Cops and Bloggers

Jack Vinson probably did not quite mean the comparison to be this literal:

Blogs are better than communities because:

  • Weblogs are more respectful of their authors and of their audience
  • Weblogs are better connecting tools.

Communities are better than blogs because:

  • Communities are better social structures for problem-solving, knowledge stewarding and innovation
  • Communities of practice are better social structures for learning

And how can blogs and CoP’s live together:

  • Blogger networks generate communities of practice (and communities of practice generate projects)
  • Communities of Practice can use weblogs to communicate with the outside world.

And this extracted from James Farmer: “Blog based communities – explaining the basics:

“Discussion boards are completely poor at facilitating one-one communication, as users have little control or ownership and few methods of participatation” (Incorperated Subversion):

Not sure that I entirely agree with this comment.

Nancy White, in reading this article came up with concept of Blogs as “containers of conversations”. However she does also point out (on a comment on James’s Blog) the difficulty some people have and some conversations pose.

3 comments on “Cops and Bloggers
  1. Nancy White says:


    The older I get, the more beautiful shades of grey dominate my thinking. I believe we are stating our personal preferences in these discussions, not provable facts. People experience these tools differently. They have different practices with them both individually and collectively. So while each may seem like a “better than X for doing Y” more often than not we can find exceptions.

    So the question is, how do you find the sweet spot of tools and practices for any individual, or group, or network?

  2. James Farmer says:

    Naw… I’m right 😉

  3. Chirnside Derek says:

    Hi James, fancy hearing from you.

    You said:
    Discussion boards are completely poor at facilitating one-one communication, as users have little control or ownership and few methods of participatation

    I resisted 2 things in the quote.

    1. “completely”
    Too absolute for me.

    2. “few methods of participation”
    I think this may be true of the traditional ‘Discussion board’ which is owned, and gives little power or place to individuals. But I think that it’s just because we haven’t made any real effort to enhance them with some added functionality.
    Then where we have made the effort, it’s often come out a little quirky and difficult for some to use, with new paradigms and tools. As Nancy said above, “People experience these tools differently”.

    A simple basic example to try to exlan what I mean:
    In a forum, why can’t individuals who start a thread “own” the thread, and have admin power over it? (A mini blog-like entity).
    One-one communication (as in your original quote) doesn’t need to be totally private. It’s like two people carrying on a dialogue in a pub with a few others letting them have the floor. I think, sometimes, the fact that others are listening in assists the 1-1 communication.
    And I think there are some functionalities that we could add to forums to help.

    The reason why we don’t do this of course is it could lead to chaos. :-) It just becomes a bit to cmplex too quick.

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