Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Listen Phone: Blogs Without Comments

The Listen Phone: Blogs Without Comments

How would you like it if everytime the phone rang, you could listen to a voice on the other end, but could not speak and be heard by the party phoning you?

Imagine a telephone, a Listen Phone, with only a speaker emitting the sound of another's voice. No mouthpiece to talk into.

This is the blog without comments enabled.

This is the unilateral blog demanding users to passively absorb information.

With interactive blogs, blogs that enable users to post comments, blogs that allow readers to provide immediate feedback...

...information is becoming defined as active participation in, rather than submissive reception of, a given message.

There may be valid applications of a non-interactive blog, for example, in situations where information is updated, but no user input is appropriate. Cases in which it's important to know what was the latest addition, but no questions or replies from users are important to the users or the authors of the content.

But it's very hard, at least for me, to think of such applications.

In most cases that I am aware of,
an inability to post comments seems
to suggest that such a blog

is just a

Listen Phone.

The Listen Phone type blog:

1. user input is not valued
2. user reaction is not welcome
3. user needs for clarification are not vital
4. user desire to communicate to author is shunned
5. user expertise is not wanted
6. user opinions are not esteemed
7. user feelings are of no interest
8. author errors are not to be mentioned
9. author faults are not to be pointed out
10. author content is superior to user ideas
11. author wisdom is complete without user input
12. author confidence is shakey
13. author authority is to be unquestioned
14. author accountability is not operative
15. author isolation from readership is optimized
16. author-user interaction is feared due to possibility of negative comments which might also lower author esteem in the eyes of other readers

[NOTE: I got the idea of a Listen Phone from Evan Williams who suggests, according to Corporate Blogging Info blog, that podcasts should be much shorter and be delivered via telephone. This Podcast Listen Phone makes sense, but not the Commentless Blog.]

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate


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