Blogging interactions

May 3, 2008

I’ve had some interesting experiences with this IC experiment today. I received some comments for the first time… two sets from people I’ve met personally, one spam comment. The whole activity of interacting with comments was interesting to me. The comment from Tim was work-related and useful… links to some info around a workshop on ePortfolios… and reading that comment made me think about the different ways Tim could have communicated that information to me (e.g. by email, by phone, by talking) and what, if anything, sense of difference having it on the blog as a comment made to me… The following notions came to mind:

1. The link was a ‘within system’ link – i.e. not ‘out from an email’ to the web but rather web-to-web.
2. Evidence of Tim’s metalevel thinking about the context of the message ‘this social-networking’ made me smile.
3. My reading of the message was made ‘in context’ and that made the blog somehow something more useful.
4. Having the message ‘within blog’ made it both personal and public, for me and for others.
5. I liked the idea of the blog generating a dialogue… and that’s not something, generally, I perceive through emails… and perhaps that has something to do with notions of permanency and visibility and sharing around blog comments.

I also enjoyed Lucinda’s comments which were different again and… more of a reflective/cross-contextual dialogue… exploring each other’s perspectives around blogging and the use of technology for learning. So, whereas Tim’s comment provided me with information and was, in that sense, purposeful. Lucinda’s comments made me think and reflect about my blog, about the content of my blog and the wider contexts and to think around those things ‘in the eyes of the other’… so, in a sense, Lucinda as audience amplified my thinking around the blog and it’s purpose… and instead of a representation of my thinking, it became a space for dialogic conversation which was pretty cool.

Another thing that struck me about the commenting was how these were managed and communicated within the hosted blogging environment. I received an email for all comments the blogging tool ‘perceived’ to be acceptable but didn’t receive any for those that the blogging tool ‘decided’ were spam (one of which included Tim’s comment). Looking at the two sets of comments, I wondered upon what principles the software was making these ‘decisions’… and felt that Tim’s was designated to be spam because it had multiple links within the comment and the second spam comment (which was one) had irrelevant and incoherent random wording. Lucinda’s comments, on the other hand, were coherent narratives. Another thought that struck me was the time required to deal with comments, whether that be thinking time, responding time or just management time… On the whole, to receive feedback was a positive experience… and useful… but at the same time, it does engender some work on the part of the blogger, in terms of interacting with the audience. Interesting.

Anyway, enough on ‘social’ interactions… some other interactions were interesting to me also – primarily because of my interest in technology tools and, it seems to me, that each time I log into the hosted blog, I notice new things.

So, in checking out the comments feature, I noticed also that WordPress operates a recommendations feature… providing links to posts it feels are/may be of relevance/interest to the posts you are making. That intrigued me… and made me think around notions of the semantic web. I checked the posts out and they were relatively similar areas of interest but only one was of particular interest to me and, that, only momentarily. I wondered whether the links were made through patterns within tags on posts… along folksonomy lines.

WordPress Recommendations

Then I noticed another thing (which I liked) – a drop down tab system at the top of the screen that enables you to switch easily between your WordPress hosted blogs (if you have multiple ones). Nice.

Dashboard Drop Tab in WordPress