September 24, 2003 02:03 | WebBlogging

"High profile"

I've been thinking a lot about a topic I mentioned here a little while back. One of the (many) issues/concerns facing "high-profile" people who should blog, is negative feedback. It is of course inevitable. Politicos will get flamed, intellectuals bashed, people in a position of influence, badgered.

On a purist level I am inclined to say: so what, deal with it... it is human expression and an important part of all of this. I can, however, fully understand it being a problem; from signal-to-noise ratios all the way to sheer emotional drain on the individual in question. Not to mention raw bandwidth costs. Michael Moore gets more traffic than I can imagine... his blog would be on top of DayPop within an hour and burst his host's already straining pipes and systems...

So what do we do for these folks? Well, first of all, obviously turn off comments. Hit one. Turn off trackbacks; hit two. It's gonna be hard enough getting these folks into the mindset and lifestyle of "blogging" (read: share their minds) in the first place, that a trade off at this stage is definitely necessary. Compromise is the word.

As an example, let's take some North American politicos. So we have Howard Dean (U.S. presidential candidate) blogging (I just realized he HAS Comments and Trackbacks on! Great!), Paul Martin, the current Liberal shoe-in to be the next Prime Minister of Canada (link via Mark Federman of the McLuhan Program's weblog who analyses Martin's blogging track record of late), and Adrianna Huffington, running for governor of California (thanks Jim).

Now, you and I can't leave any feedback... except for Dean in this example but even there it raises another issue: after 10-12 comments your voice gets lost in the flotsam and a lack of threaded comments makes that situation worse. Point being: what's left? Good old hypertext links from our own weblog (remember, no trackbacks either). This is where services like Technorati and Google "link:" become key.

My point is this: if you must turn off all means of direct feedback (again, Comments and Trackbacks) you should at least have a link to your Technorati cosmos or Google "link:" result handy.

Howard Dean
Technorati Cosmos
Google links
Paul Martin
Technorati Cosmos
Google links
Arianna Huffington
Technorati Cosmos
Google links


Good points...

I think the other things to consider is...

Lack of computer knowledge or fear of computers by many people (and without being ageist, people who didn't grow up with computer being second nature or a major part of what they do)....

And people who are "famous / infamous" not having the time in the day to insert another task into their schedule...

how do we deal with that?

hey Warren,
Yeah those are the other side of the coin... the "real world" issues...
These are alsoissues I am looking at and trying to figure out the absolute easiest ways to integrate them. While useability and "one step process" are key, there does have to be a willingness to do *a little* extra work from what these folks are already used to.

As with picking up any new activity, blogging does have a bit of a learning curve, and getting to that "addicted" stage requires putsing with various tools. I do believe I have the experience now with blogging, or at least the desire to expand even deeper my experience, that I cna come up with a solution...

Stay tuned. ;)