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Tracking the COMPLETE CONVERSATION

This is a two-month-old article republished on occasion of Steve Rubel’s post today: 2006 Trends Part I: Comment Search. Steve predicts we’ll see a solution soon. I certainly hope so. After all.. we’ve seen communication, PR, Marketing, Tech gurus identify this as a need – it’s an open call for all the programming wizards out there :-)

Happy Holidays!

The original article:

There is an abundance of tagging / tracking / linking / stat’s tools to enhance the Blogosphere, but they are all one-directional, missing a major part of the “Conversation”.

Steve Rubel talks about RSS being a passive “receive medium”, and how RSS is one-way, feeding info to those who passively consume it – but there is no “active” feedback channel where a business / organization could subscribe to the feed of all those interested in their product, service, or simply those that expressed a particular interest.

I’ve been thinking about a similar problem, but specifically limited to why blogging is still an incomplete conversation. “ You’re linked to me, I’m linked to you. That’s a conversation.” – says Ethan at OnoTech. Well, almost. There is just the small issue of manageability.

If you’re a Technorati top 100 or even 500 blogger, most of the conversation happens around your own blog, in the form of comments and trackbacks from other blogs. However, for the the rest of us, the other 20 million bloggers, chances are the conversation really takes place outside our own blog, and I for one certainly can’t keep track of all comments I left on other blogs. An occasional Google search on my name reveals lots of these “half-conversations” where I left a comment, the blog owner or other readers responded, but I’ve never seen the response, since I forgot to go back and-re-read all those blog-post.

Jeff Clavier points out that Blogware, one of the lesser known platforms (which I happen to use) can send emails when comments are made on a post you have commented on but that is email, and that’s not great… what about the other platforms? The current crop of tracking / linking services all have a top-down publisher-centric view, everything revolves around a blog and related posts, totally missing this other, “bottom-up” half of the conversation. Don’t we all need something that shows an integrated view of all conversations where we are participating per subject matter (blog title), whether we started it or someone else?

Jeff in his post quoted above invites creative minds to come up with a solution, and so does Steve Rubel: boy is that a business for someone”. At the recent TechCrunch BBQ I heard Dave Winer complain that he hasn’t seen a major breakthrough innovation around blogs for quite a while – I bet half the crowd at the event (200 techno-crazy minds) could create what we need here. C’mon guys, what are you waiting for?

Update (11/7) : Here’s a somewhat manual workaround. Still not quite the real thing :-(

Update (11/9) Jeremy Zawodny discusses comment tracking - some of the comments on his post are also worth reading.

Updates (12/25):

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