Warning: include_once(/home/surtees/designnotes.info/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-support/wordpress-support.php): failed to open stream: Permission denied in /home/surtees/designnotes.info/wp-settings.php on line 306

Warning: include_once(): Failed opening '/home/surtees/designnotes.info/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-support/wordpress-support.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/local/lib/php:/usr/local/php5/lib/pear') in /home/surtees/designnotes.info/wp-settings.php on line 306

Warning: session_start(): Cannot send session cookie - headers already sent by (output started at /home/surtees/designnotes.info/wp-settings.php:306) in /home/surtees/designnotes.info/wp-content/themes/viewport/framework/zilla-admin-init.php on line 16

Warning: session_start(): Cannot send session cache limiter - headers already sent (output started at /home/surtees/designnotes.info/wp-settings.php:306) in /home/surtees/designnotes.info/wp-content/themes/viewport/framework/zilla-admin-init.php on line 16
Talking to the Crowd | DesignNotes by Michael Surtees

Talking to the Crowd

talking to the crowd

I’m always fascinated to see how people communicate to each other publicly. Since I am in the communications business it makes sense to understand how conversations go back and forth and spread. Up until recently the standard two way talk between blog post and reader was with a comments field. The writer publishes something, a reader comments. Of course a blogger can turn comments off or have a set time limit. Pretty standard stuff…

I’m not a huge fan of Tumblr for the simple fact that I’ve tried using it three or four different times but always went back to WordPress for better that control I wanted. But what I find fascinating none the less is that Tumblr has created some unique and easy ways to publish content of others—“the reblog”. The word reblog probably scares a lot in the traditional media mindset. Their first reaction is that someone’s stealing my content. Maybe, but the reblog is also pushing ideas to a larger audience that would not otherwise see/read an idea. It’s also a vote that the writer has something of value. Stuff that isn’t interesting doesn’t travel on the interwebs. This background info is important because a recent post from Jason Calacanis about Apple’s business practices titled The Case Against Apple–in Five Parts. At the time of writing this post there was over 190 comments. Not an insane number of people talking, but enough to suggest that any additional comment on that post is going to be lost in the river.

Picture 65

The smarter move is to respond with a blog post of your own. That way a writer can control their own content while building on the broader discussion. It’s only a guess but I suspect that’s why this post Planet Calacanis was published on his own site. The catch was that there wasn’t any way to respond to that post—but there actually was a way to talk back. More akin to a nudge though. If you were part of the same Tumblr publishing system you could respond by reblogging the post and adding commentary. Sure it’s not as easy as dropping a comment box but the message of the post spreads. But if you’re the original person of the Tumblr post, people are spreading the traffic around and passing it on to others. Of course if you’re not part of Tumblr you’re left out of the conversation. Maybe it will motivate you to use Tumblr, maybe not…

However that two way, one way reblog commentary wasn’t the only thing I was noticing with the conversation started by Jason Calacanis. I tweeted his original post after seeing it mentioned by someone else I follow on Twitter. This was what I said from my iPhone “RT @iboy: Hey @JasonCalacanis, Your “Case Against Apple” is one solid post. http://bit.ly/14LOBU”. A number of people that followed me retweeted the link and it continued to spread in every imaginable direction.

edibleappletweet

One way to get people’s attention via twitter is tweeting the simple @ to the user’s name that you want to talk to. Let’s say that you have a post that’s in reaction to the original Case Against Apple post and you want to attract the attention of other people thinking about the conversation. An easy way to find those people would be to do a twitter search on anyone that’s mentioned “Case Against Apple” http://search.twitter.com/search?q=Case+Against+Apple The next step is to start replying to each of those tweets like this “@michaelSurtees Why Calacanis is way off base http://bit.ly/scJy1”. I’m not a huge fan of that type of practice but it got me to click on the link.

What’s happening is that there’s discussions, posts, reblogs, tweets and retweets and even more interjection. While I’m not going to comment on the original Apple post, I’m really intrigued by how tumblr enables/disables the conversation afterwards. To comment you have to post the original post and build on top of that. In a weird way it extends the loop while keeping everything loosely together no matter how many sites talk about it. I do realize that a tumblr user could add a third party commenting service, but why bother when you can keep everything in house?

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
  • karlbaxter

    Despite working in the industry, I find a lot of the web 2 offshoots completely baffling – twitter for one, I understand that people like it and why people use it, I just don't understand why they use it how they do.. the reblogging thing makes perfect sense to me, an to be honest, I've no issue people throwing my content round the internet either. nice article, thanks for sharing it.