Eliminating the obstacles to developing conversations

After the Google IPO last month, there’s been much comment in many media websites on Google’s future now. Lots of critical comment in particular.

I’ve been following much of the commentary but not to the extent that I found anything interesting enough to comment about in my blog. Until now. And what I will comment on isn’t much to do with the Google IPO or subsequent media coverage; it’s all to do with developing conversations as opposed to simply reporting.

On 20 August, IT industry guru Esther Dyson wrote on ZDNet about Google’s courageous, clumsy debut. She concluded with:

As for Google’s own future: I don’t think Microsoft or Yahoo will beat it at its own game, but I do think that this game (like operating systems, browsers and other things) will turn into a commodity battle.

Yesterday, Esther posted additional comment on her blog, a follow-up to the 20 August piece, entitled Whither Google? Medigle?

What especially caught my attention with the blog post is this comment by Esther:

Now here comes what I *didn’t* put in the column, because it’s way too speculative.. just right for blogging – and I’d welcome feedback.

That’s a very interesting development – write a commentary for publication in the traditional manner on a media website, then offer additional, different or extended further commentary on your blog and actively solicit feedback.

This is the way to go. There may be many other commentators and journalists doing similar things, but I’ve not encountered any among the media sites I regularly read or get RSS webfeeds from (I’d be willing to bet that most of the sites I read are similar to the ones you read in the areas of technology, business, current affairs and communication).

Too many media sites make it too difficult to develop a conversation with the commentator or journalist. Either you can’t directly post comments, or you have to fill out a comment form that goes by email to someone, or where you can comment it’s sort of linear and not threaded, or there’s some other obstacle in the way that prevents a spontaneous and instant contribution to help stimulate a debate, a conversation.

If you had three commentators like Esther and one does what Esther has done, who would you gravitate towards? Well, you know what my answer is.