How snowballs catch fire

In What journalists need to know about snowballs and fire, Kristine Lowe leverages what I wrote here to explain what journalists need to know about distributed conversations. And rolls with a great example:

In the framework of my blog it works like this: I write about a company like Mecom in Norway and another blogger adds a German or Polish perspective, another tips me off about a story I might find interesting in my comment field. Or I write about a law I find worrying, another blogger picks up on the thread and asks a hard question or two, a third does an interview to clarify the situation and adds some very valuable thoughts on what impact the law might have on regimes in Africa, and another cool person analyses the law in a comment (follow-up here).

And even this is really too narrow a description of distributed conversations, but here’s a good stab at deconstructing them. Besides, all of this comes on top of how my blog has the marvellous effect of attracting readers who are passionate about the issues I’m passionate about.

…this necessitates tracking conversations about the issues you write or care about, e.g. with Technorati, and ideally linking to them; how there’s lots of opportunities for MSM to engage more with their readers here, and how journalists as well, whether we approve of it or not, are trapped in those Catholic Churches

Thus the ball blazes on…

1 comment

  1. Mike Warot’s avatar

    “…this necessitates tracking conversations about the issues you write or care about”

    Technorati doesn’t help tracking conversations as much as it could… like any aggregator, you end up doing keyword searches, and losing a lot of context.

    For example, to track this conversation, you’d use this technorati link: http://www.technorati.com/search/http%3A%2F%2Fblogs.law.harvard.edu%2Fdoc%2F2007%2F09%2F04%2Fhow-snowballs-catch-fire

    Or, you could guess for the googlisms that are relevant to the conversation in question… either way you’re just about as efficient to keep coming back and checking for new comments on the original site.

    If there were a way to do RSS feeds for comments, things might be more efficient.

    or maybe I’m off base…

    –Mike–

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