The Conversation is Real

As I recently wrote in an earlier first technology brief, one of the key benefits to blogging is to “join the conversation”. Blogs are providing a new forum for people to communicate that consists of a much larger base of opinions and ideas. Popular bloggers are engaging and learning from their readers. They are participating in the larger conversation that is the blogosphere and weighing in on the subjects that the public and their readers want to know about.

A conversation is a two way street – at least a good conversation is. In blogging terms, that means that a successful blogger will need to do more than just write, they also need to read. Blogs that consist of someone yelling from a mountain top about how good a product or service is or about how smart they are, remove the quintessential element to blogging – interaction.

The conversation is real. It is not just a selling point to get you blogging. I’ll provide two really neat examples I recently came across in my daily scouring of the web:

  1. TechCrunch is becoming the source for Web 2.0 product updates. They are “dedicated to obsessively profiling and reviewing every newly launched web 2.0 business, product and service.”

    Just over a month ago, they profiled a new social bookmarking tool called BlinkList. BlinkList joins a number of other similar services including del.icio.us (the leading social bookmarking tool to this point), Furl, and Simpy, amongst others.

    After reading through the profile, I noticed that there were a total of three comments. One was from a Simpy representative, the next was Mike Arrington of TechCrunch, and the final was by Ozzy of Blinklist. The conversation is real.

  2. As TechCrunch is the Web 2.0 product source, Richard MacManus of Read / Write Web is the de-facto Web 2.0 knowledge source. Richard is in many ways the pioneer in setting up a framework to describe and understand Web 2.0.

    In his latest Web 2.0 Weekly Wrap-up, Richard examines Web 2.0 in “the real world”, a new feature to his informative weekly summary. There he details a Web Ministry that is focusing on using the web to make “an eternal impact on the lives of individuals.”

    Of course, not long after that post went up, Rob, the author of that same Web Miinistry, commented on the Read / Write Web blog.

    David Teten commented to me: “Technologies like Pubsub make it easy for you to monitor in the blogosphere who’s talking about the subjects that most interest you (particularly your name!). One of the great advantages of online conversation is that you can have a conversation that transcends time and space limitations, while at the same time creating an instant community of people who share similiar interests, e.g., Blinklist and like technologies. That’s one of the advantages of blogs, as opposed to traditional walled vertical communities. Out of the enormous number of blogs, I can converse specifically with those people with whom I share interests, and I do not need to predefine with which people I share interests. If I only participate in a mailing list for graduates of my college, instead of using a blog, I’m much more restricted in the number of people I can build relationships with.”

These are just a couple of quick examples of showing that “the conversation is real”. There are many, many more. Feel free to share some of the examples you have seen by commenting below.