I really wish it was all in one place: a day of bitty conversations

Today I have left comments on three or four different blogs following up on references to an interview I did with Clay Shirky, prior to his appearance at the LSE on Tuesday evening.

Each time I registered my details and signed up for follow-up emails if possible. Then there’s been a bit of Twittering as well, but sometimes debate needs that little bit more than 140 characters. Wouldn’t it be nice if I had all this on one page – instead of spending (it is valuable, right?) time jumping page to page, sometimes even going back to check if more comments have been added (how old school is that?) if the email facility isn’t installed on the blog in question.

I often think that our web conversations are very fragmented. Over at the J.co.uk Editors’ Blog we’ve thought about TweetBack for example, but judging from my experiences when I installed the plug-in on this blog and from the comments on the developer’s site, it’s a little bit temperamental. I’ve got Disqus installed on this blog, with the aim of having my conversations held in one place, but not enough people are on Disqus to make this really work.

Often bringing coversations together comes down to a human-driven linking-up of sources – where Twitter comes into its own – allowing people to flag links to different places with ease.

I wonder what the solution is. I want:

  • a productive way to bring themed conversations to one spot.
  • email alerts when someone responds to me and my comment directly (not necessarily the whole post) – like a Facebook thread, perhaps.
  • to see what other comments people have left on other blogs and news sites.
  • less random ways of finding out if people have talked about your work etc. I rely on trackbacks to news and blogs, or Google alerts, which is a bit haphazard for my liking.
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