I know that no one reads this blog, but you can’t deny that we have our fingers on the pulse of the comment meme. Right after we hop on the technology issues of creating a hypertext universe of trackback-ian love, Clay Shirky does a big post on how comments on big web sites don’t really work, pointing out a variety of recent posts by bloggers (link love below) saying that people never say anything useful in comments because they are anonymous and anonymity ensures comments are thoughtless.
Let’s give me props for saying that blogs + trackbacks = responsibility and ownership.
Clay disses trackbacks, saying, “two blog posts do not make a conversation. The writing underneath a post is different in style and content, and in intent and effect, than the post itself.”
This is absolutely true, but if we agree that blogs = owning your words and increase the likelihood of thoughtful commentary, then shouldn’t we encourage trackbacks? Particularly when blogs reach the scale problem that Clay describes? Hilariously, neither Dave, nor Joel, nor even Corante/Many-to-Many/Clay make it clear how to trackback to them.
Corante shows how many trackbacks there are to an article, but I can’t figure out how to trackback and I bet, given the quality of the writing on Many-to-Many, they are missing thousands of backlinks because they are making it hard. Yow. The others pretend like that doesn’t even exist!