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Blogs like coffee shops?

November 9, 2006      People congregate to share ideas.  

In urban areas, the coffee shop maybe a favored location to exchange ideas with people in person, or more frequently, online.   Forums have been an online fixture, along with newsgroups for many years, and people with common interests tend to gravitate to these areas.   Blogs traffic can come from a variety of sources, referrals from other blogs, search engine keywords that occurred in a post, or through referrals from the blog hosting site (hot blogs, next blog, top blogs, etc) based on traffic volumes.  As a small sidebar, this latter method tends to be self fulfilling in that once a blog makes it to that list, simply being on the list will drive more traffic.  If the blog is interesting, it will stay on the list in seeming perpetuity, ala Scobleizer.  If not,  then it will cycle through once all the casual clickers have found it, taken a peek and moved on.

Those that stay, and come back day after day appear to do so because of an affinity to the author or the subject of the blog.   Posts start a conversation between the blogger and any audience member who chooses to comment, as expected.    But then something more interesting can occur.  Commenters, begin to have discussions amongst themselves within the comment threads, leaving one comment related to a previous comment rather than the original blog entry.  It’s not just a many to one relationship with the blogger, but rather interaction amongst the commenting community.   When the same small group of commenters are present day in and out, does the subject blog begin to take on the aspects of a social destination, a virtual coffee house?   Are the visiters there for the coffee, or the venue and other patrons?

One Comment leave one →
  1. jsmith6 permalink
    April 26, 2008 4:46 pm

    This is brilliant. I work in a school and have been trying to convince staff that blogging can be an incredible way to communicate and share resources, but haven’t been very successful. Once you get sucked in the world of blogs and aggregators, you quickly realize how many conversations you have daily about a variety of topics. My personal learning network tripled within a week (perhaps even a conservative estimate), and the new people contributing to my thoughts on education was incredible. I hope you don’t mind that I quoted you on my blog so that others could benefit. If they dont’ get it from me, perhaps another viewpoint will help 🙂

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