Blogs, when they work as they are supposed to, are dialogs between the author and his or her readers.
For a long time, my blog has been largely a one way street with me publishing a note and you, dear reader, checking it out when you happen to think you’d like to see what ole Perry has been up to. There have been a couple of notable exceptions, of course, like my cousin Bowen who has been diligent in encouraging me (thank you, Bowen) with regular emails in which he comments on what I’ve written or nudging me gently to remind me that I haven’t posted anything here in a while. Also my friend, David Steele, often drops me an email about something I’ve posted here.
I’m pleased to see, however, that we’ve recently gotten over the hurdle of posting comments successfully as this series of comments to my post on July 30th illustrates. This success, though, creates the need for a new reading style when reviewing this, or any other, blog. The real action is now likely to be taking place in the comments section, and you won’t see that unless you click on the Comments link below each post, even if you may not be intending to leave a comment when you do so. Also I should point out that, if you post anonymously and I don’t already have your email address, the only way I’ll have to respond to your comment is by leaving a comment myself in that section. So when you do leave a comment, don’t forget to check back in that section to see whether there is a response to your comment. For your information, Blogger sends me an email when someone leaves a comment, so I will know it if you leave one.
A good example of a blog with a rich and active comment section is PressThink, Jay Rosen’s excellent blog about journalism. This post there illustrates what I am talking about. In his introduction to his blog, he explains what he tries to do with his blog and what his goals are. Now, Jay Rosen is a somebody, a known and important voice in what has come to be called the blogosphere, and his blog is read by far more people than read mine, but his work does illustrate the concept of what I’ve dubbed the “dia-blog.”
I realize that the blogs that generate the most comments are those that espouse some controversial point of view as many of the political blogs do. I’ve chosen to write a blog that is mostly applehood and mother pie where I share my views about life on the Internet and to a degree about the events in my personal life and my thoughts about them, so I recognize that such posts don’t create as great a need to comment as a blog with a different goal might. Still I would expect that those discovery posts about something on the Internet might raise a question or two for you, and I would invite you to raise those questions in comments to such posts. I’ll try to clarify the significance as I see it about those discoveries for you, and together we’ll both understand better some of the things that the Internet makes possible.
I’ll close this by saying “thanks” to those of you who have stuck with me and continued to experiment with learning to post comments through the time when we were having trouble doing that. I’m glad we have this channel to carry on a conversation. And I look forward to our future conversations through this dia-blog.