Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Blog post is not a singularity

A blog post is not a singularity.

You're not "done" with your post, just because you published it to your blog.

You think you're done? No. LOL

Post publishing is just the beginning of the post's existence and substance.

More will be added, subtracted, or altered.

In most cases, a blog post, as initially published on your site, permalinked, pinged, notified, syndicated, printed out, bookmarked, cached, and archived, is not The Post in any definitive manner, except temporarily for reference purposes.

...not The Post, as though somehow exalted above, or isolated from, what is about to attach itself to it,

to stretch it, shrink it, or shirk it.

Once the post is published, it finds itself displayed as a potential comment, trackback, quoted content within another blog's post, or reblogging magnet, re-existing in its entirety (as in Scoble's link blog), and as syndication fodder.

It's "out there",

shadowing or illuminating a tiny
nearly vanishing spot in the internet,

sitting glumly, nervously fidgeting
in the public utility space of the web,

dancing or sleeping in the blog-o-sphere,

flowing fragmentively through feeds and readers,

appearing in web browser windows.

The post is part of a larger system, as Tom Coates speaks of a "super-distributed conversation", spanning digital territory, with largely unknown and variably permeable borders.

Its vulnerability to questions, clarifications, and critiques is legendary.

A naked newborn post, fresh from the security of the blogger's mental womb, spanked out via keyboard poundings, cursor slammings, and rabid mouse clickings, an entry, a contender, competing against millions upon millions of all other posts at all other blogs, trying to get someone to pay attention to it, obey it, react or do/think something.

It removes its reverse-halloween friendly frigidity face mask.

It hopes to be "sticky". Shows sensitivities and trivial droolings of self pity. Or shines expertise spotlights in our eyes, blinding us to the mundane pivots.

It hopes its glue-like properties will result in many items helplessly affixed to it.

It wishes to spawl outwardly into other regions, via RSS, trackbacks, quotations, citations, tags, reblogs, links, directories, word of mouth, and authorized reproductions.

A comment is posted to the post.

You mindfully scramble to post a reply at once courteous, intelligent, and complete. Or belligerant, if the comment was a flame. Or surgically if it's spam or abusive to others.

Your reply is a comment posted in response to a comment posted in response to your original post.

Thus the original post is one post in a indeterminate series of posts.

This is what must be grasped.

A post is not an island. It spawns consequential posts (comments and replies to comments).

Do we need a new word to mean "blog author's posted reply to a comment posted under a post"?

And a different word for "blog user/reader's posted reply to a blogger's reply to a comment or another commenter's reply to a comment or post?"

A blog post is not a single, individual, isolated, islanded, insulated item or event.

It is generally automatically connected in a mesh of other posts in your blog and other posts at other blogs, more or less, increasingly so, if it generates any attention.

The comments are the children of the post.

The trackbacks are the post's cousins.

The feeds are its ambassadors.

Mentioning the post at other blog comment forums is one of the post's missionary activities.

The original blog post is the initial, initiating post, hopefully, since blogs are about conversational interactions among blog authors and blog readers, who are often fellow bloggers.


My point is this: write a post in expectation of potential, hoped for, interaction.

Ask questions, solicit reader opinions, pose challenges, request specific actions, stir up controversy, be astonishing, use amazing photos, art, and text.

Anticipate comments, trackbacks, RSS feeds, email subcriptions to updates, reblogging, quoting, and the formation of an online audience community, based on your blog's value to the readers.

Don't you now see how each post you publish is not a "done deal"?

Is it not now seen to be not done until all the peripheral and integral supplements have all rolled in?

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate

- = +


carrie said...

i love the way you handled this.

MARYBETH said...

I Love it when you write this way, You are taking , what is for me, complex, confusing, verbose , monotonous, technological language information, and translating it with a unique, sophisticated , "SEUSS LIKE" style; thus creating understanding and viable comprehension for the reader.
I am so grateful to you for this MR Vaspers!

N a m a s t e ,

steven edward streight said...

I thought I was taking something simple and obvious and turning it into to some blown out of proporation hoopla to alienate and castigate unilateral non-interactive bloggers, or blog authors who let comments accumulate without the slightest attempt to reply in a timely manner.

steven edward streight said...

Or, in other words: bloggers who publish a post, then abandon the post, and later publish another post, and so on, thinking that by publishing it, they're "done".