linked to your blog.

Bottom line is that when I am reading blogs...I am just reading - and occasionally throwing out a comment. I personally don''t like to see "Comments(54)" at the bottom of a blog entry. And that is my 5 cents.

Comment 6 by Roger Benningfield posted on 6/3/2003 at 4:47 PM

Ray: If you want, I can slip you a pre-release copy of JournURL that you can play with. You can configure it to do exactly what you''re asking for.

Comment 7 by Jeff Wilkinson posted on 1/16/2004 at 9:40 PM

how about how slashdot does it? a blog-like post followed by a threaded discussion forum section...